Along a road


flash fiction


by Christopher Woods

Maybe I find it along a road. Abandoned, with a skin of dust. I bend down to get a better look. Wonder how long it’s been there, if time and the elements have brittled it. The desire to touch it is intense. Nothing else, I imagine, will feel quite the same way this does...

First Kiss


flash fiction



by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Such a close call. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, though my German was good enough to know Kafka for dead-pan drop-dead hilarious. I aspired too high to breathe, reached so high that I could grasp nothing at all. Certainly I could not grasp Nothing. I needed Nothing, to redeem my clumsy existence. And Kafka and I were both K. I could feel his bruises, acquired easy as breathing made brown on magnolia petals. And for my senior thesis, I proposed to the department chair:  I’ll write my thesis on Kafka’s parables, the really hermeneutic stories...


Nowhere boy


flash fiction


by Thaddeus Rutkowski

An electric radio sat on top of the refrigerator in my family’s house.  My mother was the one who turned the radio on. She liked music, and sometimes she would sing along.

The radio had a clockface that told my siblings and me when it was time to leave for school...

Still Telepathic


flash fiction


by Yoshiro Takayasu (translated by Toshiya Kamei)

Ryota dreamed he saw God, for the ninth time. He had quarreled with his girlfriend Misa earlier that day. Out of the blue, she said, “As beautiful as ever, don’t you think so too?”

“I saw them every year,” Ryota answered, glancing in the direction she pointed...

The Cha-Cha babes of pelican way




by  Frances Metzman 

The piercing sound of the phone startled Celia Ewing awake. With a feeling of dread, she fumbled for her cell on the night table.

“Celia.” A female voice squeaked like a trapped mouse.

“Marcy? What’s going on?” Celia propped herself up on an elbow and checked the clock on her nightstand. It was nearly 3:00 a.m.  

“Um, big problem here. I need help.” Marcy’s voice sounded squished.

Celia heard a wheezing intake of breath, and a guttural outtake. “Marcy, honey, should I call 911?”

The Confessional Dilemma




by Eric Greinke

Confessionalism has been a major force in poetry since its emergence in the mid-fifties.  Although it reached its peak as a literary movement in the seventies, its impact is felt to this day because its primary value (candor) has been integrated by both academic and independent literary factions.  The widespread editorial and aesthetic preference for autobiographical realism impoverishes poetry and often imprisons poets on the arid moral badland between altruism and narcissism, having to choose between writing for oneself or for others...

the nautilus of Robert Lowell's "skunk hour"





by Scott Edward Anderson

Poet Robert Lowell turned 40 in 1957, the same year he became a father and three years after his mother’s death. Harriet Lowell was born in early January, to Lowell and his second wife, the writer Elizabeth Hardwick. In March, Lowell left for a tour of the West Coast, stopping first in Seattle, where he spent “a grand rather too active stay” with poet Theodore Roethke, drinking too much whiskey before finally escaping to the relative calm of Vancouver...

The Poetry of Teresa Méndez-Quigley, Kyle Heger, David Livewell, Lavinia Kumar, and Maria Ceferatti





In this issue the SVJ is proud to host a short collection of poems by the authors Teresa Méndez-Quigley, Kyle Heger, David Livewell, Lavinia Kumar, and Maria Ceferatti. Follow the link below, and you won't be disappointed. 


Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, Musehouse Workshops &
the Literary Community 




With Contributions by Amy Small-McKinney, Grant Clauser, Faith Paulsen, Susan Holck, David Ryan, Phyllis Strock, Susan Taichman-Robins, and Suzanne Alex Sheeder

Local writers and loved ones reflect on the significance of Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno and share poems inspired by the Musehouse community in this remembrance. 

Three Poems by Kathleen
Sheeder Bonanno 




by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

Death Barged In

In his Russian greatcoat, 
slamming open the door
with an unpardonable bang, 
and he has been here ever since...

Friday Night and All that 


non Fiction 


by Shirley Vernick

The window was open just enough to let in the cool night air. I’d decided to start my weekend with a quick stop at The Milky Way, a bar more the size of a dwarf planet than a galaxy, conveniently situated along my walk home from work. Sitting alone at a table overlooking the street traffic, feigning fascination with the ice formations in my Sea Breeze, I felt content. I wasn’t looking to go home with someone, after all. I just wanted to decompress at the end of a long week. A drink, some canned music, the flattery of a few passing eyes, that was plenty, or at least good enough...