December 15, 2021

Vera West Is Our 2022-2023 Poet-in-Residence!

Vera West Is Our 2022-2023 Poet-in-Residence!

Editor’s Note:We are excited to announce our second Poet-in-Residence, Vera West! Earlier this year, we were introduced to Vera through our all-star Poetry Barista, Yong Takahashi. Michael and Jennifer were throwing around the idea of doing a “potpourri post” of poetry. The timing worked out for it to fall on National Poetry Week, so we organized a lineup of poets for the post. I reached out to Yong to ask if she knew any poets who would want to contribute a poem and she replied with an enthusiastic request to include Vera. (You can see that National Poetry Month post here.) Over the summer, us baristas were discussing who we wanted to nominate for the next Poet-in-Residence position and again Yong came back with Vera’s name. We perused her portfolio and had a delightful Zoom…

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December 12, 2021

“Sang / Lait Chaud, ” A Short Story by Cathleen Davies

“Sang / Lait Chaud, ” A Short Story by Cathleen Davies

What’s good about the telly is that Susie can blather on and on and it doesn’t bother Dave at all. He’s always been pretty good at multi-tasking, keeping his mind on two things at once. It was a nice evening. Dave managed to leave work at the door. Susie was doing her knitting and the Tigers were still drawing with Stoke City. Dave sipped his beer. It was good to be home. “I think I’ll do a little hat to go with these if I have any wool leftover,” Susie said, as she held out a little booty on curved needles. “Oh, aye? Lovely.” “I hope it won’t offend your mum though. I know she got Alice that little white hat at Christmas, but she’s nearly grown out of it and she’ll need a new…

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November 24, 2021

An Excerpt and News from Mbizo Chirasha

An Excerpt and News from Mbizo Chirasha

Editor’s Note: Mbizo Chirasha is The Fictional Café’s Poet-in-Residence. We have featured his work for two years now and are closing in on the end of his term. You may have noticed that we have featured less of his work this year, which, we are sad to say, is because Mbizo has been fleeing his home in Zimbabwe and trying to find asylum in another country. Due to his criticism of African politics and corruption in his writing, he has frequently been a target of violence from his government. We have partnered with a few organizations to help him find a safe place to live and write, but he continues to meet challenges. Mbizo has recently published a new book, which we announced earlier this year. Here is an excerpt from his book, called, “Along…

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November 22, 2021

“Professor Crow,” A Short Story by Salvatore Difalco

“Professor Crow,” A Short Story by Salvatore Difalco

Things were a little hazy. I had resurfaced after an entire year. I knew it would take time to get my legs underneath me, and not enough of it had passed yet. Not by a long shot. Nevertheless there I stood, out in the world again. How much had it changed? How much had people changed? Had anything changed at all? I’d soon find out. The red floor was sticky. When I lifted my heel you could hear it.   I looked around the dimly lit tavern. Sparse crowd, folks still wary, or paranoid. We might still be doomed. We were doomed. Likely somewhere in that spectrum, not forgetting our recent ineptitude and iniquities as well as our successes. Dudes reeking of ganja wheeled about the place with bleeding eyes and slobbery mouths. The bald endomorphic bouncer, in a black turtleneck with a large gold crucifix hanging between his pectorals, stood by the door keeping six on them like an elephant with…

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November 18, 2021

“Once Upon a Dog,” A Short Story by Bob Calverley

“Once Upon a Dog,” A Short Story by Bob Calverley

One day Chief Warrant Officer Walters of the 99th Assault Helicopter Company would complain that the Tet Offensive began a month early for him. But on New Year’s Day, 1968, the company’s gun platoon, known as the Headhunters, was still basking in a lull that had begun a couple of weeks before Christmas. No one had been killed or wounded. Not a single rocket or mortar had exploded in Nui Binh Base Camp. Only one helicopter had been hit by ground fire. On New Year’s, the Headhunters returned to the base camp shortly before lunch after a long-planned combat assault was called off. Then they were given a rare afternoon off. Led by Walters, the gunship pilots decided to visit a Filipino engineering battalion stationed in Nui Binh. After lunch, most of the Headhunter enlisted…

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