August 19, 2020

“Writing the Song,” A Short Story by Carole Langille

“Writing the Song,” A Short Story by Carole Langille

I met Van and another man at a party and though I was attracted to the other guy, I called Van. That’s how I did things in those days. I wrote lyrics, Van told me he wrote melodies, so when I suggested we get together and go over some material, Van invited me to his small duplex on the west side of Manhattan where he had his piano.  That first day, sitting on his couch, watching this tall guy with broad shoulders and curly brown hair play such wonderful melodies, I was happy. He looked like a cowboy, tall and lean, with his checked shirt and leather vest, his dark moustache, but an intellectual cowboy, his green eyes very alive. Years later, when I saw a film with Samuel L. Jackson, I thought they looked…

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August 17, 2020

“The Leopard’s Good Idea,” Poetry by Mark A. Murphy

“The Leopard’s Good Idea,” Poetry by Mark A. Murphy

The Leopard’s Good Idea   or Costume Change    The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold  The arch-enchanters wand! – itself a nothing! –  Edward Bulwer-Lytton    1    One day the crafty leopard hit upon  the neat idea to turn out   his old wardrobe  in favour of a whole new look.    Out went last season’s winter warmers   as if a change of pelt might bring   about a change in personality.  Nonetheless, the inclination to swindle     outweighs any kindness.     So, the cheating and subterfuge runs  its course, until the cheat    and the cheated part company  in the face of wild promises and denials.    2    Now we journey to the end of time  to ascertain whether the pen   really is mightier than the sword,  only to find what we always suspected.   …

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August 11, 2020

“Pool Boy,” A Short Story by John Beyer

“Pool Boy,” A Short Story by John Beyer

The concept did not come as a lightning bolt out of the sky, striking my cranium instantly. But more like a slow buildup of storm clouds on the horizon. The ones that leave a person wondering if inclement weather was in fact on the way or would fizzle into nothingness. Weather is like that sometimes, much like thoughts, ideas, or dreams. Nothing to do with reality at the moment but perhaps in the future that reality would truly become real.  That was how it was with the epiphany I could make a lot more money if I turned my career into something deeper if not more sinister.  I grew up poor, angry and disillusioned in Forest Park in Detroit. The small neighborhood bordering Wayne State University had high unemployment and those lucky enough to be working had some of…

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August 9, 2020

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

Meteor Shower   Canvas black  the eternal oil spill galactic  dark matter  speckled waves of crystal  diamond sky  ruby, emerald, sapphire   lightspeed  silent night bright   terminal velocity  eyes focus  straining in the dark time  as seconds, minutes, eons  stretch galaxies  into small hands  that even rain cannot  feel  for in feeling  we begin to fall  headlong into night  riding the meteors  of our past   knowing the showers  of our future  will smother  those small hands  someday  not even the rain has such small hands  Smokestacks of oak, hickory and birch  lurch in the balance of sleet and snow  on a confused Sunday in early May  as my woods fill up with snow.  It’s a snowy evening  tucked away on this Highland Park cul de sac  hugging Lake Michigan’s shore  as the gales of this Spring day  recall the final…

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August 6, 2020

“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

I’m alone at a charity event in Patricia Yeo’s new Midtown eatery. Shirtless, chiseled busboys and lanky, large-breasted servers run lightly about the restaurant, carrying trays the size of manhole covers. The place is gold-trimmed and supported by Roman columns but a terrible place to have a party. Not enough room. We’re ass-to-hip in here practically.    I meet gazes with Celine about ten minutes after I arrive. She approaches me without hesitation. I actually don’t think she’s ever hesitated a day in her life. “Uh-oh,” she says. “Lazarus Fucking Cooper. Is that you?”  “Last I checked.”  “Well, there’s no telling what’s going to happen now.”  “We’ll have to be careful.”   “Yeah, you attract bad energy. I’m a lily caught in the rapids with you.”  “I see you haven’t changed.”  “Does anyone?”  A hyper-paced metal song begins growling from heightened speakers,…

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