Four Kitten Alarm Fire by James Carbaugh

White kitten
 

Mopsy, our beloved cat of mixed origins and numerous partners, had just had another litter of kittens—this time only four. She had amazed us the previous two times with six, all beautiful and now in good homes. We gave our new little ones the easily identifiable names of Brownie, Whitey, Stripey, and Junior—Junior looking very much like his mother, grey-mixed. They were beautiful kittens and we loved all of them; however, no one loved them as much as my brother BB. He gave them additional names other than the obvious ones—Mudface, Snowflake, Superman, and Hercules. … Continue reading Four Kitten Alarm Fire by James Carbaugh

The Purpose of Mess: Food for Your Life by Day Schildkret


 

Last week was a mess! Well, at least that’s what I’ve been told. In my purpose-coaching practice, I had four clients in a row who used the word “mess” to describe their life these days. One client said, “because I’m at a job that requires me to be professional all the time, I have to constantly appear as if things are together but underneath it all, I am a fucking mess.” Another client spoke about how his artistic perfectionism doesn’t allow for anything to get messy and yet he went on to describe his myriad … Continue reading The Purpose of Mess: Food for Your Life by Day Schildkret

Under the Wattle Bush by Mary Pacifico Curtis

Yellow flowers on wattle bush
 

Heaven and Earth Off the coast of the continent stars pinprick a black sky—tiny and plentiful, a cloud of a luminous multitude—announcement of lives, flows of history that date to creation and reach to uncertain futures through shifts of current day. Bright around the cloud of light: the planets, big stars proclaiming the universe and the lands below. I decided to come here instantly after the announcement that the next global gathering of our public relations agency network would take place in Cape Town. Although my heart was no longer in my competitive career, the … Continue reading Under the Wattle Bush by Mary Pacifico Curtis

That Sketchy Area Known as Writer’s Block by Erika Raskin

Boarded up brick building
 

Sometimes trying to write is like playing Scrabble (old school—not virtual) and reaching into the bag for more letters only to have your fingers come up empty-handed. In fact, I’ve been racking my brain for blog topics for so long even my Facebook page has taken to castigating me. I’m pretty sure my disappointing search for ideas may have crossed over into Writer’s Block territory. For those who have never visited this particular geographical area, think ghost town in the middle of a super fund site—with a large population of large rodents. Recognizing the landmarks … Continue reading That Sketchy Area Known as Writer’s Block by Erika Raskin

Holding on to Silver by Rich H. Kenney

Streaks of color on black
 

Rich H. Kenney, Jr. is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight Magazine‘s 2017 Essay/Memoir contest.   In the summer of 1960, my father got high and I held the ladder. “All you have to do,” he told me, “is to hold it steady and turn the radio dial when I tell you. Whatever you do…” he said, sternly, “don’t move the ladder. That means no talking to friends, no kicking pebbles, and no daydreaming. Got it?” With that, he scooted up the side of our house to the second story, fresh paint from his bucket … Continue reading Holding on to Silver by Rich H. Kenney

Felled by Sharon Louise Howard


 

“While you’re not doing anything—again, today,” Manda said, “you can get estimates on having that tree cut down.” Ben rolled over and propped himself against the mahogany headboard. He pushed a strand of gray hair off his forehead and watched Manda pick through a dozen or more perfume bottles that took up a quarter of her vanity. “Think you have enough of them?” She selected one and put it aside. “You tell me. One for every Christmas, birthday, and anniversary since you stopped using your imagination.” “Forgot Valentine’s Day.” Ben stretched and thought about getting … Continue reading Felled by Sharon Louise Howard

“Girl, I Hear You’re Fast” Barry Hannah, Old Blue and the Most Valuable Writing Lesson I’ve Ever Learned

electric typewriter
 

by Mary Carroll-Hackett   I move too fast. Always have. I talk fast, walk fast, read quickly, even had to be taught as a child to slow down while eating, Mama saying things like It’s not a race, Mary, or You know no one’s coming to take that away from you. I was the child she had to keep by the hand if she were to keep me from running too far ahead in stores, racing my way up stairs and escalators, or headlong down them. Sometimes that speed has worked to my advantage, later, … Continue reading “Girl, I Hear You’re Fast” Barry Hannah, Old Blue and the Most Valuable Writing Lesson I’ve Ever Learned

Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

Teeth lined up on a table
 

  She felt the first loose tooth at 5am on Tuesday. A back tooth on the lower left side, her wisdom tooth? She felt it the moment she woke up, lying in bed while the monitor screamed in her ear. She pushed her tongue against it and the tooth moved, like a rock rolling around in mud. Nearly painless, she found herself pushing her tongue against it over and over to the tune of the screaming monitor. It reminded her of picking a scab, how the little wince kinda felt nice. “You should do something … Continue reading Tooth by Jennifer Coffeen

The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks


 

The woman walking into the lobby wore a brown skirt, white tights, and a pair of clogs. Her name was Shellay—she-lay—and she had a Polish last name that was hard to pronounce. She said she was a librarian and had a nerdy, unkempt look about her: Stringy hair that was dry on the ends, a pasty complexion, and a long thin nose. She wore glasses, of course. All librarians should wear glasses. Hers were a pale shade of rose. She wasn’t from Ohio, as Darcy was guessing, but from Oregon. “I’d like to stay in … Continue reading The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks

The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison


 

It was like one of those dreams where you’re trying to reach someone in a crowd and you keep glimpsing the back of their head before they’re swallowed up by the thick humanity. The crowd is impermeable— you try elbowing your way through, but it closes in on you again and you find you haven’t advanced. You’re panicking. You have no voice. It wasn’t a dream, though, and I didn’t need to use my elbows—I just couldn’t get to you. You kept disappearing around corners, into rooms, your shadow bending all over the wallpaper and … Continue reading The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison