The evil wizard in Gogol’s story “A Terrible Revenge” struggles with his mad daughter, trying to take away the knife she holds and, in the process, kills her. This climax—coming after the wizard murders her Cossack husband, demands that she “marry” (i.e., have sex with) him, murders her infant son, his grandchild, and then she… Read More Everything Is Connected ~ essay by John Talbird
Well, I really mean cannibalizer. A poetry colleague/friend just emailed that, in her opinion, I cannibalize my work. She meant it as a criticism. I’d never heard of that phrase so I googled it—“cannibalizing one’s work.” Merriam-Webster gives several definitions of “cannibalize”: “To deprive of an essential part of element in creating or sustaining another… Read More Confessions of a Cannibal ~ essay by Marion Deutsche Cohen
“The simple life.” It’s the epitome of happiness and tranquility, yet nearly all Americans find themselves on an ever-accelerating treadmill that makes their lives anything but simple. Here are a few tips for eliminating the complications in your life that keep you from achieving that state of bliss we all dream of: Financial ○ Do… Read More Life Hacks for Simplifying Your World ~ essay by Rhonda Dawson
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.
(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
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
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
Melanie and I took the bus from Chicago to Milwaukee on a Friday. We had just started dating and I was in love. Our hosts for the weekend would be Melanie’s Aunt Mary Anna and Uncle Joe — my first shot at meeting her extended family. We were college students, so of course we were… Read More Scavenging ~ essay by Jim Ross
GREEN surrounds me as I enter the butterfly pavilion. The leaves of the trees and flowers create an oasis in the Sonoran desert. All seems still inside, protected from the dry winds, until I notice the undulant motion of butterflies winging above me, swooping down to sip at the nectar of the blossoms. The guide… Read More Multicolored ~ nonfiction by Luanne Castle
Tom Barra was from Queens, Italian, early 20s, playing the part of a preteen in our show. His fraternity brothers called him Cuda and stitched that on his jacket. Squat-shaped with tattoos, hairy back, 5 o’clock shadow. It took a lot of time and makeup to make him look the part of a young boy… Read More On Stamp Collections and Sentiment ~ essay by Bill Pearse
In the night but before slumber three independent witnesses, two of which had earbuds in their ears with electrical devices turned on, heard a swishing sound loud and distinct and impossibly peculiar. There is a level of astonishment wherein one exclaims something but there is another place, past that, where all you can do is… Read More Chaga Saga Mama and the Mysterious Swoosh Noise ~ an essay by Brian Michael Barbeito
Science knows that we perceive time differently as we age. Specifically, we see it moving faster, which is a cruel trick our metabolism plays on us. Our dopamine production goes down, which has something to do with it too. But who cares why it’s happening? It’s happening. And whether biochemistry or psychology plays a role… Read More No, Bob Marley, Everything is Not Going to be All Right ~ an essay by Edwin Kane
Theme statement: Time travel is impossible. Stop even thinking about it! Introduction For the past 140 years, the imagineers of western civilization have dwelled unrealistically on the idea of traveling through time (forward or backward) to observe or even change events. It’s never going to happen. For millennia, in fact, as far back as ancient… Read More On the Impediments to Time Travel ~ an essay by Alyson Woods
So I’m off social media. I did it. I went in too deep, and now I’m just out. Because it flattened me. It started with Facebook. It’s like only Zuckerberg really understood what was going to be happening, and had to happen, and that is that people would start connecting. But he might not have… Read More Tiddlywinks ~ an essay by Krista McCarthy