7 Reads We Recommend

Image via Flickr by Mircea
Image via Flickr by Mircea

by Emily Ramser


I’m assembling a box of toys—“ by Mary Lou Buschi in Thrush 

This poem is reminiscent of a child’s nursery rhyme in the way each line flows into the next and connects with previous lines. Buschi’s work is much darker than a typical nursery rhyme, as within it, she tackles intense topics. The piece is beautifully simplistic. She manages to create complex, in-depth images using only a handful of words. The haunting images hung in my head for hours afterwards. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant 

Haircut” by Paul Lisicky in New World Writing 

This short piece of Paul’s fiction displays a sensuous expression of knowing. Finding the erotic in a traditionally practical experience brought a delightful surprise. This first person narrative is as soft as it is charged, and his skillful use of rhythm left me wanting to reread it again and again—and I did. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

The Kitchen Witch at Imbolc” by Sarah Ann Winn in MISTRESS 

The images in this piece are striking. The description of the moon in the sky being the ring left by an abandoned coffee cup is beautiful. Winn’s ability to paint these kinds of images using a couple of descriptive words is admirable. I came back to this poem again and again over the day. It lingered in my mind all day. I’m looking forward to more of this writer’s work. ~ Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

Mrs. Oleander in the Florida Room” by Robert Wexelblatt in Five on the Fifth 

Filled with humor that is a delight from the very beginning, this outstanding piece of flash fiction brings Mrs. Oleander to life through rich descriptions and sparkling dialogue. There is a current underneath that balances the levity with a yearning that makes me want to sit in Mrs. Oleander’s Florida room and hold her hand all afternoon. Robert is such a skillful writer that you even get closer to his protagonist though her selection of furniture. Pure brilliance. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

Hosed” by Jennifer Fliss in People Holding 

Flash fiction is a difficult medium to master, but Fliss does it well. She manages to craft a scene, characters, drama and a well-rounded plot within a short 500 words. The ending made me pause and reread it all over again because it blew my mind. Fliss’ piece is wonderful and worth a read or two or three. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

When I Touch Your Face” by Bud Smith in Leopardskin and Limes 

This Berlin-based mag run by riot grlls, writers, and poets knows how to get your attention. Bud Smith’s story is dialogue heavy, fervent and full of surprises. It’s brash, and full of flawed characters you love to hate or hate to love. I truly can’t decide. The format is designed as a story primarily full of short, sharp sentences that almost challenge you to chase the words, trying to keep it from running away. Challenge accepted. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor

Materials You Can Shred” by Sara Adams in Diagram 

Adams’s piece is a white-out erasure poem. Her source material was a handbook/warranty booklet for the GB C 91S Straight Cut GBC 96X Cross Cut Personal Shredder, which is something one would not expect to warrant a poetic work. The way she uses the source material to create this heart wrenching feeling of being damaged and trying to breathe through being injured via this warranty book is phenomenal. You can feel your throat close just as the piece describes. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant

Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collection I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.

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