I despise Halloween. I don’t wish ill of others. I hand out candy. I praise fairies and princesses, soldiers and supermen. I even humor parents who dress infants as vegetables or baby birds—but all the while, I’m inwardly rolling my eyes, wishing the night to be done. I blame this on one childhood Halloween: the night that penicillin stood between me and perfection. This was during the late 1950s, before every drug and grocery store sold plastic masks and costumes. We dressed in whatever getups we could find, and I had waited a lifetime, I … Continue reading Haunted By Halloween by Priscilla Melchior
Julia Ballerini is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest. I was persuaded, if not coerced, to join a group therapy session. My boss was concerned about my mental well-being. I panic when I have to speak in a setting with more than two other people. I rarely utter a word during meetings unless obliged to give a report or am asked a question. On these occasions, I flush bright red from my face down to my neck and chest. I jumble words. My discomfort is highly visible and audible. It … Continue reading What Do You Feel by Julia Ballerini
From the Flume The banks of the West Ausable River Is a place you’ve never been. Staring straight down into the flume Violent bursts of water over Great granite boulders mesmerizes The boys, but I pull them back To trek a well worn path through Tall timothy, navigating our poles Around brush and beaver dams, Following the sound of gurgling river water Till finally, finding still waters, they cast. Cormorant In mid-afternoon sun I’ve stared for an hour At the lone cormorant perched twenty feet from shore On the remains of a tree grounded … Continue reading From the Flume and The Cormorant, 2 poems by Barbara Tifft
So, you’ve read a literary magazine’s guidelines, you’ve even read its sample poems available online, or ordered a recent copy of the magazine to learn about what they publish. Maybe you’ve taken a class/workshop in which your poems were critiqued by peers and a popular teacher. But, how is it that some of our poems we have toiled over to the point that they are strong and seem to be the best they can be, do not get selected for publication by the journals where we’ve chosen to send them? As a poetry editor, I’ve … Continue reading Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott
because hope is a motherfucker, i went up to each house of the dead and knocked, but no one answered. still, i am haunted: the sun sets a little dimmer ever since the last feeble twitch of that cat’s tail, even while its head lay red & bashed on the dusked asphalt, the traffic passing and passing. because the heat doesn’t work properly, we huddle nose to nose, the trauma of the world reduced to a single stray hair strangled in the neck of your tee, golden in the breath of the bedside lamp; to … Continue reading when i say i, i mean i by Joanna Lee
My wife wants me to write my own obituary. Write a draft in the third person and revise it as many times as it takes to produce a short, readable account of a life that will make sense, if at all, only in retrospect, when a theme or at least a pattern might emerge from the confusion of places I’ve lived, schools I’ve attended, jobs I’ve held. Put it in the safe with my other end-of-life papers, the insurance policies, list of passwords, living will, last will. And no, she stipulates, I may not make … Continue reading Work in Progress by Philip Lawton
lopes as only Hare can, all fits and starts, ears sky-sieves for the whoosh wings and clenched claws make as death stoops towards him— but not today, the sky bluebare serene in the heat, the great redtails who carry death on their shoulders perched on a high leafless limb to sentinel at noon: their eyes rake the cliffsides for mouse shadow a mile away. Nor can Hare stop his eyes’ search for coyote’s earth-colored pelt, or his nose twitching, tongue lapping the air for his rank smell though the brush is still. He leaps into … Continue reading Hare by Lance Lee
Bill Bruce is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest.
She’s been sitting on the feeder since first light, gathering herself, I suppose, for the journey south. I wonder if she slept there, waking for a sip from time to time, adding calories, planning her long, winged trek through the mountains to the Gulf and across the waters to Mexico. Not for the first time do I consider the courage of the hummingbird at one-tenth of an ounce, the toll it will take to travel 3,000 miles to flee the cold of winter. Not for the first time do I consider the family she fed … Continue reading Migration by Priscilla Melchior
Pocast: Coming of age. A short story performed by Jennifer Sims. Read the story online: Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita Follow us!