Friday, November 23, 2012

New Sun Rising Paperback Launch

Please join us in our virtual party to launch New Sun Rising.

We are encouraging supporters to purchase the book in a concentrated time frame with the intent to capitalise on the volume of sales to move the book up the Amazon best seller list. The higher up the chart it is, the more visible it becomes to other readers who may go on to purchase it.

It’s all about exposure and the more people who come across New Sun Rising, the more books we sell and the more money we raise.

Our 24 hour time frame is this Saturday - 24th of November - from one min past midnight - through to 11.59 pm 

Even if you can't purchase the book on the day, there is plenty you can do to support us.

So - what can YOU do?
Buy the book on Saturday 
Encourage your friends/ relatives/ greengrocer to buy it on Saturday
If  you can’t buy on the day, you can add it to your wishlist. 
If your friends can't buy it - get them to add it to a wishlist
'Like' the book ( there is a little thumbs up on the site = press that!)
Get everyone you know to log on and 'like' the book
give the book a rating out of 5 on Amazon

post a link on your facebook/ twitter/ pintrest/ google+

Please write a review on your blog.
write a review and post it on Amazon
get a friend to write a review on Amazon

Pop over to the facebook page and write a little "yay" or encouraging message on Saturday ( or anytime!)

Every little bit counts - if we all do a little - it will make a HUGE difference to the visibility of the book


The book retails online for $10.05 at Amazon and the same at CreateSpace. Its listed on Amazon UK and US .

If you are going to buy a book on Saturday - do it through Amazon as the numbers are counted there for the charts!

How much goes to Fundraising?
Every single cent will be directed to the Red Cross in Japan. Amazon pay quarterly - so as soon as they take their percentage, every .. single... cent goes to the charity. Not a penny goes to the publisher, editors or contributors. They have generously donated their talent and time into this project.

So please - go forth and publicise

Please feel free to copy the graphic for your website, Facebook or twitter and spread the word far and wide. You may like to change your their facebook pictures to the book cover … consider doing as a supporter just for 24 hours! Email me and I'll send you a small file of the book cover.

Join our Social Network

You can join our Amazon Chart Rush Facebook event or official fan page for updates on our progress up the charts! We also tweet at @raginaardvark ( so please come and follow us!)

please come and 'like' Raging Aardvark Publishing

pop over to the the launch party - 

Paperback book available from

thank you thank you once again.. Its been a pleasure to work with such professionals.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Sun Rising On Amazon - as a BOOK!!

The last comma has been checked.
Page numbers have been inserted.
Arguments Discussions on spacing have been finalised.
Our ever supportive and enthusiastic contributors are nearly sick of  excited about reading proofs. Feedback has been acted upon. Everything is looking polished.

The button has been pressed.

All our hard work - and your faith has lead us to this moment. New Sun Rising will soon be available on Amazon as a printed book.

Within a few days,  I will post a short blurb with links to where you can purchase the book. At that time, I would encourage you to share the link and ask friends, neighbours and fans to buy the book - or to spread the word.

100% of profits are sent to the Red Cross in Japan. (Amazon's percentage is the only money from the sales which do not get donated)

There is still so much suffering in Japan. Every cent - and we mean every cent - goes to assist the many projects happening to rebuild Japan. We have been blessed to have been surrounded by so many selfless volunteers - editors, artists, writers, poets, publisher - all who have freely given their expertise and time to ensure the project goes ahead and all money raised is directed to the Red Cross.

The anthology is amazing. The talent showcased is breathtaking. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Its been a long journey - but we have made it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

So SO Close!!

The editors are SO excited.. We have just received the proof copies of New Sun Rising.  I can't begin to tell you how wonderful a feeling it is to actually hold the fruits of all of our labour.

It's a beautiful book - all 263 pages of it.

There are a few tiny layout issues which are being fixed and a couple of layout challenges we need to confirm with contributors..... but after that - it's full steam ahead.

Yes - we can all shriek a small "sqweeeeeeee"  here.

We anticipate the launch date for the paperback around the 16th of November (fingers crossed)  but please watch for our announcements on Raging Aardvark Publishing's facebook page  and twitter  - and of course here on the blog.

When we have the date for launch, we will create a 'virtual launch party' on facebook and invite you all to pop champagne or drink fruit juice - to the health and success of the project that refused to lay down. More information will be provided closer to the date, along with links to where it can be purchased and when.

