Anna’s Billy Club

Grandma always blamed the pain in her arthritic knees on the diner. Anna was a small-framed, round-shouldered, stately old woman dressed in black. She had sunken cheeks on a round, wrinkled face, topped with thinning white hair made a bit blue during Easter and Christmas. Her small, dark eyes, sharply observing, and her thin lips almost, barely, hinting a smile—that’s how she looked. She was a good listener and her […]

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Ode to a Bright Idea

A common household annoyance begins with a flash and a small puff of smoke. It’s time to change a light bulb. However, imagine if you had a light bulb that never burned out. My mother has one of those in our family home. She says it’s an original carbon filament light bulb that has been burning for over half a century. In 1952, the year before my mother was born, […]

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Greer County’s Dizzying Colonial History

By Kevin Hudson Ryan Clark’s experimental form for his poems, in which he dismantles his source material and rearranges it using homophonic translation, in some ways mirrors the history of the towns he chose to portray. Whereas today’s Greer County is contained within Oklahoma, Frazer and Navajoe are part of an older and larger Greer County, a region that stretched over modern-day southwestern Oklahoma. When submitting his work to Poor […]

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Bosch’s Works: Not What They Seem

By Gina DiGiovancarlo Hieronymus Bosch’s The Conjurer is a genre painting, set in a daily situation rather than a strictly religious one, which depicts a street magician entertaining a crowd. What appears to be a benign scene upon first glance, like many of Bosch’s paintings, is actually a visual representation of what he viewed mankind to be in the world: corruptions that are vulnerable to temptation. This is a common […]

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How to Own a Star

By Dr. Leslie Lindenauer Joyce Munro’s “Let Evening Blush to Own a Star” ranges across time and space. By turns soaring through the heavens and bouncing off the earth, the piece takes us on a journey, tracing the story of a statue (or many statues?), her artist (or his minions?) and her owners, the art patrons who coveted her. She is Merope, “The Lost Pleiad,” in her earthbound form sculpted […]

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A Mysterious German Bible from 1898

When I was sixteen, a European exchange student enrolled at my small-town high school for the year. I was, of course, instantly infatuated and placed myself front and center to gain his favor. He was from Germany and we were together for a year and a half. The latter fifty percent of our relationship took place with me pining away in Connecticut and him pining away back home in Germany. […]

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Campbell Soup Kids

I found a toy that may have belonged to your great-grandparents once upon a time. A little thrift store called Safe Haven sells items that were once held so dear to someone that they were pristinely cleaned and cared for, and they stood the test of time. Located in the heart of a retirement community in the small town of Southbury, CT, Safe Haven inherits antiques, some with rich history […]

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