A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Posts tagged ‘Joanna M. Weston’


Sun worshiper by Lisa Nielson

The ocean is all teeth today–devouring the sand, but enraged by its compliance.  Suppler days are dreamy, but we have monsters to tame.

Lisa Nielsen is studiously working on her resolution to write more and clean less.

Below the Belt by Alice G. Otto

Friends parade pocketed portraits of their kids: soccer, choir, scouts. The missing baby teeth are daggers.  Nothing’s taking, nothing’s working.  Your own wallet is barren.

Alice G. Otto lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband, two voracious beagles, and an extra-toed cat. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.

Go Go Green by Bruce Harris.

She made her own compost, bought an electric car, and heated her home with solar energy.  Everything was sustainable and recyclable, except her nail polish.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.

Three pieces by Gemma Bristow

Berry Burst

They freeze too quickly for astonishment, ripe fruit crashing from the branches into snow.

By morning, all is white except the pulp of six pomegranates.


Daylight makes real what she dreamed so long.  Their goddess, their protector, stolen from her dais, and the gates of the city buckling under blows.

Wedding Gown

Nailed into a box of bronze and cedar to hide her disgrace.  Only the waves, as she’s pushed from shore, murmur I will protect you.

Gemma Bristow is a technical writer who tries not to think about software interfaces all the time. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various publications.

Three pieces by Joanna M. Weston


Smoke sifts out through the tent door, a gentle pale drift against deep blue sky. The familiar smell tickles my nostrils and I smile: pot.

Sunshine Sparkle

My skis hurtling down, wind stings my cheeks. A burst of dazzling white, and I’ve fallen, a whirl of poles and skis, blinded by sunshine.

Smoky Canvas

He bought a large red herring, cooked it in butter on his gas stove while texting his girl-friend. The explosion fried his fish and mortgage.

Joanna M. Weston is married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Two pieces by Zoë Danielle

Ruby Pumps

I wore them because of the slender length they gave my legs, stretching off into nothingness, while the sharp point of the heel anchored me.

Rock Candy

It reminded me of her; all violent edges but translucent in a way that let me see right through. One bite and I tasted blood.




Orange Pop by Joanna M. Weston

He’s my rib-tickling, joking Grandpa, who juggles apples, goes sky-high on the playground swings, and has pockets full of orange jujubes – just for me.

Joanna M. Weston is married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at  her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Two pieces by Angie Shaeffer


Look at that, she thought.  The cut, so bruised and bloody before, turning pink.  Strange, something so painful can evolve into a favorite, pretty color. 

Ginger Passion

Her hair, that’s what always got them paying.  She pranced and sassed like the others, but made sure her curly sienna locks smelled luscious always. 

Angie Shaeffer is a Baltimorean, international educator, and world traveler who recently touched down in New York City.  She finds writing inspiration in everything, including toilet bowls and, thanks to this literary journal, nailpolish colors. 



Check Me Out by Majnun Ben-David

Temporarily abandoned cart disrupts checkout line, snarky remark ready. Offender revealed as dark beauty, remark shelved. Peace through beauty? No, I’m just shallow he decides.

Majnun Ben-David can be reached at majnunbd@gmail.com and thinks his bio should probably not be longer than his story.


Two pieces by Giulietta “Julie” Nardone

Luscious Lips

We could not stop kissing each other’s marshmallow lips in the darkened playground. Entwined bodies wanting more. Oh God, I wish he wasn’t my cousin.

Forest Green

When I regained consciousness, all I could see was green. My body immobilized. Suddenly, a woman shouted, “Help get her out of the trash can.”

Giulietta “Julie” Nardone hails from Massachusetts where she is a creativity activist, writer and karaoke singer. Her stories have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, Skirt! Magazine, Underwired Magazine, FlashQuake, Common Ties, Rollins Magazine, and broadcast on NPR. Visit her blog “Take Back Your Life” at http://www.giuliettathemuse.com

Marina Dawn by Charles Rafferty 

She didn’t need to cup her hand around the cigarette. His sails would be useless today. Her feet felt certain as soon as she disembarked.

Charles Rafferty‘s poems have appeared in The New Yorker and The Southern Review, and his stories have appeared in Sonora Review and Cortland Review. His most recent chapbook of poems is Appetites (Clemson University Press). Currently, he directs the MFA program at AlbertusMagnusCollege.


Blanc by David Tomaloff

an ignoble vessel. white, girl

shaped. moving over the water

like a ghost,

a ruptured past—

a valediction to days best banished to the sea.

David Tomaloff builds things out of ampersands & light. His work has appeared in several anthologies and many fine publications. He is also coauthor of the collaborative poetry collection YOU ARE JAGUAR, with Ryan W. Bradley (Artistically Declined Press, 2012). Send him threats: davidtomaloff.com

Hopelessly in Love by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Lena hangs her husband’s pants. Straightens collars. Snugs socks. Pretends he’ll wear them tomorrow. She puts the clothes away.

