Keller was late to the party, later even than the Phillips had come to expect. He’d neglected to wrap Rachel’s gift before leaving and had to stalk the house for paper and ribbon, settling on a vaguely festive red bag mashed inside a kitchen drawer.
The hallway mirror told him the chowder stain across his breast was more apparent than he’d realized. It was his only jacket; he’d have to find a dark corner of the ballroom and hope no one came too close. Then, as a grace note on the evening’s already stammering shuffle, he found his station wagon still loaded with cement mix. By the time he unloaded everything and pulled into the road his collar was soaked, his skull squeezed tight. He wished he’d remembered a flask.
Continue reading “Tom Baragwanath: Gorgeous Blue” →
My Bubbe came over from the other side packed in steerage like a sardine when she was eleven, then headed straight to a shirt factory. She had no choice. One of twelve children, she never learned to read or write, she spoke broken English and had to go through a lot of hardship in her lifetime. By the time I came along Bubbe needed a cane, she walked side to side and stopped to rest after every few steps, but she’d seen things other people hadn’t, and knew things they didn’t know.
Continue reading “AN Block: Once the Fireworks Start” →
Edwardo is on my case again. The temporary title of acting manager at The Napolitano Ristorante weighs uneasily upon his crown. I can always tell when the “suits” that monitor this branch of the franchise are planning an inspection. Everything is swept, then double swept. I am warned to follow the rules with regard to how many ounces of topping the manuals call for. I’ve explained all too often that, when I’m busy, it’s grab a handful of mushrooms or peppers and dress the pie. I don’t have time to weigh everything. I usually add the fact that I’m the only pizza guy who works alone, juggling and tossing the pies with dazzling acrobatics which has them nearly touching the ceiling—a great crowd pleaser. I then dress many different combos while my sixth sense tells me when to check the oven.
Continue reading “Don Fredd: Temp to Perm: A Journey” →
We stare out at each other through the mirror,
He stands in his bathroom,
towel wrapped around his hips,
foam covers his face as he glides
the razor beneath his chin.
Continue reading “Kim Malinowski: Reflection” →
On TV, Bogie in a trenchcoat is paused
exactly between knowing and not knowing.
While outside fireworks pop
in the daylight’s last gleaming.
10 years ago, on the Redneck Riviera,
my wife and I watched
Continue reading “Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue: July 4, 2017” →
The bulldozers have come and gone.
Over days and weeks, they have
razed much of my childhood,
erased every trace — house, barn,
garage, every outbuilding.
Continue reading “Glen Sorestad: Bulldozers” →
The executioner in the painting by Castro Pacheco
in the Governor’s Palace in Merida appears poised
to initiate the torture entrusted to him.
The spearhead has been heated to a fiery glow,
the sword honed to suit the grisly work he is
about to undertake, to punish the refusal Continue reading “Glen Sorestad: Pacheco’s Murals” →
The dawn seen through old memories and mist
Seeps down the mountain at the hint of the sun
And the day is brightened with light’s first kiss:
All while the land is painted with colors spun,
Continue reading “James G. Piatt: A Sonnet to Dawn” →