My father, long-divorced, proclaims the joys of fucking women. Not making love. Not sexual intimacy, even. Fucking. He prowls dating sites, beady black eyes assessing thin-figured women with names like Irina, Tatiana, Sandra, Svetlana, Lara. Of course, they’re not only thin figured but voluptuous. He’s always kept abreast of that.Continue reading “Looking At Women by Yashar Seyedbagheri”
Betty sat on a 2B pencil as if on a bench, her high heels hooked against a dip nib pen that lay at the base of an inkwell. Elbows on her knees and chin cupped in her palms she stared at a black smudge smeared across an eight-and-a-half by eleven sheet of white paper tacked to a drafting board. She followed its diagonal downward path onto the desktop until it ended at her feet.Continue reading “Escaping the Good Old Days by Mark Russo”
One Christmas many years ago there was for me one present from my parents, a little, done-over red wagon with a long hauling handle, and slatted sides. The sides were for extra cargo! For overload! The name, the logo, of the wagon has not stuck with me, but its ownership has. That the wounded wagon, from some wars of its own, had been touched-up, repainted, a bit of rust covered over, two wheels replaced, had no interest for me. Early and mid-Thirties had all ready made their impressionable slash in the mind of a seven-year old. This one, now, was mine!Continue reading ” A Little Red Wagon, a Long-remembered Face III by Tom Sheehan”
My life is a sea of ifs.
What if I’d published this collection? if I’d studied harder? If I hadn’t shot off my mouth at home? What if I hadn’t eaten too many potato chips and drank too much Merlot?
On my thirtieth birthday, they all rise up like the ghosts of Christmas past, whispering. If, if, if, a hollowed-out word that sits next to me in the coffee shops, follows me on my nightly walks, snuggles too close to me.
I procure the biggest whiteboard possible. Eliminate ifs. Draw up concrete whens in lavender marker. No red markers bleeding with psychological pressure, thank you. I lay out goals and visions.Continue reading “What If? by Yash Seyedbagheri “
At Phil’s small memorial—we took his ashes home to the ocean—a man I didn’t know who patronized Phil’s beach asked about his drinking.
I drove a 1963 Flamengo-orange Thunderbird, wore navy blue tennis shoes, and sat eating a banana split at the A&W. It was 1986. In White Haven, Tennessee, where truck drivers were thought to be rich, it was still considered a big deal to go to the movies. Girls looked forward to losing their virginity in the back row at the Malco Theatre.Continue reading “Shake or Float? By David Lohrey”
Howard Adams turned off the engine and gazed at the anthracite column of the high-rise. He counted the floors up to the ninth. The lamp by Sonia’s futon shone through the gauze curtains, a penumbra of warm yellow. Adams checked his watch. The haris, a young guy with a scruffy beard, might still be sitting behind the lobby desk. He would lift his head with a studiously blank expression when Adams walked past. The haris’s eyes would then follow the unbeliever to the elevator, well aware of the sins being committed in his building. The prayer bump on the haris’s forehead always caused a cramp in Adams’s solar plexus. Did the guy worry her at all? Sonia had flattened her mouth in that amused way of hers, half-closed her eyes, shaken her head—“I tip him well.”Continue reading “An Evening at Sonia’s by Martin Rosenstock”
Though he had spent two years as a ship’s doctor, Naudain had never in his life seen such a storm. The crew had not glimpsed the sky in two days, only dark storm clouds bombarding the sea with rain: a monotony of shadow, broken by thunder and the crawl of lightning.Continue reading “Unbound, Toward Her Repose by Livia E. De Souza”
Even with a personality of its own, my Saugus River is hard-pressed to be itself… so many things have happened to it, on it, with it, because of it. Did I dream all these scattered events, these small terrors? Perhaps. I was dreamy as a boy, romantic as a young man, possessed now. Possessed.Continue reading “Hard-pressed My River Is by Tom Sheehan”
I try to leave Mom a voicemail. Again.
The voicemail cannot be delivered. Again. She always stores old voicemails. Always says you never know when they might come in handy. Especially if you’re in a jam and need proof that you communicated with X at Y time. Pre-empt the world.Continue reading “Voice by Yash Seyedbagheri”