Male Enhancement Or, You Think I Need a New Email Address? by Susan Shafarzek

Color photo of yellow and white dandelions

Seems like every morning I find myself weeding my inbox: delete, delete, delete, like a gardener tending a hopeless patch. I’m wary of accidentally opening something I might regret. Every afternoon, I weed again. Impossible. This morning, for example, I had ninety-three messages in my inbox. After weeding: twenty-one. Once, when I glanced away at something else, eighteen new messages suddenly appeared. “Have you heard of Unsubscribe?” friends say to me. Everybody knows about Unsubscribe, our one weapon against the onrushing glut. How’s it working out for you? As well as that spam filter you … Continue reading Male Enhancement Or, You Think I Need a New Email Address? by Susan Shafarzek

The Pleasure of Ruins by Trudy Hale

Black and white photo of rundown cottage in woods

Not too long ago, I was walking my black lab down Norwood Road when an acquaintance stopped his truck to chat. He said he was concerned about my neighborhood. Wasn’t I embarrassed for writers to come to the retreat and see all these ruined and abandoned houses here in Norwood? It’s a shame. It hurts him every time he passes through our hamlet, he said. He then announced that he was going to buy up as many of the forlorn houses as he could (he has the means) and renovate and turn them into Airbnbs. … Continue reading The Pleasure of Ruins by Trudy Hale

Susan Northington Looks to the Horizon


    The horizon line has long been a source of inspiration for landscape artist Susan Haley Northington. She remembers growing up in South Georgia where the open land led to the horizon line. “I remember being in love with the land. The vast flat land and open skies attracted me. Watching sunsets in amazement. The colors, the texture, the endlessness of it all.   “I viewed that horizon line as mysterious but at the same time it offered peacefulness and calm, that balance I sought. As we get older we yearn for balance and … Continue reading Susan Northington Looks to the Horizon

and yet the moon by Nimisha Mondal


your father is dying on the other side of the world and yet, the moon shines into our bedroom my mother has broken her ankle and can’t walk the stairs and yet, the moon dances between clouds our daughter, plagued by night terrors, sweats in the sheets between us and yet, the moon fills our room with brightness our neighbor’s mosque was vandalized, dirty messages on the walls and yet, the moon glows over both vandals and vandalized tonight storms rage over violent seas, and fires burn across our hearts and yet, the moon holds … Continue reading and yet the moon by Nimisha Mondal

Writing History’s Happenstance by Fred Wilbur

Photo of brochures and postcards

During my older sister’s annual visit last fall, three shoe boxes came into the house with her luggage. After the usual greetings and settling in, she opened the Florsheim boxes to reveal a postcard collection. In an effort to clean out her Tennessee Victorian, a closet shelf having collapsed the week before, she decided she didn’t want them anymore: would I be interested in them? History is always a bit surprising, especially when close to one’s personal narrative. Imagine the archaeologist who digs up an artifact that totally alters the theory he has been working … Continue reading Writing History’s Happenstance by Fred Wilbur

In a Chapel Near the Loire by Elisabeth Murawski

rustic stone chapel on a river

The pulpit floats high above the chairs. She cranes her neck to see, twists a little clockwise to hear. The priest’s suspended there for his flock. Which soil to avoid? Which rock? The Bible’s chained to the lectern, each page a work of art. Needles of heat. Through the window a cloudless sky the blue of Mary’s cloak, a furnace of crows relentless as her fears of hell, of dying alone, that her prayers court a God who needs no one. Elisabeth Murawski is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson … Continue reading In a Chapel Near the Loire by Elisabeth Murawski

Return to Civilization by Elizabeth L. Delaney

Photo of green mask over and over

Two 584-million-mile trips around the sun—the only traveling any of us could do. Two sets of birthdays and anniversaries and seasonal accoutrement. Innumerable sleepless nights. All spent in pandemic hibernation. In terror. On the brink of insanity. It’s fitting that they’d bring me back. Just like they always have. When the clarion call came, it rattled like a cruel tease. After one cancelled tour and another doomed returning-to-normal show amid countless are-we-there-yet moments, the prospect of real-life anything seemed out of reach. I wasn’t ready anyway, still subsumed by a pandemic-induced Stockholm syndrome. But as … Continue reading Return to Civilization by Elizabeth L. Delaney

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll . . . at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday by Celia Rivenbark

Black and white photo of concert audience from the back

Oh, thank you, Jamie Lee Curtis, for bringing to the nation’s attention a problem that many of us, er, “seasoned citizens” have been too embarrassed to talk about. No, not bladder control. Honestly, I can’t take you people anywhere. I’m talking about why—oh, why—our favorite bands won’t have concerts at a decent hour. Like, says Curtis, 1 p.m. She tossed out the idea during the Oscars but then it took off! Turns out there are a lot of us who would love to see our favorite bands when they come to town but not at … Continue reading It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll . . . at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday by Celia Rivenbark

Not Every Deed by Tom Gengler

Oak branches in sun and shade

Not every deed in the annals of my family was given an account. It could not be. But the gospel writers and eyewitnesses each translated experience and recollection to collections of their own. I protected as if genocides were being sprayed from trucks in the living room and cessations possessed my hands. I have planted them in earths they were not potted in. The tender greenhouse became their new home: soils in life they were never rooted in, earthenware pots that drain and breathe and reverse their suffocations. May I plant you (uncle, aunt, mother, … Continue reading Not Every Deed by Tom Gengler

Paintings by Vivian Calderón Bogoslavsky


  When I was little, I was very restless at school, and the teachers made me leave the classroom, wander around and come back. When I came back, I’d already missed half of the lessons. So in order not to get bored, I started to draw, shapes with volumes, movement, light, leftovers. One day my teachers noticed. They called my parents and showed them my lined notebooks. My parents were surprised, and saw talent in me from that moment on. They put me in art classes with a teacher. Thanks to my parents, I was … Continue reading Paintings by Vivian Calderón Bogoslavsky

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