by Charlie Robert
Like Heathcliff on the Moor
He comes in the worst part of the night.
The moon has either set
or never risen.
There are no intelligent constellations
His Mother rips off her dress as
he slides fishlike from her V.
His Amniotic Sack.
The Caul of Good Fortune.
Dark and bright.
She names him Judas
because she likes the name.
When he is twenty-two he will
Win the War.
Across the hall someone else is born and
lives three minutes.
Filled with a high pitched keening.
Like Heathcliff on the moor.
Fragments of a Revolution
Author, Seb Doubinsky
by Naomi Ulsted
Seb Doubinsky’s novel, Fragments of a Revolution, plunges the reader into a world of violence in the first few pages. The reader will come to find the nuances, quirks and beauties within our narrator, Lorenzo’s memories of this failed 1969 revolution in Mexico, but Doubinsky makes sure the reader can’t forget this is no joke, an idealistic adventure, but not without violent consequences.
by Jarad Johnson
If you know anything about Julie and Jarad, it’s that they love plants. In fact, they are plant obsessed. So, what did they do during quarantine? They gardened. They planted, and they dug around in the soil to find some sanity in an otherwise topsy turvy world. Good grief, this time last year, we feared for our democracy, were sheltering in place, seeing people in masks felt apocalyptic instead of normal, and everyday the news reported more and more death from a virus with no vaccine and seemingly no end. We lived (and live) in dark times. The only solution the two of them knew was to garden. It’s a source of solace, a cure for depression, and provides a sense of fulfillment.
Pink Moon in Scorpio
You Wouldn't Understand
by Lane Mochow
Pink Moon in Scorpio
I count how many times
the moon yanks on her
it may only be two,
but the tunnel divides himself,
by viscose cellophane or irradiated glass
last night, I forgot her face.
instead, the black
is now split by oil lamp
steel toed boot at a time
a miner's floorboards.
I choose to clutch
right is right
and left is nothing
but a hopeless chimera,
its body but
a mutilated yellow jacket
who stings until
light rolls the sky.
I suppose I will never
hold my own fate.
Author, Ann Nocenti
and David Aja
by Roy Peak
The Earth is dying, perhaps on its last dark days. Humanity goes on, as it does, fractured, tenuous, some grasping at hope, many ignoring the inevitable. A city is divided physically by a wall patrolled by armed guards who are easily bribed to look the other way. Across the wall is a vast wasteland where dwell those who have thrown their tech away—no phones, no cameras, no electricity—in anticipation of the coming world's end.
by Roy Peak
Vanessa Peters latest endeavor is an album of fun rock songs played by an ace crack band recorded in four countries during a worldwide pandemic. And for being recorded in such a haphazard manner, it sounds clear and fantastic. This warm and punchy recording leapt out of the new Pioneer speakers I recently installed in my old work van. I felt like a teenager again, blasting the songs while flying down the highway! If that ain't praise, well...
I first heard Peters with her album Foxhole Prayers, which was jangly and rocking, but it was her all covers album, Mixtape, which set the bar a bit higher in that she took a few chances and it paid off well. So what about the songs on this new album? I'll say that so far I like this album better than her last two, so there is that.
Safe and Sound
Brian Walker of A Day Without Love
by Roy Peak
"If we can't breathe in our art and expression, then how the hell are we ever going to breathe?” is a question that Philadelphia musician Brian Walker explores in the upcoming documentary Safe + Sound being released July 23rd, 2021.
English Majors Are
by Jarad Johnson
*Note- Before we begin, you may be wondering, "Why is there a random picture of a cat stuck here? Well, allow me to explain. Cats are, by nature, rather irritable and, shall we say, ornery. In this post, I am rather crotchety myself, and since cats and I share a kinship in that regard, I felt it was appropriate. You may commence with reading this post now!*
On the days that I’m not working my regular job, I sometimes drive for DoorDash. Every single time, I feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands. I’ve scantily avoided multiple wrecks, most of them caused by some plebeian texting instead of driving. And every time this happens, I think, “Astonishing, isn’t it, that you aren’t the only person on the road?” This is a problem, that in my view, stems from pedestrians walking down the street looking at their phone. I know a story of someone my age who was holding their phone facetiming someone and then was shocked when they found themselves wrapped around a pole. Hope that conversation was worth it for them! Before I was terrified of them given me a viral plague, I sometimes let random people run into me. Just to make a point to them that there are other people around, you self absorbed twits!
Desire to Die
The full moon rises over the metropolitan
It reminds me of the head of the combatant
He was formerly surrounded, his people and
his enemy, whom they sentenced him to death
by hanging, he died his people became candles.
When your heart stops beating, you will think
that your last wounds will burn your weak breath
My logical sense said that “go brighter then burst”.
Nobody but you and my mental health knows that
I composed my happiness and autumn sang my grief.
An Interview with Julie Carpenter
Author Naomi Ulsted recently interviewed Julie, and they talked about writing, Things Get Weird in Whistlestop, and juggling Life, the Universe, and Everything it throws at you. Uncle Morty interjected a few opinions of his own.
Here's a snippet of the interview, but click on over to Naomi's site. It's easy to get lost in all the great content but Uncle Morty and Julie give you their permission to sit down, grab a cup of tea, and settle in. All that stuff you have to do will still be waiting on you to do it when you get back. Trust us.
Here's a little of the interview to get you started:
I think your sense of humor is one of the defining traits of your writing; however, there is a more serious tone below the humor as well. Can you describe what you consider to be the major themes of your work?
I think one theme is that just because something seems ordinary or normal, you can’t assume that it’s righteous or just. St. Bartholomew’s church in Whistlestop is a good example. Of course, everyone assumes that the church is a safe and spiritual place, but what’s behind that door in the choir room? Why did it choose the church and not the basement of the Pop-a-Top Bar? Other than the fact that I’m not sure the Pop-a-Top has a basement. The fact that you’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s the right way. The fact that you’ve always trusted some person, or institution doesn’t mean that they are, in fact, trustworthy....
You also work full-time outside of the literary field. How do you balance your work, your website, and your own writing?
I balance my work, website, and writing like a novice juggler on a drunken binge, which is to say, ummm, not very well. I also have a garden, two cats, and chickens who need my attention every day. And family. So, my system is simple triage. I stamp out whichever fire is burning hottest at any given time, frequently going up in flames in the process....