Thanks so much for your patience, understanding and support.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Success Spotlight on Brigita Orel

Brigita Orel is one of New Sun Rising's contributors who has enjoyed a momentum of successes this year.

Her short story 'Her Only Fruit' has just been published by Eunoia Review. She wrote the story as part of her final project for her master's study in writing at Swinburne. 

Another flash fiction piece  by her will be included in the second volume of the Machine of Death anthology. The editors descibed it as 'A quiet story of a loving relationship.' The first volume of stories about people who know how they will die was published in 2010 and became the best selling book on Amazon on the day of its publication. For more information on the second volume, visit the book's website.

'Afterthought' was published in Foliate Oak Literary Journal  and received honorable mention at the Arkansas College Media Association 2012 Conference. 

For other recent publications, visit Brigita's blog.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Interview with Bard Fox Dunham

Bard Fox Dunham is one of our amazing contributors and has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his work in progress and successes in the past few months.

Bard Fox, you are always so busy with your writing, what have you been up to lately?

It’s been a good few weeks. I’ve had to retire from my writing for a short time to deal with a nasty heart issue that is proving serious. I’ve constantly labored at my scribbling, and I’ve had accepted over 150 pieces in the last 18 months. It is growing steadily. My first novella will be released soon as part of the New World Series, and I hope to finish my second for Hazardous Press as soon as I regain my strength. This is just the beginning. I spent the last 5 days in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, enjoying the fresh air, the fishing, and seeking the spirits of the land and lake. You can see photos on my facebook page:

What sort of inspiration did you come away with after this break?

I’ve come home with a cauldron teeming with story sundries. I sucked in the milieu, the people, and it has nourished my thinning spirit. I will return to work anon even with this invasive treatment in which my cardiologists wish to engage. It is my life support.

Also published is my story, Love Always Comes for You. This another of my hard-boiled pieces, and it is a sequel to my story, Reflexes. Both pieces are published by Pulp Metal Press, an online journal. I’ll enclose links to both:


Your stories are always inspirational. What would you like to say to newcomers and fans of your work?

I hope all of you are doing well, and please let me know what’s going on in your lives. It is for all of you that I remain in this world. I keep writing for you.

And so many stories being published. I’ll try to keep you all updated. I have an international and growing fan base, and together, we are pushing a movement. Soon, the serious work will begin. I’m preparing for battle. I’m going to war.

Please drop me some notes after my stories, on my Facebook page or follow me at twitter:

Twitter: or @TFoxDunham

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Success Spotlight - Catherine Edmunds

Serpentine is the new novel by writer and artist Catherine Edmunds, published by Circaidy Gregory Press. We are delighted to share her success and encourage our readers to support her along her journey.

Art is the proper task of life (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Painting isn’t a job – it’s the reason for Victoria’s very existence – so how is she to bridge the gap between her art and her private life? José gives her the intensity she craves, but has no interest in her as an artist. Simon offers a mature and loving relationship, but his gentleness and inability to understand her compulsions drive her to distraction. And then there’s John – a man who understands exactly who she is, but unnerves her with his perspicacity and potentially violent nature. Victoria’s friend Emma has bruises on her face and Victoria thinks she knows who put them there. 
Throughout it all she paints: tying down memories in cadmium yellow, burning canvases that reveal too much, hoping to find a way to pay the bills.  
The novel poses many questions. Why do contemporary artists do what they do? Why are they so seemingly hell-bent on self destruction? And above all, what does all that stuff in Tate Modern really mean? 

The story is set in London and the North East of England. The author knows these locations intimately. She has visited the London galleries and seen the work that has moved Victoria to tears; she’s walked on the beach at Alnmouth as the haar rolls in; and she’s been drawn back time and time again to the glory that is Durham Cathedral. Most importantly, she’s sat shivering with her easel next to the cold grey North Sea and understands the compulsion that drives Victoria: the absolute need to paint.

Serpentine is available now as an e-book in all standard formats, with the paperback version to follow in October 2012. Visit the publisher’s website for ordering information.

Reviews and further details can be found on the author’s website.