Grief fills the charity bag instead. 

Madeline Mora-Summonte  MadelineMora-Summonte.blogspot.com reads, writes and breathes fiction in all its forms.


 Castaway: A Black And White Story In Five Shades
by David Tomaloff  
 [i.] Her Intelligent Constellation
The word star in all its connotations; how summer sinks its teeth into waiting skin. Which boy is your favorite? she asks a faceless sky.


[ii.] Navigate Her

Answers hide their faces & fail to fall, neither as riddles nor as rain. The night sky is a con; of this, she’s become certain.


[iii.] Waltz

The word sea in all its connotations; how water caresses the tops of thighs. Which girl is the fairest? she asks of another passing ship.


[iv.] Carnival

She asks, but a passing ship is not a boy: her there wading in the water on the morning she left to join the sea.


[v.] Fiji

A young summer is rife with the consequences of prayers for certainty: we may ask a shark for directions; it might then follow us home.

David Tomaloff is a writer, photographer, musician, and an all-around bad influence. His work has appeared in several anthologies and in fine publications such as Mud Luscious, A-Minor, >kill author, PANK, and elimae. He is the author of several chapbooks, including 13 (Artistically Declined Press), and A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF (NAP and Red Ceilings Press). His book of collaborative poetry with Ryan W. Bradley, YOU ARE JAGUAR, is due out summer 2012 from Artistically Declined Press. He resides in the form of ones and zeros at: davidtomaloff.com


Porcini by Annmarie Lockhart

He preferred steak,

rare, with red wine,

but all she ever ate

was fungus that grew

along the tree roots.

They chose heartache

over stomachache.

Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the every day, and the founder of unbound CONTENT, an independent press for a boundless age. A lifelong resident of Bergen County NJ, she lives, works, and writes 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.


No More Film


Too many moments lived through a glass lens and thrown in that musty drawer, she hugged her son as he blew out his seven candles.


Liquid Vinyl by Tracy Hauser

The needle scratched your spin back and forth, and sweatbands on wet hair pumped your choices.  The blue strobe flashes on your rises and falls.

Tracy Hauser is an MFA graduate student at the University of Baltimore’s Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program.  Currently she is the editor of the Strange Detours online magazine.  She has been published in the latest issue of Abandoned Towers Magazine, the Urbanite, Epiphany Magazine, Marco Polo Arts Magazine, Writer’s Underground, Trivial Typewriter, the Colonnades Literary Magazine, Literary Brushstrokes, Blood & Roses, The Rusty Nail, and for the 2012 4th edition of Welcome Hon, You’re in Baltimore!.  She is involved around the city in promoting writing through project-based learning activities for schools and organizations. 


Two pieces by JY Saville

Flight of Fancy

He rode in on a silver horse and took them by surprise. She’d said come in character but hadn’t specified whose. He used his own.

Naked Truth

I watch the petals fall and know with sudden clarity that this marks the end. With those bare stalks, the last of us is gone.

JY Saville writes in the North of England and blogs at http://thousandmonkeys.wordpress.com; the nails that tap at her keyboard are not always purple.



Blue Lagoon by Joanna M. Weston

A long shallow dive into the blue of sunlit water.  Reach up, grab her wrinkled old ankles.  Pull her down.  And the inheritance is mine.

Joanna M. Weston has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her  middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/




Photograph by Nicole Monaghan


In My Back Pocket by Hannah Karena Jones

I keep paperclips and ticket stubs and Post-Its folded four times over and abandoned shells that don’t whisper ocean sounds in my ear and you.


Hannah Karena Jones is an Assistant Editor by day and a YA, fiction, historical, and memoir writer by night. Her work has appeared in Weave magazine and The Susquehanna Review, among others, and her book, Byberry State Hospital, is forthcoming from Arcadia Publishing. She maintains a blog at http://thewwaitingroom.wordpress.com/



Flurry Up by Dan Sicoli

All she could remember was how fast

they rode through the snow and how the

Camero’s window stuck open. The weather

floated down like ash.


Dan Sicoli is the author of two chapbooks from Pudding House Press–Pagan Supper and the allegories. Odd weekends he bangs out chords on an old Gibson.


Infatuation by Esther Thurman


Piles of letters. One began, You don’t know me. I love you. He tossed the page, kept her photograph. Death Row was such a drag.

Esther Thurman spends most days alone with urges to sublimate certain emotions–at times, in good order; at times, in pandemonium–by writing, drawing, and making photos. Other humans interest Esther immensely, especially those in need, lost, or troubled. After her death, her remains will be transported to and studied at Knoxville, Tennessee’s “Body Farm” (University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center).


