Issue 6 / October 2017

“Before writers are writers they are readers, living in books, through books, in the lives of others that are also the heads of others, in that act that is so intimate and yet so alone.” Rebecca Solnit

Short Story Issue Six

Gifts

Mona Houghton

Jacqui teaches AP English at a Catholic school and her curriculum is more radical than Father Glenn likes. She loses her hat—a precious gift from Aunt Gwen—on the day Joseph brilliantly elucidates Thoreau. The hat is gone but Joseph’s eyes are brimming.

Short Story Issue Six

Salamanca

Chris Pellizzari

Riding the bus from Granada to Salamanca, Spain, they arrive in pouring rain and run to find shelter. Luckily a taxi pulls up and drives them to the Hostal Plaza Mayor. Jimmy has never met a girl like Vera before. This is his love story.

Short Story Issue Six

The Experience

Andrew Song

Leaving the convention center, he chastises himself for his “addiction” although he just bought “Dangerous Dosage: Chronicles of Jason Archer,” the VR Experience that landed him on the floor. It was so real. But upon arriving home, he so easily returns to that "world."

Short Story Issue Six

The Shoelace

Stephen Baily

On the father’s eightieth birthday, he tells his oldest son he wants to celebrate it in a funeral parlor. There are the usual expatiations and songs and food and drink, but alone in the chapel, the father reveals to the son how his mother really died.

Short Story Issue Six

White Dust

Grant Price

In an inflatable mess tent for refugees, an attendant learns the story of the bearded man who travels from Greece to Macedonia by foot, then to Serbia and eventually to Budapest seeking asylum. Danger arrives and so does white dust.

Short Story Issue Six

Family Ties

Maria Savva

A sixty-five-year-old man holds hostage three children and a twenty-something woman. They have strength in numbers but he threatens and lies. They are now the family he never had. He is husband to the oldest, Dad to the children. His family ties.

Poetry Issue Six

“The New Adventures Of”, “Opa” and “When”

Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Like a page from a memoir in “The New Adventures of,” the poet rejects her father’s rants and repulses an arranged marriage. A similar feat is fulfilled line by poetic line in “Opa,” the poet having found a fire-opal, “no opal omen of/ruin.” And in “When,” the poet pleas for racial justice and names the names, “Book of remembrance, book of tears.”

Poetry Issue Six

“The Dead Wall of Silence”, “Pieces” and “Scratching Out Earth”

Mark McCreary

In “The Dead Wall of Silence” the poet alludes to a partition against the backdrop of “sheep/and suckled cattle” in atypical dimeter and trimeter feet. In “Pieces,” he is not done with the fracturing: “Actual actions of schisms,” “splintered spectators,” “absolute absence”—just pieces. And in “Scratching Out Earth,” the poet faithfully renders the title in imagistic verse.

Essay Issue Six

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past

Sankar Chatterjee

After Sirajul Habib, an American youth and follower of Islam, sees displays of Nazi documents in Berlin, he wants to learn more about the Holocaust. In a later trip to Europe, he visits the Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Poland and is overcome by the enormity and scope of Nazi evil at Auschwitz I, the first site of the atrocities; and at Auschwitz II - Birkenau, where prisoners arrived in boxed rail cars.

Essay Issue Six

Arrival Day

Shastri Sookdeo

What is “Arrival Day”? Sookdeo writes about this public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago with a critical eye. Started in 1995 to celebrate 150 years of Indian arrival in Trinidad, the name was later changed to Indian Arrival Day. Does the “Indian” in the name ignore other ethnic groups if the country’s makeup “is reflected by colonization in every part”? The issue is more complex than at first glance.

Essay Issue Six

Just Places: Physical Spaces and the Stories They Tell about Justice, Terror, and Tragedy

David Will

An official NGO Observer at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Will describes the exterior of the courthouse where the 911 conspirators are tried for capital crimes. Sitting on a dilapidated “out-of-service airstrip,” the low-slung building looks like a toolshed, but upon entering the building visitors witness “the world’s most sophisticated technology.” This space is not a symbol; it represents the physical implementation of justice. The question is: Can the Guantanamo military commissions offer a narrative “to reaffirm the country’s values and to offer closure”?

Essay Issue Six

Married Sleep

Hilary Nelson Jacobs

Tender and instructive, the narrative and descriptive essay “Married Sleep” offers the reader an inside look—with equanimity—at a wife and husband team who makes it through a daughter’s debilitating illness, a husband’s demanding work schedule, and a wife’s alcoholism and healing.

Essay Issue Six

Rescue Me

Kathryn Jones

These are the special tenants of Jones’ home: “A hound of calm character, lazy and laid-back”—this is Jack Jones—and a fierce “ten-pound terrier, black and white, with bulging eyes”—this is Dory. As the dogs age, Jones is cognizant of her own droopy eyelids and graying hair, but as long as she is alive they will add more dogs to their household.

Essay Issue Six

River Musings

George Rothert

“River Musings” is not only about the reclamation of the Willamette River that flows through Portland and the development of Waterfront Park, Portland’s gathering space. It is also about the Hide Naito family that ran a successful importing business; relocated to Salt Lake City during the Japanese internment; and returned to Portland later to enlarge their business and enrich the city with their philanthropy.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Six

Tadhg and the Seven Dragons: Story Two

Michael Radcliffe

It has been a year since the giant dragon Greatwing has made contact with eleven-year-old Tadhg. The boy is frantically turning the dragon-shaped pendant over and over—the one Miriam gave him last Halloween—hoping Greatwing will appear like he did the last time. On this stormy night the black tabby cat Dreyfus appears on the windowsill of Tadhg’s bedroom, pawing to be let in. Dreyfus announces that he and Miriam are leaving town and Tadhg must now help the dragons. Of course, Tadhg doesn’t understand the cryptic message, but before he can say anything Dreyfus disappears in a power blackout. The next morning on his way to school he hears thoughts coming from inside his head. Greatwing has arrived to take him on a mission. Tadhg will not make it to school that day and will instead fly with the dragon to land in a patch of heather in the Scottish highlands. The mission: To find Greatwing’s six cousins and be freed from the curse of the Others.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Six

Allotrope

Michael Fertik

You can read Allotrope in one sitting; no, Allotrope compels you to read it in one sitting. The four characters—Yitzhak, Sleeping Bear, Arielle, and Sunny—form a multicultural elasticity that heightens as the story tightens and the mystery deepens. The characters each play a role but their synergy transcends their individual will, and the story unfolds in irony woven into the denouement. Taking from drama the literary device of foreshadowing, Fertik interjects clues and asides along the way in the dialogue and the myth at the story’s core.