A story with impact. Vivid, important and highly readable.  Mandy Pannett
I’m no artist, but while reading this book I felt like one. It’s a riveting journey. Angela Bodine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oonah V Joslin Interview

Oonah found time in her busy schedual to answer a few questions about her invovlement with New Sun Rising and on the projects she is working on now.

Title of piece contributed to New Sun Rising
Rite of Spring.

What was the inspiration behind your piece?
Journalist Jon Snow’s reports from Japan in the week after the Tsunami were both poignant and detailed and I decided that if there was anything I could do to help rebuild lives there, I would.

What sorts of works/genres/ materials do you normally produce?
I write poetry and flash fiction. Nearly all of my work is under 1000 words and that is by choice. I am not one of those who sees flash fiction as a way of practising writing skills. To me Flash is an end unto itself. I love micro-fiction and have three times won at

What attracted you to this? 
It was ideal. I have only the wealth of words at my disposal.

Who are your models or those you draw inspiration from?
I always wanted to write like Isaac Asimov. I draw inspiration from everywhere but I frequently start in the forums at Writewords. In fact this story started there too.

What are you working on right now?
Lots! As well as this publication, I am promoting the recently published Writewords PANGEA Anthology which also contains one of my stories and I am doing Blog Interviews with other writers for that in September. Later this season I will promoting Every Day Poets’ Anthology TWO. I am Managing Editor. I have been invited once again this year to help judge the Microhorror Hallowe’en Contest, always a great pleasure to work with Nathan Rosen. Writing-wise I am putting together a Kindle Book of my flash fiction both old and new works. Hopefully be available early next year. Also I am working on a sequel to my novella, A Genie in a Jam, published in Bewildering Stories and poetry is on-going. I try to at least start a poem every week and of course, I am forever revising.

 For more information on Oonah and her incredible collections, please check out the links below.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yamato Nadeshiko

This beautiful poem was donated to our blog, not only to highlight its creators talent - but to bring attention to an important 'rematch'. On Thursday, the US women will be playing the Japanese in the Olympic final, a rematch of the 2011 final that inspired the poem. Thank you to Uche Ogbuji for gifting this piece.

Yamato Nadeshiko

Women's World Cup Final, 2011

Nippon, land and lore
Invokes such fascination,
All to be admired…
No! Not all to be admired…
Such bold type of shy contrasts.

This heavy year brought
You uncompromising suffering;
What heart did not feel
Those twin spread sensations
Collapsed into one keen touch.

Now, these few months on
Your Blue Samurai ladies
Infect us with will;
We too taste the blood red disc
In it's white, inductive field,

White of that banner,
Its plain, stark humility
Shading coiled up strength.
Those black, roman letters seem
To draw us in your circle.

Do we still have doubts,
Seek signs of outbound contempt?
It's best we don't hedge;
When grace gives unwavering voice
Mustn't we take her at her word?

The pink bloom unveiled:
"To our friends around the world
Thanks for your support."
And what openings shall follow
Come what may these more-than-games?

published with permission from the author - Uche Ogbuji

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Success Spotlight - Mark Kerstetter

Mark Kerstetter, author of the three haibun included in the Anthology New Sun Rising ( 'This Space', 'Write What You Know' and 'As Leaves Fall') has had some poems published recently. 

The first poem, entitled 'Wilhelm Reich in Lewisburg', was published by Evergreen Review.

The second publication is an interview and three poems at Connotation Press. One of the poems is entitled 'The Buffing Wheel' which is inspired by the life and work of the Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi.

Please join the rest of our community in congratulating him on these successes.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Interview with Simon Paul Wilson

We were lucky enough to catch up with Simon Paul Wilson and ask a few questions about his work and his submission, "Kibou" to New Sun Rising.

  What was the inspiration behind your piece? The inspiration behind Kibou was hope. Even in the darkest of times, there is always hope.

  Why did you decide to donate this to charity? I have been lucky enough to travel to many parts of Asia and find that part of the world both beautiful and magical. The news of the tsunami in Japan was truly shocking. After seeing the scale of devastation on the news, I looked for some way that I could help. So when I was approached to contribute a peice of work to the New Sun Rising project, I leapt at the chance. To be published for the first time is an amazing feeling. To help a country I have a deep love for is an honour.

