literary short stories

Conversation with Francine Witte

by Swetha Amit SW: RADIO WATER is a beautiful collection of flash stories dealing with poignant themes. What inspired this selection, and how did you put it all together? FW: I published a book last year, Just Outside the Tunnel of Love, and found that there were...

It’s God’s Fog Up Top: A Review of Benjamin Niespodziany’s Cardboard Clouds by Jonathan Cardew Who Quotes Various Lines from the Work Instead of a Traditional Review (Plus a Few Pics) Partly Because He is Lazy and Partly Because He Doesn’t Want to Debase This Extraordinary Hybrid Collection of One-act Plays and Prose Poem Oddities with the Mundanity of Review Language Hence This Recycled Homage to Language Play Itself (and a Few Pics)

Language! “The symphony in the pit consists of rhythmic minimalists.” “Lips like witch” “The sky is a sweltering velvet, held together by loose nails.” “Low. But also loud. Like a herd of cattle. Like dark, dark dust. Dense. Shut up.” “She sews a wisdom tooth into her...

My Fave Five- May 2021

May 2021 Series Curator: Jonathan Cardew May Selector: Andrew Bertaina What’s rare, what’s bright, what’s new? This is what we ask a new writer every month in search of the best hybrid, poetry, and flash writing from the previous month. In this edition, we catch up...

MY FAVE FIVE- APRIL 2021

April 2021 Series Curator: Jonathan Cardew April Selector: Minyoung Lee What’s rare, what’s bright, what’s new? This is what we ask a new writer every month in search of the best hybrid, poetry, and flash writing from the previous month. In this edition, we catch up...

My Fave Five- March 2021

March 2021 Series Curator: Jonathan Cardew March Selector: Hannah Grieco What’s rare, what’s bright, what’s new? This is what we ask a new writer every month in search of the best hybrid, poetry, and flash writing from the previous month. In this edition, we catch up...

Repair Girl

The Red Garter Saloon enlists me to repair the jukebox. Best machine-fixing girl in the county, I always say. Prefer clogged urinals. Usually get me a gander of a phallus, you know, a pecker, some might say a weenie. No one warns the fellas I’m headin’ in. But like I...

Harvest Moon Festival

Annie rushed past the burnt-rubber smell of kettle corn, the frustrated shouts from the strongman game, and the endless lines for wrestling to find Edna The Fortune Teller who told her, One chance to touch the moon and you’ll find love. Annie bought a ticket. The...

Decomposition

Why are doll parts better than the whole, the amputation of a leg floating in space more beautiful than the doll entire, a composition of porcelain only perfect once it’s shattered, unsocketed from the body of an imaginary girl with mechanized eyes, like all of us...

Storm Warnings Everywhere

In my dream, I’m washing a little girl’s back. She bends forward to cradle herself, tries to stifle sobs. As I reach her bottom with the warm soapy washcloth, I comfort her with words that in waking life have detoured to blocked memory.   “It’s not your fault,” I...

Intent (with Military Honors)

Drake, the driver, berates as he runs through his list of dislikes, in that mood where everything is, and I am not an exclusion. Not captivated, I am locked into my passenger position with self-assumed obligations.  Drake must think it wit he spews, while I’m stuck in...

Milky Way

(this was longer than I wanted, and longer than I usually write, but I didn't know how to get to the essence of the story otherwise.)   Milky Way   Middle 5th grade. Mrs. Marshall, with her witch’s gray-black hair and glue-colored face, tells me to stay...

Paradox of Presence

deathly shadows dart in and out of peripheral view phonemes of truncated sound falter on waves of unrestrained energy knowledge revealed only after last gasp   we live in fragility one breath away from stability rain will cleanse our tears birth seeds of promise...

The Plumber’s Lament

Dear Lord of Digestion, how do humans eat so much light and shit so much darkness? Like the exotic beetle that scribes its life in excretions of ink, they write their lives in bile, bacterial biomasses, nitrogenous matter. I feel sorry for them, every day hanging...

Cuckoo Flower

I knew a woman who said she couldn’t recognize faces. She had a neurological thing with a Latin name. She was a writer, and we were booked at the same reading, and she gave me a head’s up about her inability to recognize faces, and I wondered how this would apply to a...

Three

Three My girl Is vanilla bean, Lies on the floor like a scraggled mop. One day she makes me breakfast. More than a dozen eggs or so. It is all bubble and scramble, And I would tell her everything if I thought she could take it but she can’t, she would curl up like...

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