Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Photo of four cameras
 

Monday for Mom was splat day. She was working on splats up until her last few days. We talked about the splatforms a lot in her last few months. About a week ago she asked if I would write a splat about what it is like to be splat adjacent. This is what I came up with and she scheduled it for today not really intending it to be a last splat in this format. I’m posting it today in her honor. One thing I tell my students is, it’s not the mess we avoid … Continue reading Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Drawings by Guliz Multu


 

I cannot separate drawing from writing. Without drawing swallows, I cannot write spring. I am self-taught in art. I am always a student. I observe, I dream and I draw. I grew up and live in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve traveled Europe to see works by Botticelli, Rafael, Michelangelo, Donatello in Italy; Dalí, Velázquez, Picasso, Goya in Spain. I took a deep breath in Alta Mira Cave, Spain. I lost myself in the Louvre, and the Hermitage. I stared at Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer in the Rijks museum. Art is long, life is short. Cappadocia, … Continue reading Drawings by Guliz Multu

Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

blue and purple light swirl at carnival
 

My brother and I played war in a ditch near the Ferris Wheel while the carnival barker shouted. Our games didn’t take precedence over my wanting to live like a civilized person, but my father couldn’t afford violin lessons for me. Most of my teachers sucked, and we had only cookbooks and a ragged dictionary at home. My father killed so many deer we had plenty to eat, but I still wore a thick jacket in the cold. I can’t say it called me to the world, but I loved snapping the bra strap of … Continue reading Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

The Kidney Hoarder By Bess Wiley

Photo of lit matches
 

That’s actually me. I have four kidneys. I joke about it, but with great feeling for what they each signify. Two are native, gifted by my parents. The others are from two donors who saved my life with their own flesh and blood. I’m not a religious person, but the brotherly parable holds. I fell ill towards the end of the millenium when my kidneys failed. My brother volunteered to donate one of his. We matched blood types and four out of five tissue types, delighting the transplant team at Cedars, who then performed the … Continue reading The Kidney Hoarder By Bess Wiley

Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

Woodpecker in tree
 

Woodpeckers at it again this morning boring into the cedar clapboard, fascia, cove boards too soft with age, too inviting for the particular family-to-be of the pileated kind, red crest pure blazon and I rise time after time, running outside arms waving yelling Out! Out! and then worse the third or fourth time, my cup of coffee gone cold, page lost in book, and it knows I’ll give it up sooner or later or probably doesn’t care if I wouldn’t but I do, feet dew-soaked from all the running around in the flagrant April green … Continue reading Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

A Tuskegee Airman by Miles Fowler

Photo of plane
 

As a Tuskegee Airman, the late Leon “Woodie” Spears was one of fewer than 1,000 African-Americans pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was among the last cadets to be trained on the grounds of (and in the air above) the Tuskegee Army Air Field near Tuskegee, Ala. Several thousand other African-Americans were also trained there to be navigators, traffic controllers, mechanics, and bomber crew members. Nothing was easy for the young black men who came to Tuskegee from all around the country in the early 1940s. Woodie was from … Continue reading A Tuskegee Airman by Miles Fowler

The Wedding Guest by Melissa Sinclair

Photo of roses in glasses
 

Melissa Sinclair is the 2nd place winner in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   “Can u go to the parler with me today if u don’t have any plans?” This text is from my friend Nighat, who is getting married today. I do not have plans; I have been wandering around Houston in the rain. My Lyft driver pulls up to an immaculate house in the farthest exurbs of the city. The stylist, Shaireen, is a brisk Pakistani mom of three. Her eyes are the color of the sea just before a storm. She spreads white … Continue reading The Wedding Guest by Melissa Sinclair

Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

Woman and man in black against white city background
 

His mother’s words: Be a good boy! Whatever that meant in 1920. What did Harry T. Burn know? He was a man now: 24 Republican Tennessee Representative. He’d seen her in the kitchen, kerchief holding back her hair, the kettle’s steam whooshing to her face as she fished out mason jars loaded with peaches glossily preserved for winter desserts. At meals she served herself last. Listened, didn’t ask or say much. He saw her give food to men who came to the back door at strange times of the day. She wore a faded apron … Continue reading Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

Photo of seagull on railing
 

It will be a year, he says. The sun behind her covers the barman and his wall of drinkery in rosey light. A ceiling fan stirs fry-oil and lemon around them, but she still feels slick with sweat on her face and arms and between her thighs. She wishes she had chosen a different dress, or had put her hair up, or that they had chosen to eat at a more comfortable distance from nature. She sips her pina-colada, nods her head, and listens to the lazy waves. He takes a gulp of rum punch. … Continue reading Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

The 21st Century Federal Writers’ Project By Deborah Kelly

2 men typing with Poet for Hire sign
 

A proposed 21st Century Federal Writers’ Project introduced in the House of Representatives last month is gaining broad support from literary and writers’ organizations hard hit by the Covid pandemic. The bill, introduced by two Texas Democrats, would hire writers to chronicle the changes wrought by the pandemic, much the way the 1930s project explored the devastating impact of the Great Depression and other historical mileposts. That enormously successful program paid emerging writers to collect oral histories and tell the stories of Americans whose lives were forever changed. Some of those hired by the program … Continue reading The 21st Century Federal Writers’ Project By Deborah Kelly

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