 What sorts of works/genres/ materials do you normally produce? Kibou is a good example of what I usually write. More often than not, my stories feature a kooky Japanese girl in some sort of surreal situation. I also like to sneak in a dash of horror and a pinch of comedy, just for good measure.

 What attracted you to this style? I grew up reading horror novels, so have always been interested in that genre. The liking for the surreal came as my reading tastes developed. Personally, I like to read stories that draw from multiple genres as I feel it keeps the reader interested and on their toes!
Who are your models or those you draw inspiration from? A lot of my inspiration comes from Asian cinema and literature. Park Chan-Wook is an amazing director and I consider his films as works of genius. As for writers, Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto are huge influences. I also admire the work of Yoko Ogawa and Xiaolu Guo.

What are you working on right now? I have a novella called 'See You When The World Ends' which is nearing completion and am also working on two full length novels entitled 'GhostCityGirl' and 'Indigo'. My first novel, 'Yuko Zen Is Somewhere Else', is currently being submitted to anyone who may be interested!

Thanks for chatting to us and for donating your wonderful piece to the Anthology.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Success Spotlight - Kyle Hemmings

We are delighted to share the milestones Kyle Hemming has reached this year.  He has a free chapbook up at Scars Publications titled Anime Junkie. It's a collection of prose poems and flash fictions based on Manga. He also did a reading at the KGB bar on June 23, 2012.


Kyle's latest ebook for kindle is You Never Die in Wholes that features a wide range of both early and latter stories.. His latest collection of prose poems is The Truth about Onions.

Kyle has upcoming work in Unlikely Stories and in Corvus.  You can find out more about Kyle from his website.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Another of our talented poets, Nora Nadjarian has some great news on her work.

She is delighted to announce that her poem "The Name" was the winner of the unFold 2012 Poetry Garden Show.

Her ultra-short story "Tell Me Words" is one of the honorees in the Ninth Annual International Ultra-Short Competition sponsored by The Binnacle at The University of Maine at Machias. They received over 825 submissions from twenty-five countries and six continents. Nora says that she was  very happy that her story was selected! 

If you are interested in seeing more of her work -  look out for her mini book "The Girl and the Rain" just out from Turtleneck Press.

In others news, she has just found out (yesterday) that her poem "Wanderlust" will be included in the Limerick Writers’ Centre themed Love anthology, due to be published in the early Spring of 2013 in Ireland.

Congratulations Nora - all well deserved honurs.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Success Spotlight : Jonathan Greenhause

Jonathan contributed two pieces to New Sun Rising: “Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall” and “Ueno Park”.

He speaks to us about his work below.
What was the inspiration behind your pieces?
I was traveling through Japan and, in the case of the first poem, was awestruck by the sight of what had once been the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall.  Only a skeletal shell of it remains to serve as a reminder of what was unleashed that day.  Along with the horror, there was also an eerie beauty about the scene, how nature reclaims these places of destruction.  The second poem arose from a visit to Ueno Park, which is akin to New York City’s Central Park: An enormous oasis of designed nature in the heart of a metropolis.  
Why did you decide to donate this to charity?
Like most people, the tsunami left me feeling powerless.  Being so far-removed physically and thus unable to remove debris and search for survivors by hand, I came across New Sun Rising and found a form in which I could offer my small modicum of assistance. 
What sorts of works/genres/ materials do you normally produce?
I’m primarily a poet.  In the past, I dabbled in novels and short stories, but not much came of that.  I’ve simply gravitated towards poetry over time and am very happy I have.
What attracted you to this? 
Upon hearing about New Sun Rising, I thought it very serendipitous:  Here was someone searching for contributors to help in the wake of the tsunami, and I had written a fairly large group of poems about Japan a few years earlier.  I couldn’t think of a better place for these poems to appear in. 
Who are your models or those you draw inspiration from?
Everyday people.  Family members.  My wife.  A lot of my inspiration also comes from nature and from simple daily observation.  And of course, other poets have been a huge inspiration for me, but to name all of them would take up several pages at the least.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a series of poems exploring the relationship between time and space, though they tend to range freely across all subject matters.

Where can I find some of your other works?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Interviews with our Contributors

The contributors featured in New Sun Rising are drawn from a wide spectrum within the creative industries.

Brush painters, graphic artists, songwriters, oil painters, photographers, poets, flash fiction writers, haiku and tanka.

