Friday, May 31, 2019

Peace Officer (a poem)

By Felicia Zapata Finnegan

A cup of coffee
A doughnut as he strode
All he had the time for
As he rushed to hit the road

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Fiction: Sunlight in a Cave
(a graphic short story)

Author in filmgrain
A “captioning” of the Mike Magliano story

By Bob Boldt

[Editor’s Note: A text version of this story appeared here on May 15. Bob had intended for some images to be included, but a series of editorial snafus intervened, and they weren’t. Today’s publication is Bob & Moristotle’s collaborative attempt to save the situation “creatively,” not just by adding Bob’s original images, but also by adding many more images and making them primary by arranging the text entirely as captions under them. Let’s see how well – or whether – it worked.]

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Poet Michael H. Brownstein, welcome!

By Moristotle

With the poem posted below this announcement, Michael H. Brownstein joins our staff and launches a column we call “All Over the Place” because his poetry seems to range the world, speaking at many levels of human experience.

All Over the Place:
The night of the freight train

May 22, 2019, around midnight, Jefferson City, Missouri

By Michael H. Brownstein

When the great train exploded from the heavens
like huge bombs of gray napalm, the lights did not flicker,
they went out, everything deep in a cave black.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Loneliest Liberal:
Pop culture marks generations

Star Trekkers,
for example

By James Knudsen

When you get to a certain age, you’re not eager to provide a number. You hedge, fudge, lie, add a suffix — usually “-ish.” I like to provide a range. Telling someone who was President provides a range. If you were born during Franklin Roosevelt’s time in office, you can be in your mid-seventies to mid-eighties. I’m a Lyndon Johnson baby, which provides a smaller window. Any way you slice it, I’m in my fifties. The only upside is that it is rare to find a junior college student who knows that we had a President named Johnson and even rarer that they know when he was in office.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

One lone Chevy in the big back lot
(a pink poem)

By Geoffrey Dean

One lone Chevy in the big back lot
Grabs my eye as I find my spot.
No big deal, or so you might think –
’Cept this Chevy is a sparkling pink.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Movie Review: Black ’47

Or just when you think things can’t get grimmer

By Bob Boldt

If you are ever looking for a bleaker Irish travelogue, look no further than Lance Daly’s 2018 Irish period drama film, Black ’47, whose title refers to the most devastating year of the Irish famine, 1847.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fiction: Sunlight in a Cave
(a short story)

Author’s portrait painted
by Jane B. Mudd
A new telling of the Mike Magliano story

By Bob Boldt

[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story appeared here on March 20, under the title, “How the Wild Came to Rest.” Bob Boldt wrote it for a fiction-writing workshop, for which he promised there would be another version. When he submitted the new version, he alerted me that the story had taken “a quite divergent and surprising turn” – a turn that called for the completely different title.
    I asked Bob what happened during the rewrite? Did it surprise him? I think it only fair to share his response, which you might like to read before you read “Sunlight in a Cave.”

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Poetry & Portraits: Chair

Drawing by Susan C. Price

By Eric Meub

[Originally published on December 14, 2013]

She closed no doors at home. Sometimes they’d shout
at her, slammed by the wind: a single clap
of violent conclusion, like a trap
to seal her in a room. Or keep her out.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Fiction: Justice Is Missing (flash fiction)

By Bob Boldt

Sooner or later somebody writing for the Alt Left was certain to report it, certainly not the most significant person, no one of consequence, in fact. In fact, later the authorities even questioned the reporter’s relationship to the missing person. All the usual sources took immediate offense at such an outrageous disappearance. A million op-eds immediately sprouted, while squadrons of right-winged hawks took roost on their bottom line. All our newsprint suddenly became stained with yellow ink. Some claimed that her disappearance was an invention of fake news. Others disagreed, while still others agreed, but only to disagree. Still others said they had seen her as late as last week. A sheriff in Tennessee claimed to have found her sword and scales in the back seat of a 1964 faded metallic green Buick Skylark convertible with a white top, in a junk yard hidden behind a Memphis motel. As of deadline, her blindfold is still being sought.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sketches from the Twin Cities

Spirit Symphony

By Geoffrey Dean

Last month, I drove to Sioux Falls to participate in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s season-closing concerts of Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (on April 27 & 28). Being one “of a thousand” inspired a poem:
Horizon light in peach pastel
Beyond the gray-limbed trees ahead
Gave grainy texture to my drive
To symphonize a state away.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Be Happy

It’s your choice

By Sharon Stoner

[Editor’s Note: Readers need to know where Sharon is coming from, in order to understand that her advice was hard won and does not come from a place of comfort and ease. Sharon has experienced much pain and suffering. I asked her three days ago how her hands and kidneys were doing.