Listen Carefully by Karrie Bos

Author Karrie and her sister.
 

I grew up telling it to whoever would listen—mostly that fell on my mother’s shoulders. At the breakfast table, at the dinner table, I proselytized with the fervor of a repenting sinner. And it began when I was only three. “Oh, oh, I‘m so be-cited!” I squealed like Horshach from Welcome Back, Kotter, after seeing my mom’s birthday cake all lit up with candles. “Nice pants,” I added, grabbing my pink, kid trousers for comfort. We all have a need to tell it, the big events of our lives, the small moments of our days, … Continue reading Listen Carefully by Karrie Bos

Letter To Self On Lying Fallow by Billie Hinton

Two new plants growing
 

Dear writing one, There will come a day when you will stop writing, for no good reason. There will be no drama, no single event that sinks your writing heels into the ground. You will come home from a writing retreat with good pages and confidence and work still to do and you will intend to keep doing it. Life itself is what will intervene. It is not you being lazy. It is not you being blocked. It is not you abandoning writing. It is not writing abandoning you. You will try to figure it … Continue reading Letter To Self On Lying Fallow by Billie Hinton

New Visions by Fax Ayres

Eggs sitting on/in different items
 

Since changing paths on my photographic journey about three years ago, I continue to find great excitement and inspiration—as well as endless thematic possibilities—while experimenting with light painting techniques. I think of these techniques as a photographic toolkit that I use to emphasize the precise lighting of a subject and to capture with numerous separate photos, then layering/blending them in Photoshop to create the final whole photograph. Like any set of tools, they become more comfortable and versatile the longer I work with them. Less attention is required to use the tools properly. Less time … Continue reading New Visions by Fax Ayres

Do You Know Where That Money Has Been? by Erika Raskin


 

  My granny Sally, who had a pillow-like soul (except for when she was playing gin rummy and this badass alter-ego would jump out and stomp the competition) used to warn my siblings and me to wash our hands after touching money. We’d crack up thinking it was just an old (Jewish) wives’ tale that somehow involved sticking dollars down one’s pants. But last weekend I noticed something stamped on a $10.00 bill. Intrigued, I went to the .org address and discovered it was a website for some Aryan Nation group trying to drum up … Continue reading Do You Know Where That Money Has Been? by Erika Raskin

Sorrow by Whitney Hill

several scarlet macaws squawikng
 

Sorrow   Sometimes I think I own sorrow like the man who parades his macaw up and down the shopping street, shit on his back, smiling. The bird is sweet and talkative, but his wings are clipped. Sorrow kept too long forgets to leave, forgets it belongs to everyone and no one, in a rainforest smashing Brazil nuts with a hundred other wildly colored beasts. Whitney Roberts Hill has been a blog contributor, columnist, book reviewer, and content editor. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in anthologies and online publications, including The American Book … Continue reading Sorrow by Whitney Hill

First Favor by Joan Mazza

Trees in the early morning
 

Of all the scenes I could replay to rewrite or undo, one I go back to one again and again. It’s the end of my therapy session and I sit up and slip into my shoes, pick up my purse, when Dr. Bob asks to speak with me a minute. I look up at him, unused to facing him. “Let’s sit in the waiting area,” he says, and slides the pocket door open. I follow him out to the blue family room with a bar. Sliding glass doors open on two sides, facing the Intracoastal … Continue reading First Favor by Joan Mazza

A Place for the Genuine by Les Bares

a pile of mail in envelopes
 

You’ve gotten over the idea that writing poetry is only for strange people who carry around moleskin notebooks with ribbon bookmarks. You may have even admitted to people you’ve met in airports, knowing you will never see them again, that you write poetry. Perhaps after supplying an alibi, you’ve even gone to an open mike poetry reading and mustered the courage to read a poem or two of your own. What do you do now with those poems you have labored over, edited and re-edited, let stew and percolate, honed and polished until you think … Continue reading A Place for the Genuine by Les Bares

Keeping To The Beat by Mariflo Stephens

Cadets studying Howl
 

On the face of it, it wouldn’t seem to be a match. Beat writers and military cadets. But Gordon Ball, Allen Ginsburg’s farm manager, taught Beat Generation writers to cadets at Virginia Military Institute for 26 years. Also, on the face of it, a young woman from Appalachian with writerly ambitions would have little chance to meet a man connected to the most famous poet in America. But I did. I met Gordon when I was in my early 20’s, during the 1970’s, because his sister married my cousin. I hadn’t known much about Ginsburg … Continue reading Keeping To The Beat by Mariflo Stephens

First Dog: A Love Song by Rachel Willems


 

First Dog: A Love Song   You didn’t even want it. You said it was much too nervous, inappropriate for us who had never owned a dog, and wrong for our cold climate. It would have to wear a sweater, we would become the sort of people who put a sweater on their dog. You said a greyhound was appropriate for racing or for show, not for friendship, not to love. It would try to hunt, I told you, would track small cats and squirrels but obey when we said heel. If we let it … Continue reading First Dog: A Love Song by Rachel Willems

No Rules for Creation by Spriggan Radfae


 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed being a creative person. I’ve occasionally been labeled “artsy-fartsy” or some similarly dismissive phrase. And I’ve struck back and used my own pejorative, the phrase “corporate drone,” to describe somebody I perceive as having little imagination, but in spite of my personal attachment to the creative process, I can also empathize with people that are thwarted or daunted by it. Creation has no rules. A lack of rules, a lack of structure, and maybe even an indeterminate goal: that’s pretty scary to some people. For others, … Continue reading No Rules for Creation by Spriggan Radfae

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