New Fiction: Pandemic Life

Pop Lit Fiction

MANY GOOD STORIES are of the kind you admire for their plotting or their writing, colorful characters or sense of adventure.

Others challenge you, asking first, “What would you do?” They take you through several emotions then drop you back down to earth, a changed person.

Our new fiction feature is the latter: “Sorry For Your Loss” by Greg Golley. The story is not just excellent as a story, but as a metaphor for the changes, in lifestyle and emotion, we’ve all been through the past year. I’d like to think we’ve been changed for the better– deepened, put more in touch with our humanity– as the narrator in the story is changed.

Anyway, we hope you like it!

I seemed to be alone in the house. Soothed by the sound of the furnace kicking in and by the feel of warm slippers on my stocking feet, I opened the fridge to see what was there. I finally selected an IPA and ambled over to the window to admire my newly cleaned-up yard, wondering distantly how the whole dinner-with-Nathan question had been settled. Looking back, I can now appreciate these few thoughtless actions as my final moments of true innocence. What I saw when I looked into the backyard was my future – handed down to me like a sentence.

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(Art: “The Good Samaritan” by Eugene Delacroix.)

Are Fast Food Poems Pop?

Poetry

DILEMMAS OF CORPORATE CULTURE

ARE fast food poems pop? Or art? Andy Warhol would argue they’re the essence of pop art.

Corporate culture is ubiquitous and it’s also America’s addition to the culture of the world. Coca-Cola wasn’t simply a brand. It advertised American populist ideology to the planet. Some might call it cultural imperialism and others would say it’s only a soft drink.

Jimmy John’s is just a sandwich.

Where do we draw the line? Is the intersection of art and commerce allowable? The bigger question: Is it avoidable?

Our take: If a competing literary site can dedicate their entire oeuvre and reason-for-being to a fast food taco chain, then we can present three terrific prose poems about Jimmy John’s.

Chelsea Sieg is one of the best young writers we’ve come across in a while. A writer with the rare ability to combine humor and poignancy with a perfect flow of words so that afterward you shake your head at the accomplishment. Three prose poems: “The Jimmy John’s Poem Collection.” Read them.

it was a simple, quiet, two am kind of happiness, the kind you don’t have to think that hard about. it was a small, soft hope. and I would have eaten every sandwich on the goddamn menu, mustard and all, to keep it alive.

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(Art: “Still LIfe with a Beer Mug” by Fernand Leger.)