201 lede

Nothing Ever Burns Down By Itself by Aisling Walsh

The narrow passage of cinder block painted matte white, with its grey industrial carpet and fluorescent lighting was my eventual weekend and summer playground from eleven years of age until my late teens. Left alone to wander the corridor I would do rounds reading over each framed poster documenting theatre performances from the early 80s, before I was even born, to the present.   ...click to READ MORE

Day Three of Happiness by Michael Murphy

Allyson is the CMO at a church that has a CMO. In less careful moments, she refers to the congregation as customers. Never use the c-word, reminds Pastor Marks. Undermining the dignity of worshippers is blasphemy at Maudeville Baptist Church. It destabilizes the continuous improvement model—underlines the mega in megachurch.

Stoplight by Laura Stamps

The light turns red, and Rita’s car slows to a stop. On the sidewalk is a man dressed in a black pinstripe suit, white shoes, and a white hat. He looks like a churchgoer in his Sunday best. He’s not. Pacing back and forth, he waves a newspaper about UFOs at the line of cars. The light turns green, and the cars move forward. No one rolls down a window. No one takes one of his free papers. But he doesn’t seem to mind. He continues to smile and wave his UFO newspaper at each car.

Turk 182 by Sheldon Lee Compton

Back when tigers used to smoke, the boy heard a man say, “My brother died in a fire.”

The man told the boy to fetch him ten ten-gallon buckets of paint of various colors. The boy went to Lowe’s first, but the prices were too high. After an hour or so searching he found a locally owned paint store and bought the paint for the grieving man. He asked the man, “How is it the city’s fault that your brother died?”

Ugly, Painful, Soft, Delicious. and Evanesce Nesce Nest. by Amy Moretsele

In those moments I wanted to paint you in all your strangeness / eyes a eulogy to holidays by the sea & / overgrown dayflowers / body an equilibrium of boy / man / reflecting the insecure & obstinate therein / mid-sized neat hands, feet, toned legs, golden-brown hair / and the mole on the back of your neck I / thought was a zit the first time /

Learning to Climb the Mountain. by Ann Christine Tabaka

I read a book once: The Fear of Flying.
It was not about flying at all.
I climbed a mountain,
spread my wings and tried to soar.
The cat thought I was crazy
as I tumbled to the ground.
I was twenty then.
I did not know my power yet.

owner’s manual. by Anne Leigh Parrish

when a young woman tends an old one guesses collect
            like rags in a drawer

she must once have been a great beauty, or how lonely to sit
            by this window day by day

the old one could set her straight, if she cared to your fella's
            not as great as you think he is, and you should decide now you're not fat