Diana Rosen: “Traveling on Our Stomachs”

Traveling on Our Stomachs

Leaving the excess of old-world Utrecht, 
all gargoyles, staggeringly high churches 
with their proverbial lesson in perspective, 
arched doorways folding into arched hallways 
like bellows on a monochromatic accordion, 
I enter the gray-gray of its New Town: Massive, 
hard-edged concrete slabs of cold contemporary 
Dutch architecture dedicated to function over form, 
utility over any hint of Rococo. I’m drawn to an 
Edward Hopper-lit café, empty save the silent 
server who presents a slab of creamy yellow cheese, 
flaky golden-dusted brioche its tenderness cradling 
the bright orange yolk of the freshest egg, satiny hot 
coffee in a white-white cup, the perfect American 
travel memory on a gray-gray day in Utrecht.

About the Author: Diana Rosen is a poet, flash writer, and essayist with work in online and print journals in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada, and India. Her first book of flash and poetry, “High Stakes & Expectations,” was released in spring 2022 from thetinypublisher.com Diana lives in Los Angeles where she writes website content on food and beverage. To read more of her work, please visit www.authory.com/dianarosen

Image Credit: Édouard Manet “The Brioche” (1870) Public domain image courtesy of Artvee

Nathan Graziano: “Stuck Inside the Supermarket with the Beautiful Blues Again”

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Stuck Inside the Supermarket with the Beautiful Blues Again

My wife told me to find the onion crisps
for a green bean casserole she was making
for Easter dinner at my parents’ house.
Perplexed, I confessed I had no idea where 
to start the search for the onion crisps 
and suggested we sauté a raw onion instead.
“Don’t be a smart-ass,” she said and rolled
her eyes and sent me on the quixotic quest.

So I roamed the aisles, Ancient Mariner-style,
and found myself behind a beautiful couple
in their late-twenties, olive-skinned and fit,
as they whisked past the chocolate cake mix
holding hands, their shopping cart filled 
with fresh vegetables and fish and goat cheeses
but no onion crisps or cream of mushroom soup
or any hint of the makings of a casserole.

Then Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile 
with the Memphis Blues Again” started to play
in my head, entering like a silk-footed thief,
and I hummed it a decimal above the soft-rock
that fell like syrupy summer rain from the ceiling. 
The beautiful couple turned at the end of the aisle
and went on to live beautiful lives and birth 
beautiful kids, and I never found the onion crisps.

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About the Author: Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife. A high school teacher, he’s the author of nine books of fiction and poetry. Fly Like The Seagull, his most recent work of fiction, was released by Luchador Press in 2020. Graziano also writes a column for Manchester Ink Link and was named the 2020 Columnist of Year by the New Hampshire Press Association. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.

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Image Credit: Thomas J. O’Halloran “Shopping in supermarket” (1957) The Library of Congress (Public Domain)

Steve BrisenDine: “Pickling”

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About the Author: Steve Brisendine is a poet, writer, occasional artist and recovering journalist who lives and works in Mission, KS. His work has appeared in As It Ought To Be, Flint Hills Review, Connecticut River Review and other publications. His first collection of Poetry, The Words We Do Not Have, was published in 2021 by Spartan Press.

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More By Steve Brisendine:

Working Out a Splinter at Three O’clock on Good Friday Afternoon

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Image Credit: John Colier Jr. “Steel-saving glass-top jars recommended by the War Production Board, Containers Division” (1943) The Library of Congress

Frank C Modica: “Language of Love”

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Language of Love

sunlight dusts the kitchen
like a whisper
the food-stained handwritten
index card rests
on a pile of week-old ads

the pasta machine
sits  ready for the white flour,
water, and Crisco
mixed and measured
with familial fingers and eyes

after the final pass
through the hand-cranked machine
many hands take turns
with the rolling pin
to shape the dough
into soft rectangles
a plume of flour
covers everyone like snow

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About the Author: Frank C Modica is a cancer survivor and retired teacher who taught children with special needs for over 34 years. When he isn’t writing he’s riding a bike or volunteering with various local agencies. His work is forthcoming or has appeared in Blue Mountain Review, Lemonspouting, and Fahmidan Journal. Frank’s first chapbook is forthcoming from Alabaster Leaves publishing.

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Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “An Amishwoman rolls dough to make small fried pies inside the farmhouse at Yoder’s Amish Home, an authentic Amish farm that began accepting visitors in 1983 near Walnut Creek in central Ohio, along the “Amish Country Byway” Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain.