Joyful, Sorrowful, and Ordinary Mysteries
Author Raymond Fortunato
Review by Julie Carpenter
This book of short stories spins some entertaining yarns that often defy expectations, especially when you consider that the stories focus largely – though not completely – on what society expects of men and what they expect of themselves. Though these stories sometimes look backward into the twentieth century – the start of the computer age, even back to pre-revolutionary Russia – they wrestle with a problem that has become more and more clearly delineated in the twenty-first century. What exactly is masculinity and how can individual men define it for themselves?
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass
Author Frank Reteguiz
Review by Roy Peak
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass is the story of a man tricked into selling his soul to the devil and his journey to salvage his humanity. Mostly, this is a story about stories. And of stories within stories; stories intertwined amongst each other like a nest of snakes.
Poetry: Ahmad-Al Khatat
by Ahmad-Al Khatat
I once played the role of
I found myself in a closed coffin
on a sorrow’s theatre, as
ageing alone until I found myself
in Baghdad in a friendly
by Julie Carpenter
Lately I’ve been having some odd experiences with time. So, this going to be an odd, drifting sort of blog post. I like that the topic of the piece is also my excuse for the disorganization of my thoughts. I don’t know where to start, so I will start with a dream I had about eternity. (Yes, my subconscious is an odd place.)
I was in my early twenties, and I had a dream about the afterlife. I dreamed I died, and I’d woken up in the living room of my parent’s house, a small cozy wood paneled room with a picture window looking up a hill, past the rustic woodshop, and up to the garden and meadow at the top of the property. In my dream of death, this room was all there was. This evening was the only day and time. A heavy snow fell beyond the window, a single lamp gave off a warm light that didn’t quite reach the dim corners of the room and a fire burned in the woodstove. I was there with the boyfriend I was dating at the time (we weren’t quite getting along in real life, so it seemed strange that we’d somehow chosen to spend the afterlife together – but dream logic does not have to offer reasons). We sat on the couch together, not speaking, looking out into the snowy night. It was very nearly dark, the sky was heavy with clouds, and the tiny light in the room allowed us to see that it was still snowing huge, puffy flakes just outside the window, but beyond that everything had already faded into the silence of night and snow. I was warm and comfortable, but at the same time I felt a deep well of sadness because I knew that this was it. Eternity. Forever was going to be sitting in the same place watching the flurries pile up, fire flickering, in the small circle of light. The moment stretched forward as far as I could see and I could feel memories sinking under the somnambulant weight of the infinite, as though not only the future was disappearing, but my past as well. Everything I was or had the possibility of being had been swallowed by the forever moment, which made it more than just a stop on the space time continuum. It was a black hole of now, sucking everything into it.