Now that The Disappointed Housewife has quite a few miles on its odometer, it’s time to announce a change in our submission requirements. Prose pieces should now come in under 1000 words. Different editors have different ideas of what flash fiction and CNF are—some, unreasonably, I think, limiting it to less than 500 words—but here… Read More New Prose Word Limit
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
I inspect floral enamel coating spoons and forks, hand-painted cherries across white porcelain, slices of slouching golden brioche like giant dominoes. I run my finger across the whetted blade. Yellow, uneven circles tumble on laminate. It’s a choice between reading Kafka or covering beech wood with glossy hortensias, poppies and bluebells. In eighteen minutes and… Read More The Not-So-Sudden Walk after Reading Kafka ~ fiction by Isabelle B.L
Anatomy of Melancholy From lapidary inscriptions, from signs, from stones, in the beginning, I try to rebuild you. The sky says, “Take this boot-knife, consider it a gift from a friend.” Was it then I noticed death can be a lesser misery? “It may well be.” quips Robert Burton, author of The Anatomy of Melancholy.… Read More Anatomy of Melancholy ~ poetry by Laurie Rosenblatt
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They descend in clattering droves, sag telephone lines, drip from the tulip tree like rotten fruit. You watch from the window, push your nose against the pane. Your mother tells you about a sudden spring snowstorm, about a speckled egg found on the doorstep. How she candled the shell and saw a sleeping girl tucked inside. Saw… Read More When the Cowbirds Come to Carry Your Sister Away ~ fiction by Audra Kerr Brown
Against Beginnings Each night I grow my second self a quarter inch and now her girth fills the bed, soon the room. By noon next Tuesday month she’ll fill the garage, then the block. Next year I’ll enter a city and change the weather, bringing what’s blue and open, like legs. Each night I grow… Read More Three poems ~ poetry by Barbara Lock
The Disappointed Housewife is delighted to announce that Lynn Mundell’s terrific flash story, “Centaurs in the Laundromat,” has been chosen to appear in the Best Microfiction 2023 Anthology. This is our second award since our inception, and we’re awfully proud to be able to offer a platform for works like Lynn’s so more readers can… Read More Best Microfiction selects one of ours!
Like a lot of people, I started experimenting with bugs in high school. My first time was at a party after homecoming sophomore year. A girl wearing her hair in a towering beehive do fluttered a baggie of monarchs the color of Halloween in front of me. Butterflies were no big deal, I figured. I cupped a… Read More Glow ~ fiction by Keith J. Powell
She calls from the top of the jungle gym. Look at me, look at me now. I’m feeding the baby mashed fruit from a tube and still only have two eyes. Sure, I say, as I try to squeeze just the right amount of yellow goop into his half-open mouth. Look at me now! She… Read More Look at me ~ fiction by Hege A. Jakobsen Lepri
Late one night, Becca gathered her supplies—flashlight, spackling knife, rubber spatula, shovel, and scalpel—and walked into the woods behind her house. The breeze rustled her black hair, and the tall trees waved back and forth as if to welcome her. Far in the woods, she found a spot she liked: desolate, and so dark it… Read More Scrape ~ fiction by Victoria Mack
The fourteen-year-old twins watched Doris in her push-up bra lipstick blot rouge pluck pencil thicken shape all the while listening to Mel Torme and talking nonstop to them about which of the boys she hoped would come to her table and ask permission from her date to dance and then she stood and danced and… Read More The Emerald Room Awaits ~ fiction by Paul Beckman
Author’s note: Scan the QR codes for an instant look at the artworks. Or visit https://andreaswannerstedt.se. Mikaela Nyman writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry in English and Swedish. Her first poetry collection in Swedish was shortlisted for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2020. Recent poems have appeared in The Spinoff Friday poem, the climate change anthology No… Read More Oddly Satisfying: a meditation ~ poetry by Mikaela Nyman
Edgar Rosenberg. Remember me? Joan Rivers, your wife, and partner for twenty-two years? The funny one? The one Carson loved? And Robert Mitchum. Yeah-yeah, cuckolding’s not nice. I’m not nice. You can’t get where I got with nice. Can you hear me? No, of course, you can’t hear me because you’re dead. Deader than my… Read More Can We Talk? ~ fiction by Lucinda Kempe
And now for our final nominations for the 2022/2023 awards season: Sonder Press’s Best Small Fictions. A couple of years ago, one of our stories, The Apparitions by Kirsty McGrory, was chosen by the judges, so we’re on their radar. It’s nice to know that we’re reaching a wider audience thanks to that honor, but… Read More Best Small Fictions Nominations 2023
My death every day is the idea of being made invisible I die of invisibility, my blackness devalued by lack of empathy from slavery up to Breonna Taylor, I am here to make space for blackness to be visible. The words that I write must show you how invisible you are to me because you… Read More I Feel Like a Mosquito Taking on Godzilla ~ poetry by Ilari Pass
