July 5, 2021

“Meeting in the Middle” — Poetry by Alison Jennings

“Meeting in the Middle” — Poetry by Alison Jennings

Meeting in the Middle, Lebanon, KS The center of these United States lies in this heartland space, where love does battle with our hates, where politicians court their base; yet there should be some room for peace: our modern civil war must cease. Lies in this heartland space proliferate, become more lies. It’s something that we need to face or else this fragile union dies. How can we mend the social quilt? Can democracy be rebuilt, where love does battle with our hates? Let’s hope it has the upper hand. The intervention of the Fates may be required for us to stand on principles, but not take sides, to have a chance to heal divides. Where politicians court their base, there’s no chance for compromise. “Dog whistles” emphasizing race – or victimizing Anglo guys –…

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June 24, 2021

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

“Who Must Be Fed,” by Julian Warmington

It took only a moment for her hunger to overwhelm her. In place of her contented satiation, there was a desire to feed that now burned inside of her, familiar yet new. It ached, burning inside. Instinct overrode any logic lingering in her mind. She needed to feed. She already knew that the usual fruits and nectars wouldn’t satisfy this craving. There was something more she needed, something vital and warm that would complete her. This was what she had been born to one day consume, and she was ready. With a flutter of her gossamer wings, she leaped into the air in search of the nourishment she craved. She flew for some time, her mind singly focused on seeking. It wasn’t long before she picked up the smell of a source. The sweet, heady…

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June 22, 2021

“Tatiana’s Tango,” The Poetry of J.P. Christiansen

“Tatiana’s Tango,” The Poetry of J.P. Christiansen

Tatiana’s Tango    Her sex is a tango, sung in any language, please,  in a black and white picture, mono chrome,   with shadows of that desire, please.    She stands under the lamp-post dividing day and lust,  the music of a moon having come out to guide you, Tatiana.  The small orchestra plays the seductive tones,  the singer caresses words and refrain,  here in the bar in Warsaw, 1938,  where two bodies meet in a dance to celebrate life.    A tango may last three minutes.  I listen to the scratched vinyl surface of the 78.  A memory arises with each turning of the needle in its grooves.  Haunting notes and voice of a song which used to be.    Now, 1939, and the gramophone is silent.  The vinyl is broken.    Did the walls fall on you, too, Tatiana…

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June 18, 2021

Juneteenth: A Day of Remembrance and Celebration

Juneteenth: A Day of Remembrance and Celebration

Editor’s Note: Black lives matter. Creative lives matter. We’re very fortunate to see both embodied in The Fictional Café’s Residency program. In both instances, these are word-artists who had already discovered The Fictional Café and been published here. Mbizo Chirasha was asked to become our Poet-in-Residence because of the powerful messages of freedom from oppression and tyranny in his poetry. We are saddened to learn that he remains in exile, now for four long years, in large part because of his book of poetry, A Letter to the President, which drew the ire of the dictatorship in Mbizo’s native country. Against powerfully thwarting odds, we’re trying to help. Derrick R. Lafayette is, with pun intended, our Black Knight of fiction. His fierce, compelling stories captivated us from his first submission. His strong advocacy for our…

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June 10, 2021

“Dottie,” A Short Story by Kerry Breen

“Dottie,” A Short Story by Kerry Breen

Dottie looked past her reflection in the bathroom mirror to the metallic petals outlining her slight frame. She’d found the vinyl-coated wallpaper in W.T. Grants on Washington Street that Wednesday and had spent half of Thursday hanging it. Looking back to the mirror, she folded the final curler into her hair and snapped it shut. She then began her nightly routine of wrapping toilet paper around the circumference of her head to keep her cropped, platinum hair smooth around each bubblegum pink foam roller. She had thought the yellow and orange flowers traced in gold were just the springy boost the tiny bath needed, but now she wasn’t sure. “George? Hey, George?” she called into the hallway. “Yes, dear,” George replied, stealthily dipping his left hand into the candy dish on the kitchen counter.  …

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