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Journal of Microliterature

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    If my mother had her way, she would have worn a ragged t-shirt and no pants every day. She would come home every night and take off her work clothes before she even said hello to us. As a result, most of my early memories of my mother she’s wearing nothing but a holey shirt. She would even check the mail in her underwear until my dad finally confronted her about it; apparently he didn’t like the idea of the neighbors getting a blatant view of his wife’s tighty whiteys every morning. The only exception was a particular pink dress […]

    The post Pink Polka Dots – Ashley Reynolds appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Hello Darling, The water sways with the rhythm I’ve seen in the hips of women. Though there is a chance that I am just profoundly drunk as the room is also spinning, counter-clockwise, against my wishes. “If you’re to spin, spin clockwise,” but the room, like you, doesn’t listen well. In the event that you are reading this letter sitting down, I advise you to stand up. In the event that you are reading this letter standing up, I’d advise you to sit down. In the event that you are reading this letter I’d advise you to get properly soused […]

    The post I Still Love You From the Other Side of This Bottle of Whiskey by Andrew Bertaina appeared first on Microliterature.


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    The stars slowly suck the last evidence of daylight out of the apartment and still he sits in his chair. Another episode airs and he bores his vision into the center of the screen where the color is clean and the movements sharp. The laugh-track rises and falls, but his mouth does not. His eyes drift to the outskirts of the screen that crackle with encroaching static. It threatens to eclipse the picture. He feels the sadness in the gray; sees his wavering reflection and the looseness of mediocrity, the unraveling of the masses. His eyes lose focus from swimming […]

    The post Screening by Madeleine Leznoff appeared first on Microliterature.


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  • 09/12/15--22:07: Oregon by Jackson Ellis
  • My wife stood by my side in slowly flowing thigh-deep water as I taught her how to cast a fishing rod. She watched as I demonstrated proper technique, arcing the line into the brilliant sky. A hundred feet away the float and fly dropped like tiny bombs. A perfect cast. I surprised myself, as I’m not a great fisherman; in fact, I’ve never fished before. Silver firs shivered along the riverbank as I reeled in the fishless fly. I noticed a weathered wooden sign nailed to the trunk of a tree. “Welcome to Oregon,” it said in faded brown letters. […]

    The post Oregon by Jackson Ellis appeared first on Microliterature.


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  • 09/19/15--22:16: Angels Flight by Chad Greene
  • “This isn’t working,” I admitted. “Not anymore.” Annie and I stood next to the gate at the bottom of what the dog-eared guidebook we had purchased when we decided to move to Southern California assured us was “The Shortest Railway in the World.” Riding it was the only item on the guidebook’s list of “The Top 25 Things to Do in Los Angeles” that we hadn’t checked off. As the sun set, however, none of the dozen light bulbs lining the arch that topped the pillars at the station on Hill Street turned on. Painted in black on orange, the […]

    The post Angels Flight by Chad Greene appeared first on Microliterature.


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  • 09/26/15--22:28: Katrina by Angele Anderfuren
  • Katrina always wondered what her world would be like, if only she had been born a month later, if only she wasn’t premature, if only her birthday was September 12, 2005 instead of August 4th. If she could have just stayed in there, in the warm comfort of her mother’s belly, her life would be so different. Maybe she wouldn’t have been named after that granny. Maybe she’d be Hazel Orleans, after the other one. What a different world she’d live in without the taunts and the calls, the horrible whispers whirling around her as she walked down the hall […]

    The post Katrina by Angele Anderfuren appeared first on Microliterature.


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    As with most things, I thought nothing of it until it got in the way.  By then, I had already learned to move it about, flip it up when it began to inconveniently drag, smooth it back when I needed a clear angle to sit.  But, eventually, it began to get ungainly in a standard pair of trousers, and so I had to take stock of it. It was not uncute, given the way that it connected.  The whole of it seemed remarkably willing to fit in, at least for a fluke, and I could hardly blame it for its […]

    The post The Mermaid’s Son by Ken Poyner appeared first on Microliterature.


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  • 10/11/15--17:15: TKO by Ken Schweda
  • Unlike the first eleven presidential debates, this one, the last before the election, was particularly unexciting. Like evenly matched prize fighters hoping to win on points alone, the candidates bobbed and weaved around every question the moderator threw at them. Truth be known, the moderator, who had presided over numerous presidential debates in the past, had become quite irate in private over their performance. He was overheard saying, ‘Jesus Christ they get more and more like slick used car salesmen every election cycle.’ Nevertheless he persisted. “Gentlemen, we come to the final question of the debate. As agreed upon earlier, […]

    The post TKO by Ken Schweda appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Right after a few blue tabs the city seems cleaner and safer. The “poor-man’s scotch” I hear they call it. Aquamarine activators scrubbing the senses of grit and grime. The peace that flows like pancake syrup. Thick and slow and sweet and difficult to erase. I have no choice but to thank the big shots. I know it’s strange for me to say it. Who would’ve thought the companies and the government joining forces to make “the blue-ride?” And to make it so cheap. Free for the masses. I’m truly impressed. Who are you to judge? Not all of us […]

    The post Freedom Riders by Mark Antony Rossi appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Irv was taking cooking lessons, and that irritated his wife. She couldn’t cook, didn’t want to cook, and barely could eat. When Sunday night rolled around and Irv decided to cook a French dish with mirepoix, or a Thai whole fish with peppers, she left the house. Usually she went to McDonald’s, but even that wasn’t to her liking. Is there any way I can get by without eating food? she wondered, staring at Irv working at the homemade pasta machine on his saffron wheat fettuccine. And that started her research project. Powders, pills, and power drinks: that became all […]

