If a piece of artwork could express itself in words, what would it say? This was the question I pondered while visiting Time Lapse, an art faculty show at Chadron State College (CSC) in Chadron, Nebraska several semesters ago. Here’s the beginning of what Black and White Crease, a painting by adjunct faculty member, DeWayne Gimeson, seemed to say to me: I believe in creases like the ones that form on balls of paper we too often throw away. We rarely see their peaks, their crevices, their unscripted shadows save for the quiet exhale—the curious … Continue reading Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing by Rich H. Kenney, Jr.
My Bride Face Families from far apart met in Sengen Shrine. I didn’t know the ritual; reciting words, in heavy gold kimono, geisha-face and geta. I wore a wooden wig. Later, in ivory and tiara, I sang karaoke. They loved my foreign bride face and soft brown bob. They loved our kokusai kekkon. At home, you’d nightly embrace a steaming tub. Gaman, daily perseverance, your mantra. I tried to forget our honeymoon–– your persistent pace and summoning, of Sorrento waiters, with a sumimasen. I tried to forget how you wanted to leave early. Missed food. … Continue reading My Bride Face and Okasan: My Mother-in-law, 2 poems by Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana
Sometimes I wonder whether tomatoes feel the slice of my blade, whether carrots feel ignored as they languish in the fridge. I plan a pot roast to make them feel useful, then wonder whether they fear the slow simmer beside meat and potatoes. I worry that castoff jackets and sweaters feel abandoned. Do they long to reach out with their empty arms, ask mine to return? Are old shirts and sheets insulted when I turn them into rags, or do they feel as though they have new reason to serve? Perhaps I ought to fret … Continue reading Woe Be Gone by Priscilla Melchior
Tired of bars and discos where I met men who drank and were in search of easy women, horrified by the scary men I met at church singles groups, I decided to be bold and placed a personal ad in the newspaper. “Are you out there?” the headline read. It was 1979, before the Internet, before Herpes and HIV were in the lexicon. I didn’t tell anyone but my shrink. I made my case: I could specify the kind of guy I wanted: smart, kind, solvent. He had to love books and dogs. Surely, I … Continue reading First Responder by Joan Mazza
CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT Friday is library day for Ray who picked Friday because it kinda rhymes with library and other days don’t so much and becoming well-read and new worldly is high up on the list in Ray’s lunch pail. Anyway Ray arrives and says hello to the girl at the desk and beelines over to periodicals where he selects an issue of People and in no time remembers having read this very issue last year, the issue about Brad and his sorrowful breakup and as Ray gets up to make another selection, … Continue reading CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT and PINE TALE by Charles Springer
Podcast: Exit in a blaze of glory. A short story performed by Jennifer Sims. Read the story online: Tips and Guidelines for Becoming a Shooting Star by Ashley Morrow Follow us!
It was a sticky, overcast August day in the Connecticut River Valley, and it was going to be a heavy one. Already, at 9:00 in the morning, Ed was poking his head into a series of little rooms upstairs in Elsie’s old Colonial, looking for the bathroom, only to find each room occupied by a resident cat, or two. Gray and white cats, tabbies, a Maine coon, and a black one whose white mustache made him think of Charlie Chaplin in reverse. Finally, he located the bathroom, where he inspected the toilet, which hadn’t flushed … Continue reading Cat Ladies by Paula Spurlin Paige
The oranges are all shaved. Rind showing—not undressed or peeled open, mind you, just stripped for garnish. This is another way of saying you threw a cocktail party—which is another way of saying you got your self wasted while playing hostess—which is another way of saying you tried too hard—which is another way of saying cleverness isn’t a virtue—which is another way of saying the cheese smells worse than when you bought it—which is another way of saying you’re insecure—which is another way of saying the clock is broken—which is another way of saying you’ll … Continue reading Still Life with Unrequited Love by Hannah Yoest
If I had to pick a color to write about, it would be green. Leafy green, bold green, hunter’s green, the way it washes over the landscape after days and days of rain. Months of green from the beginning of May when the buds first begin to open, “when the world is really and truly green all over.” Emerald green. It’s the color of the season I love so much—June and the promise of longer days. Gardening season begins. Things never feel completely settled until the weeds are tamed and the seeds are planted. Volunteer … Continue reading My Father’s Gardens by Leslie Artz
SPRING CHILL With the spring day coursing cool in the shade, I turn a street corner and, struck by sun, feel a recollection start to formulate, not as an image, or even as an intangible muscle memory, but as from something stored in bone, a skeleton memory of my skeleton childhood-small and summer-warm, a memory radiating out from marrow to muscles and veins and skin to return me— for a full, brimming moment— to a sweet, long lost emptiness. THE PROJECT A steelworker in an orange hard hat calls down commands from within a … Continue reading Spring Chill and The Project, 2 poems by Mark Belair