Archive for March 2011

the girl and the Genius

{by Amber of The Run-a-muck}

the girl
My firstborn, with a shoulder sunburn and radiating roses on his face, is not well acquainted with pain, so his big cousin coaches him with his thoughts.

Sophia is nine. She has known multiple hospital beds, scary chest sounds, needles and nurses, so she says, “Isaac, when you hurt, all you have to do is think of your mother’s smile. When I’m with my daddy and I hurt, I think of my mother’s smile. When I’m at my mom’s, I think of my dad’s smile. It works.”

Then she flits off like a dove.

I watch her all weekend, her unaffected art, the lack of desire for new clothes or a hair-brushing, the freckled beauty of a long, lanky child, and I turn my head more than once for what of her is lost in me. I behold her joy.

Most people carry their souls in a deep pocket at the pit of their stomachs, but Sophia lets hers slip out to her fingertips. Hers rides on easy lips and feathers out from her shoulders to fan air at the disappointed. It is innocence and how it shirks this world, how pain is transformed to beauty.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that her straight body will shortly turn to curve and that her imagination won’t so easily delve to the floor in character play that makes me awe at her on the cusp. Sophia’s arms reach at first guess, and she offers an honest smile to the sun. She sits with paper and draws, snuggled generously with my boys.



Treads

{by Jennifer Doyle from Playgroups are No Place for Children}

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Visit Jennifer at her personal website, Playgroups are No Place for Children.
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Nineteen Eighty-Hare

Nineteen Eighty-Hare

{Originally posted on Adam P Knave}

I leaned heavily against a wall. Trying to catch my breath was a mistake but I couldn’t keep running. I just couldn’t. “BIG RABBIT IS, WE SAY IS, SON ARE YOU LISTENING, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” was painted along the wall. How they found space for the lettering I don’t know.

I found the strength to keep moving.

The thing of it was, I didn’t have the heat on me. No one was after me and I could’ve just gone back home. But after what I saw that night, after that, I just couldn’t. I found what they did to Porky. Poor bastard.

Technically they took him to ask a few questions. Technically he had decided to move to another city. Technically… a lot of things. This night someone had left me a key to a door I didn’t know existed, and it was there I found him. Well, films of him, anyway.

Stripped naked in a cage of rats, he squirmed and squealed like, well, to be fair, a pig. I’m not sure why I was given the key, the directions, shown what I was shown but I had a feeling…

For weeks now I kept a journal. A journal of my thoughts and dreams. Stuff that I wasn’t supposed to have, much less think. It must have been found. So I ran. I ran though no one actively seemed to pursue me. I ran to find my love. Marvin. Oh, how his helmet shined in the light. He wasn’t from around here, as it turned out. Despite what we were told. He said the wars were fake. He said he loved me. He said we’d be safe.

Damn it, I couldn’t break down in tears. Not yet. Not until…



Treatise

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Submissions Reopened and Celebrated

Letter from the Editor.

Story Bleed Magazine is once again accepting submissions!

After a year of submissions on hold due to a backlog in the hundreds, we are proud to announce that we have reopened submissions and are ready to celebrate with you.

#storied

Join the Story Bleed Editors this Thursday for a one hour open twitter chat about the craft of writing.

What: Writing indulgence in the company of friends, writers, and editors
Where: Twitter #storied (click the hashtag and join in or simply follow along)
When: Thursday, March 24, 2011, at 9pm ET/ 8CT/ 6PT

Reopening submissions is worth celebrating. Not only does it breathe new life into our conversation, once again enlivening the push and pull of living art, but we are also broadening our embrace. Story Bleed Magazine now accepts original submissions both previously published and unpublished in the following areas:

  • nonfiction (essays, memoirs)
  • fiction (short pieces, please)
  • poetry
  • art
  • photography

Submit your work to Story Bleed through our revamped submissions manager today.

Timeless. Published. Unpublished. Singular. Bold.

As ever, we are interested in pieces that are timeless. New for us, however, is the acceptance of original, previously unpublished pieces.



An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m.

{By Schmutzie of Schmutzie.com}

My past year was filled with some heavy stuff. I went through depression, which is not abnormal for me in the least. If you look back at the prevalence of depression throughout my life since I was about three years old, you would think it was one of my most favourite things ever. It’s not, but there’s been lots of it, and there was definitely enough of it over this past year.

Then, I also faced the ugly reality that is the trap of aging with my grandmother and my grandfather. I came to a point where I finally had to throw up my hands and admit to alcoholism. I walked away from my main social circle in order to hermit myself away from almost ten years of habitual living to quit drinking. Basically, 2010 had me me quaking in my metaphorical boots about mortality and the brevity of life while turning myself inside out both habit-wise and socially.

I had to think and feel and do things that were hard for me to think and feel and do, and I felt like I was pulling out my own teeth a lot of the time. Somehow, though, this turned 2010 into one of the best years of my life. It really did.

There is a lot of positive-thinking noise about learning how to say Yes! to things in your life, but saying Yes! is often best done by judiciously and sometimes painfully say No!, and 2010 was the year in which I said No! a lot every day so that I had the ability to say Yes! in other areas.

Some Pollyanna out there is going to pop up and try to tell me that all those No!s were really Yes!ses in disguise, and to that person I say Screw you. Those No!s were No!s, and I know, because they were hard and awful and dragged me through the mud face down, and that mud had rocks in it, and it was rainy, and it was cold, too, and I had a really shitty time of it. I love those No!s, though. I claim them. They made me.

Anyway, I was lying in bed this morning reflecting on the mindfuck that was 2010 and wondering what it meant that I pretty much just walked away from a whole life, and what it meant for me that I once left a fiancee and did all kinds of drugs and had a doomed love affair and suffered life in the closet and was diagnosed with all manner of psychological illnesses in the 1990s and became an alcoholic and quit my office job for no job and had cancer and on and on and on as all the crazy stuff life throws at a person is wont to just keep happening.