by M.V. Montgomery I. DREAMS AND LITERATURE The shape of dreams That old self of mine who used to hole up in the library stacks to study for ten hours straight, that student who read more books than Wilt Chamberlain had mistresses—he’s been absent in the flesh, now, for many years.  I sometimes wonder if any of those books he once made it his business to know, which used to appear on everyone’s BA and MA English major’s lists, help now to shape my dreams. It must be acknowledged that those classic novels and collections were usually more mannered than plotty, … Continue reading DREAMBLOG


by Natalie Pepa Ever since I was a little girl, growing up in a village outside Buenos Aires, I was haunted by an old Ukrainian story.  I often heard it from my mother in a traditional song, her way of keeping intact the strings that tied her to her family and her homeland.  A past she and my father lost during the war. Oh, do not go young man to the evening revels For you’ll find the girls there are bewitching devils. And the one with eyebrows most charming and dark Knows every spell and will make you her mark. She … Continue reading SOME SUNDAY MORNING


by Brent Schree You can try strawberry Crèmesavers if you want, but for me it was those red-and-white-swirled peppermints you get at restaurants. The green ones never worked…they had to be red. We went to eat at Pizza Hut, back when people actually ate inside. It was out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farms and highways. We were meeting family there, most likely; I have a vague recollection of my aunt being there. I also remember my early troubles with melted cheese, the gooey string forming an unbroken conduit from my stomach to the pizza slice—to this day … Continue reading TIME AND MINTS


by Eric Day One midwinter’s night, when I was fifteen, I’d gone to bed with what I thought was a bug bite on the right side of my face. I’d scratched it casually, as a boy does when he is thinking of other things like girls and school and the next day, only to find out in the morning that that side of my face had swollen up twice the size of the other and grown tight as a thumb of a catcher’s mitt. My face as a ninth grader was already marginal, what with my long chin and pale skin, … Continue reading THE HOSPITAL LOBBY CHANNEL PRESENTS: MY FAMILY


by Kent Monroe My father piloted B52s for the Strategic Air Command during the height of the Cold War, and it’s a damn fine thing my mother wasn’t beside him in the cockpit, because if she was our journey to the stars would have been placed on pause for a century or three. Trust me. She would have eventually said something that crossed the crooked line, and my crazy bastard of a father would have snapped. He did it all the time at home, so I see no reason to believe he wouldn’t do it up there, closer to the … Continue reading SIX PIECES OF FRUIT


by Clio Contogenis He lives on my floor, at the end of the second of the four hallways that branch out from the elevator somewhat like the legs of a spider. He strides down the hallway with his hands in his pockets, bouncing with each step as if his legs are too long to move his body efficiently. He is always dressed in the same black leather jacket, which exudes the musty, cigarette-tinged odor that comes from spending years in the same closet. He is the sort of tall, lean person who tends to mold himself into a doorframe whenever there … Continue reading ALL THE BEST STRANGERS HAVE MOMMIE ISSUES


by James Stafford My fifth grade teacher bore a striking resemblance both in appearance and personality to a rotten jack-o-lantern, but with a beehive hairdo. Mrs. Brannon was 168 years old, and every one of those years was spent staring down the barrel of a room full of ten-year-olds. Her clothes were tired, her hair was tired. The only thing about Mrs. Brannon that remained animated was her voice, a 120 decibel growl mellowed in an oak cask of bourbon and tobacco smoke. If you were to track down Mrs. Brannon, who is now 283 and still teaching the fifth … Continue reading BABY COME BACK


(Or another tale of an accidental Indian) by Howard Winn      When I finally retired from my teaching position, the Director of Human Resources, who used to be called just “Personnel Office,” as if the space were the person, in the “exit interview” noted that the infinitesimal percentage for Native Americans on his “affirmative action report” would be gone. He was not particularly happy about that circumstance because, he said, we were actually one of the few Community Colleges in the state who could have such a statistic to report and he had just lost his bragging rights.      Of … Continue reading NATIVE AMERICAN


by Melissa Palmer In the fly world, there is no nuance, no breaking of news, no small talk. One fly would never approach another wondering how to break the news that the other was just not acting appropriately. There are no fly social networks. There are just quadrillions and quadrillions and quadrillions of simple, single-minded flies. Of those quadrillions, it started with just one in our house. It was large and black fly with giant soulless eyes and slow moving wings that buzzed like helicopter blades when it flew by. It seemed mocking as it hovered just in front of … Continue reading SHATTERED


by Hunter Liguore What do you fear when you sit down to write? A myriad of emotions can sift through a writer, attempting to wrangle from the creative mind an assembled story, with characters engaged in all sorts of revelry. Most writers don’t consider the effects of fear in their daily process. Fear is the debilitating emotion that prevents us from going on. It is the force that makes lengthy excuses for why we can’t write. It is, next to procrastination, the fire burning up our sail, forcing us to abandon projects, and call it quits, or worse to abandon … Continue reading WRITING DOWN FEAR