The Disappointed Housewife is a literary journal for writers, and readers, who are seeking something different. We like the idiosyncratic, the iconoclastic, the offbeat, the hard-to-categorize. Out of the universe of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, we want to attract work that plays with form and presentation. Work that’s not just outside the box but… Read More Editor’s foreword
Early on, the phenomenon was seen as a coincidental series of birth defects. The first case appeared in rural Oklahoma, surprising the obstetrician when the baby crowned, revealing an unusual pair of ears oriented more toward the top of the head than the sides—long, pointed, and coated in a layer of downy hair. The baby’s… Read More New Humanoid Species Raises Compelling Ethical Questions ~ fiction by Morgan Capra
The false mermaids will try to engage you in a political debate. They’ll ask your views on Jeremy Corbyn and Sashi Tharoor. They’ll demand a staunch opinion on the Amazonian tribes and the disappearing lot of arctic penguins while looking completely innocent and cuddlesome. They’ll never be satisfied with any middle ground. They’ll keep nagging… Read More How to Properly Distinguish Between a False Mermaid and a Genuine One ~ fiction by Hiya Mukherjee
I really miss Patrick Swayze. I heard that song on the radio and thought of him again and again and it played every time I drove and I missed him more and more and then I saw that he didn’t actually sing it. It’s Eric Carmen’s voice but that didn’t change how much I miss… Read More [I really miss Patrick Swayze] ~ poetry by Christina M. Rau
“Remember this?” I inquire, holding up the indistinct plaything, a dog, maybe. “You used to take this around with you everywhere, you always had it.” I don’t know why I say it. I think it’s a test. I observe the blank gaze change to recognition as she takes the toy, turns it over and over… Read More Memoir of Another World ~ poetry by Holly Day
I warned you darts with advice strong words tripping over emotions like an imbecile– so you think you’re Leonard Cohen loving some naked Nancy in a cluttered matchbox apartment overlooking European culture simulated, above some obscure narrow Montreal street? For your information, straight poetics from insanities Almanac, Leonard Cohen died years ago in a twisted… Read More Unknown Poet from Rue Montpelier ~ poetry by Michael Lee Johnson
Why do I have to give you my credit card number? So we can charge you when the free offer expires, and you’ll have forgotten to cancel ahead of time. Is there an actual person I can talk to? No. An actual person might weaken and offer you a refund. Is the warranty transferable? No.… Read More Honest FAQs (look here for answers before contacting us) ~ parody by Will Gandy
February 14, observed in honor of St. Valentine, a martyr of the third century, beheaded in Rome. —Random House Dictionary Dismemberment of a junked disk harrow proceeds evenly and eventlessly. The earth of Lincoln County petitions lithe, dank, midmorning fog to settle low. The fog is dense and, like a just-washed shroud, droops to raw… Read More On the Earth of Lincoln County, Washington, on Saint Valentine’s Day, 1993 ~ poetry by Robert Keeler
Poem made from movie lines spoken by actor Laird Cregar, who died in 1944 at age 31 Mr. Samuel Laird Cregar Eventide Section, Lot 37, Space 2 Forest Lawn Memorial Park Dearest Haunter: You’re a pretty cocky fella. You’ve had your own way for a long time. Oh, I know your type. Your act is… Read More Love Letter to My Favorite Ghost ~ poetry by Pamela Miller
Sharknado (2013) Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015) Sharknado: Feeding Frenzy (2015) Sharknado: Heart of Sharkness (2015) Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016) Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018) Sharknado: 20,000 Sharks under the Sea (2019) Sharknado 6: Sixth Son of Sharknado (2020)… Read More Films in the Sharknado Franchise as of 2045 ~ list by CB Droege
Robbing is hard, but bank robbing school is harder. That’s because the difference between learning and doing is the difference between the rigid spin on the weather vane and a tree full of branches bent by wind. Over one hundred wanna be robbers started with our class and now it’s down to the top three:… Read More Bank Robber School ~ fiction by Merridawn Duckler
Maternal Instinct Swearing is brave. That’s just my opinion. My mother didn’t like it. She didn’t like shit! or other filth Dad passed on. It would have been brave of her to one day leave the kitchen and turn to say if you don’t like it don’t eat it, damn it! You fuckin’ gluttons– you cook it. Be brave when things boil, save leftovers for me. I’ll be on the town, so suck it. But she’d never say that, and we did act like such morons. Not swearing, she was still brave, being a mom and trying to like it. obituary for a credit card they called you Visa but I called you Lover 16-digit magic man you fed me when your dirty brother debit card deserted me someone stole your heart abused you down to negative 399 dollars I went years without you wheezing powerless but you came back to me a polyvinyl boomerang with me now my rectangular amour but I give pieces of you away till you are near zero but still I keep you at my butt cheek pressed and arched when I squat desperately for pennies I extract you from my wallet with your pulsing hologram hawk your plasticity and potential so stoic erect so plumped to take my wishful charge then you expired– a crib death in my wallet… Read More Three Poems ~ poetry by Marc Darnell
I “sat down” with flash-fiction writer, Jim Harrington, recently to answer some questions about how The Disappointed Housewife got started and what we’re looking for from writers. Pay Jim’s blog, “Six Questions For …”, a visit and have a look at our needs and wants. Best advice? Read our submission guidelines and stay offbeat! Six… Read More Q & A on what The Disappointed Housewife is looking for
Dear Citizen, In accordance with the Security and Equality Act (law 214.87.64c), we have calculated your societal debt and necessity allowance. There is no paperwork to file as facts and figures were construed using complicated algorithms based on your government issued Usee account. According to your browser history, you are: Category … Read More Dear Citizen ~ governmental communication by Colleen Maloney
Chas Hawthorne is a cynical gourmand from Baltimore. He believes fine dining jumped the shark around the time Wolfgang Puck started peddling his wares on the Home Shopping Network.
