Category Archives: Street Talk

Male Enhancement Or, You Think I Need a New Email Address? by Susan Shafarzek

Color photo of yellow and white dandelions

Seems like every morning I find myself weeding my inbox: delete, delete, delete, like a gardener tending a hopeless patch. I’m wary of accidentally opening something I might regret. Every afternoon, I weed again. Impossible. This morning, for example, I had ninety-three messages in my inbox. After weeding: twenty-one. Once, when I glanced away at something else, eighteen new messages suddenly appeared. “Have you heard of Unsubscribe?” friends say to me. Everybody knows about Unsubscribe, our one weapon against the onrushing glut. How’s it working out for you? As well as that spam filter you … Continue reading Male Enhancement Or, You Think I Need a New Email Address? by Susan Shafarzek

Paintings by Vivian Calderón Bogoslavsky


  When I was little, I was very restless at school, and the teachers made me leave the classroom, wander around and come back. When I came back, I’d already missed half of the lessons. So in order not to get bored, I started to draw, shapes with volumes, movement, light, leftovers. One day my teachers noticed. They called my parents and showed them my lined notebooks. My parents were surprised, and saw talent in me from that moment on. They put me in art classes with a teacher. Thanks to my parents, I was … Continue reading Paintings by Vivian Calderón Bogoslavsky

I Can’t Believe It. I Forgot to Read Jane Austen! by E. H. Jacobs

Photo of piles of books

I can’t help thinking about what I haven’t read. Every year, I try to read at least one piece of classic literature that I had overlooked, never got around to, or was not included in the curricula of whatever classes I took. The books I should have read. The books every literate person should read. I feel like the woman in that Roy Lichtenstein lithograph sadly proclaiming: “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I FORGOT TO HAVE CHILDREN!” Except what I forgot was to read Jane Austen, and so much more. One year, I savored Homer’s Odyssey¸ … Continue reading I Can’t Believe It. I Forgot to Read Jane Austen! by E. H. Jacobs

An Audio Book Report And Relevant Field Trip by Erika Raskin

Photo of woman speaking

I listened (why hold a hefty book aloft when you don’t have to?) to Rebecca Makkai’s I Have Some Questions For You and shared the following assessment with my multitude (that’s a joke) of Facebook friends: Holy shit is it good. An aside to newbie audiophiles: also, critically important to the listening experience is the performer. Try out a sample before committing. Keep a running list of the ones to steer clear of. (I’ve heard some voice actors who should be sued for over-the-top accents, mispronunciations and relentlessly cheery deliveries.) In this case though, Julia … Continue reading An Audio Book Report And Relevant Field Trip by Erika Raskin

We Celebrate Our Winners by Susan Shafarzek

Photo of fireworks

It’s a pleasure—and also a great privilege—to announce the winners of this year’s Streetlight Essay/Memoir Contest. This year’s submissions made an admirable crowd; it wasn’t easy to pick only three winners. We’ll be posting some honorable mentions too, but more about that later. Now is the time to consider the winners. First prize goes to Rigel Oliveri for her essay, “Find the Difference,” a brief, but harrowing and touching, account of one day in the life of a single, widowed mother facing a medical emergency. It’s a story that throws a light onto the perils … Continue reading We Celebrate Our Winners by Susan Shafarzek

Evolution of a History by Fred Wilbur

Photo of stacked books

Unlike my previous writing efforts, I am presently engaged in compiling a history of the local garden club (of all things!) The subject is not one I would have chosen and I never thought I would get my knees dirty in this way. It chose me. By way of a short history, the local garden club donated four or five boxes of their records— which begin with the founding in 1935— to the county historical society. As a member of the society, I happened upon these records and wrote four articles on them for our … Continue reading Evolution of a History by Fred Wilbur

Spring! by Sharon Ackerman

Photo of large cross inside circle in morning light

Ireland’s goddess Brigid, patroness of practicalities such as farming, infants, and dairy labors, is associated with Spring and also poetry. And why not? How many metaphors are woven into the season, how rich with avenues that lead from the physical world into the realm of myth. Somewhere in history the goddess Brigid morphs into St Brigid in a merger of Christian and Celt practices. Interesting that in the fifth century AD there was much blending of faiths, as though it was not entirely an either/or adherence but an and. Celtic tradition created bridges between the … Continue reading Spring! by Sharon Ackerman

What AM I Looking For? by Paula Boyland

Photo of emu looking at camera

Despite a mountain of unfinished drafts, I am compelled to start another book. While drafting an essay something clicked, a connection was made in my brain, and I want to share those thoughts in a way that will create similar connections for the reader. Maybe this will be the one I actually complete. Excitement drives the ceremonious opening of a new Word doc. After typing a couple hundred words it occurred to me that some of what I had just written would work well for another book I’ve thought about writing. No harm in jotting … Continue reading What AM I Looking For? by Paula Boyland

Lowcountry Tragedy by Erika Raskin

Photo of notes taking by Erika's mother

First off, I’m just going to put right out there that I have been known to watch live courtroom TV like it’s a job, attending to whatever case is being broadcast into my living room as if auditioning for a seat as an alternate. I can opine about guilt, innocence and the social context affecting a legal outcome with (possibly oversized) confidence. I especially enjoy learning the backstories (gossip) about the various participants. Defendants, attorneys, bloggers and turf-guarding journalists. They’re all fascinating. (In another life I might’ve been a court reporter.) Quick aside: I recently … Continue reading Lowcountry Tragedy by Erika Raskin

Stay In Your Own Lane by Erika Raskin

Photo of sign that says "Dude. Breathe" on pole

The back of my old CRV is adorned with a nearly forty year-old license plate (you can still read it if you squint in a certain light) and three bumper stickers. One says RESIST (as in the GOP’s vile embrace of authoritarianism), the second is a Ukrainian flag, and the third is for my Congressman brother (we’re not in his district but you know, family). A few weeks ago I was filling up my Honda at the local gas station, a rural place where Confederate flags barely raise an eyebrow, when I noticed a white … Continue reading Stay In Your Own Lane by Erika Raskin