Leopard At the Door
Author, Jennifer McVeigh
by Jarad Johnson
“Authority is not a substitute for the truth.”
As readers, I feel like we can get a little burnt out at times. I certainly have been burnt out on fiction lately. I’ve been preferring to read more information-based texts, usually on plants or some other nerdy garden topic. I began to feel like I was reading the same story over and over again, perhaps because I was buying the same type of books. My shelves are telling me that I need to branch out. I just felt tired and worn out on what seemed to be repetitive plot points and characters that didn’t resonate with me. Part of the problem is that I’m picky and I go through phases. I also have been steering away from depressing and/or darker things lately. The world is dark enough, and my emotional investment can only go so far. Sometimes when you finish a really good book, you feel exhausted. Its similar to physical exhaustion, or a hangover. Perhaps I should just throw myself into it, but I’d rather escape, and I’m tending to steer towards more comforting or light stories. It’s strange how things shift like that, isn’t it?
Once A Day
by Lane Mochow
Once A Day
when I was little,
we left the house once a day:
the gas station on the corner for diet coke,
the mall for making up stories
about what the teenagers
meant by their foreign lingo.
the grocery store for bagels, black beans, burritos.
the restaurant for filling long-gurgling stomachs
egg rolls, dollar burgers, ice water with lemon.
the greenway to name edible plants
in case the economy collapsed and I
a lone child without moccasins, turquoise, teepees
(as i imagined my ancestors had)
were left to collect watercress,
pick the leaves from dandelions,
dig up sassafras root with my nimble fingers.
the bank to wear my nicest ankle length skirt
to stand behind her in silence
as mommy cashed her check
stuffing the cash in her billfold
as though her life depended on it
i never noticed the knowing look in the cashier's eye,
the wag of his buzz cut at our arrival,
the wipe of her minimum wage saltwater,
when mommy's beaded braids
the ever-present rustling of a brooding hurricane
came upon the horizon.
mommy's rage would white knuckle grip
their great black oaks at the trunk,
plead into Jesus' dime per minute payphone
they drown in a clawfoot of their own blood.
"Say amen! Say amen! Say amen!"
Lane Mochow is the author of the chapbook, "Ink." He won first place in the 2018 Tennessee Magazine Poet's Playground in the 19-22 category. He has contributed poetry reviews at Sacred Chickens.
A Wolf At the Door
by Julie Carpenter
“First you live forever then you die”
And before you go, you should listen to Roy Peak’s new album. For this album, Roy slows down just a little. Like the aging wolf in “Walk with Me Now” he brings the reader along for a slow walk with some dark turns. In the meantime, there is beauty.
As a writer, I find that I appreciate Roy’s music on a narrative level. Every album creates a mood and tells me a story. Someday, I’m going to just sit down and listen to each of Roy’s albums, follow the character he creates in my mind and do a series of short stories based solely on his music. Until that day, let me assure you that the mood of this album is right for reflection here at the end of the world.
This Other Me
by Roy Peak
Here's another original story by our friend and music editor, Roy Peak! Happy Peak Week Chickens!
Monday sucked. Kyle was late with the files I'd ordered which put me late for my meeting with Henderson which made me miss lunch which upset my stomach which caused me to spew all over Kolbinskie's shoes as he passed by my cube which made him order me to go home early. "Big meeting with Holpatrick and Ferguson tomorrow. Get some rest, Julia," and when I went outside to my car it was gone. Stolen.
I waited forty-five minutes in the coffee shop for an officer to fill out a report. My cell was in the car and my husband ignored the forty calls I made to his cell from the payphone at the coffee shop--he never answered unknown numbers--so I had to catch a cab home. Twenty-one dollars and fifty-cents plus tip. It was dark when I finally walked up the driveway. In the garage sat Dan's BMW--he was always forgetting to close the garage door--and my Volvo wagon sat in the drive. Had the police already recovered it? Weird.
As I walked toward the front steps I fished the house keys out of my purse. Something caught my eye as I passed by the window. I took two steps back and stared. There was a woman in my kitchen and she was washing the dishes. What the hell?
- the Links
Sacred Chickens Staff
Maybe you haven't met our multi-talented friend and music editor, Roy Peak. Even if you have, you may not be aware of how very much stuff he's good at. Here's a list to get you started.
Roy is an accomplished musician in addition to being our music editor. In fact, we sometimes wonder how we managed to get him to help us out at all. (Morty suggests it could be the blackmail. Meh...maybe.)
Reviews of Roy's Music
Rocking Magpie reviews A Wolf at the Door
Twangri-la reviews An Ever Darkening Sky
Sacred Chickens reviews All is Well
Music Reviews by Roy
Roy reviews A Day Without Love by Brian Walker
Roy reviews Western by James Hyland
Roy's retrospective of Bill Sheffield
You might think we're done...but nope.
Throw in some book reviews!
Like this review of The Low Wire by John Obermeyer
or All I Ever Wanted by Kathy Valentine
And interviews? Yep.
Check out his interview with Wonky Tonk.
Tomorrow look for the first story he ever published with us! Go get one of his albums and use it for a soundtrack while you read.
Animal Tales of the
by Roy Peak
Once again chicks and chickens, it’s Peak Week! This week Music Editor Roy Peak is taking over the coop. Here’s a brand-new original story to start things out.
Later this week, look for links to his music, some of his other original creative writing, and all the music he’s reviewed. As a special treat, we’re reviewing his new Album A Wolf at the Door!
Anyway, without further delay: Here’s Roy's newest original story!
From his perch on the branch of the big oak tree that stood near the pond, the big black crow could see that the buzzards were circling again. They were doing that more frequently, ever since the humans had all gotten sick, and started dying in the streets. The weird part is some of the dead humans got back up and kept on going, eating other humans or whatever unfortunate creatures that got too close to them. Weird.
The crow knew better than to eat sick humans. That was a good way to get sick yourself, but the buzzards didn't care, and had been enjoying their feasts. Until they too started getting sick. Just yesterday he had seen four sick buzzards, no longer able to fly, attacking each other until there was nothing left but broken beaks and a lot of blood and feathers.
So the old crow stayed away from the sick humans, hunted the occasional frog or mouse, ate from the cornfields to the east, and scavenged nuts that fell from the trees in the park. He was an old crow, all his hatchling siblings were long gone, scattered like leaves in the wind, so he spent most of his days alone—eating, flying, watching. He used to enjoy watching the humans. They did the most interesting things: Walk their dog companions in the park. Race their metal boxes around the city streets. Spend hours in their nests, staring at their talking bright-light boxes. Coddle some of the plants in their yards, while chopping and killing others. Some of the things the humans did made no sense to the crow, maybe that’s what made them interesting.
by Sacred Chickens
We’re glad you would like to be part of the Sacred Chickens Writing Community! Do we love to hear ourselves talk? Sure. But one of our goals is to give new and emerging writers (and even old and decrepit writers like Julie and Morty) a place to share their work. As such we would like to invite you to be part of our conversation.
If you have a book review, poetry, prose poetry, or short story you think our readers would like, let us know! We are open to most styles and genres, but we tend to gravitate towards stories that are unsettling, unnerving, or question the status quo. We also tend to appreciate it if you throw in a cat, a witch or a chicken now and again…or all three. We will even consider opinion pieces that tie in politics and philosophy with literature.