Archives for posts with tag: creative nonfiction

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THIS GRAY HAIR MEANS SOMETHING (Excerpt)

Story by Thom Kudla

…I was 18 when I noticed my first gray hair. Actually, it wasn’t me that noticed. My girlfriend, my high school sweetheart at the time – she noticed that gray hair. That single gray hair wandering from the center of my scalp, as if aware of the wars fought inside my mind, sought refuge in the escape toward the sun. We laid there, our eyes entranced with that shining orb’s setting motion in all its variegated splendor, and she brushed her petite hands through my hair. She always loved how soft my hair was, “for a guy.” We lay there, watching that sun sink deeper toward the earth, and we talked about many things – I discussed my parents’ impending divorce; she told me about how happy her parents were together. I mentioned how sad I can get sometimes; she said she smiles whenever she feels that mood strike her, and it changes everything. Then she found it – that gray hair.

“You’ve already got a gray hair,” she said, her dimpled smile and light voice hiding her judgment. “You work too hard. You stress too much. Someone your age shouldn’t have gray hairs.”

I laughed it off and kissed her. I kissed it away, all my fears about being too serious or being too sad or being too dysfunctional or not being enough for her or being too much for her. I kissed it away. She reciprocated my kisses in innocent pecks, naïve to the reality of where those gray hairs came from. She thought she knew. But I knew better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thom Kudla is an accomplished author and poet  from Chicagoland. He has written a variety of books, including the novel Confessions of an American (2005), a nonfiction book What My Brain Told Me — finalist in the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards — and a poetry collection entitled Commencement.

NOTE: “This Gray Hair Means Something” a 1,000-word story by Thom Kudla will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press release Silver: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (available November 15, 2012).

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BY THE LIGHT OF A SILVERY WATTS RIOTS MOON (Excerpt)

story by Joan Jobe Smith

A jet airliner flew overhead, a golden rod in the setting sun, getting the hell out of town while a full moon came rising like no other, just like every moon ever born is like no other moon before and that particular moon was the L.A. Watts Riots Silvery Moon, and it stared down at us with grand magnificent indifference and satisfaction for being faraway from the pyromaniacal crowd that was riot-making L.A.

 “Wow –” Mick panted, patting his chest to calm himself, as the hot August 12, 1965, sun dropped behind the Pacific Palisades to the west of us and the sky turned royal blue and the horizon turned magenta, then blood red, the smoke from the riots’ fires baking one of the most spectacular sunsets I’d ever see. Los Angeles can be so beautiful if, when, it is. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  JOAN JOBE SMITH, founding editor of PEARL and Bukowski Review, worked for seven years as a go-go dancer before receiving her B.A. from CSULB and MFA from UCI. A Pushcart Honoree, her award-winning work has appeared internationally in more than 500 publications, including OUTLAW BIBLE, Ambit, Beat Scene, Wormwood Review, and Nerve Cowboy – and she has published 20 collections, including Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon Press, US) and The Pow Wow Cafe (The Poetry Business, UK), finalist for the UK 1999 Forward Prize. In July 2012, with her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did her sixth reading tour of England (debuting at the 1991 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival), featured at the Humber Mouth Literature Festival in Hull. In September 2012, Silver Birch Press will publish her literary profile: Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me), and later in the year, World Parade Books will release her memoir TALES OF AN ANCIENT GO-GO GIRL.

NOTE: “By the Light of a Silvery Watts Riots Moon,” a 2,000-word creative nonfiction story by Joan Jobe Smith will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press release Silver: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose (available November 15, 2012).