Quetico by Larry Glass

Fog over water and trees
 

At some point—I’m not sure when—I came to accept that there are quite a few things that I can’t control. It was not a conscious decision, no epiphany, no wrestling with big ideas. It’s not really ceding control—it’s accepting what has become increasingly obvious, in truth probably somewhere between realizing and accepting. The stock market, terrorism, famine, middle of the night trips to the bathroom, gray hair, the clutter that my wife and kids leave on the kitchen counter where I’m trying to cook, the hair that our dogs shed on the furniture, the weather. … Continue reading Quetico by Larry Glass

A Circular Argument by Miles Fowler

Older computer monitor and keyboard
 

I am a compulsive researcher. If it were not such a useful compulsion, I would need a twelve-step program to break the habit. I can get hooked on almost any research project, although I tend to obsessively research things that interest me like history, motion pictures and the supernatural, which, like religion, has long been a topic of interest to me without my necessarily believing in the suspension of the laws of nature. I am especially motivated to spend hours poring over records if I feel an emotional connection with a subject, for example, a … Continue reading A Circular Argument by Miles Fowler

Why Do I Have Happy Memories

two puppies playing in grass
 

One summer evening, long after dusk, I was relaxing on a porch in a comfy chair next to a novelist I’d just met when she softly announced, “The stars in the sky look like an ocean. But I’m high, so maybe that’s just a stoner-thought.” I flicked my eyes up and verified that the cloudless, night sky did indeed resemble a boundless ocean, then I assured her, “No, no. It does look like an ocean.” I understood her concern because stoner-thoughts—while they may appear initially as profound, inspired ideas—often collapse under scrutiny. That said, I … Continue reading Why Do I Have Happy Memories

A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

Magnetic words
 

One of Sharon Leiter’s myriad of roles and activities while living and working in the Charlottesville, VA community of scholars, teachers and writers was to serve as Poetry Editor of Streetlight Magazine from 2004 until her death in 2016. In this capacity, Sharon made the day of many an emerging and hopeful poet writing from Virginia and beyond, always with the intent of offering encouragement and celebrating poets striving toward their best work . During this period of her life, Sharon, a Slavic Languages and Literature professor at the University of Virginia, and then adjunct … Continue reading A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

The Kent Store Journals, Writing Place and Time by Roselyn Elliott

Photo Mexican Sunflowers
 

Autumn 2003 Beautiful, downtown Kents Store, Virginia boasts two businesses, a store with snacks and sodas where hunters register the deer they’ve just shot, and a funeral home (not for the deer). Across the road is a post office, a fire hall, a Masonic Temple constructed like a brick ranch house, a brick church and a cemetery. About a mile from the store, we live on 3.2 acres where our house sits 300 feet back from the road behind an expanse of oak, hickory, beech and loblolly pine. Behind us for an equal distance is … Continue reading The Kent Store Journals, Writing Place and Time by Roselyn Elliott

The Blue Dress by Karen Foster

Red shoes under blue cloth
 

***Karen Foster is an Honorable Mention for Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir Contest***   We Girls sit close together in the backseat of the car: Mission Accomplished. The Presentation of Mary Academy semi-formal is tonight and I am “doubling” with my friend, Maureen (a.k.a. “Mo”) and her steady boyfriend, Joe. A doll-sized study in organization, she has mapped out routes, timetables, and assignments over the past weeks with the efficiency of an executive level manager. Mo’s huge eyes and long lashes are framed by sharply penciled eyebrows that travel to the edge of her face. Joe’s large … Continue reading The Blue Dress by Karen Foster

Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

cup of espresso with biscotti
 

Partial Obstruction   Four Frenchmen in a Fiat fractured the front of a frieze facing Florence Cathedral. Stupid consonant clusters crowding each other, bragging like teens and gawking like tourists perennially popping pictures. See what I mean! And now two Turkish tourists plow into a Pagini parked parallel to Saint Peter’s Basillaca. There they go again! What will it take to stop them! Fortunately, a shop owner ushers everyone inside and serves cappuccino, offering a selection of mostacciolis, struffolis, baci di damas and ossi dei morti biscottis. Suddenly, everyone speaks Italian and sits on the … Continue reading Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

Library or Museum by Judy Longley

People standing before wall full of stained glass
 

Choosing between life in a library or a museum—either choice seems disloyal to the other. As a poet I revel in language. I splash in sacred waters, words swirl around me like schools of fish in streams of inspiration. Well sometimes not. Some days I sit on the bank and wait for a nibble, slapping mosquitoes away. But I have a mute twin who finds refuge in silence, wordless descriptions, emotional constructs revealed in color contrasts, brush marks. A spiritual response to the visual, the intimate sheen of light on stone carved centuries ago, the … Continue reading Library or Museum by Judy Longley

Three East Third by John Gredler

Pigeon
 

***John Gredler is an Honorable Mention for Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir Contest***   I now had the second floor at 3 East Third to myself, a mattress on the floor, my radio cassette player and piles of books on either side. Not much else, not even a chair. Two tall windows faced the brick wall of the neighboring building with the faded letters spelling Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home painted on it. A small garden below allowed morning light to come in and the sounds of traffic to echo constantly day and night. The floor, old wide … Continue reading Three East Third by John Gredler

The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

forest at night
 

The Interloper   Night is an interrogative. The owl’s questions float in the glen where shadows voiced by the articulate moon stilt their own ground, measure the trees for graves. The back of the interrogatory toad bunched in field grass fouls with its scrawled lozengy my push for ornament, my desire to align. Leaves in conclaves ask what will I do in life after goodbyeing twilight and joining their elopement. I lie in new milkweed troweling out of zigzagged straw. The butterflies and blooms aren’t back yet nor are my hands stained from opened pods, … Continue reading The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

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