You will watch TV with Mrs. Beasley, sitting on her two-seat sofa, and it will not be dangerous. Your mother trusts her. You will play cards and checkers. You’ll draw dinosaurs. You’ll iron leaves in wax paper, and she’ll let you close your eyes and run your palm, warm and waxy over it, to feel… Read More Radio on the Fish Tank ~ fiction by Nancy Freund
Attention, readers of The Disappointed Housewife: As our fifth year of publication comes to an end, we’re finally on Facebook. At the urging of a recent contributor, we thought we might as well go ahead and at least attempt to increase our readership by connecting with thousands of readers and writers there who have no… Read More The Disappointed Housewife is now on Facebook
You were eleven and I was twelve, Irish twins, and I was always telling you to come on, move faster, hurry up. I already felt so far behind the rest of the world. And there we were in summer exile at our grandmother’s house in Boring, Pennsylvania, a town with no mall, no movie theater,… Read More I’ll Be Your Mirror ~ fiction by Kathryn Kulpa
Craig Foltz is the author of three books of prose / poetry (available via Ugly Duckling and Compound Press). His work has appeared in numerous journals (Fence, Conjunctions, Diagram and others). He currently lives and works on the North Island of New Zealand. For more info or collaborative pitches: http://www.craigfoltz.com.
For the first time, The Disappointed Housewife is pleased to nominate a few works for the annual Best Microfiction competition. This one has a 400-word limit, so I’ve been remiss in combing through our archives to find eligible pieces. We have a nice debut stable of short fiction for the 2023 prize: Now Look… Read More Best Microfiction 2023 Nominations
The Disappointed Housewife is pleased to nominate the following stories and poems for the 2023 Pushcart Prizes: FICTION How to Vanquish the Demon Raktabīja ~ Emily Hoover From the 2354 Galaxy Museum Exhibition of Lost Civilizations ~ Andrea Marcusa Forbidden Fruit ~ Karen Schauber POETRY Painting Party at an Indian Buffet ~ Megan Denese Mealor… Read More Pushcart Prize Nominations 2023
Your Mind Wanders Because Your Brain Whispers a found poem [You store] memories in a new place when you daydream. Electrical impulses encode like different barcodes identify a product in the stores. This happens thousands of times a day without us being aware. We think we are not doing anything useful, our brain is very… Read More Two Poems ~ poetry by Laura Grace Weldon
It’s hard to believe, but The Disappointed Housewife is five years old this month. Our first piece was published on November 30, 2017—that is, our first piece by someone other than me. I had contributed a faux book review to get the ball rolling a couple of weeks earlier. I remember back then wanting to… Read More The Disappointed Housewife is 5 Years Old!
Maximilian Speicher (https://www.maxspeicher.com) is a designer who writes, mostly sitting on his balcony in Barcelona, watching his orange trees grow. Although he’s been writing poetry on and off for many years, he only recently started submitting it. His first published poems have appeared in Impspired, and more are forthcoming in Otoliths Magazine and The Avalon Literary Review. Show Maximilian… Read More Vacation ◦ by the Pool • Three Variations ~ poetry by Maximilian Speicher
Riley says it’s five o’clock somewhere and that’s all I need to hear because that means he’s off on a tooty-toot-toot and that can happen any day at whatever o’clock but does it have to be an hour before my parents get here and last night’s dishes still a crusty mountain in the sink and… Read More Same Old, Same Old ~ fiction by Francine Witte
The bandoneón grinds out a sultry Piazzolla tune, and Consuela chassés across the dance floor in leather evening gloves and smoky Chanel sunglasses, like she’s forbidden fruit. We swoon along the back wall, expanding and contracting in our Amish pencil skirts and Mary-jane slippers, studying her every move. Our parents willing us home before curfew.… Read More Forbidden Fruit ~ fiction by Karen Schauber
30th March 1997: Around a thousand days left until the end of a thousand years. More pressingly, just two hours and forty-seven minutes for Clayton to crack the code. On the face of it, the atmosphere in the conservatory of 30 Lowfield Gardens was more placid than a month of Easter Sundays; for the four… Read More Straight In ~ fiction by Aaron Becker
Ann Keeling was Editor-in-Chief of the Pitkin Review and is a fiction/poetry reader for Wild Roof Journal and Reservoir Road Literary Review. Her work has been published or will appear in SEAF’s literary art anthology, Jellyfish Review, Lucky Jefferson, defunct magazine, and others. Her fiction work was shortlisted for the 2022 Force Majeure Flash Contest. She holds an MFA-Creative Writing from Goddard College.… Read More Memorable Story ~ poetry by Ann Keeling
Victoria Nordlund’s poetry collection, Wine-Dark Sea, was published by Main Street Rag in 2020. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Chestnut Review, Pidgeonholes, and elsewhere. Visit her at VictoriaNordlund.com. Show Victoria some love via PayPal at Goodsirbob(at)gmail(dot)com.