Big Apple Red  by Bruce Harris

They met for the first time after countless online exchanges.

“You’re Big Apple Red?”

She hesitated, said nothing.

“You’re not from the city, are you?”

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.



Caught Red-handed by Sue Ann Connaughton

He assumed she’d pine for him after he left in the morning, until he found her fluffing away traces of his head-shape from the pillow.

Sue Ann Connaughton writes compact pieces from a drafty old house in Massachusetts. Her most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barnwood Poetry Magazine; The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts; The Linnet’s Wings; The Citron Review; The Meadowland Review; Boston Literary Magazine; On the Premises; Twenty20 Journal, Nasty Snips, and The Binnacle Eighth International Ultra-Short Competition anthology.



Two pieces by Rachel Wolford

Now You Sea Me

In the cove, we dally as the tide rises. With a flip of my tail, I plunge with you into the depths. Even lovers drown.


Flea-ridden and scratching, I wandered to my favorite shade. I had begged no breakfast in the market. Blood on the pavement made an adequate lunch.

Rachel Wolford enjoys the challenge of tiny stories.



Charmed by Sabrina Bullock

Sweet and sassy like the tea in the south.  Yet only gentle curses come out of her mouth.  “Bless your heart,” she says real smart.

Sabrina Bullock is a writer living in Kittrell, North Carolina.  She enjoys cooking, gardening, crocheting, sewing, and especially writing poetry. 



Two Pieces by Sandra Wilson


Time for face paint, heels to walk to war.  Attack the town and hit the disco. No ammo, just drink to mollify your enemy. Partner.

Wellington Square

Do not fear the rain that births the green beneath our feet.  Lightning burns away the dark. Thunder restarts your heart.  Walk bravely into the storm.

Sandra Wilson, 29, is a UK resident who has been writing since she was very small. Recently these stories have escaped into literary lunes and static movement. She is currently editing her first novel into some state for submission.



Russian Red by Brooks Rexroat

Russian Red and dimples when she returns my crosswalk smile; I pivot, hope for eye contact—but it’s just swaying jet black as she recedes.

Brooks Rexroat writes and teaches in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit him online at http://www.brooksrexroat.com.



Marine Scene by Joanna M. Weston

The yacht leans into the waves. She trails one hand in the water. Watches the bubbles rise from where his body sank. ‘Champagne,’ she thinks.

Joanna M. Weston has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her  middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/  or http://smashwords.com/b/137826



Vermillion by Terry Sanville

The crippled soldier stares into Chaco Canyon. A hawk cries. I look up at the soaring raptor. When I look back, the soldier is gone.

Terry Sanville lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his artist-poet wife (his in-house editor) and one plump cat (his in-house critic). He writes full time, producing short stories, essays, poems, an occasional play, and novels. Since 2005, his short stories have been accepted by more than 150 literary and commercial journals, magazines, and anthologies including the Picayune Literary Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his story “The Sweeper.” Terry is a retired urban planner and an accomplished jazz and blues guitarist who once played with a symphony orchestra backing up jazz legend George Shearing.


Barely Nude by Ray Sharp

The illustrated woman, inked from her neck to her fingers and toes, stripped down to a smile suggesting she still had something up her sleeve.

Ray Sharp is a published poet and short story writer from the Michigan Upper Peninsula. He does not wear nail polish, but he has been to Warsaw and Gdansk.



A Story in Four Chapters by M.C. Harris

Otherwise Engaged

Kettle whistles.  Voicemail beckons.  Clouds chug past her kitchen window.  She sips, listens again to the message, finger poised over her future.  Sips.  Listens.  Delete.

Social Climber

She twists her wedding band in circles, contemplates the future: the clack of his teeth, his whistling nasal passages, the peculiar syntax, previously so endearing.

Don’t Think Twice

That little noise he makes when he proves her wrong.  The hand closing to a fist.  The suitcase she packs is of the highest quality.

Warming Trend

Bed. Blanket.  Dear God, a pillow.  From down the hall, whispers of sheltered women filter into the dreams of her children, asleep under donated comforters.

M.C. Harris has been thinking about how and where we end up, and why (Luck? M.C. wonders. Design? Dogged determination? Hard work? Blessings from above?), and invites you to read the chapters in whatever order you choose, in search of the happiest ending.  M.C. continues to ponder the impending supernova.


Two pieces by Bl Pawelek


China Glaze White

With teeth, I pull the white sheets tighter around wrists and hands. I don’t want them smaller like Chinese foot binding. I want them gone.


Deep Space

I taste my wife’s lips as the dawn sets. God’s love rests in my breast pocket. “Go on.” It does as instructed, my eyes closed.