Liz McShane left San Francisco somewhere along the way and is now a senior client service rep at a major payroll company in the Seattle area. This is her first publication. Image reproduced under a Creative Commons license; credit FiveRings.
Dear Mr. Schoeffling, Attached, please find residual check number 1139 for your 1985 karaoke cover of “If You Were Here” by Thompson Twins. It is our most popular song in the following bracket: Caucasian women in the Midwest, ages 48-51½. Additionally, it remains the lead-off track in our evergreen playlist, “Jacking Off to the 80s.”… Read More Fanmail Received Today by the Jake Ryan/Michael Schoeffling Fan Club, Even Though It’s Been 34 Years Since “Sixteen Candles” Was Released ~ celebrity fan letters by Leigh Lewis
It’s been thirty years since a mysterious black notebook was found in a dingy alleyway on Mission Street in San Francisco. The small collection of hastily scribbled and, at times, completely unconnected words would typically be regarded as trash and discarded as such, were it not for local bartender, Josiah Campbell who picked the book… Read More The Sapphobook ~ literary inquiry by Mitchell St. John
In the McMansions there was a lady who Saran Wrapped her house. She never did make it to the roof. It took her two days. She had three kids but it seemed like five or six. She rode a bulldozer to her wedding. There was a picture of it on her hall table in the… Read More The Saran Wrappers ~ fiction by Xenia Taiga
Carla Brochton wrote fantasy. Real fantasy. No, not real, I know fantasy isn’t real. But her Doomlords of Islayana series had been a sensation and was quickly snapped up for TV by one of those streaming networks. Pompous mock-medieval fantasy with lots of sex, nudity, torture, 21st century swearing and splattering innards always goes down… Read More Author Visit ~ fiction by David McVey
The great lady of Monte Carlo knows when she is needed. Her host family is practicing verbs at the table. They are loyal to the French language but will work with any verb they can get their hands on. Only the mother and daughter are left now. The great lady knows the mother is in… Read More The Great Lady of Monte Carlo ~ fiction by Jan Stinchcomb
(1) Giant Leaps I can’t read a novel without skipping around. First approximation: to the end. Second approximation: every hundred pages. Next: every fifty pages. And then every twenty or ten. I keep lessening the increments until I’m satisfied satisfied enough to relax and skip, like a normal reader, to the next word. (2) What… Read More Skipping Around ~ essay by Marion Deutsche Cohen
Exiter Riddles III. I place my emphasis on penetrating Matters: desiderata as the personal Errata satiates my savagery, and I, Its. Cynical, meticulous, the mapless Man in white officiates my yaw, These graceless arabesques into and through Internalized, familiar song-and-dance, The names and reproductions of delights, Etcetera. The wizened wizardry I whiz by Has taught… Read More Two Poems ~ poetry by Jake Sheff
Just over a year ago, I launched The Disappointed Housewife with an eye toward gathering nuggets of writing that perhaps couldn’t be found elsewhere. I had some particular kinds of works in mind, works that took the generally accepted rules of form and style and bent them into new shapes like literary balloon animals. I… Read More The Disappointed Housewife is One Year Old!
All-day Lone Assassin™ paintball package on location in your ex’s neighborhood, complete with equipment. Package also includes a training session from a former Army sniper and a getaway Uber driver waiting at the curb to ensure you hit your mark and escape without getting caught. $39.99. Flea-infestation kit for three rooms and a hallway. Sneak… Read More Living Social Shopping Cart of Your Vindictive Ex-Girlfriend ~ post-relationship tools by Ashley Memory
Just before my thirteenth birthday, my mother broke her leg in four places. Spiral fractures, osteoporosis. The healing did not go well. She was in a cast for thirteen months. For the first few months, she was in a cast up to her hip. When the breaks in the thigh bones healed, the cast was… Read More Plaster Cast ~ essay by Joy Wright
Salvatore Difalco splits time between Toronto and Sicily. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He is the author of four books, including The Mountie At Niagara Falls, an illustrated collection of flash fiction. Show Salvatore some love via PayPal at sammydifalco(at)gmail(dot)com.
