Archive for August, 2011

     In the early 1980s when I transferred to Dalt’s restuarant in Miami as an opening team member, I never imagined I was beginning a life in the restaurant business that would last more than a decade, that I would invent an entire category of health drinks for TGI Friday’s that are still on their menu thirty years later (and for which I would never get credit–ever drink a Silver Medalist?), nor that my experiences in the service industry would comprise enough material to jump-start my writing career. The two years I spent behind Dalt’s bar in Miami, however, would afford me more boredom, horror, and glory than I would ever again experience inside or outside the restaurant business. (more…)

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At Don Quixote’s house, before his journey, there was nothing more dangerous than a poet. Centuries later, one wonders if a poem can still cause any real movement—if a protest poem read from the steps of a capitol can cause any chip in the marble, or in the windmill across the way. Stacia Fleegal’s Versus acknowledges one’s doubts about the real efficacy of political verse before owning that disbelief and sending out marching orders to poets and artists everywhere.  This work is unabashed, bitingly witty, sarcastic and unapologetic—the work of a self-described pacifist feminist that needs a better word than “ballsy”—and the poet’s target would be shocking to a mainstream American audience that likely will never read her: the beloved American mythos itself. (more…)

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English version by Valery Petrovskiy

after Russian translation by Alexei Prokopyev. 


Requiems (2)

1/ Eh, the miserable wide world –

There is the only sun, and the only moon.

There is at least some of the wide world around!

Eh, the miserable other world—

There are seven suns, and there are seven moons there,

But no light.



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Valery Petrovskiy is the author of numerous short stories—published both in English and in Russian—and IнтимNОе, a collection of short stories in Russian. I made Petrovskiy’s acquaintance online, after reading several of his short stories in English: struck by his symbolic language and compact narratives, I contacted him, and we soon developed a literary friendship. As we corresponded, I became more and more curious about his work, its national context, and the Chuvash Republic, his birthplace and home. In the ensuing interview, Petrovskiy, the first featured author in “The New хорошо,” discusses jazz, publishing, anthropology, and the most comfortable city in the Russian Federation.

~T.M. De Vos


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Poetry # 136

If you squint hard enough, everything is beautiful–except you. A squinting face is fucking ugly.

Poems. Here. You are welcomed.

Luis Rivas
Henry Ajumeze
Amber Bromer

Poetry Editors, Gloom Cupboard


the girls
By John Grochalski

the girls sit on the bus

making each other laugh

they are doing

strange voices

entertaining each other

caught up in their own world

they are not aware

of the puerto rican boys

watching them giggle

or the old men

watching them kick

their creamy legs

in catholic skirts

the girls

are not aware of their breasts

of mankind’s hunger and cruelty

they are sharing ear buds

and laughing out loud

the girls are sending

text messages to each other

discovering expression

working out a routine

that only they know

they whisper

i love you

to each other

and hold hands



laughing the whole time

the girls

the evening doesn’t

want them to leave

but when they do

they leave

with cackles of youth and joy

and when they are gone

a cloud settles over the night

those of us remaining

are left with nothing

but this world

the hum of the bus

and the slim hope that something

better awaits us all.    (more…)

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