Bl Pawelek is a dad, hiker and writer. He grew up on a small Japanese island (kinda true) and wonders if his Master’s Degree in Literature was worth it (still not sure). There are stories, poems and plenty of art (Google search). The Equation of Constants and Ten Everywhere and the unfirm line. He tries to show mad love to everyone, especially you.



Skinny Jeans by Brian Baumgart

She holds the line, long fingers on the doorframe, skinny jeans slung low. With pitch and scream, her daughter rails about the lack of fairness.

Brian Baumgart is the Coordinator of Creative Writing at North Hennepin Community College just outside Minneapolis. He holds an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from various journals, including Ruminate, Blue Earth Review, Blood and Honey Review, Tipton Poetry Review, and Blink-Ink.

Two pieces by Laura C. Alonso

Ballet Pink

Pale and lovely, these reliable shoes perform–allowing her to dance around all sorts of things you never see that take place behind the scenery.

Peach Skin

No sweet fruit to nourish the spirit, just a thin film that veils each day–velvet cheeks, never kissed . . . the souls of our unborn children.

Laura C. Alonso‘s work has been published in In Posse Revie, Linnaean Street, 3AM Magazine, SFWP, and other online literary journals. She is the former Senior Editor of Fictionline Press and former Fiction Editor of The God Particle (two sorely missed online venues), and she was  was a finalist in the Santa Fe Writer’s Project’s Literary Awards Program in 2001, 2002, and 2010.



Dream-Maker  by Joanna M. Weston

She sipped the wine; poured more into the glass. Pictured Tom, his hands on her shoulders, breasts. She lifted her glass again. ‘Dream-maker,’ she whispered.

Joanna M. Weston has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and a line of prayer flags. Her middle-reader, Those Blue Shoes, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, A Summer Father, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/




Lincoln Park After Dark by MM Wittle

“KAFKA ON THE SHORE” confounded two more theatergoers. Terrance sliced the salty, autumn air, “Molly’s?” Sasha tugged his hand. “Yes.”  They craved normalcy and cupcakes. 

MM Wittle is a Professor at Neumann University. MM has an MFA from Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA in Creative Writing.  Her thesis, “Family Guidance” and “The Education of Allie Rose” are two plays that won Thesis of Distinction from RosemontCollege. “Family Guidance” had a reading at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA and was selected for honorable mentioned at the 5th Annual Philadelphia Theatre Workshop’s Playwriting Competition. “The Education of Allie Rose” was a finalist in the Philadelphia Ethical Society Playwriting competition.  For the past six years, MM has been a fiction board member of the local non-profit literary magazine, Philadelphia Stories and has written many book reviews and countless blogs for them. MM has also written four book reviews for the creative non-fiction magazine, www.brevitymag.com.



Copper Coast  by Helen Losse

The lake was drained to fix the bridge.  Sky blue water gave way to brick-red, sun-cracked mud. Copper Coast is a misnomer for what’s yet-to-return.

Helen Losse is a Winston-Salem poet, the author of two full length books, Seriously Dangerous (Main Street Rag, 2011) and Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) and two chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces and Paper Snowflakes.  A reprint of Paper Snowflakes is forthcoming in March 2012 with the title Mansion of Memory.  A part of the proceeds from this chapbook will go to the Joplin (MO) Bright Futures Tornado Fund to help poor children affected by the 2011 tornado in Helen’s hometown.  Her recent poetry publications and acceptances include Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Review, Blue Fifth Review, The Pedestal Magazine, ken*again, Referential,  and Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont.  Helen’s poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist.  She is the Poetry Editor for online literary magazine The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.  Helen uses nail polish to paint angel statues, so she looks for colors she wouldn’t actually choose for her nails as well as the ones she would.



Russian Roulette by Melissa Ann Goodwin

Yolanda loads one bullet, spins the chamber and slides the gun across the table. Grinning, but not in a good way, she says, “You first.”

Melissa Ann Goodwin is author of The Christmas Village.



Peach Lover by E.C. Norris

He kept her indoors, with dim lights, from flush eyes. A Creole love call shook the walls, window scraped open. Climbing out, winter flayed her. 

E.C. Norris forgoes regular bedtimes, with mixed results. 



Smoky Canvas by Dan Sicoli

The allure was bending her into shapes.  At first I thought she did it with mirrors, until I realized I had walked into a fog.

Dan Sicoli is an editor with Slipstream Magazine and press.  Car fenders, broken guitar strings, party dresses, and three-legged dogs have often made their way into his writing.  He also oven dries his own garden tomatoes.

Two pieces by Bruce Harris

Dark Room

He removed the closet door and took pictures with his camera. The fire marshal found traces of him and the door, but not the photos.

High Maintenance

She was beautiful, but keeping her home was impossible.  There were constant oil changes, carburetors, timing belts, tune-ups, you name it, and she needed it.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.

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