Archive for “Literature”


Poetry by Brad Hostetter


I open the door to the jetsam of black curls
Cast into a linoleum sea
As fluorescent light glints off scissors and smiles.
Smelling the shaving cream and my own fear,
I sit in a distant chair and pick up a magazine,
Glance up from time to time
[…] Continue reading »


Short Fiction Contest-winner #22: “No Thanks,” by Karen Karlitz

Thanksgiving, 1968. I can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night, but I see that day as clearly as if I’m watching it on an old Magnavox. My mother Rose buzzes around our cramped two-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York, her hair in rollers, no makeup. She’s beautiful though, anyone would agree. It’s early in the day. She retrieves the tablecloth my grandmother embroidered when a teenager herself from the back of the hall closet, and sets the dining table in the foyer with her best dishes (black and white Noritake), silver plate from Fortunoff’s, and real cloth napkins in a tasty shade of pumpkin. She’s been up since five cooking; pies were baked the night before. But although her culinary plans are running smoothly, my mother’s mood is lethal. […] Continue reading »


Short Fiction Contest-winning story #21: “Parker’s Mood,” by Leland Thoburn

In the fall of 1991 I believed I would be the next Charlie Parker. Few of the bands on campus had even heard of Bird, and the few that had did not want a flute player. This did not deter me. I was out on the commons at UCLA riffing on “Confirmation” when Nadine found me.

“That makes my nipples hard.” She smiled.

I lowered my flute and stared. She was wearing a man’s dress shirt, as if she’d spent the night away. The shirt did little to hide the truth of her statement. But that wasn’t what got my attention. It was her face. She had the knack of smiling with her whole face – eyes, cheeks, lips, nose. Everything got into the act.
[…] Continue reading »


Poetry by Charles Brice

Flash Cards

Someone’s gonna be in trouble.

Some kid’s Spanish flash cards
strewn along Maple Avenue
blown down the sidewalk,
lodged in ivy ground cover,
stuck under decrepit concrete
[…] Continue reading »


Poetry by Nicholas Adell

Crazy old man walks up to me
I said, a crazy old man walks up to me
Tells me what to see
He calls to me
Makes me an offer I can’t refuse
Washes out the flames in my eyes
Burns a hole through the fabric in my clothes […] Continue reading »


Poetry by Terri Brown-Davidson

Pantoum: Carson McCullers and Misanthropy at Yaddo

An odd child, I sprawled in bed, conjured her square pale face,
Propelled myself into her enormous dark eyes
And imagined, for years, that I curled inside her mind.
At Yaddo I drank sherry from a thermos, strode lank-legged
[…] Continue reading »


Short Fiction Contest-winning story #20: “Maybe Marrying Margaret,” by Jocelyn Crawley

There’s this painting she keeps staring at.

She imbibes it, absorbs everything it has to offer. A lilting shade of lavender, it features fourteen flawless flowers arranged with a meandering dissonance that flies in the face of the frame’s four square corners. They make its math seem maddening, symmetry superfluous.

“I like it,” she says quietly, tucking long brown strands of slightly curly hair behind her ears. She turns towards me slowly then, notes the slight adversarial something in my eyes. Intimately familiar with my proclivity for irreverent mocking, she now offers a slight smirk that seems just one shade shy of sly. Aware of my antagonism,
[…] Continue reading »


Poetry by Barry Gearing

jazz jam

so this is what no lessons gets me –
a melancholy jazz blues progression,
transgressions and mistakes.
the melody hidden in the missing bass line.
the absent drums beating paradiddles to variation.
a theme within a theme.
[…] Continue reading »