Death Reels

Liz Dolan

In daylight

we, the privileged of 615, dared Julie Lundy from 621
to peer through a chink in the cellar door to see
Mr. Mulligan suck fluids from the dead

Local Author Profile: Greg Frost

Philadelphia Stories

I don’t consider myself a science fiction writer. I’m a fantasist, which means that almost everything I write has a fantasy element, but only perhaps a quarter of my fiction can be classified as science fiction. Most of it is just “weird” fiction. My novel, FITCHER’S BRIDES, is a historical dark fantasy novel based on the Grimm’s fairy tale “Fitcher’s Bird” (a variant of Bluebeard); my novel prior to that, THE PURE COLD LIGHT, was a science fiction novel set in an alternate Philadelphia; and the two before that, TAIN and REMSCELA, were retellings of the Irish Cu Chulainn stories and thus categorized loosely as “high fantasy”–which means there were swords and magic. I’m hard to pin down, which explains my life of abject poverty.

Pieces

Betsy L. Haase

If summer was breaking plates, what then was spring?

A time to keep moving. One deliberately placed foot at a time. A left step followed by a right. Learning what the phrase “going through the motions” means.

Begin with the occasion. A blue linen cloth covers the table. Your mother ironed and starched the embroidered daisies into submission. The candles flicker.

Lee’s Rant

Zack Pelta-Heller

Why did things have to get all retarded when I came out of The Shepard? Why did I have to be the only bull to see those bulls clocking that bull? One stick! Then two! Popping down on Old Man’s dome like me cutting open melons for dessert. Poor homeless fuck. Punk ass with a Kidd jersey’s kicking him under the alley light but it looked like he was just kicking a bunch of tattered rags. Poor emaciated homeless fuck.

Unfinished Love Poem

Alexander Long

– for James Wright

Like I’ve been saying
All along, I’m not sure
Where they’ve gone
Off to. Why can’t I think
Of that place as full
Of lovers secretly kissing
In unmodified light?
This afternoon’s rain settles
Along my jaw.

Azaleas

M. Frost

The invitation came—
come to the museum, walk
in the garden with me,
drink in the azaleas

Lantanas and Rain

Melissa Mowday

As the rain sopped cement becomes an ever darker hue, Jeanette calls to insist that she’ll be over to visit within the hour. Thirty-three years of watching the rain in blissful solitude isn’t a bad run. Besides, I already know that today’s rain isn’t going to be one of those eternal days. The air isn’t right. I’ll check outside anyway, even though the rain wasn’t violent enough. It wasn’t urgent. Rain needs to be urgent; my husband taught me that.

Gittel and the Golden Carp

Raima Evan

Gittel Goldberg turned her back on her cramped kitchen and gazed out the window over Madison Street. How she longed for a space between the tenements, a glimpse of the ocean—the last thing that had touched the world she had left behind. But no, only an unyielding line of stone and metal stood before her, buildings and fire escapes huddled together beneath a gray sky heavy with rain. She wiped her hands on the dishtowel and untied her apron, all the while staring at the window directly across the way—Frieda Mandelbaum’s place, with its fringe of white curtain blowing to and fro. Looking at it, she remembered the dream of the night before.

Christmas Shopping

Tess Thompson

I don’t know what to buy my grandmother.
At eighty-three, she surrounds herself
with trinkets she can no longer see

Renovation

Hayden Saunier

I ripped the carpet off my stairs
so now I’m halfway up and halfway
down, extracting staples from scarred
slabs of pumpkin pine. Destruction
beats creation in a footrace every day