Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Fast Food at Midnight

Donal Mahoney

A drunk comes into McDonald’s

staggers to the counter

is waited on by a young lady

who looks like his wife

years ago when he proposed.

Drunk says nothing, just stares,

mouth agape, until the

manager hustles forward,

sensing a sale

leans over the counter

says to the drunk,

“Want fries with her?”

————————————————————————

Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, lives in exiled now in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had fiction and poetry appear in print and online publication in the U.S. and elsewhere

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Old School Poetry

   If They Meant All They Said

Alice Duer Miller

Charm is a woman’s strongest arm;millerduerca20s1
My charwoman is full of charm;
I chose her, not for strength of arm
But for her strange, elusive charm.

And how tears heighten woman’s powers!
My typist weeps for hours and hours:

I took her for her weeping powers,
They so delight my business hours.

A woman lives by intuition.
Though my accountant shuns addition
She has the rarest intuition.
(And I myself can do addition.)

Timidity in girls is nice.
My cook is so afraid of mice.
Now you’ll admit it’s very nice
To feel your cook’s afraid of mice.


Alice Duer Miller (1874 – 1942) was a graduate of Barnard College (studied mathematics and astronomy), a suffragist, an American poet, and a novelist. She is best known for her books ARE WOMEN PEOPLE? and THE WHITE CLIFFS.

Review – Jacob M. Appel’s EINSTEIN’S BEACH HOUSE

By Ashley Bach

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Einstein’s Beach House, the short story collection of Jacob M. Appel is populated by teachers, doctors, rabbis, people who used to be teachers, people who pretend to be doctors, people who pretend that their house once belonged to Einstein, a pair of teen girls breaking into a sexual predator’s house, a couple dealing with a depressed pet hedgehog, PEOPLE who seem real despite their unbelievable lives. Unbelievable in a good way. If you who take their coffee black with a hint of sugar, you will find this book to fit your tastes. Not to say that’s the only way you can enjoy the stories. Throughout the collection the illness recurs, having some effect on characters in some way. Mental illnesses and physical illnesses permeate, and by extension a fixation on mortality.

It’s easy to imagine that each story takes place in the same universe. It’s a universe of literary folks, and people who want more for themselves and loved ones. In the first story of the collection, “Hue and Color,” the main character’s father opines, “I fear I’ve taught you girls too much grammar and not enough forgiveness.” “The Rod of Asclepius,” one of the darker stories, a Manhattan doctor recounts accompanying her father on his nefarious hospital visits. Visits the latter deemed as being a way of changing the world and being for the narrator’s dead mother.

Stories like “The Rod of Asclepius,” the eponymous story, and “Limerence,” work as retrospectives. They are first person narrations that relay the distance the narrator has from the events recounted, and reflect on them, while giving tidbits of information of where they are now in life, as they tell the story.

Not only can Appel construct a fascinating concept, but he can carry it out, making sure that every aspect of the story is on par with the appeal of the plot, such as it is with “Paracosmos.” A beautiful title; science fiction like, and it’s about a worry wart mother receiving a visit from her daughter’s imaginary friend. It has it’s predictability, but the occurrences of anything predictable are minimal, and sometimes, as with “Paracosmos,” there is a point where the reader can see where things are going, but they can continue to read to see if this is actually going to be where the story leads. You wonder if this is for real, and you end up surprised.

Key features of the writing are the moments of profundity, so eloquent they jar you from the quirkiness or the darkness with this speck of fantasy. A prime example comes from Einstein’s Beach House.”

My sister looked up at me and asked, “Is this what nuclear winter is like.”

Often times Appel portrays his males as dreamers and his women as voices of reason. In addition, the females are more often than not are emotionally burdened, but he shows the flaws of both sexes in a way that we as a society have been normal for the norms, not to say it appears sexist. He seems to pay as much attention to female psyches as he does to male, and this balance of gender diversity is something that can be appreciated. There aren’t any definable archetypes. No manic pixie dream girls. No Humbert Humberts. Pretty much every child in the collection is precocious, but Appel manages to make them a pleasant aspect to the stories they are featured in.

The effectiveness of this line directly comes from the place where it occurs, during a domestic dispute between the narrator of the story’s mother and father. It comes from a child, and it’s in a nice indented line before the next break in the page.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. See for yourself!

IT’S HERE!

It’s time to jump for joy! The first edition of Baby Lawn Literature is here!

Editor’s Note

Thank you to all of you who submitted. This was more daunting than expected, but it’s done. Now we hope to be use this experience to improve upon the next one.  Never stop writing! Never stop submitting! No matter how small this magazine may be presently, this is a labor of love, and it is the hope of Rakim and I that that is evident.

-Ashley Bach

Flash Fiction

Centaurs and Minotaurs

Romana Guillotte

“I don’t understand…” Cristal stammered.

“You don’t understand this?” Dr. Roots asked as he pointed to the diagram on the board–a sort of ascending staircase of obstacles.

“This is what we’re suggesting. What do you see?” Doug asked, soothing his fiancée with a hand caress.

Cristal looked at the seven faces in the workshop. “You guys don’t understand my work!”

“Now don’t get defensive, we just want to understand your vision,” Dr. Roots put his hands up to calm her-–like she was about to explode.

Jameson rolled his eyes. “Don’t be that person…”

Alison snorted. “Like that woman that wore all that turquoise?”

“Cat poetry was banned the second she walked in the room.” Dr. Roots put his hand to his face.

“It’s not poetry! It’s a love story between minotaurs and centaurs…they are majestic beings!” Cristal burst a little too passionately.

“Granted, we just think the story could be simpler and the names not so complicated…”

“I used traditional Greek names…”

“Yes, yes. But it interrupts the flow,” Jameson noted. “Perhaps names that aren’t five syllables?”

Nods all around. “The plot is pulled directly from myths-–I don’t want to patronize my audience by spoon-feeding them.”

Dr. Roots nodded too. “We’re not asking you to.  Have you considered stretching it out a bit? Making it a novella or

novel for example?”

Cristal beamed suddenly. “You think it could be a novel?”

“Totally!” Jameson said. “I dig it!”

More nods. “I guess I could play around with description and things like that.”

Dr. Roots let out a sigh and made a motion that meant ‘pass her your corrections’. “See we are looking to help you!”

“How often do you guys meet?”

“Weekly for a month, once a quarter,” Alison said. “It really helps; I feel I’ve come a long way.”

Dr. Roots nodded now. “Having a fresh pair of eyes is a fantastic and under-utilized tool.”

Cristal leafed through colorfully corrected pages-–some with a lot of notes, some with few. It was more than she initially

expected. “Yes, I understand now.”


Romana Guillotte has an MFA in Writing for Dramatic Media from the UNLV, where she also received a BA in Film Studies and a BA in English. Though more importantly is a terribly average cellist and is a ginger that loves dragons. She’s had short fiction appear in “Foliate Oak Literary Magazine”, “Slink Chunk Press”, and “The J.J. Outré Review”