You’d think ‘bur’ would have two r’s, the hooks on the letter resembling those on the prickles. Our dogs do not love the cocklebur’s almond-sized fruit, especially Fern, whose fur is the consistency of bad wig hair. The burs cling to Fern like Velcro, using her beard, her tail, her fuzzy pantaloons to disperse to new locations, determined to survive. A member of the daisy family, the cocklebur grows in waste places, places to which its prickly seeds can be blown or washed in, places like the lakebed trails where my husband Marc and I walk our dogs several times a week. As the Kern River and Lake Isabella’s waters recede with the Sierra’s diminishing snowmelt, bottles and driftwood and sunglass frames deposit themselves on the freshly formed beaches. Cocklebur plants, too.
Ann Beman is Tahoma Literary Review‘s nonfiction editor and also serves as prose reviews editor for the Museum of Americana online journal. Her work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Bombay Gin, Mojave River Review, and some other cool places. But nowhere’s as cool to her as where she lives with two whatchamaterriers, a chihuahua, and her husband in Kernville, on the Kern River, in Kern County. Cue the banjos.
Just south of Sarasota, I told the lady sun tanning on the blanket there was a shark out there in the water. It was true. Big shark. Two body lengths, shadow grey, cruising like a tank beneath the surface. “There can’t be any sharks out there,” the woman said. Some lady in a swim cap. One of the timeshare occupants from across the street. Not my grandmother’s friend – they hate each other, all the timeshare tenants. They can’t stand each other’s one-piece bathing suits with the fake skirt. They can’t stand each other’s varicose veins. Each thinks the other is polluting their landscape. “A big shark,” I repeated.
Tim Fitts lives and works in Philadelphia. He serves on the editorial staff of the Painted Bride Quarterly and teaches in the Liberal Arts Department of the Curtis Institute of Music. Fitts’ fiction has been published by journals such as Granta, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, Shenandoah, Fugue, among many others.
A light tap on the hotel room’s wooden door invites me to investigate. I am away on business in Newport News, Virginia, Room 203. I cross the musty brown carpet that sports faded yellow swirl patterns. Through the fisheye lens, I see a thin Indian man glancing left and right.
As a mechanical engineer for a large public utility in Colorado, I’ve been sent to the Port of Virginia to inspect a new turbine recently purchased for one of our power plants. My mind is preoccupied with the knowledge that my father arrived at this same port in January 1948, when he was merely 17 years old.
David B. Such is a left-handed mechanical engineer with four decades of experience with turbines and other machinery. Off the job, he retreats to his home in the foothills of Colorado where, contrasted to his industrial work environment, he appreciates close connections with his natural surroundings and enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and gardening. His essays, poetry, and drawings have appeared in South 85 Literary Journal, Stonecoast Review, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, Red Coyote Journal, EcoTheo Review, Silver Blade Magazine, and others. He also has an essay and drawing forthcoming in Weber — The Contemporary West. Visit David at dbsuch.wordpress.com and dbsuchart.wordpress.com.
At exactly 3 p.m. on March 13, 1957, Carolos Gutierrez Menoyo directed the commando group into two cars and a red panel truck with the words “Fast Delivery” painted on its sides. The Palace attack was about to begin.
Long before I visited Havana, Cuba in November 2014 and laid my body against the body of the red Fast Delivery truck pocked with bullet holes, displayed in the National Museum of the Revolution, a red truck had been the means of transport into the untracked wildernesses of my mind; it drove itself into multiple poems and fragments…
Drawing inspiration from a range of psychological landscapes, Paula Marafino Bernett’s work reflects a deep curiosity about the mind’s forays into language and association as the drivers for inquiry and the pursuit of a rich and dimensional life. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Clackamas Literary Review, The Louisville Review, Margie, Nimrod International Journal, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and, Whiskey Island, among others. Her lyric essay “Digression and Memory, The Handmaiden Effect” and a companion essay “Four Hands Improvising on a Piano” appeared in Fourth Genre. Her lyric essay “The Smallest Leaning Begins … has appeared in Eastern Iowa Review.
It was one of the most shameful moments of my life. It is one that I will never forget and from which I will never recover.
