CNF: Better Homes

by Victorya Chase

My brother and I chase jackrabbits zigzag through ragged desert and scratching brush. The yellow lab plays catch with jumping cholla and we hold his muzzle open while removing spines. If you don’t wear flip-flops skin sticks to tar asphalt. I test their thickness on rusty nails and broken glass and anything sharp. Whatever the sole doesn’t stop my calluses do. If we had puddles, my play might be different. The car doesn’t quite hit me and there are no bruises, still, my dad gets the driver’s number. She’s cute. He deserves better than this family; he told
me so.

Victorya Chase is a writer and educator living in the vast and cold urban wilds within the MidWest, having already lived on the coastal extremes of the United States. She works in Medical Education where, among other things, she teaches the importance of narrative competency and understanding the various cultural and personal stories at play in the exam room. Her writing has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Lamplight, and The Unlikely Journal of Entomology, among other places. Her home on the web can be found at victoryachase.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Better Homes”?

I once read that every good book is a great short story, and every good short story a great poem. This piece is part of a memoir project where I’m taking longer prose sections I’ve written and turning them into compressed prose poems I’m calling Autobifictionaloetry (with a nod to Lynda Barry and her coining of the term autobificionalography)


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

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 open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle