Month: June 2020 (Page 1 of 2)

Dead Deer

by Lauren Rose

burnt bush skeletons like a haze of
unbrushed hair

ohoo
a dead deer, she says
as we drive past it

and never think of it again


Lauren Rose was born on Misawa Air Force Base in Japan in 1999. She is a senior at Sierra Nevada University studying biology, creative writing, and outdoor adventure leadership. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. Her previous work can be found in issue six of Burnt Pine Magazine and will soon be available in the fall 2020 issue of Peregrine, the 2020 issue of Ricochet Review Poetry Journal, and the Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories Volume 4, Book 2. She has been recognized by seven Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Follow her on Facebook at @lauren.rose.102 and Instagram at @rose_lauren.e.

Related Post: “Pray for us Sinners” by Lauren Rose

Pray for us Sinners

by Lauren Rose

hail mary full of grace,

I sit in a pew
head bowed
dress torn
drinking her whispers

the lord is with thee.

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This Time in History

A plague
A call for survival
Mortality rates
Numbers
Too large to name
The lost souls of
The unclaimed
Wisdom stripped
Forget
Remember
Normal new normal
Listless numb-M

“1984” by Milicent Fambrough (2020), digital artwork.
Image is copyright protected.


Milicent Fambrough is an author from San Antonio, Texas. Milicent has been writing since her childhood. Creativity has always been encouraged in her family. After a long time in the working world, she returned to technical college for an education in the field of graphic design. There, Milicent made her decision to devote herself to artwork and writing poetry, among other things. Now, like most days, we find Milicent again at work creating art and writing verse.

I Fought the Law

by Bruce Craven

I didn’t strike the law, didn’t brawl, but fall, 1980, I did rebel: “No Nukes!” The right kind of coup d’état!
Summer ‘81, I’d break rocks in the hot sun, dig ditches; choose pay-days as my right kind of coup d’état.

After that freshman year, my political rage would fade. I played Ultimate, smoked weed, eyed love,
but at Lawrence-Livermore Labs in 1980, I grabbed at a chance to fight in the right kind of coup d’état.

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Paul English – Leadership Lesson #1

by Bruce Craven

Willie Nelson’s band on the road in the early
days, with Bush, Day, Nelson & English, rode
in a ’47 Flxible Flyer bus. Surly
Paul had tooled saddles, racketeered, showed

he would learn drums, but still pimping — a Waco bad-ass.
The drum secret? “Don’t count”, Willie said, “just feel it.”
Paul kept drumming, carried a blade, guns. Willie sassed
idiots, stole a few wives, popped speed, hit

back if he had no choice, but, Paul said, was “given
to a lot of tolerance.” Needed protection.
“The club business was rough,” Willie claimed, “…you went in…
with a you-motherfucker-you-better-pay-me…” tension.

Music venues tried to cheat Willie & the Record Men.
But an a-hole owner’s Caddy dangling on a fork-lift? Paul’s message sent.


Bruce Craven is a member of the Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty in New York City. In addition to directing and teaching in a variety of executive programs, he teaches graduate business students his popular elective Leadership Through Fiction.  His book Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, was published in March 2019 by St. Martin’s Press of Macmillan Publishing.  The book is currently being translated into Russian, Serbian, and Turkish. He wrote the novel Fast Sofa (1993) which was published in Japanese and German. He also co-wrote the script for the film adaptation, starring Jennifer Tilly, Jake Busey, and Crispin Glover. His collection of poetry, Buena Suerte in Red Glitter, was published in 2019 by Red Dirt Press in Oklahoma. He lives with his wife and two sons in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Related Posts: “Hand-Made” and “I Fought the Law” by Bruce Craven

Hand-Made

by Bruce Craven

“Pack up all your dishes,
make note of all good wishes…”

sang the Texan, Guy Clark, talking
about leaving Los Angeles for a more simple

life. “Don’t cry now,” he reminded Susanna, love
is a gift, perfect, hand-made. The tune? L.A. Freeway.

Clark got a song-writing contract, left for Nashville.
His L.A. landlord had chopped down a grapefruit tree with deep roots.

