FNS: Joshua Musicant

Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is a poem from Joshua Musicant


Is it bad luck to
Question whether luck is bad,
Or even worse luck?


Joshua Musicant is an artist, educator, entrepreneur, and gentleman adventurer exiled in the fine city of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Working in various incarnations, multidisciplinary, and multimodal outlets such as poetry, prose, photography, video, performance, and innovation, his work has been featured at North Las Vegas City Hall, Nevada, the Studio City Library, Burbank, California, in the Gambler magazine, and beyond.

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Visual Prompt : What’s the Story?

Everything Comes in 3’s: Visual Prompts from Helen: A Literary Magazine. Write a story, scene, poem, or narrative sparked by three images.

VisualPrompt217

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CLASSIC SERIES: Hafez

featuring “See How the Roses Burn!” by Hafez

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FNS: These Are The Clouds by William Butler Yeats

Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is a classic from William Butler Yeats

These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye:
The weak lay hand on what the strong has done,
Till that be tumbled that was lifted high
And discord follow upon unison,
And all things at one common level lie.
And therefore, friend, if your great race were run
And these things came, So much the more thereby
Have you made greatness your companion,
Although it be for children that you sigh:
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye.

 

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Visual Prompt : What’s the Story?

Everything Comes in 3’s: Visual Prompts from Helen: A Literary Magazine. Write a story, scene, poem, or narrative sparked by three images.

VisualPromptStPatty

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CLASSIC SERIES: Robert Penn Warren

featuring “Vision” by Robert Penn Warren

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FNS: Writing This on the Divinity School Lawn by Ron Riekki

Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Ron Riekki


https://youtu.be/BiurXNqMcao

The sky keeps trying to get thinner.
I say that it needs to gain weight.
We want a sky with its stomach full.

Who wants a sky too slim to hold stars?
We should all breathe as much air as possible.
Do it now. Hold it in your family of lungs.

I want to get in there, hug you like an alligator,
tell you that you are even more beautiful
than the bottle of rum above my fridge.


Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel (currently film optioned, nominated for the Sewanee Writers Series and Great Michigan Read), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book awarded by the Library of Michigan, Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist and shortlisted for the Grand Prize, 2014 Midwest Book Award finalist, Foreword Book of the Year finalist, and 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (2016 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes—Best Regional Fiction and a 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award—Short Story finalist). He has work in several anthologies including The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2012, The Best Men’s Stage Monologues of 2016, The Best Small Fictions 2015, and Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry. He is at @RonRiekki on twitter.

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Visual Prompt : What’s the Story?

Everything Comes in 3’s: Visual Prompts from Helen: A Literary Magazine. Write a story, scene, poem, or narrative sparked by three images.

VisualPromptI

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FNS: Cat by Anna Leahy

Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Anna Leahy


We sleep late this Sunday, while all the church-
goers go to all the churches and then walk in the fresh air,
three-dollar coffees in their hands, warming their gold wedding bands.
We remain in a state aware enough to appreciate the sleep we are half in.

A knock on the door: I jump up to answer.
A woman holds three leashes holding three dogs,
asks, Do you have a cat? as if she is selling cats
like a grade-schooler sells candy bars.
No, I say and start to close the door.
Do you know who does? she asks, a little desperate.
No, I say. We just moved here, as if I will know
my neighbors in due time, know their pets soon.
She looks over her shoulder, as if someone is stalking her.
I was walking my dogs, she says, lifting her handful of leashes
to prove that she has dogs, that she is telling the truth.
A cat ran into the street.

I ask, Does it need a vet? as if I know
where the nearest vet might be. She becomes irritated.
No, but I didn’t want to just leave it there.

But she does just leave it there in the street,
having made her best effort to find the cat’s owner,
having found me and told me, a due diligence.
I go to the bathroom and don two latex gloves.
I put on gym shoes but do not tie the laces.
I go to the back porch and grab a cardboard box,
left from our recent move to this sunny place,
my proof that I told the truth too.

Still in my pajamas, I walk into the street.
Until I put the box down and crouch over the cat,
it does not occur to me that the neighbors might
see me in nightclothes after noontime
or that I, too, might be hit by a passing car,
by a hung-over student or a mother jiggling a toy
behind her back in the face of a squalling toddler,
by someone like me, not expecting to find a woman
in the street after I’ve turned the corner.
But everyone else must be praying or walking.
I face no danger. The body is like any cat’s body.
Were it not for its slack muscles and the blood seeping from
under its head, the cat would be alive. I lift it.
Its eyeball hangs out of its skull, a reminder to me
that I wanted to be a surgeon. A reminder
that a hard knock can fling your insides to the wall.

I place the cat, warm and supple, into the box.
I curl it to fit, to look more like a live cat.
Its injuries are a secret. I close the lid, tuck flaps
under so that the box will stay shut. I carry
the box to the garage, set it next to the bin outside.
If anyone comes by asking, it will not be in the trash.
But no one knows to come here, to us,
so my lover will pace the box into the bin one morning
and head off to work

I will stay in bed a little late
that day, listening to the roar of the garbage truck, its arms
raising each bin as it makes its way down the street
toward our house. I will remember the woman’s arm
rising to show me leashes, the dogs, and, for the first time,
I will think the cat may have run from the dogs.
I will remember the cat, curled in the box,
and the other ones, put to sleep in old age
and buried in my mother’s yard.
Each lid clanks open, all the contents hauled away.


Anna Leahy’s poetry collection Aperture is recently out from Shearsman Books. Her co-authored nonfiction book Generation Space: A Love Story and her nonfiction book Tumor are forthcoming in 2017. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University, where she edits the journal TAB. Find out more at www.generationspace.com and www.amleahy.com.

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Visual Prompt : What’s the Story?

Everything Comes in 3’s: Visual Prompts from Helen: A Literary Magazine. Write a story, scene, poem, or narrative sparked by three images.

VisualPrompt216

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