2017 Pushcart Nominations

fireworks over Sydney, Australia
 

2017 was an amazing year for Streetlight Magazine owing to the excellent content submitted by writers and poets from all over the world. Our editors chose six nominees for The Pushcart Prize (best of small presses) for excellent writing in non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. We would like to publicly acknowledge these six authors for their incredible talent and wish them future success. Thank-you for allowing Streetlight Magazine to publish your work! Essay/Memoir nominees: Alex Joyner for Spirit Duplicator Anne Carle Carson for Sliding Poetry nominees: Linda Nemec Foster for Blue Brian Koester for Where … Continue reading 2017 Pushcart Nominations

Almost and The Last Supper, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Piano in foreground, Large painting of woman in background
 

ALMOST A Steinway. A red silk dress. The audience still, anticipating the first note of Schubert’s B-Flat Sonata. Anthony Tommasini ten rows back will write the most sensitive Schubert ever in tomorrow’s New York Times. My hands hover over the keys. I begin with lyric phrases followed by the ominous trill. My little brother. Composing contrapuntal music at the age of five, playing flawless Chopin preludes presto con fuoco on his gleaming grand piano. Illustrious teachers line up to listen tweaking their moustaches in disbelief. Downstairs I bang fortissimo chopsticks on the old second hand … Continue reading Almost and The Last Supper, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Farmstead by Mark Belair

Photo of old house on hill
 

Alone, timeworn—but still standing, even if its paint-scuffed radiators give no heat and its window frames leak and its doors don’t shut tight, everything foundering since its elder keepers died, the next generation, though paying the property taxes, too dispersed to steward or even sell it, the farmstead’s absent presence like a stark stare from the back end of old age, from a hardened place that sees our younger, ongoing lives— no matter how well built— as false fronts set for collapse; sees our blossoming memories forming, like the farmstead’s (love in the bedroom, children … Continue reading Farmstead by Mark Belair

Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

flaming black and white coal
 

In spite of the impending blizzard, my friend and I agree, “Today we have to burn our spiral notebooks.” Those tortured scribbles of our youth haunted our attics like madwomen, voices of the grieving girls we were, maps of the clumsy steps we took. On fire, their beauty took our breath away. Fire turned fear and wound to flaming peonies. Sweat rained. Casting book after book to the fabulous heat, casting off anguish like souls between lives. Fire turning pages in farewell, wavering ash like shirred silk. Suddenly, laughter collapses us, sprung like the spiral … Continue reading Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

Photo of purple figs
 

                 for my brother Jim On the rattan tray from California every Christmas Gramma’s boring gift arrived. We dug into the pink- and-green-foiled dates first—moist, at least—then gnawed the rawhide apricots, the gritty Newtonless figs, their dry deathly sweetness bitter even to our young tongues. Her present satisfied us only once: last week. We’d both flown to salve another sibling— her twisted brain, your rheumatoid insomnia became my grief, shared later on my husband’s shoulder, which he may transfuse in a play that critics abuse, and the pain … Continue reading Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

Brazilian Vacation by Cécile Barlier

Underwater photo of kids
 

It’s insane to try to sort days out of days. Some days you have it and some you don’t, but the thing you have or not is never just one thing: it is a stockpile, an accumulation, a buildup, a collection, a pool, and that pool is not filled in twenty-four hours. There’s the dramatic: days of deaths, dismemberments, detentions, immurements, stoning, impaling, holes poked in the back of heads by vultures to get at the brain, intestines cleaned up by desert ants, but on a scale from one to ten that goes from horrid … Continue reading Brazilian Vacation by Cécile Barlier

The Fairest of the Fair by Anthony J. Mohr

Photo of Hollywood sign
 

Not until age seventy did I recall a place I’d never been—the Teenage Fair. Launched in 1961, it became a so-called “mini world’s fair for teenagers” which featured, according to one of its newspaper ads, a “battle of the beat, model cars, drag strip racing, dance contests, custom car caravan, surfing movies, Miss Teen International Pageant, harmony folk festival, movie, TV, radio, and record guest stars, judo, beauty clinics, thrill shows, photo and home movie expositions, fabulous fashion shows, dream cars of the future, bands and drill teams and nonstop record hop.” Also, someone told … Continue reading The Fairest of the Fair by Anthony J. Mohr

Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Photo of a baby's feet
 

—for Nicole Marie She asked me to stand by her side, But I wanted to see it all Because I knew that I’d forget— Even as hard as I’d want to remember— The brunt and the bitter Forcing my son into the world. My curiosity was stronger than her contractions, Looking at my son’s soft skull— Draped in silty, mousy-brown hairs— Swirling inside of her As an eyeball blinking her lips Open and shut and open again For the first time Not quite ready to see Who was waiting for him This side of his … Continue reading Ferning by Jose Oseguera

Weight For Me by Claire Scott

rough sketch of woman in grotesque posture
 

A national obsession, a billion dollar industry and here I am participating no pushups or planks, no pills or prayers have helped, though Lord knows I have tried haven’t I, O Lord Not losing weight to bypass diabetes or cancer certainly not be more seductive at Stone’s Throw Tavern sipping Margaritas in skin tight pants or stuffed into size zero to impress my friends or, let’s face it, my barely there anorectic sister At seventy-five who cares, crepe paper skin drooping derriere, boobs flop at my waist, feet fatter and flatter, growing shorter by the … Continue reading Weight For Me by Claire Scott

After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park
 

Eventually I find the shovel upright in the blackened pile of compost behind the garage. It’s hard to see in this light, but everything looks much as I left it last fall–shriveled ears of orange peel, a few egg shell fingernails, corncobs sticking up like bones in an ancient grave. As I turn the mound over a couple of turns for good measure, the moon breaks out of a heavy cloud and brightens momentarily with a grisly smile. The dark goes on rising up around me, turning everything under like the swell you never hear … Continue reading After Sunset by Ronald Stottlemyer