Nesting by Stefanie Newman


 

I had long been convinced that destiny had intended me to be born and bred in Italy. Instead, I grew up in suburban Chicago. In September 2008 I set out to rectify fate’s error. Together with my husband Bill and our ten-year-old son Asher we would rent an apartment in Bologna, Italy for three months. It was a city whose streets were practically paved in tortellini and prosciutto and then, for good measure, covered over with miles of graceful porticoes. My husband and I were artists who had spent our youth among the angst-ridden expressionists … Continue reading Nesting by Stefanie Newman

Donald Trump Saved My Marriage by Ruth Ewers

Two cookbooks
 

Okay, maybe not exactly saved it, but at least shored it up. Let me tell you how. My husband and I married in the late 70’s, back when our generation was all about living simply, off the land and off the grid. We moved into a house with no indoor plumbing, used wood to heat, grew our veggies, and collected water from a nearby spring. Bob was a self-employed carpenter and I worked at a natural foods store. I made our bread from a dog-eared, oil and flour stained Tassajara Bread Book, and prepared meals … Continue reading Donald Trump Saved My Marriage by Ruth Ewers

Music & Memory by David Roach

Box of records
 

Soundtrack 3 (1964) It’s a cold February day. My parents and I are visiting Saint James School to decide if I will go there in the fall. I am in the ninth grade at Sligo Junior High School; I am lost there between the “hoods” and the “nerds,” not fitting into either group. I want to be a “hood,” of course, because they’re the tough, cool guys. I’m a bit scared of the idea of going off to boarding school, living with 120 strangers. I’m also anxious because tonight The Beatles are to make their … Continue reading Music & Memory by David Roach

Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

Vanilla soft serve cone
 

California Girls was the lyric that bumped the bass held together by a woman’s sweet, altered, voice that tasted like vanilla but left a burn like bottom shelf vodka; and Elsie Malabago loved to hear this sort of tune on 93.5 POP! Radio, cruising with the windows down in her Mother’s old ’99 Corolla—before her Mother’s heart gave out and she died in that car cursing Papa in Tagalog and staring Elsie in the eye to say “putang ina,” whore, with her dying breath—but Elsie forgot that morning because it wasn’t Mother’s car anymore, it … Continue reading Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

24 Hours by Heather Bartlett

View through back of ambulance
 

***Heather Bartlett is the 1st place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir Contest***   “Working for 24 hours straight is all about your perspective,” he says. “Your body can handle it. Human beings adapt. Think about it. How many times have you stayed up all night studying? Or partying?” “Sure,” I say, “but this is different.” It’s so hard. Physically. Without sleep I have to interact with so many people, make decisions and make sense. Both a patient and my partner are depending on me when I’m definitely not my best. I’m only partially sure it … Continue reading 24 Hours by Heather Bartlett

We Have Winners

Balloons and Confetti
 

Congratulations to the winners of Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir contest! But first, a little whining. Judging a contest is a lot of hard work (whine, whine). I hasten to say I don’t mean the reading of the entries. That’s really fun. It’s the making of decisions. I had good help, but we had some very tough contenders. Everyone (perhaps with not quite as much whining as myself) agreed it was hard to make these decisions. We saw excellent writing, acute observation, heartfelt disclosure. Only three winners could prevail. I’m hoping that those who didn’t win will … Continue reading We Have Winners

I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

close-up of smoke curls
 

I Bought Them   I bought them, two big books, fat with two lifetimes of poems, not so much to read them, which, over a long time, as is meant, I will do, but just to look at, their bigness, heavy as loaves of grainy peasant bread, and their pictures on the covers, the two old Polish poets, Milosz and Herbert, their beautiful white hair, their beautiful long white fingers, their beautiful white cigarettes, and the smoke like their own beautiful white ghosts. J.R. Solonche is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long … Continue reading I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

Group Effort by Spriggan Radfae

the word gold written on paper
 

I like games. I like cooperative, team-building games in particular. Here is a game called Midnight Adventure that I played in competition with several teams: A group of five people (my team) worked together to carry a heavy railroad tie through midnight darkness and complete one circuit around a large building. Along the way, we listened in the dark for audible cues from non-participants and took instructions from them. Those people awarded us tokens, and my team required a certain number of tokens to finish the game. Also, team members were not allowed to talk … Continue reading Group Effort by Spriggan Radfae

Coma Sleep by Ben Wood

Colorful clothes hanging on clothing line
 

  Before surgery, before the bones are set, and while blood flows from Jacob Randolph in quick rivulets, Agi is there. She is the nurse on duty when he is wheeled through the doors of the ER. She witnesses the doctors bring him back, helps quell the bleeding, feels a triumphant surge when his heartbeat regains its jagged kick on the monitor. She hears the head neurosurgeon muttering jargon to the fellows, picking out works where she can – cervical, contusion, ten-story fall. Eventually, the word stable, which shines among the rest. Two months in … Continue reading Coma Sleep by Ben Wood

Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas

group of football players
 

Mom Wants to Talk Football On the gridiron of family life, she and I stood the sidelines, flanking the husband and father who, fourth and goal in the waning minutes, always called his own number. She, the former German schoolgirl who had fled here in ’36 with her hick-town kin, to major later in garter belts and Maybelline, and who would not at any time have known a pigskin from an eggplant. Though now that the masterful man is gone, and she has her new bed, having slept a single night on his side of … Continue reading Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas

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