The house was yellow. There was no wind. All night the porch howled. (Wind howled my yellow house inside your porch) We fucked against the wall. The sofa sat on the dog. Your lies coated my teeth. (We fucked the sofa and the dog sat on lies) Afterwards, we ate spaghetti with our fingers. Tomatoes… Read More (not) thinking of you at 3 a.m. ~ poetry by Cinthia Ritchie
INT. THE BREAKROOM, TRENDY GROCERY STORE—10 minutes ago. The BREAKROOM of TRENDY GROCERY STORE. NICOLE (mid-30s/obvious brunette with blond hair/black glasses/looks exhausted) is sitting at a table next to JENNY (late 40s/brown hair/frumpy/real fucking annoying). JENNY Can I tell you something that you’re gonna judge me super harshly about? NICOLE Okay. JENNY I’ve been watching… Read More Lunchbreak Confessional ~ script by Nicole Walkow
The blender buggered up. Sent the day out of whack, getting partially smushed fruit out of bent blades, the future smoothie halted to become a pithy lump. My only meal, slopped into a plastic breakfast bowl. Scooped out with a tea spoon, as the washing up piles up. Better go out and steal some meat.… Read More Stealing Meat ~ fiction by Rebecca Gransden
What does one do when nobody picks up your calls? Leave a voice message? Maybe that’s actually better. People don’t really listen to those properly, but you can shout your heart out. It’s almost like a dramatic performance—you’re the only one talking— but without the stage, you’re not in the spotlight, and you don’t have… Read More Mulberry Monologues ~ fiction by Tejaswi Rawal
Johnny Quanta stared at his shattered prosthetic leg in disbelief. A full bot had speared him in the knee. It was a cheap shot. “Johnny,” Dr. Fagan said, “we have no replacements left.” “What are you talking about? There were three good ones last week.” “What can I tell you? You play hard.” “The game… Read More Better Ballers ~ fiction by Salvatore Difalco
Jonathan Stark lives among the hills of the lovely Ohio Valley, sharing his little slice of heaven with his sweet wife and three ambivalent cats, and serving up steaming bowls of rich, creamy wisdom to anyone who wants it.
We knew we didn’t belong, my sisters and me. We knew by the way the saleslady tightened her mouth, the edges of her lipstick pulling so hard the corners cracked. “Girls,” she clapped, and we huddled together by the winter sweaters, our worn sneakers sinking the carpet. “I haven’t all day,” she snapped, and we… Read More A Fancy Department Store in Cleveland, 1970 ~ essay by Cinthia Ritchie
You owe her ・excitement over her new job, ・enthusiasm about the hiking trip she’s been planning, and ・delight that your karaoke duets are consistently hitting level 8. But you’re in severe emotional debt and should feel for others first—for colleagues and loved ones who have been waiting longer for more substantial emotions: ・Werna: sympathy as… Read More Stopgap ~ fiction by Soramimi Hanarejima
The lady who kept her lover’s used Trojans in a shoe box, anglers in a dirt-filled aquarium, to feed her four hens along with their own eggshells— the lady with the toy poodle always sniffing the cat’s ass, a first edition Yeats on the shelf— dreamed she lived by the sea, on the outskirts of… Read More Sign of Jonah ~ poetry by Anna Cates
“It is real,” he said, “but you can only do it on the Sega Genesis version. It’s down-forward-A-B-down, or something.” The south Jersey sun was hot, and the community pool was closed for repainting. “My cousin showed me.” “You lie so bad.” “He did,” Josh insisted, shrugging. “We can call him right now.” Chris mopped… Read More Secret Fatalities ~ fiction by Ben Spies
Well, I guess the skyscrapers need to be there, they create jobs and jobs create love between people, and people buy houses or rent apartments and make places like Walmart vacation destinations, and then the schools fill with more children and while the parents are away working or driving around looking for a fix, the… Read More Some Call It Destiny ~ poetry by Jeffrey Zable
Black Brassiere From the top of the Roman arena I watch groups of schoolchildren move in clumps and think: Children are not our future They’re merely the next set of pawns Across the street on a balcony with cracked tiles an old woman hangs out wash— black brassiere, black panties Maybe she’s doing laundry for… Read More Two Poems ~ poetry by Mitchell Grabois
I was at the bus station. I wasn’t going anywhere, I was just there. A guy was standing next to me. He had an old trumpet in his hand. I looked at it, and when I looked up he was looking at me. “You’ve got a trumpet,” I said, for lack of a better thing… Read More Dialysis ~ fiction by Steve Sibra
Jack Shannon is a hoarder of appliance operation manuals from Pianto, CA. His goal is to write a novella based on the Sears Kenmore electric range instruction book, which is definitely overly complicated.