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A Blue Hydrangea

by Eric Braman

A 10-Minute Play

Cast of Characters

BLUE            A Blue Hydrangea
PINK             A Pink Hydrangea
CAROLE      The Great Gardener (optional voiceover)
GEORGE     The Great Gardener’s Husband (optional voiceover)

Scene
A backyard garden.

Time
Late spring/early summer.

Lights up on a garden. A hydrangea bush with multiple heads of blossoms is seen center stage, all of them pink except one, which is blue. The blossoms are asleep. The sun rises at start of play waking the blossoms from their slumber.

PINK
Good morning world.

BLUE
Good morning sun.

PINK
Good morning dirt.

BLUE
Good morning butterfly.

PINK
Good morning little ants.

BLUE
Good morning Lilies and Roses and Jasmine.

PINK
Good morning Cherry Tree, good morning Kale!

BLUE
Good morning family.

PINK
(turning toward BLUE) Good morning – OH MY GROVE!

BLUE
What is it?

PINK
What happened to you?!

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Zoom Funeral or is it the News?

by Donald Vincent

You are on mute, nestled in front of the computer screen, filled with boxes of blank, ivory faces. This is the usual though. You present on alternative assessments for students during a pandemic.

Nonchalantly, you say; I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but traditional grading is a form of colonization and white supremacy.

She privately messages you that she is not offended, but how is the grading system related to white supremacy?

You tell yourself, you knew you shouldn’t have said anything, that people don’t want the truth, but prefer to live in a phantasy world of disillusionment.

Either way, you email her links on pedagogy and approaches to teaching English composition to international and multicultural students. And because you’re always the lone token, representative for blackness, you’re scheduled to fight the power and discuss those equity inclusion essays and articles, constantly doing the work for whiteness.

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In the Third Person

by Donald Vincent

He takes up triple space—
One seat, two seat, three

On the train, the ‘other’
Is always evasive. Mommy,
Look, a negro. I’m afraid.

It is here, he is confronted
With the responsibility of race,
The weight of his ancestors,
A collective prison.

She shushes the child
And apologizes to the man—
Sorry, sir. My child doesn’t realize

That you are civilized, like us.
The man nods his head in familiar
Disgust. Being white and saying sorry
Is a revolving door. He can forget the pain,

The hate, he can forgive it all.
He thinks, only if they’ll integrate me
Into their society. I am the lesser of
All the world’s evils.

Still, they prevent him from participation,
From the game of life. You win some,
You lose some, but he’ll lose it all

Waiting for acceptance in a fixed system.


Donald Vincent is the author of Convenient Amnesia (Broadstone Books). He is also Mr. Hip, a recording artist and lover of all things art. He currently teaches English Composition at UCLA and African-American Literature at Emerson College – Los Angeles. When he is not teaching, he can be found in the kitchen tinkering with plant-based recipes. Originally from Southeast, DC, he currently resides in Los Angeles and at https://www.hidonaldvincent.com.

Also by Donald Vincent: Absence of Blackness and Zoom Funeral or is it the News?

Absence of Blackness

by Donald Vincent

“We need magic / now we need the spells, to raise up / return, destroy, and create. What will be / the sacred word?” –Amiri Baraka

The sacred word is not, hands up, don’t shoot
Nor vivre la revolution. The magic word can’t be
Murmured in a state of asphyxiation.
Where there are words, there is no peace.
There’s no magic in the quotes and hopes of
Dr. King or celebrities placed on pedestals. If
The magic words are in books and historical texts
Is ignorance not reading the same words echoed
Years apart? Decades apart? Centuries apart?
Being oblivious to racist sentiments lends credence
To the erasure of black bodies as a consequence.
Exhaustion is exhausting and tonight, blackness
Is the magic. The sacred word is power, wielded
Like an unrequited love of culture, but not the people.


Donald Vincent is the author of Convenient Amnesia (Broadstone Books). He is also Mr. Hip, a recording artist and lover of all things art. He currently teaches English Composition at UCLA and African-American Literature at Emerson College – Los Angeles. When he is not teaching, he can be found in the kitchen tinkering with plant-based recipes. Originally from Southeast, DC, he currently resides in Los Angeles and at https://www.hidonaldvincent.com.

Also by Donald Vincent: Zoom Funeral or is it the News? and In the Third Person

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