    The post Irv was Taking Cooking Lessons by John Flynn appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Your life is sad, a metronome of monotony and loneliness. You are confined to the perimeter of a barn. Your horns are twisted, grown into and around each other into the semblance of some malformed unicorn. When you were born you were abandoned because of this deformity, left to die. At the time we did not know why you were pushed away and almost trampled, but something inside your mother burned greater than distaste. You were wrong and she knew it. Culling the herd is nature’s way, but your smallness, your newness, was too overwhelming to discard. We kept you […]

    The post Prayer for the Small Goat with Deformed Horns by Gwendolyn Edward appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Hey, come on in.  What do you think of the place?  I inherited it from my father.  Take a look.  It’s like a war museum.  My father was 88 when he died and he owned this bar since 1950, named it Bar Iwo Jima after the World War II battle.  He made it through the war all right, but he never got over it. Look around all you like.  This place was his life, and that’s the truth.  He got up every morning and came over here early to open for the breakfast drinkers, and he wouldn’t leave till after […]

    The post Bar Iwo Jima by Carles D. Tarlton appeared first on Microliterature.


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  • 11/21/15--22:25: PEACOCKS by Toti O’Brien
  • I’ll never get used to peacocks roaming around as if they were chicken or stray cats. I just can’t believe such fabulous creatures (second only to what? phoenix, unicorn, bird of paradise?) would casually parade among banal folks… people. Peacocks are not people. They don’t form a crowd. When they group, cross or intertwine (as if strolling up and down the main boulevard on a summer evening) they always keep a slight distance. They brush by almost feigning indifference, deeply absorbed in personal cares. If they imperceptibly nod, acknowledging one another, we can’t tell. There’s something mysterious in their attitude. […]

    The post PEACOCKS by Toti O’Brien appeared first on Microliterature.


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    We’ve lost our magic. Our instinct for mystery. Most bold questions have pat answers. Whatever’s left—few manage to pay attention. How I long for a day when the classics are read aloud from atop a balcony to studious listeners drawn to every syllable. Perhaps I’m daydreaming abit. Foolishly expecting culture from soulless mall addicts intent on spoon-feeding corporations. Mindlessly they dump their slave wages into the awaiting tentacles of ugly giants. The fat and prosperous merchants who in turn dump their garbage into our drinking water. We’ve lost our minds. Our fear of freedom is the root of all trouble. […]

    The post Philosophy of Rent by Mark Antony Rossi appeared first on Microliterature.


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    This is a sad story.  Rodney Hollister was a really talented guy, but he had a weakness.  He could never do anything the regular way.  Give him a task, and he’d spend more time figuring out an angle than it would have taken him just to do it.  Strictly speaking, Rodney was a contractor-builder, but he considered himself an entrepreneur, a wheeler-dealer.  As a result, he was always nervously waiting to see how things would turn out. Alice married Rodney just before he gave up his law practice and began putting deals together. She was only vaguely worried at first, […]

    The post How It Crumbles by Charles Tarlton appeared first on Microliterature.


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    A flight attendant welcomes Diane aboard and helps her find the right seat.  She’s going to visit her only child, who has finally agreed to see her for the first time in years.  Ray will be in San Diego through October, working some temp job to pay for a sublet.  Diane assumes he’s going through a midlife crisis.  Since his divorce, he’s lived in various towns and cities throughout the borderlands.  Two weeks in Juárez, three in Yuma, a few months in Matamoros.  Apparently, the threat of violence doesn’t bother him.  He’s doing research for a book, though Diane thinks […]

    The post Mother Dearest by D. Seth Horton appeared first on Microliterature.


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    The woman from social services pointed to a four-foot stack of New Yorker magazines and asked, “What about these?” “What about them?” the old man asked, his throat tightening. “Do you need those?” “I need them.” “Why? Have you read them?” “I read them.” “Then why keep them?” “I need them. For things. Different reasons.” “Why can’t you throw them out?” “Look, honey,” he said, resisting the urge to point his finger. “You young people don’t need words. At least that’s what you think. You can dispense with them and shorten them and ignore them, but eventually you’ll grow up […]

    The post The Hoarder by Michael Neal Morris appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Dan’s dad told him not to give anything to the homeless. “They only want your money, son. Trust me.” The boy didn’t understand this, nor would he listen. While on the bus ride to school, he saw a scruffy man wandering the streets between lanes and showing everyone his piece of cardboard with brown writing—no way those smudges were ink. “Help Me. Please. Anything will do.” Ignoring parental advice, Dan handed the homeless man his sandwich. That was when his sense of humanity fell, right along with his roast beef on wheat, into the dirt. BAM has work in several […]

    The post Bummed by Bertram Allan Mullin appeared first on Microliterature.


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    Damn television sets. Three blaring away and the sun still down. Noxious distractions – news that’s not news, fear mongering masquerading as news, and the third with adverts for pills for conditions they don’t treat here. Suppose they treat the side effects though. We’re all side effects now. A soda machine? Fake plants? Don’t treat me when it’s my time, chuck me on the ice flow. Screech. Huh? Oh, the door. Two more poor souls – which is sick and which will wait? Wait. That’s all we do our entire lives and it never comes, whatever it is. Good god […]

    The post The Five-Minute Marriage by Gregory Janetka appeared first on Microliterature.


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