They were all drawn into the project with a similar mindset - to make a difference to the plight of the people in Japan through their donation of their work.

Whilst its been over a year since the disaster, the people in Japan still need our assistance and continued thoughts. New Sun Rising has been available on Kindle for a short time now, with plans well underway for the print version to be published before the end of the year.

Over the next two months, we will be celebrating our contributors continued successes within their chosen fields, by hosting a spotlight on their achievements, awards and work in progress.

Please visit our site often to learn more about what inspires our contributors and what their future plans hold.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Sun Rising Launch

Its been over a year since the disasters hit Japan.

While the world may have shifted their focus to other areas, the suffering of the people devastated by the events the 2011 tsunami caused continues.

Over 60 contributors have donated their works to New Sun Rising - Stories for Japan, in order to heighten the awareness of the plight of the Japanese people.

This anthology is not about the disaster, but celebrates the beauty of the Japanese culture, environment and people. Its about hope, passion and commitment.

The same contributors have generously given other works to showcase the variety and talent held within the anthology.

 New Sun Rising is currently available on Kindle through Amazon. Its also available to borrow through thier library system for the next three months.  Every cent will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross to assist those who still require help.

Please pop over to Amazon and 'like' it, post it to facebook and tweet about it, even if  you aren't going to purchase it.

 Cover Art reproduced here with permission by Daniel Werneck.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

And Acupuncture Is Not Voodoo

By silent lotus

published with permission and loaded as per contributors instructions.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spring Fever

by Marianne Betterly

As spring flashes its magenta blooms,
a petal storm floating
over daffodils and tulips,
covering them in a sea of pink,
I want to scream.

Finches cluster and chirp
in nearby redwoods
swoop like pterodactyls;
insects buzz in the living room,
fly around my head.
I feel itchy,
perhaps from lying in the grass,
hope it isn’t ticks.

The sun is brighter, hotter --
each day more light
is crowding out
the cozy blackness of night.
I’m sleepy,
don’t want to get up.

On the street glimpses of navels,
naked toes and shoulders
make me shiver, sneeze
in the wall to wall sea of smiles
love is floating like hay fever,
I don’t want to catch it

but would rather go back to bed,
cover my head and wake up
when the cold San Francisco summer
drains the pastels of spring
down storm gutters

until all that is left
is gray mist rising,
spreading across the city,
pushing thoughts of spring
off the Golden Gate bridge
with the bass bellow
of a foghorn.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

rabbits run

by Marianne Betterly

They multiply in the shadows
hop on every  stitch of lawn
until soft fur and balls of white
cover shaven grass,
turning plots of green to
rivers of gray.

A rabbit rave repeats each night
in a jumble of silent leaps,
a frenzied ballet of cottontails
jumping to beats
only they can hear

until the moon rises and
the coyotes who watch
the lapidarian dance
join in,
changing the music to
tango abrazo
close embrace

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Launch of anthology so close we can feel it.

The launch of the kindle version of New Sun Rising is so close, we can nearly feel it.

I hope you have your champagne bottles ready and glasses steady.

Watch this space for announcements and links to Amazon where it will be available for download.  Printed versions will be our next focus, with the launch around the end of September.

Thanks again for all your patience and on going support.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Silver Lining Flower

by Ida Černe 

Ida's story "Silver Lining" is included within the Anthology. She shares the photo that provided the inspiration as its an origami flower made out of a silver lining.

Cat - Brushpainting

Brush painting by Annie Evett

Monday, June 4, 2012

But the work of a moment


Elizabetta wanted Jonathan to write something. Like it was a trick he could do, like there might be a coin in his pocket that he could make disappear and reappear again. She gave him a brief. She wanted something quick. The work of a moment. Nothing more than that. And not too many words.

So Jonathan sat at his desk, pen poised, not quite touching the paper, not yet. And he waited. Held his breath. Expecting something to happen. Like maybe it could be a trick and something appear suddenly at the end of his pen and spilling onto the page.

There was a woman. Her name was Elise. Jonathan did not know where that had come from, for there was no one he knew by that name. She was not young, this Elise. Nor was she yet so on in years that people thought her old. She was a writer, too. She was sitting at her desk, a carved oakwood writing desk, sitting just as he was, only she was writing. The words fell easily onto the page in front of her. She was remembering something. A moment from her own life. But whereas moments in the real world are fleeting and fast, in the writing of them Elise lingered over the details, stretching the time of a moment across several minutes of work.

She was not aware of where she was, not in the moment of writing, not aware that the light was thinner and the air more chill. The fine hairs on her bare arms stood on end. The curtains at her window lifted a little in the draft. And dropped paper on the floor – the discarded early drafts of the moment she was recording – shifted a little. Elise was bent over her work, not quite seeing everything clear. The sound of her pen was a scratch-scratch against the paper and the words she wrote did not quite sit on the feint blue lines of the page. She breathed in at the start of every line, held her breath and exhaled only when she reached the end, each exhalation something like a sigh of pleasure. She did not stop to read over what she had written. It was a moment of inspiration and she was not sure where it was going, had to let it run to its end.

A miscreant curl of hair slipped free of a plain silver clasp, fell in a twist across one cheek. Elise brushed it back behind one ear, a delicate movement of her index finger, something practised and unconscious and so simple. She bit her bottom lip and the small furrow of her brow deepened a little. She adjusted her position in the chair, the sound of her dress shushing to quiet the sound of the wood complaining.

Then suddenly, when Jonathan least expected it, Elise laid down her pen and it was done. Jonathan laid down his pen, too.

He did not think it was quite what was wanted. There was no story and maybe that was what Elizabetta hoped for, a story. 'The work of a moment,' he would tell her. 'Something quick and not too many words.' That was the brief. What was Elise writing, what was she remembering, that is what Elizabetta would ask. Jonathan would shrug. ‘Elise is not real,’ he would tell her. ‘That is the trick. I made her appear and then disappear. The rest is a mystery even to me.’

Friday, June 1, 2012

We Widows

by Marianne Betterly

we widows
walk the world
hidden in the crowd
some wear white,
others black

golden band on finger
turned like a prayer wheel
spinning memories of his voice;
a ghost hand presses fingers
like a flower under glass,
mementos sealed in Snow White’s tomb

Indian widows burn
their gold and red saris
sometimes they leap in,
swimming in flames,
red vermillion gone
from the world drained of color

all that remains:
my wedding vows,
a musky sport coat,
a box of yellowed papers,
cards hidden in sock drawer
I will always love you
wedding kimono folded like a paper doll,
white album stuffed with faded smiles,
a dried red rose

we widows
walk the world
hidden in the crowd
some wear black,
others white,

(formerly published in The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal)

Thursday, May 31, 2012


By Elizabeth Schultz
he put his family on the roof.
An alchemist rhapsodized over
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
He knew that after the earth
quaked, the water would flow,
but could not configure gold,
or an Elixir for Life Everlasting. 
He watched it coming,  
whirling, cascading over walls.
Scientists went further, 
creating The Periodic Table,
pushing through forests,
and the fires erupting,
naming, sorting 109 elements
from Hydrogen to Meitnerium.
When the waters subsided,
he took his family to a school.
They were organized by
atomic number, atomic weight, 
electron configuration, density, 
including two cats, his son’s gecko, 
melting point, boiling point, 
abundance, and ionization energy. 
Snow fell on the remains
and on the mourners at graves,
but no one could discover 
when Earth, Air, Fire, and Water
might explode into chaos,
how to express enough compassion,
how to express enough consolation, 
which might explode into creation
of their own contrivance.

Published with permission. 
Poem from Elizabeth's recently published Anthology "Coming from Japan"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Change of Tune

by Martin Elster

While Abbie ambles round the food emporium 
a shower of shallow ditties from the ceiling
renders her skull an empty auditorium.
She reaches for a carton of Darjeeling
and slips it in her shoulder bag. Is stealing
from stores that spew such pabulum so wrong?
As Abbie nears the apples, an appealing 
melody makes her stop. No shopworn song,

but Bach — far out! — played by E. Power Biggs.
She grabs some miso (joy of man’s desiring),
St. Matthew Passion fruit, preludes and figs,
a wedge of Brandenburg. (Perhaps they’re hiring!)
But now she has to leave, her bliss too brief:
Muzak again. And, yes, she’s still a thief. 

originally appeared in The Ilanot Review and, subsequently, in the anthology Taking Turns: Sonnets From Eratosphere. Published here with permission

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


by Elissa Gordon

The jack rabbit’s skull is held level
by special joints that absorb
the jarring and bounding
at the zigzag speed of 40 miles an hour,
Its predator,
the golden eagle,
wheels overhead,
massive wings of hollow bones, light,
the whole apparatus protected
by a tiny wishbone that diffuses
 the shock of motion.

Jack rabbit doubles back,
foils the eagle’s swoop,
the bird falters,
overshoots his mark,
camouflage coat buys the rabbit
a few seconds in the grasses
to catch its breath,  undetectable.
I always save the wishbone.
I always wish, even if I am alone.
I hold both sides, try to be equitable.

If you could choose a super power,
Would you rather fly or be invisible?

I never think twice, Fly.

Wishbone was included in South Mountain Poets biennial anthology Offline in 2010.  Published here with permission.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Amy and Michelle

by   Simon Paul Wilson
  Michelle takes her seat at the table and sighs heavily.
  “He knows,” she says in worried tones. “Daniel knows.”
Amy, who sits opposite, looks at her with an expression of total confusion.
“What do you mean?” she asks, popping a stick of chewing gum into her mouth.
“He knows” hisses Michelle. “He knows about us!”
Amy chews her gum and gives a nonchalant shrug.
Michelle wishes she could reach across the table and slap the stupid look off her face.
“Don't you realise what this means?” she asks. “What could happen to us if he talks?”
Amy stops chewing, finally realising the gravity of the situation. 
“Oh,” she says. “That's not good…”
“No shit, Sherlock,” says Michelle. “We’re in big trouble.”
Amy takes the gum out of her mouth and presses it onto the surface of the table.
“How did he find out?” she asks.
“Remember that night we were working late at the office?”
Amy nods and smiles.
“Yeah, that was fun!”
Michelle bites her lip in an attempt to control her rising anger. Now is not the time to be flippant. She takes a deep breath and continues.
  “Daniel worked late that night too. He came to the office and saw us together.”
“He was spying on us? Fuck! What a pervert!”
“He wasn't spying on us!” snaps Michelle. “The door was open. He came to the office to ask a question and caught us together.”
Amy smiles.
“So,” she says, pointing a finger. “It’s your fault!”
“How is it my fault?” Michelle splutters.
“It’s your job to shut the door properly, not mine.”
“Look,” says Michelle, trying to shift the focus of the conversation away from her colossal error. “It doesn't matter whose fault it is, what we need to do is come up with a way to get out of this mess.” 
Amy peels the chewing gum from off the desk and pops it back in her mouth.
“Hmmm,” she says as she resumes chewing. “Tricky.”
Michelle lets her head hit the table and groans. 
Silence falls between the girls as they search for an answer to their problem.
“We could tell him we are in an amateur dramatics group,” offers Amy. “Tell him we were just practicing our lines.”
  “He’d never believe us,” says Michelle from the desk. “And besides, what happens when he asks if he can come and see the play?”
  “Aha!” shouts Amy, shocking Michelle into an upright position. “I’ve got it!”
“We could kill him.”
Michelle looks at Amy, expecting her to stick her tongue out or wink; to give her a sign that she is joking, but Amy remains straight-faced and quite serious.
“What did you say?”
“I said we could kill him.” 
“That's your big plan? Murder?”
  “Sure! Why not? It could be fun! 
Michelle sits and shakes her head in silent disbelief. She always knew Amy was crazy, but the idea of them killing Daniel…
That’s just insane.
 “I’ve got to go,” says Michelle. “This is too much for me right now. I’ll talk to you later.”
Amy gives her two thumbs up.
“No worries,” she says. “But just think about what I said. Killing Daniel could really be the answer.”
All Michelle can do is sigh. 
“Maybe,” she says weakly. “Let’s see…”
She stands up and walks away from the dressing table and its large mirror. 
She has much to think about. 
Published with permission

