Here are two poems by the very talented, Theresa Hamman. We don't know why she would insult such great pieces of art by displaying them in a venue as shoddy as ours but we're sure glad she did and think that you will be, too. Thanks again for your submissions, Theresa! Maybe we should retitle this page "Atomic Flypaper," because we'd like the talented writers to stick around. (That's probably enough out of me, now.)
Rural Oregon. Tuesday. In September
Someone is burning garbage in a barrel.
The odor mingles with bacon, cut grass, roses.
An early breeze
lifts the edges of the table cloth.
The cat rolls
in a sunspot on the carpet,
a black bowling ball with yellow-eyed finger holes.
a doe munches an apple near the creek bank.
After such a dry summer, the creek is rocks.
The girls chatter
about clothes or boys
they drown out CNN.
My father calls from Arizona,
“We are under attack. Is your T.V. on?”
My girls flank me.
shining through the crystal candy dish,
detonates a kaleidoscope on the living room wall.
the doe leaps over the creek and bolts into the forest.
My father, “We are at war.”
in her sunspot, nothing makes her happier.
A Mind Without a Bird
The coffee brews
whether I’m awake or not.
And I am never awake.
perched atop the spruce
I become scarce--
young or open
The mirror’s bloom,
this old face,
this gray plumage.
The Robin sings
her strong language
for the breathless.
I am weary of her lyric.
My cloistered mind
The coffee brews.
A crooked finger,
A short arm,
An aching bone.
without a bird.
Theresa Hamman is a poet from La Grande, Oregon. Her poems can be found in the following: The Tower Journal, Oregon East, basalt, The Paddock Review, Red Savina Review and Nailed. She holds an MFA in poetry from Eastern Oregon University and is currently in the process of earning her MA in Literature from Mercy College in New York. Her first poetry chapbook collection, All Those Lilting Tongues was published in September 2018 and is available from Finishing Line Press.
Here links to my social media pages:
Here are links to my book's online bookstore pages:
Thanks to A.R. Yngve for sharing our first short fiction piece to post--hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
"We're all out of chicken," said the manager.
"Any rat left?" asked the cook.
"Had one in the fridge and I gave it to my family."
"We could go looking for dogs."
"Forget it. They run too fast."
The cook started to peel potatoes over the sink. "There's got to be something we haven't tried yet."
The manager looked out the window. The sky was still dark from the fallout caused by the war. Then he brightened up. "We haven't served Invader."
The cook turned to look over his shoulder and made a grimace. "They smell."
"But what can we do? The bastards killed all our livestock, all our poultry. The war is over and our customers are screaming for meat, meat, meat."
The cook stopped peeling and gave the manager a serious look. "Give me a day or two to think about this. And bring me an invader carcass, a fresh one."
"Sure," said the manager. "They don't rot like animal corpses, so there's plenty to go around."
A week later, the cook approached the manager with a sheet. "I've got some ideas for a new menu. Tell me what you think."
The manager read the sheet:
MARIOSTO'S RESTAURANT & CAFÉ
- OUR NEW SPRING MENU -
Invader Slices on Toast
Invader Shepherd's Pie
Main Course (salad included):
Fried Invader Meatballs
Each child gets a FREE Bouncy Dried Invader Eyeball
Invader in Syrup Sauce
"Sounds good... but have you actually made any of these courses? Say, what's that smell?" The manager sniffed and his stomach rumbled.
"Try some," said the cook and gave him a plate of Invader Pie and Pickles.
After he had wiped his mouth, the manager smiled. "You've saved us, Luigi! This is delicious!" He had second thoughts. "What about health issues?"
The cook shrugged. "I got the smell out of the meat by adding lots of vinegar, but there's a catch." His skin had started to turn a shade of green. "Eating Invader makes your skin change color, and you develop a taste for insects."
The manager scratched himself. "We could use makeup, I suppose."
"I suppose." A fly buzzed through the kitchen and they both looked hungrily at it.
On the TV screen in the corner, a news broadcast announced that the Invaders had officially been defeated, and that the President would address the world within a few hours. "At last," said the voice from the TV set, "we have won."
Find A.R. Yngve on Twitter and Instagram! Check out his books and book trailers too! Find his interview with us here.
A.R.Yngve's official website:
A.R.Yngve's books on Amazon
(NOTE: "Served" is featured in my short story collection THE FLATTERED PLANET, also for sale on Amazon):
A.R.Yngve's Instagram feed:
I was 13 years old.
13 years old
and 70 lbs.
70 lbs., with 40 lbs.
stripped away within
My parents urged me to eat more,
“You look like we aren’t feeding you.”
I forced complex carbohydrates
into my body, instantly rejected,
as hyperglycemia dragged me
to deep sleep,
and nightmares of fading away.
deserted my bones.
13 years old,
I couldn’t understand why
every meal left me in pain,
curled up in bed,
the room spinning,
with eyes forced closed.
I was 13
and my pancreas
was killing my body.
I woke up in the morning, later than normal, 8:30a.m, stretching out my limbs in my twin sized bed, hearing the popping of shoulder joints and the crackling of frail ankles. Leaving bed, I placed my hands along the walls of my pale blue hallway, chalked up with heightmarks from my youth, when I was younger and unafraid. In the bathroom, I clung to the sink. Eyes sunken back, pupils overtaking iris, cheekbones protruding, rib cage bearing the brunt of my sickness, the slow beating of my heart.
Struggling to hold myself up, the weakness and the exhaustion overpowered my body. I fell into tile, giving in. Awoke at South Shore Medical in Kingston to questions about the necessity of medevac, and how long my organs could withstand the stress crippling them. My vision blurred into the harsh settling of reds and blues.
Children’s Hospital opened its mouth and swallowed me whole, disease and all. Needles forced their way through my paper skin, insulin to “save” me, from myself. Three IV’s, four, interwoven in tangles across my lap, I struggled to comprehend why my blood was poison, why my blood sugar was “The second highest ever recorded, 950, only second to the little girl who passed away last week.”
“If you didn’t come in when you did, you probably wouldn’t have woken up today.”
Three windows in my corner room,
shone light onto my bed.
And in that moment
I felt warm again.
Check out Sean on Instagram! You can find his site here. Oh, and he also interviewed with us!