All Stories, General Fiction

A Salutation to My Saugus, Embassy of the 2nd Muse by Tom Sheehan

He has come out of a dread silence and given himself a name; Saugus, he says.  He bleats like a tethered goat to come out of that coming, to be away, dense spiral to the core of self, to the mountain call, bird arc across such slopes of pale imaginings.

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All Stories, General Fiction

About 465 nm:  A Chronology by Martin Agee

Age 7

You can’t imagine how much I loved holidays. Especially Christmas. Getting out the Christmas records and playing them over and over on the stereo. There was a Bing Crosby one where he talked in soothing tones about Young Jethro unwrapping presents all done up with paper that looked like stained glass. Decorating the tree. I was a Christmas ornament. Miss Twitchell told us to bring our school photo and we cut it into a triangle and put popsicle sticks around the edge. She came around and put glue on them and we sprinkled dusty sparkles that looked like icicles all along the frame and it made us feel proud. We knew we’d be right there on the tree, front and center, and everyone would say “oooh” as the tinsel reflected off the sparkles that made our faces with smiles shine and our lips look like flower petals that would bloom in different colors in April. I’m still there, somewhere down inside a cardboard box under the stairs wrapped in newspaper that’s got 1950 and some other words on it. Once a year I come out and hang there smiling at everyone with sparkly popsicle frame.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A True Daily Double by Leila Allison

Gram and I used to watch Jeopardy together almost every weeknight. Our little “must see” TV date began at the dawn of my memory and ended with Gram’s death shortly after my twenty-second birthday; it’s already ten years gone by.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Get off My Back, Saugus by Tom Sheehan

Hey, Saugus, get off my back! Get off my back, Saugus. Yes, you who preaches from Appleton’s Pulpit, ranter and raver, extraordinary tongue wielder, who yells in chorus from Stackpole Field when wind brings from banks of the lost pond voices forgotten except by you, a chorus of faces and spirited one shows many times fallow for quick generation of yells.

Take back your yelling, Saugus, and your cries. Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You who hastily harangue from the Town Hall floor, a bending of principles and fundamental yields your seeded and spirited politics have given the ages; or your echoes, oh echoes of told timbre and tonic Riverside throws up for grabs the one-day trumpets cut to the quick of small arguments advancing outward, when one falling leaf, nurtured by one, old friend, comes, October’s breath and daring, to my footed path, saying his name to me, her name to me, saying we to me.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

That trail over there, pond-sided, that a boy once knew; new here, that boy, brought to duck and carp and fox, summer’s sweet immersion, winter’s scissored ice, brought to this place out of all places, brought to you, to be layered on, to be imposed, scribed and etched, by what makes you what you are, and that boy, that boy lured here to the burned edge of the pond, which lingers in the mind one second longer than all.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You do not come at me softly except night-shaded where the wetted, youthful, endless kiss ends sixty years later when her last picture is delivered to New Jersey, to another, an older flaming moth who knows you inside so deeply the ache is read; who knew your waters blessed us, pond, stream, river bend by bridge, marshy pools’ awesome pair wearing summer’s threatening horseshoe crabs down back of Sims’ arms-wide spread of glass, and sticks for miles and miles of reeds promising fire, and antennae-slick worms marsh-dug for a nickel apiece, for Atlantic bait, bye the bye.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You take me past the good lady of iron who talks from under granite these days of settled touch, who, landing here from Cork’s land and loving this place of yours, stays now forever.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back.

Today, trekking all the trails on you, I thought of Philadelphia’s Athletics and local Cornet’s old-time catcher, Sam Parker, next-door neighbor, fiendish gardener, tomato and corn supplier for our hungry table, who died on Sir John Harrington’s hopper (1592), the master-piece device, sat there alone for a full day.

Every day you take me back, grasping, clutching, your claws wrenching my soul, letting me know you’re on Pirates’ Hill, Standpipe Hill, Catamount Cove, where Charley’s Pond was, where our river runs dim and crooked to the sea, and on all artifacts of being, illustrious bones, tossing them up, oh one by one, tossing them up.

Ah, Saugus, will you never let go?

Tom Sheehan

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All Stories, General Fiction

Cohort Retirees by Tom Sheehan

Each Raytheon retiree’s email, each contact with an old co-worker, though distant, departed, an accidental approach, brings me back to places, offices, plant sections and locations, that I left in my past and where I find those that never let go, holding on with clever clutches; some of my favorite people ever climb back into my present circumstance, letting me know they do not let go, not easily, not knowingly, not without a sidewise look I can remember as if it was sent my way yesterday.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Did You See the Tasmanian Devil? By James Hanna

When I mention that I once spent a year in the island state of Tasmania, people look at me with interest and ask me the same question. A question as patented as Coca-Cola and as reflexive as a burp. “Did you see the Tasmanian Devil?” they say. They are probably thinking of that Looney Tunes critter that talks in growls and grunts—not that poor diseased marsupial that is practically extinct.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Flight of Time by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

The cathedral clock across the street from Nick’s home rang out the hours, the quarters. The clock chimed out his life, the Westminster Quarters and memories floating from the august belfry, the huge bells hidden inside, the clock ticking. The clock Nick once tended to.

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All Stories, General Fiction

To Tame the Animals by Rose Ragsdale

I first started drawing when I was a kid, staring up at popcorn ceilings, trying to make sense of the symbols I saw there. I created comics about a fox that lived in the midst of the shapeless blurs of styrofoam. I don’t draw foxes anymore. Instead, I draw people I’ve met, making them ugly as sin and arguably very realistic.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Gary Glitter And The Camel Hair Coat by Hugh Cron Warning- Adult Content

Lee and Harry stood outside their manager’s office. She glowered at them. The music from the communal room was deafening.

“Jesus fuck! Am I not in enough trouble? That’s all I need, Tom and his Gary Glitter infatuation!”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Where They Are by Hugh Cron

David

I just don’t know!  What’s this world coming to?  A security guard who is nothing but a slip of a girl.  It’s not right.

But no matter.  It’s the shopping centre’s problem.  I have to admit that it’s nice that they give me my breakfast.  But in saying that I’m paying them enough. She does check on me, I’ll give her that.  But surely that should be a man’s job? 

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