Taking the Right Step by Cheryl Traylor

Concrete stairs surround by greenery
 

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are not handed a guide at birth entitled Fail-proof Steps to Living This Life. As such, I’ve lived most of my life through a lot of trial and error—heavy on the error side. I’ve also learned that sometimes I just have to take the next right step and try not to run the entire marathon at once. I’m getting ok with that practice. There is a source that I go to often for life advice. Poet Mary Oliver never fails to enlighten me or ease my weariness. She … Continue reading Taking the Right Step by Cheryl Traylor

Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie


 

Off to my left the dark current of the Hudson River rushed downstream at 65 mph, a magnificent sight, but at the moment my mind was concentrating on the tail lights bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic in front of me. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack, an anonymous group of motorcycle enthusiasts who met on summer evenings on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village to ride out together. Being, more or less, one of the regulars, but never the leader, I would hang around, chatting and ogling the passing chicks, … Continue reading Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie

After the Magician by Stephanie Milner


 

Jessie had worked at Meyers Auditorium for six years, by then. When she had started during her fourth year in college (it took five to finish her social sciences degree), she hadn’t planned to stay that long. It had just been a good arrangement. The job paid better than others on campus. She controlled her own schedule because crew members picked which shows they worked. But in any case, she had stayed. She didn’t regret it. She liked how physical the work was. There was equipment to push, pull, and carry. Ladders to clamber up. … Continue reading After the Magician by Stephanie Milner

5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

Photo of pen writing in notebook
 

I get emails and messages from aspiring writers all the time asking me for the one thing they should know, or the one thing they should do, in order to be a successful writer. Well, there’s never just “one thing,” but I’ve taken all my very best writing advice and distilled it down into five things that will help any aspiring writer along on their way to success. Stop Trying to Control Everything This is a big one. Writers are anxious people and we like control. It makes us feel safe and like we can … Continue reading 5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

Getting Unhooked by Hilary Holladay

Photo of cracked plate
 

  There’s a line in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God that I’ve always loved. After revealing some painful family history, Nanny tells her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, “Put me down easy, Janie, Ah’m a cracked plate.” The image conveys damage, resilience, and fragility all rolled into one. These days, we are all cracked plates. The pandemic dropped everybody on a very hard floor, as did the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign and its unsavory coda on January 6, 2021. Our public reckoning with racism, signified for many by the murder of George Floyd, has been another … Continue reading Getting Unhooked by Hilary Holladay

Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Photo of sunset in clouds
 

They knew exactly when it would happen. Not just the day and the hour, but the minute. The very second. Even before they knew it, it was still destined to happen at that precise moment because it had been—quite literally—written in the stars. Like god had wound up a big clock a million years ago and all people needed was to learn to tell time . . . Mrs. Robbenault talked like this because she was excited. The whole town was excited. There were t-shirts for sale and signs in the store windows. Every morning … Continue reading Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Old photo of slide
 

Sylvia wished she saw anything but houses when she looked out her bedroom window. A field, a lake, or the foggy moors of Wuthering Heights. Or if there must be houses, let them be stately. Like Pemberley or Brideshead. Misselthwaite Manor, with its secret garden. Not the plain cape cod homes that filled her street. Only a narrow driveway separated the postage-stamp yards. These houses were like her own: two bedrooms, one bathroom, and low ceilings. Sylvia preferred reading books about faraway places, about people whose names were exotic like Helmer and Katrina. Of times … Continue reading Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

The Wounded Warrior of East Boston Terrace by Cyndy Muscatel

Photo of woman with bandaid on hand
 

I have a scar under my chin, right at the end where it meets the jaw. You can’t see it unless I’m hanging upside down, which is a rare occurrence these days. I’d forgotten about it—hadn’t seen or touched its roughness for years. But then my granddaughter cracked her chin open jumping backward into a swimming pool. All the blood reminded me of when I was five and jumped off a wall. Like Humpty Dumpty, when I landed I cracked open—but just my chin. It didn’t hurt. It was only when the TWO GIRLS started screaming. … Continue reading The Wounded Warrior of East Boston Terrace by Cyndy Muscatel

William Crawford’s DRIVE BY SHOOTING

Photo of man painting
 

Some of America’s greatest photographers roamed the country by automobile. They forever changed the context of artistic imagery. They eventually replaced traditional monochrome with color, and they shot the unnoticed aspects of the backside of our country. Stephen Shore, Bill Eggleston, and Lee Friedlander were well known, working members of this New York school of photography. I am their present day disciple. An avid minimalist shooter, I helped to invent “forensic foraging,” a throwback approach to modern digital photography. The heavily saturated, vivid color of these pictures drive the work. The subject matter is often banal … Continue reading William Crawford’s DRIVE BY SHOOTING

Learning the Names of Flowers and As Close as They can Whir to the Porch Light, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

Photo of landscape covered in red and purple flowers
 

Learning the Names of Flowers Each day, when my wife reaches inside the mailbox, her eyes catch on the bright morning glories, whose vines have twirled up the post with glad faces. Somehow they know, better than she, her hidden will, that it’s for them she settles a foot on every porch step, one arm bearing the bluster of the bushes before she lingers in her strides toward the street, all the while maintaining an eye with irises and white gardenias, so that I’m surprised their spell has not swept her from our cares, drifted … Continue reading Learning the Names of Flowers and As Close as They can Whir to the Porch Light, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson