The Last Time by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Shadowy figures walking into twilight sky
 

Last month, as we celebrated our daughter’s 17th birthday, it struck me that we would enjoy only one more birthday celebration together as a family unit before she heads off to college. Her birthday falls in October, and after next year, she’ll be in Boston or DC or Iowa or God knows where, taking poli sci classes in her fall semester, drinking cheap beer and making magnificent mistakes—and figuring out who she was born to be. After so many years of princess birthday cakes and streamers and sweet 16 party carpools, the realization was stunning. … Continue reading The Last Time by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Kevin Haga: Mixing Music and Art

drawing of black danelions
 

  I probably started working towards becoming an artist in middle school in Charlottesville. I made little comics to sell to my friends and I’d fill up my homework and test sheets with doodles in the margins. I always had a macabre sense of humor.   (Camels usually carry water in their humps. These carry clocks. A pun, silly joke.) As an artist, I’m not sure what draws me specifically to bizarre and fantastic subjects. I was brought up either outside around nature or inside reading or watching classic and cult science fiction and horror books and … Continue reading Kevin Haga: Mixing Music and Art

Creative Publishing by Ann E. Michael

Black and white photo of books on a shelf with someone's hand reaching for a book
 

Poetry and publishing: two topics that seem diametrically opposed, if you look at them under the perspective that’s the norm in the USA—that of business, capitalism, popular culture. Shake off that norm, however, and publishing can be re-imagined as aural/oral, visual, textual, cinematic, digital, interactive…who knows? When a reader begins to deepen her understanding of creative literature, she will also find it necessary to widen the concept of publishing. Some folks say this is a new world. Or they’ll claim things were better in the old days. Curmudgeons and prejudices abound. In my lifetime, I … Continue reading Creative Publishing by Ann E. Michael

Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

Cornstalks, shot from the ground up
 

  The familiar constriction arose in her chest. She followed the dark echoes of her husband’s steps; his gait sober as cold coffee. Heel, toe. March. She giggled at the image of her husband as a soldier. His shoulders were still square, but his chest was sunken, and his paunch tightened his shirt. The pain moved into her shoulders as she held her breath against hiccups. “I can drive,” she said, exhaling. “You can hardly walk,” he said. “Try to keep up.” “Try it in heels!” That image caused her to smile. “What’s your hurry? … Continue reading Each in One Piece by Bradley M. Radovich

Getting Carded. And a Love Letter by Erika Raskin

Old cash register
 

I was typing my alternate ID number into the keypad at my (formerly) favorite grocery store when the perky cashier asked if I qualified for Senior Discount Thursday. My finger froze midair. “Excuse me?” She repeated her question, louder this time, for the people over in the produce aisle. I smiled à la Kellyanne Conway when somebody brings up her husband’s tweets, and gave the wrinkle-less clerk ample opportunity to say something like, “You look far too young, of course, but we are required to ask everybody. Even school children.” She didn’t. Granted, I’m almost … Continue reading Getting Carded. And a Love Letter by Erika Raskin

Near Biržai, in the Astrava Forest, 8/8/41 by Ben Sloan

Forest at dusk in Lithuania
 

I have removed my shirt and am kneeling in a pit looking up at a man pointing a rifle down at me. Quiet, everything is eerily quiet now, the morning’s hissed commands and scrape of shovels long gone. Why will he shoot me? He will shoot me because he has learned he eats better if he does what he is told. He has learned when he drives to the assigned work site and sees along the way twelve vultures competing to rip apart a deer corpse, in the afternoon when he returns he will see … Continue reading Near Biržai, in the Astrava Forest, 8/8/41 by Ben Sloan

A Visit With Santa by Priscilla Melchior

Santa waving in the falling snow
 

Clichés abound this time of year. It’s the one season in which it’s OK to speak of holiday magic or lapse into sappy memories like those that surfaced recently when I ran across a 1956 photo of 4-year-old me on the lap of Santa Claus. Understand, I’m talking about The Santa Claus—not some run-of-the-mill helper who brings up the rear in an annual Christmas parade. I mean he who sat upon the throne-like chair in Richmond’s Miller & Rhodes for the latter half of the 20th Century. Whole books have been written about his reign, … Continue reading A Visit With Santa by Priscilla Melchior

Miles and the Orgone by Miles Fowler

Gold domes on pink stands
 

In his 1971 memoir, Me and the Orgone, Orson Bean recounted his life-changing experience undergoing orgone therapy, a body-mind psychotherapy developed eighty years ago by Austrian-born psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich. Reich and orgone played a role in my life, too, beginning in the 1970s when I embarked on an eventually abandoned plan to become a psychotherapist. While studying Gestalt therapy and bioenergetics at Associates for Human Resources (AHR) in Concord, Massachusetts, I learned that these therapies are partly derived from different phases of Reich’s career. As a psychoanalyst in the 1920s, Reich developed a new approach … Continue reading Miles and the Orgone by Miles Fowler

Untitled by Sherrell Wigal

Color Photo of a feather close-up
 

After I die, prop the bones of a beautiful bird in my mouth. Call a medicine woman back from my home star. Offer tobacco, cedar, sage, sweet grass, the seven silent petitions of passage. For all these words are only feathers that fall from the dark hollow of my throat. Plumes which wait for a wing, a way to lift, rise, fly. To soar from the lips, the fingers, to become a prayer of fire hitching a ride homeward. Sherrell Runnion Wigal is a poet originally from Roane County, West Virginia, now living along the … Continue reading Untitled by Sherrell Wigal

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