Once Upon a Time In Montecito by Trudy Hale

Photo looking through open french doors

This is a true story. After my husband Billy died in June of 2020, his ‘step daughter’ Zoe, a beautiful and vivacious woman of fifty offered her home in Santa Barbara to hold his memorial. We waited until the 2021 vaccines and chose the month of August. Zoe’s mother had been Billy’s girlfriend in the Seventies, and she and Zoe lived with Billy in Hollywood. Zoe’s mother and Billy never married. Zoe would laugh and refer to herself as the ‘step-daughter’ and make quotation marks in the air. While our daughter Tempe and son Charlie … Continue reading Once Upon a Time In Montecito by Trudy Hale

Don’t Walk the Writers’ Path Alone by Julie Duffy

Photo of notebook with open pages

  One of the most surprising things I’ve discovered about writing is that while putting words on the page can be a solitary act, “being a writer” can’t be. Mind The Gap There is a gap between what people think the writing journey looks like, and what it really looks like. Non-writers picture you, alone in a book-lined room, dashing off deathless prose from Once Upon a Time to The End, occasionally gazing moodily into the distance as you wrestle with a creative demon, but ultimately in charge of your story all the way. Even … Continue reading Don’t Walk the Writers’ Path Alone by Julie Duffy

How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

two side by side broken see-saws

  Even though see saws are a thing of the past. I’ll return to a warm June evening when my brother and I have walked to the local elementary school. We seat ourselves on opposite ends, hold onto the metal handles and rise and descend, one in the air, the other on the ground, small craters where children before us have done the same with their feet. We pull out tangerines we’ve stashed in our windbreakers, peel them in unison, one of us suspending the other, trusting a smooth descent. Years later, on an interstate, … Continue reading How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

Writing in Retrospect by Dana Mich

Post-It Notes

I am in the middle of writing an essay that spans a full twenty-nine of my thirty-two years of life. It hinges on an event that happened three Thanksgivings ago, but reaches as far back as my third birthday and as far forward as—well—now. And it is here, half-way through the writing of this essay (which is as heavy in terms of my emotional investment as it is long in word count), that I pause, close my laptop, and momentarily step away. Last week, I read a piece of the essay to my beloved writing … Continue reading Writing in Retrospect by Dana Mich

The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

Photo of open piano with music sheets

Carole Duff has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   “I love a piano, I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play . . .” From Irving Berlin’s Stop! Look! Listen! Soon after moving into our first house, my husband and I purchased a piano. It was a Belarus reproduction of a Yamaha upright with a shiny, red-brown acrylic finish. One of my husband’s university colleagues knew a Russian musician and piano tuner who knew an immigrant couple who wanted to sell their piano. In the late 70s, they were … Continue reading The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

old bone set atop small stone tower

…..I’m as independent as a hog on ice, and if they don’t let me alone they will be sorry for it. ………………..Journal of Private Sarah Wakeman A Spring plowing incident when something gleams. Oblivion unearthed, a brass buckle bears US. The tractor falls quiet. Only insects hiss. A shovel scrapes a bone. Then two. The coroner assembles all the requisites. From the shallow grave, dirt is troweled away. A small man, maybe a drummer boy. A skeleton, alone, hands composed. Forensics is surprised to find a woman, pelvis telling much. No birth but death. No … Continue reading Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

2021 Flash Fiction Contest by Erika Raskin

Photo of Venn diagram with winners' names

Once again we have had the good fortune to be invited into other worlds, each unfurled in just 500 words. The skill involved in presenting backstory and insight—with minimal description—is great. And, as always, trying to rank submissions to Streetlight‘s Flash Fiction contest was very difficult. In terms of the mechanics, Suzanne Freeman and I present each other with our subjective responses to the narratives. We then take a Venn Diagram approach, winnowing down the entries by those that overlap in our respective hierarchies. It’s interesting (and difficult!) to see how many stories fall by … Continue reading 2021 Flash Fiction Contest by Erika Raskin

Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

field of squash with mountains

We had the whole summer afternoon to peel squash in the cool of the barn, me and Mike and Old Ed, the tenant farmer before Mike who still dropped by from time to time in clean overalls to check on the progress of the crops. Mike asked Ed, as I rose to drink freezing water from a dusty black hose, about an old stooped woman he might remember, but Ed couldn’t remember; well, anyway, Mike said, she came back and without even asking set herself to picking fudge just like she used to. Fudge grew … Continue reading Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

New Works by Linda Laino


    In the quarantined Covid year of 2020, I returned to exploring the figure in my mixed media paintings. Even though it’s been years since I’ve used the human figure as a subject, I’ve always considered my paintings “figurative,” containing representations from the real world as they do. I seem to land somewhere between abstraction and representation where composition, layering and playing with the space steer me through the painting. I’ve never been interested in replicating what I can observe outside my window like a photograph. I don’t ever want viewers to forget they … Continue reading New Works by Linda Laino

Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

Silhouette of man against dusky sky

  I mix up the names of common furniture pieces like cupboards and cabinets, closets and shelves And bureaus. And Ursas, both major and minor Armoires. To know only of somethingness— I can’t name one star and I’ve waited so long for these cupped hands to dip they’ve grown stoic I lie down in night frost            the twin clotheslines above cross like high wires                         for timid constellations I feel space like I’ve reached              the cold region of a cabinet— I watch keyholes flicker starlight                         from a closet If I could rise … Continue reading Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

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