“Afterimage” by Nicholas Ripatrazone

Mrs. Carlson called while we watched Straw Dogs and said Thomas had to leave immediately. She cooked intricate Swedish dinners like strömmingslådor and promised the herring would get soggy sitting in the tomato sauce. Thomas left without putting the phone back on the receiver. I ran upstairs because Mom made me pack for Vermont. We […]

“Undulations” by Ben Tanzer

The boy read his books and played his games. He talked to the flight attendant and drank Ginger Ale. He looked out the window and watched the endless mountains, rivers and fields pass by. He listened to the steady hum of the plane and he slowly grew more and more tired. At first the boy […]

Sara Lippmann’s Read it Loud: “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein

This is the latest in Sara Lippmann’s Read it Loud: Notes From Storytime. To go to the column page, please click here. An hour of the day when the light fills the page. A corner carol in the library carved with lovers’ initials, the window seat of a favorite coffee shop. A rolling ball pen, […]

Two poems by Helen Vitoria

Red Shooter I used to be able to hear everything. Spades into earth. That first bulb pushing through− A snap on the vine. A casino chip falling on carpeted floor. Every dropped note. The Closet. Decipher the names he said in his sleep. I was everyone’s ear. * GIRL  first date his taste for blood […]

“The Garden” by L. Ward Abel

“The air raid shelters are blooming clover.” – Kate Bush  There was that wonderful time she whispered my name near the river O and hit me in a soft spot with three or four songs and food and ale. The radio woke us. We peered out above the valley the city sounds of water of […]

“xy graph of definitions called you” by M.G. Martin

you pronoun 1. the only pronoun bred between cloud & sky, of carbon & language, & obsessed. are verb 1. how are you ever going to die when you are what we are trying to be but aren’t, yet. a noun 1. a full womb. 2. a throb between sheets. 3. a grazing of ankles. […]

“Complaints Through a Mustache” by Judson Merrill

I walk around, looking for things to happen. Sometimes, the only thing I find is the free bin full of Village Voices. That is not so bad. There is a lot to read in just one issue. As a sort of bonus, there is sometimes a classified ad aimed right at me. I have bought […]

“The Day Shaniqua Fell In Love” by LaTanya McQueen

She wasn’t into Asians, she knew that much, and so for her the date was over before it even began. She met him through an online dating service that randomly pairs you with local singles. A few days ago she had sat in her apartment and filled out the questionnaire. She had typed out her name but […]

“Hurricane Berta” by Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet. To go to the column page, please click here. Wilfred sat up four stories high on scaffolding with his legs dangling over the side and watched the storm blast across the landscape. He was a mile inland, but could see the water, white and treacherous as […]

“Gordon Lish & Me” by Gary Percesepe

Every four or five years, it seems, Frederick Barthelme and I exchange a few e-mails about Ray Carver, Gordon Lish, and the edit job that Lish did on Carver back in the day. Barthelme never initiates this recurrent conversation, it’s always me; he hasn’t changed his mind, I have. Finally, I interviewed Barthelme on the […]