ARM-IN-ARM by Nancy Lind

DANIEL DEFOE CONTEST WINNER (“Poor Robin! Poor Robin Crusoe!” – the parrot in Defoe’s ROBINSON CRUSOE) When I read, much later, That the father of ROBINSON CRUSOE Died in Ropemaker’s Alley, hiding from creditors, I cried. I cried like the girl I was, at 8, who first met Robinson, And my heart leapt into my […]

LAST QUARTER MOON by Salvatore Difalco

Lately I’ve been getting dirty looks from people. Not just young people, though they are the worst offenders. Middle-aged people also shoot me dirty looks, and old people assume expressions of mild disgust. I wonder if it’s because I am a middle-aged white man. We’re disliked by many people these days, including members of our […]

THE SERVICE by Thomas N. Hackney

The Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain 100-400 billion stars, the oldest of which are nearly as old as the universe itself. Half of the stars in our galaxy average 6.3 billion, with our sun checking in at 4.8 billion years old. An estimated 10 trillion galaxies populate the universe. Assuming an average of 100 billion […]

That’s hot stuff.

THE SCIENCE AND ART OF STUFF by Bear Jack Gebhardt

I was skimming through the newspaper when I inadvertently glimpsed the fundamental nature of the universe—a glimpse of which physicists (and artists and poets) have been searching, and mostly missing, for millennia. I guess I was just in the right place at the right time. “To my mind,” wrote the noted physicist John Archibald Wheeler, […]

It’s a fable as old as recorded music.

BLUES IN by Tom Larsen

The new releases at Rasputin’s Records were directly to the left of the checkout line. That’s where I first saw Art Pepper staring out from the cover of a Blue Note twofer.  With those haunted eyes and sunken cheeks, he had the refried look of the nasty habit. Friends of ours back home had that […]

we are pretty close to the bottom

KEPLER’S TELESCOPE FINDS FIVE NEW EXOPLANETS by Andrea Wyatt

Imagine a huge thermometer, we are pretty close to the bottom not as low as Jupiter or Neptune bluest of the blue, but a little higher, between water freezes and water boils closer to freezes, on that imaginary glass device with Fahrenheit on one side going up the thermometer past lead melts is Mercury, brighter […]

Walk, walk, walk, wait for the needle...

TWO POEMS by Steve Shilling

  When The Music Stops Call it what you want. Cakewalk, musical chairs, last man standing. I was a master of it. Walk, walk, walk, wait for the needle on the scratchy 45 to stop crackling out the music, walk, walk, walk, THERE! Slide into a seat and bump some poor, slow, schmuck with bad […]

I’ve always wanted fireworks

ILLUMINATIONS by Vivian Wagner

  I’ve always wanted fireworks to be more than they are. So a sphere, why not a tree, with branches cutting high into the night? So a cascade of stars, why not a writhing serpent? So a burning sapphire ball, why not a volcano, rupturing? The industry has names for its effects: ring palm crossette […]

3QR: FREE TO PASS by Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson

LIBERO IL PASSO: FREE TO STEP OR PASS Consider, for a moment, the concept of the Three Quarter True Story: No censorship for writers. No betrayal for readers. No locked doors with mixed messages. When teaching fiction and nonfiction to university students, I’ve found that the question invariably comes up: What is True? We discuss […]