You don’t know—but I do—that you’re going to break her. She is a mountainside carpeted in heather and lupine. Whether or not you intend to, there are these fissures you will chisel, and she will carry the itch of them into every future man’s arms, and they will never be able to reach them to… Read More To My Daughter’s First Boyfriend ~ poetry by Kerry Trautman
It’s midnight at the Double Bubble and I’ve finally made it to the spin cycle. Now that the eleven loads are clean, they are transformed from a monumental failure in hygiene to an accomplishment. In a corner the attendant is leaning against a counter reading a waterlogged copy of Dante’s Inferno while a fly bothers… Read More Centaurs in the Laundromat ~ fiction by Lynn Mundell
I’m just out of reach, on the periphery, a shaking branch, a darting shape like someone touching your right elbow from behind in a crowd. You turn to see who it was but I’m gone. On the subway, I’ve kept alive a daffodil wrapped in damp paper towel and tinfoil. Maybe you’ve seen my tan… Read More Mystery Speaks ~ poetry by Jessica Purdy
Once again, The Disappointed Housewife is pleased to announce her nominations for this year’s Best of the Net competition. It’s always a pleasure to review the pieces we’ve published through the contest eligibility period (July 1 through June 30) and to be reminded of the wonderful variety of poetry, flash fiction, and essays we’re lucky… Read More 2022 Best of the Net Nominations
Andrea Marcusa’s flash fiction and short stories have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Cutbank, River Teeth, Citron Review, and others. She’s received recognition in a range of competitions, including Smokelong, Glimmer Train, and Southampton Review. For more information, visit: andreamarcusa.com or see her on Twitter @d_marcusa. Show Andrea some love via PayPal at adisario(at)earthlink(dot)net.
“It’s a gift,” my mother said, when I told her about how my feet were turning into crow’s feet. “And anyway, dear, not a crow. Blackbird feet.” “What’s the difference?” I asked, but my mother was onto other topics. She gets that way. Her whole life is a vanilla dream state these days. The doctors… Read More Migration Is a Survival Instinct ~ fiction by Epiphany Ferrell
You’re on Instagram again, late at night, scrolling past a sponsored post for an Atlantic article about thanking one’s partner. You’re split at the seams after cooking for your boyfriend and his friends yesterday during the soccer game. He didn’t even ask you beforehand, just assumed you’d whip something up. LA Galaxy won. You smiled… Read More How to Vanquish the Demon Raktabīja ~ fiction by Emily Hoover
In the middle of the night, the monster quietly slips out from between her thighs. In sleep she must have closed her heart to it, for when she reaches out to feel it, it’s gone. She wants to cry, but it is her fault for not loving things closely enough, the sadness unearned. What will… Read More The Monster’s Escape ~ fiction by Meg Pokrass
There are many things you love about your house. You love the stunted front-yard fence with its heart-shaped cutouts, one half-heart per picket. You love the vintage mailbox with its copper patina, the white lamp post, the twin flower pots on the front porch. It’s those little things that make a difference — things like… Read More Your House ~ fiction by Anne-Marie Yerks
Bethany Jarmul is a writer, essayist, and editor. Her work has appeared in The Citron Review, Brevity blog, Gastropoda, Literary Mama, and Sky Island Journal among others. She earned first place in Women On Writing’s Q2 2022 essay contest. She lives near Pittsburgh with her family. Connect with her at bethanyjarmul.com or on Twitter: @BethanyJarmul.… Read More YouTube Videos That Dad Sent Me (2020-2022) Turned Into Poetry ~ poetry by Bethany Jarmul
Painting Party at an Indian Buffet I am scumbling a cataract waterfall with underhanded oils, ad-libbing the lilac current and dysmorphic October Glory maple trees. Feeling prolific and pioneering, I fashion a festooned mermaid headlining shamrock curls, gaudy beneath the lioness sun atop an out-of-tune libertine boulder garden. The pedestrian instructor clears her throat stormily,… Read More Painting Party at an Indian Buffet ~ poetry by Megan Denese Mealor