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Street Hiking

By Ted Taylor

On the day Ben-chan came to town, I had to go to Osaka to get my visa to India. Since I had hours to kill before his flight, I thought I'd pass the day on foot. I ducked into a small cafe offering cheap 200 yen coffee. The cafe was called, "Days," the name referring to what was taken off my life due to all the tobacco smoke. Escaped quickly, to the fresh air sidewalks of Osaka. Walking unfixed, turning right angles at random in emulation of that Windows screensaver. I relished this feeling, of winter sun on my face and new delights before my eyes. I've spent way too much time online this year, and was happy that I'd recently begun to "boot the computer." I really miss this aimlessness, time passing by the rhythm of my footfalls rather than on second-hand ticks; chasing the spectre of that amblin' prophet, Aaron Cometbus. I used to pass whole days this way, thumbing thru second hand book shops, people watching in parks, searching for dollar Burritos and good cheap coffee in those days before Starbucks. Walk, eat , read, write. These days, I seem to do this only while abroad, hearing the slap of my boots on the pavement take on foreign sounds. I want to reclaim that feeling of seeing the famiiar made fresh every day.
And I walked on, ducking in and out of shops to chat up their young owners, stopping often to snap a photo or jot my thoughts down in my moleskin. One common denominator throughout south Osaka is the music. For a region that takes pride in being at the forefront of alternative youth culture (and Shibuya is the same way), the theme songs are certainly commercial. It takes the monicker, "R&B," label that seems to be reapplied every decade or so, replaced by posthumous labels like "soul" or "funk." But replace that "B" with "P", throw in a "C" and an "A" and you get closer to the truth.

After two lunchs and too much caffeine, clock time kicked in once again, telling me I needed to head to the airport and pick up my friend. Feet, we should do this more often.

First appeared in Notes from the 'Nog, December 2006. 

Published with permission.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Change of Tune

By Martin Elster

While Abbie ambles round the food emporium
a shower of shallow ditties from the ceiling
renders her skull an empty auditorium.
She reaches for a carton of Darjeeling
and slips it in her shoulder bag. Is stealing
from stores that spew such pabulum so wrong?
As Abbie nears the apples, an appealing
melody makes her stop. No shopworn song,

but Bach — far out! — played by E. Power Biggs.
She grabs some miso (joy of man’s desiring),
St. Matthew Passion fruit, preludes and figs,
a wedge of Brandenburg. (Perhaps they’re hiring!)
But now she has to leave, her bliss too brief:
Muzak again. And, yes, she’s still a thief. 

Published with Permission

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Ice Cream Cone Face

by Andrew Stancek

It was that ice cream cone that made it all happen. The memory of Father laughing, as we stood outside the sweets shop in the August heat with cherry ice cream dribbling down our chins, filled my mind. This was no day for a piano lesson; I had to go there again. I meandered through leaf-strewn streets towards the Danube, peeked into store windows, admired the miniature train running through the toy store, glanced at sweaty classmates kicking a soccer ball around the Dunajska playing field. I threw a crown coin into the hat of the accordion player waltzing and grinning at his usual corner. The sweets shop across from the National Theater yawned empty while a black-clad waiter swept and the wind whipped the half-rolled umbrellas at the deserted tables.

I went in, and as before, ordered a cone, “Make it a double, please.” The dimple-faced server’s chubby arm scooped again and again planting perfect half-balls as I searched for a clever line, even Father’s clever line, to make her laugh. Looking at her I ached, throat dry, tongue paralyzed. My eyes ticked around the cavernous shop, ending in a corner that was not empty like the rest. Mother, smiling, leaned into a man who was clasping her hand in both of his, as she stared into his eyes. The peonies on her familiar blood-red scarf winked at me. The girl called out “Your change” to my back, as I bolted out clutching the unmelting cone, suddenly unappetizing.

I ran to Father’s work, desperate for his laughter. I hurled the cone towards the bin overflowing with smelly mysteries. It splattered on the ground where pigeons hopped to the feast. At Father’s office he was, as always, surrounded by cooing women. I wanted to scream at him, to cry out but instead pretended to read the sports scores, watched and listened, as a hundred times before. The women laughed at Father’s jokes as Mother had laughed in the shop. No one was alarmed.

“Father.” I cleared my throat. He looked up. “Tonight, at supper, you’ll be there?” He nodded, grinning. I dragged my feet walking home. The rain was coming harder; my face was wet. Going by the sweets shop again I peeked in. It was totally empty except for the server. She looked up; her smile dazzled. Maybe tomorrow I could come back. Maybe I’d have a line. Maybe I could clasp her hands in mine. Tomorrow.

First published in Apollo's Lyre  Published here with permission