by Myfanwy Collins
All that was left of the hermit crab was its shell. She’d enjoyed watching it scrabble around. Liked to think it was happy there with her but perhaps it had been desperate for food or escape. Maybe it had dried into dust and blown away. She picked up the shell and examined the interior. Lifted it to her ear.
Where did you go? she asked.
Yonder, the shell whispered. (more…)
“From this angle it appears absolutely dead,” said Levon. He was looking at the legs, the cow stiff in the water as if it were doing the dead man’s float. He walked around the body slowly. Steam still rose from it. It hadn’t been dead long. (more…)
I’m driving back from somewhere, a nowhere in particular kind of somewhere, and even though I’m not looking for anything, that’s when I see, in the window of the passing car—it’s an old car, a dark, long box of a car—that a bright pink sheet of paper is being pressed to the passenger-side glass, and on it are the words: CALL POLICE, in big block letters. (more…)
Never good enough in the multifoliate way of roses, the heart a simple dew for all its layered wraps. Sliced through into its secret releases only hidden spaces and no new forms. What wetness gathers offers. The direction is to be swift, with little or no regard. (more…)
My brother once stapled a girl’s arm to her sleeve.
Remembered for holding his breath,
once breath stopped, the memory was gone.
In the quarry pit he sank into a hole.
The bleeding was simple.
The minutes ticked and we were with him.
Red on roses, blue barrette in her hair.
There are no screams under water.
There is nothing to hold onto that looks like us.
There is only what’s left in your lungs.
Elizabeth J Colen is the author of prose poetry collection Money for Sunsets (Steel Toe Books 2010) and fiction chapbook Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake (Rose Metal Press 2011). She edits poetry at Thumbnail Magazine and occasionally blogs here.
There’s a timeline in the Biblical Book of Genesis, and the final day, the creator rests. In your poem, there isn’t a final day of rest or rest at all. What is created in your Genesis by the end? I’m working on a manuscript investigating 20th/21st century conspiracy theories. “Genesis” means to reference FDR potentially having prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Several poems in the manuscript also serve as anchors that echo current or recent events, such as here that more recent attack on American soil (though the “narrative” of the quarry mostly subsumes all of that). It also parallels my brother’s disappearance. That’s a lot to ask of 75 words; what I hope is created is the raw emotional thrust that links the events. The Genesis in the title is a tribute to my brother who as a child only listened to rap music and Phil Collins.
Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.
Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.
Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now CLOSED. The next reading period for standard submissions opens March 15, 2021. Topical Thursdays’ submissions are open year-round. Submit here.
12/31 • Sean Cho A.
01/04 • Linda McMullen
01/07 • Victoria Jean Ella
01/11 • Daniel Murphy
01/14 • Kendra Dobson
01/21 • James Harris
01/25 • Richard Kostelanetz
01/28 • Andrew Love
02/01 • Kristin Burcham