Issue 1 – 21

21 issue – November 2021

21 Minutes  by Tess Mangiardi

21 Minutes
by Tess Mangiardi

21 Minutesby Tess MangiardiOne In the first minute of the 21 that would change my life, I was lying hungover in bed watching American Horror Story. It was my last night in Orlando before going back to NYC to start my second semester of college. I was 18. I had just...

Back in the Hood  by Kate Maxwell

Back in the Hood
by Kate Maxwell

Back in the Hoodby Kate MaxwellImagine if she’d been wearing a blue hood. Wafting through the woods in her floaty blue coat, a sweet girl on her way to assist a sick relative. Fragile, pretty as a cornflower, and doe-eyed dopey enough to fall straight into the...

Bastille Day 2021  by Sandra Salinas Newton

Bastille Day 2021
by Sandra Salinas Newton

Bastille Dayby Sandra Salinas NewtonI open today’s email to the Paris Review’s daily poem which,Of course, is one of Charles Baudelaire’s.Ironique, I mutter in my best imitation of Pepé Le Pew becauseOf course, I don’t know FrenchAnd the closest I’ve gotten to it...

Before She Was My Mother  by Bob Thurber

Before She Was My Mother
by Bob Thurber

Before She Was My Motherby Bob ThurberAt eighteen, after winning two local beauty pageants, she hitchhiked to Hollywood, auditioned for a movie role with just one line, landed the part, but production fell through. Then she became pregnant. On all my birthdays she...

Choir of One  by Pavel Sfera

Choir of One
by Pavel Sfera

Choir of Oneby Pavel SferaSome days you can't people so you rediscover the feel of music to hear your own heart beat mostly thumping mostly romance flows eyes closed on the pillow volumes slightly higher you tune out to tune in invisible singing in the back row the...

Come, Blue Light of Healing  by Neall Calvert

Come, Blue Light of Healing
by Neall Calvert

Come, Blue Light of Healingby Neall CalvertElectric ParthenonNo Sirius Night twitterNeall Calvert has 25 years’ experience as a journalist, book editor, poet, writer and photo artist. An associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, Neall writes and photographs...

The Day Gets Away  by Michael Neal Morris

The Day Gets Away
by Michael Neal Morris

The Day Gets Awayby Michael Neal MorrisYou eat whatever is close at hand for breakfast. After some time, you realize you forgot your coffee and gulp it down cold. Before you can get your mind on work, you are on the pot and giving Words with Friends all your creative...

Game Theory  by Mary K O’Melveny

Game Theory
by Mary K O’Melveny

Game Theoryby Mary K O'Melvenysun heated up the afternoonerased memories of rainI had just opened the porch doorstepped onto the deckwhen I saw her climbinga black bear    much bigger than mewas on her way up our ancient apple treejust like last weekup     up     up ...

Gravity  by Elizabeth Boquet

Gravity
by Elizabeth Boquet

Gravityby Elizabeth BoquetStarlight, star bright, first star I see tonight,I wish I may, I wish I might …live to see gravity loosen its grip – lighten up,let the scale say that I weigh less, give me an extra beat to snatch back pencilsas they roll off my desk, and...

Green Water  by Tori Grant Welhouse

Green Water
by Tori Grant Welhouse

Green Waterby Tori Grant WelhouseWhat does he see in the green water?My Scottish husband has a hiddentalent for remembering. He setsgreen water in a glass mugon the table where I sit,carefully turning the handletoward me. In the light of the baywindow, the color of...

I prefer keeping …  by Rick Benjamin

I prefer keeping …
by Rick Benjamin

I prefer keeping a needle & thread on hand just in case by Rick Benjamina button loses its holdon the other side of a hole, a pair of pantsneeds a patch at knee- point, dish-rags askto be made into small drapes, discernablefraying begins at the napes of necks...

New York Before Love  by Caitlin Thomson

New York Before Love
by Caitlin Thomson

New York Before Loveby Caitlin ThomsonThe night before a 6 AM root canal I spokeabout Superman in a club on the lower-east sidewith a man who claimed Batman was too flawedto feature in his arm tattoo. I have more flawsthan Batman I confess, before he asks me out. I...

No Rescue  by Mercedes Lawry

No Rescue
by Mercedes Lawry

No Rescueby Mercedes LawryNobody saved the swimmer. The air turned chilly, swelling with absence. Loud voices broke apart, dissipated to murmurs. The day would soon be over. Each one present experienced their own version of what occurred, and the telling of it would...

an outskirt of limerick. by  D.S. Maolalai

an outskirt of limerick.
by D.S. Maolalai

an outskirt of limerick.by D.S. Maolalaithe others have goneto the bathroom.I've been driving;am outside,refilling the car.a bright day,no weather, clear skyover dry garage forecourt. the sunrolls aboutlike a cat on the concrete,painting the scenerywhite. thisis a...

Piano Crucifixion  by Dian Parker

Piano Crucifixion
by Dian Parker

Piano Crucifictionby Dian ParkerTen small tables, dimly lit, encircled by four green plastic columns; smooth Italian tenors piped in the background; deep burgundy walls hung with oil paintings of young girls seated demurely on velvet cushions with tiny white lap dogs;...

The Ringmaster’s Son …  by Bob Thurber

The Ringmaster’s Son …
by Bob Thurber

The Ringmaster's Son Returns for His Father's Burialby Bob ThurberHe showed up late, driving a clown car painted like a rainbow. He repeatedly blared the horn, which sounded like an elephant trumpeting. Twenty passengers climbed out, none in makeup, none in costumes....

Retriever  by Allan Lake

Retriever
by Allan Lake

Retrieverby Allan LakeI feel for those cold hands as she fishesrubbish from Elwood canal. Her labradornamed Sitboy, tethered to nearby tree,stands on guard then flops down, off-guard.You would not want to touch the stufffloating in that run-off but bare handswork...

Sewing Lessons  by Jo Goren

Sewing Lessons
by Jo Goren

Sewing Lessonsby Jo GorenThimbles once measured spirits, “Just a thimbleful.” Five years old, she visited Mrs. Liggett next door, drank juice out of shot glasses, learned how to push a needle through cloth with a thimble. Thimbles were given as tokens of love.Twelve...

Split Images  by Howie Good

Split Images
by Howie Good

Split Imagesby Howie GoodFrida Kahlo, in a loose robe that allows for a phantom glimpse of her breasts, poses against a background of fussy flowered wallpaper. In a further incongruity, she wears enticingly low on her hips the sort of cartridge belt a Mexican bandit...

The Thing  by Jim Mentink

The Thing
by Jim Mentink

The Thingby Jim MentinkSitting at his desk, the whirring buzz of stink bugs sounding like tiny fighter planes, as they flew in their erratic pattern toward the track lighting he had affixed to the ceiling directly in front of him, he signed the divorce papers. Why...

Varieties of Religious Experience by Bill Waterman

Varieties of Religious Experience
by Bill Waterman

Varieties of Religious Experienceby Bill Waterman(1)The only warnings had been a sensation of grating in his lower back as if a dusting of sugar had worked its way in, then a thrum of nerve so intense he could smell it, like a bloom of iodine in his nose, and then...