by Darryl Halbrooks
“When was the last time you talked to your dad?” Jennifer asks.
“I don’t know, maybe five years. Something like that.”
“I know you don’t want to, but maybe you should call.”
“I’ve seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than talk to Dad.”
She ignores my oft-used Monty Python line.
“He’s in the vulnerable population you know.” Continue reading
by D. Dina Friedman
As my mother lay dying, we sat around her bed listening to a Bach Brandenburg Concerto on a no-name discount CD.
“Look, she likes the music!” Aunt Elissa gushed. And sure enough, something in my mother’s body had loosened—a small slackening in the muscles of her mouth, which continued to draw a rattled, but rhythmic and regular breath, like the pulse of counterpoint fueling Bach’s twisted knot of repeating melodies. Continue reading
by Peter Krumbach
—for Ron Salisbury
Ron says in a lifetime we each swallow fourteen spiders. That’s about a spider every five years, I say. It’s 92 degrees. We stand on the sidewalk between Luna’s Psychic Reading and Happy Head (Foot Reflexology and Massage). Ron has been married four times, almost killed twice. The last few weeks he’s been contemplating building a canoe. To remind myself, he says, what birch-bark and cedar ribs can do for the spirit. Continue reading
by Ken Nishizaki
(Translated by Toshiya Kamei)
I don’t remember who started calling him “Starman.”
Was it Kondo who worked at the bar? Was it Shorty, a self-proclaimed drummer who quit the band after a month?
One day at an izakaya, Starman told us he’d come to Earth from another planet in a distant galaxy. Since then, he’d been known as Starman. This is his story. Continue reading
by Elizabeth Primamore
Chalks pulled the ‘72 Corolla into the faculty parking lot. Keys in his pocket, he hurried across the lot, waved to the patrol guard, walked up a few stairs, and went through the double brown doors of Harding in Kearny. He shook in his coat a little. The day was overcast and sleet was starting to fall – unseasonal weather for early November. It felt good to be inside. Continue reading