Tag Archives: Winter 2024

You Must Pay The Rent by Marijean Oldham

Black and white photo of female with her hand on her face

The kitchen is new to her, its wide granite island, so big you could autopsy a moose on it. More cabinet space than she’d had in all her previous kitchens combined, and then some. A Viking range. A hot water tap. Ice and water through the door in the refrigerator. Although her contributions were meager by comparison, they merged kitchen tools. Her KitchenAid mixer; her mixing bowls; his Cuisinart food processor; his silverware set. Chili is simmering in an enameled pot on the stove. Cornbread bakes in the oven. Her own work day finished, Sarah … Continue reading You Must Pay The Rent by Marijean Oldham

We Were Bag People and Lament for my Late Cousin While Feeding the Dog, 2 poems by Marianne Worthington

long wooden table, red chair and blue chair

We Were Bag People Life is no knock-off handbag, no purse ordinary as any K-Mart pocketbook. No. Worse. Life is a brown paper bag, plainest container, what my father called a poke. Run get me a poke for these beans now. My father talked like a Hank Williams song: Life is a sack of shit sometimes. A&P store bags jam-packed our slumping shelves—our lunchboxes our backpacks our suitcases. Life is utilitarian and pitiful sometimes, papery thin as bird legs. Life is a grease spot in the corner of a lunch sack, stained like a workshirt … Continue reading We Were Bag People and Lament for my Late Cousin While Feeding the Dog, 2 poems by Marianne Worthington

say goodbye, without disappearing by B. Luke Wilson

Photo of tree with red leaves

your namealways tasteslike a palindrome across my tongue minnowingpond wide words      stained red as pomegranate arilsthe sun dies between us      painting ripples aquarelles what is left to say when there is no way forward      that doesn’t feel like retreatwhen clouds lit citrus bright over lakeside cypress      hold that dream i can’t whisper B. Luke Wilson grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and his fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Moon City Review, LIT Magazine, Artemis Journal, and elsewhere. He is the assistant … Continue reading say goodbye, without disappearing by B. Luke Wilson

Horses by Joseph Mills

Photo of 3 horses facing camera, with misty mountains in background

I know people who know horses They ride them and own them and talk about their different points. They look at a horse in a field or paddock, and evaluate it, speak of its attributes. In all the Westerns I read growing up, there were always characters who knew “horse flesh.” I don’t. I know nothing. All horses are beautiful to me. A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published eight volumes of poetry, most recently Bodies in Motion: Poems about Dance. His book This Miraculous … Continue reading Horses by Joseph Mills

Cinzano by Michael Paul Hogan

Photo of colorful umbrellas above dining tables in alley

  The silence had lengthened to the point where it was awkward. The young man said, “Have you noticed? Ours is a Cinzano umbrella, but all the others are for Kronenbourg beer.” Despite herself she turned her shoulders the minimum necessary to ascertain it was true. She thought that if she were in a brighter mood, she might look for some metaphor, but nothing presented itself except the very trivial fact that of the five tables on the terrace of the café, four were shaded by umbrellas advertising Kronenbourg 1664 whereas theirs had on each … Continue reading Cinzano by Michael Paul Hogan

Weeds Don’t Weep but Gardeners Do. by Nancy Halgren

Photo of single dandelion

Diligent was the only word that could be applied to my father’s pursuit of dandelions in our front yard. Clearly Iremember him in his worn work boots, laced to the top, socks rolled down touching, and an old white t-shirt and shorts of some kind, though never cut offs. Covering his head would be an old sailor’s hat turned down like a white mushroom cap. His clip on sunglasses would cover his regular ones, and the milky colored plastic nose protector was attached to the bridge. He would be bent over with his trusty pocket … Continue reading Weeds Don’t Weep but Gardeners Do. by Nancy Halgren

Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

hand reaching up, another reaching down, blue sky background

The way one’s mouth shadows the hand because hands spoke the first language. The way the lurid tongue-tip drapes the sill of one’s lip, mobilizing when hands are elsewise picking knots from shoelaces or rubbing together the neurons of a nuanced thought. How the rushed cadence of fingerspelling paces a deaf friend’s lips. How Moses, heavy of mouth and stammering tongue, lifted the sea with a lightness of hands thrust forward. How a forefinger, pinched against the lips, muzzles a neighbor’s fracas, or the well- meaning, ill-mannered way the hand of a relative stranger cups … Continue reading Canticle for the Hand and Mouth by Karl Sherlock

Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Photo of storm clouds above green field

I don’t know why I was singled out, being, as I was, simply sitting at my patio table sipping Earl Gray and scanning AccuWeather for a hint of whether or not sunshine would favor next week’s beach trip. As far as I recall, I did nothing to attract the jet black eyes whose stare crept into my consciousness along with that creepy feeling that comes when you realize you’re being watched. Nothing moved – not the eyes not the head not the shoulders – as if we were on a zoom call and the computer … Continue reading Wondering What is Forecast by Rebecca Leet

Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Aerial photo of a large fair

late afternoon      on the day before openingcarnival workers prepare their week’s work for the 69th annual Buchanan carnivalRV’s and duallys set up on the grassy park a pregnant woman pitches her grey green tentas close to the edge of the river as she can manage the Ferris wheel assembly’s almost readyto offer a view of the river and Purgatory Mountain men construct railings around the carouseldragon wagon and tilt-a-whirl one fellow finishes polishing the apronof the cotton candy concession two teens tote bags of lemons and saltto the lemonade and French fry stand children … Continue reading Cole Shows Set-up by Molly O’Dell

Santa, Undone by Travis Flatt

Photo of Santa walking from behind

He taps on my door. You’ve got to hand it to a seven-year-old for knocking. That lesson he learned even before reading. “Please knock,” his mother would yell whenever he barged in on us in the act, and he’d step back out into the hall and tap a little drum beat on the door. Today, I’m sprawled out on the bed with an IPA (just one), watching Robocop (the original), when the kid walks in and hands me a list. Before his mother left for work, she asked him to write Santa a list. I’m … Continue reading Santa, Undone by Travis Flatt