Archive for ‘March, 2016’

Featured: Punch Lines

Gary Glauber

Listen to the poem below.


She is the empress of exaggeration,
hyperbole her summer home.
She uses the largest knives to
cut the smallest items:
mincing, dicing, never explaining
something we’ve come to expect.
Her bold stories convey
strife, loves, loss, global dangers,
cautionary tales that trade on common fears
so that none of us mere mortals
has to experience all she has gone through,
year after year, side trips,
crumbled marriages,
hard knocks and harder ones yet.
As the pregnant orange sun crawls
over her shoulder, you might spot
the wrinkles hidden behind the cosmetics,
the …

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Featured: Fig Tree Summers

S.R. Stewart


I made freezer meals from the remnants
of my birth, to keep my mother with me, always.

I remember,
scalding water on my toes
you christened me in a broken tub
behind the motel.

Your blood sopped off
with a rag,
that smells of fig trees floated on gas-waved air.

I wonder every day why
didn’t you leave me to drown.



SR Stewart is a freelance writer making in her way through the Pacific Northwest one state at a time. Her mentors include Dana Gioia, Joe Wenderoth, Andy Jones and Greg Glazner. Stewart loves crocheting, …

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Featured: How the Two Points Meet

Justin Goodman

Listen to the poem below.



Desire is a glowering fire, and the tungsten filament
Keeps away the Evil Eye. How many Nazar does it take?
When the beads blink with light, it is enough;
When iris by iris they change shade, it is enough;
When the blackened world grows wild with bright, enough,

I have seen enough to hold my arm over this sea,
Its nymph wings rising, and watch
The wings speak tongues to the sky,

The arm’s dark side brimming with reflection
I swear I can see the fish in
As their fins flicker …

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Featured: Northwest Passage

Todd Mercer

Listen to the poem:



Ingenue on foot for miles
northwest from the Logan Square station,
the weather couldn’t be better. She diagnoses
neighborhoods, their themes and aims,
quirks, and social cures. Steadily outward,
past Milwaukee Avenue & California,
‘til her power plant’s expended.
Then food vapors take her into a café
that lacks that fourth front wall. Small
but charming, open. It’s a mundane morning
or it’s a bounty of incoming details, this city;
the day is a stair-step toward a greater breakthrough
a synthesized everything theory, grounded
in the ranks of brick-built brownstones. Ingenue
stretches …

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Featured: A Chant Against Lonely

Published in Issue 9 of Two Cities Review

Mary Caroll-Hackett

One focus point in the brain, one lobe, one light, sitting up on the side of the bed at night, fingers tapping out incantations in the rumpled sheets, some sleep-deprived meditation.

Say I am open. Say I am willing. Say I am hungry. Say I am ready, even if you’re not.

The bed is hot, and empty, the windows ache toward a deep night sky now too familiar.  Constellation identification, even as the seasons reel. How the deer drift, take their time, no need to run this late, in the …

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Featured: Sufficiency

Published in Issue 9 of Two Cities Review

Charlene Langfur

Today all of it matters, the start, the finish,
the dark, the light. Around here each year
this is the time the heat increases, this is why I
care about what works best in the desert, where
sitting still in the hottest part of the day is a skill.
In the winter long walking is okay any time
and planting seeds is easily done . In a hot time
it is different, how to treat sunflower seeds and
calendula matters, early morning water is crucial.
Protecting the miniature plants to …

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Featured: After the Nazis

Gavin Adair


She sifts through the dirt. Again. This time the hole has squared corners

and the sides are a cool and loamy clay. It is like a small chip

in the earth, just a speck. Who could think there has ever been a cut here?

Who could think there has never been a cut here?


Who could think a nick has not been made here and flesh removed? She sifts

thought the soil, her hands come up with bits of something – enamel covered

in decades of dirt. You can see they’re forever stained once it is …

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Letter from the Editors, Spring 2016, Issue 9

Subscribe to read the full issue

Dear Readers,

A MAN’S SON, LOST IN THE QUAGMIRE OF SYRIA. ANOTHER SON, NEARLY LOST IN RELIGIOUS “EX-GAY” THERAPY. A WOMAN STRUGGLING TO KEEP HER FAMILY’S SECRETS SAFE. Our March 2016 issue might be our most dramatic collection of true and fictional stories yet.

What makes a story electric? We have been exploring this question as we assemble Issue 9, and discussing it in our growing podcast (check out our latest episode on iTunes or at In our latest issue of the magazine, we return again and again to characters struggling to …

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Featured: An Object in Motion

Published in Issue 9 of Two Cities Review

Listen to our interview with the author in Episode 6 of our podcast.

Corie Rosen

She could leave him if she wanted.  It might be the right decision.  It just might.  That was what Carolyn told herself as she leaned up on her elbow, face turned toward the window, listening to the Big Bopper while Henry drove.  It was the second day they had spent streaking through the desert.  By the time they arrived in California, the Subaru would be wearing layers of caked on dirt across its blue metal, Colorado silt …

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