For years, my father had been showing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The once brilliant mind and sharp wit had dimmed a bit, and it was getting harder and harder for him to keep things straight. Conversations with my father had always been powerful for me. He had the ability to follow my ramblings, ask probing questions with genuine interest, and give feedback or commentary that often made me think further on a certain issue. He was this way with most people, especially my friends, and we had a running joke that my friends had better not start a conversation with my dad unless they had plenty of time on their hands. But his ability to carry on such dialogue had become curtailed, and his short answers, or even silence, stood in great contrast to the talker most people knew. One Christmas, I gave him the gift of an outing each month—just the two of us—to a place of interest for the day. Our car rides, which had previously been packed with storytelling or ponderings about life, instead became filled with wordless spaces and repeated information from previous conversations. His disease was advancing.
On Thursday, November 8th, 2018, I went to the Good Earth store for lunch. I had just heard about the Butte County Camp Fire, slightly growing anxious as the sky filled with a sandstone haze. I got some coffee, coconut water, and a piece of pizza from the to-go station and went to the express lane. A man, dressed like he just got done with a mountain bike ride, covered in sweat, stood to my right, just out of line. He cut in front of me, and I said nothing, not sure if he was there before I had arrived in line. He then turned back and saw me and apologized. We exchanged niceties as he told he just got in from Sonoma from the train, that he was about to go for a ride.
Born and raised just north of San Francisco, Cole Hersey has worked as a staff writer with the Oregon Voice and has worked on the selection committee of the SILO at Bennington College, where he received his undergraduate degree. Currently, he is working as an editor at the West Marin Review. Anne Lamott said of his work, “Cole Hersey is the real thing, a beautiful and observant writer on his way up. His writing is clear and evocative, visual and touching, with just a bit of edge, and a lot of soul.”
As our fickle nation turns its attention to another season of weary football, we’re inundated with radio spots, TV commercials, and billboards touting the glitzy appeal of sports-betting. From this onslaught, it would seem that all it takes is a few minutes of research on point spreads, weather conditions, and match-up history for the average fan to swim in the spoils of weekly winnings. Putting down the right bet can turn any casual Sunday into a money monsoon befitting a tech mogul. An activity, which recently was considered unseemly or taboo, has now pulled a firm seat to the crowded poker table of mainstream advertising. So what’s happened?
Tim Cyphers is a writer living in Baltimore, MD. An avid sports-fan, reader, admirer of music, the outdoors, and soon-to-be-(gulp)-dad, he also earns a living in the treasury field.
I’m typing case notes in the hospice office when one of the home care nurses walks up and sings, “The son’s gonna come in to-mor-row.”
I chuckle-groan. Sons from out of town haven’t been around to experience the patient’s decline, so they can’t understand the decisions made by caregivers who have been. Sons from out of town, whether they are conscious of it or not, believe they can swoop in for a few days and fix whatever’s wrong. Sons from out of town, poor guys, are a pain to educate.
Peggy Hendry’s work has appeared in Storyteller: Journal of the Society of
Southwestern Authors, Months to Years Magazine, DASH Literary Journal, and the anthology, Coyotes: Winners of the First Six Years of the Tucson Festival of Books Writing Contest. She lives in the lush Sonoran Desert with her husband of twenty-nine years and the cat who owns them. Peggy is currently working on her second novel.
Alone in the pool, surrounded by other people’s children, I think of a way to describe the garbled and bulbous sounds of their high pitched voices bouncing | heightened | distracting and I think: this must be what it sounds like inside a snow globe—the garbled nature of voice trapped beneath a glass dome. Here, the indoor hotel pool is rectangular. The ceiling, high. I enter at the low end, easing my feet into cool water, holding the metal rail in case a loud, raucous embodied voice bumps into me.
Heather J. Macpherson writes from New England. Her work has appeared in 580 Split, Gravel, The Worcester Review, Concourse, Spillway, Pearl and other fine places. She has work forthcoming in The Bennington Review and Blueline. Heather is a PhD candidate in Creative Nonfiction at University of Rhode Island.
Essay and Other Nonfiction Workshops at Eckleburg
Submit Your Nonfiction
We accept polished creative nonfiction/essays up to 8,000 words year round, unless announced otherwise. Preferences veer toward shorter works under 1500 words with an arts and culture focus. If you wish to include a bio, keep it short, under 200 words. Submit your nonfiction.
Essay Collections and Memoir Manuscripts
We publish short works at The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. At this time, we do not publish novel, long memoir, essay collections, story collections or poetry collections at The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. We do offer manuscript workshops at The Eckleburg Workshops. If you are looking to place a manuscript, we can suggest several excellent small and large presses whose excellent books are promoted through our Eckleburg Book Club — i.e., Random House, Graywolf Press, Coffeehouse, Tinhouse, St. Martins Press and more.