Posts Tagged ‘mothers’

1. I have begun listening to music again, needing something sweet in a hard world. I have been pleasantly surprised going from one Tiny Desk Concert to another. It’s a kind of shock to feel certain things again, to remember how much you used to feel, to realize how long you’ve gone without feeling. There are people who listen to music all the time, and there are people who don’t listen to music at all, and there are people who listen to music but are unaffected, and all these people are supposed to exist in the world and understand each other.

2. Go back far enough and every unhappy couple is a happy couple—even your parents. Time is moving and time is stuck. Replicated endlessly, they wonder how they got here, in the kitchen (it’s always the kitchen) after a fight. In dreams, too, you appear in a place without knowing how you got there.

3. You can get so tired, sometimes, you feel like you’ve already returned to the dust, except that it’s mud. It rained last night, you see, and the earth could not drink it all. There’s a vehicle parked down the street called the Mud Truck that serves coffee. You’re made of mud, you think, so might as well put more of it in you.

4. You’ve already seen so many people for the last time. Now and then you see someone you thought you would never see again. The effect is like listening to music.

5. The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but how many lives does it take to bend it? There was a guy, Paco, who worked on the line at a bar & grill restaurant where I bartended on the weekends. He was a funny guy. His jokes helped keep the energy up during long late-night shifts. Some of the waitresses liked him. Nobody knew how old he was, but he said he couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t grown. He had no father but such a large family that he never felt like he’d missed out on anything. He complained often about his gay brother, not because he was gay but because he “mooched too much.” He had worked dozens of jobs in his life, many much worse than his current one. He was acquainted with several cats, and they came to him behind the restaurant, even when he had nothing for them to eat. One night, waiting for the train home, he flicked a cigarette butt on the platform. He was a litterer, in other words. Someone saw him littering, and he got cited for it. Sometime later, he didn’t show up for work, and they had to hire another line cook.

~Bram Shay, Editor


The Maiden with the Rose on Her Forehead by Marc Frazier

The Crossing by Lynn Hoggard

Postcards to Budapest by David Koenig

Candle Making by Richard Weaver


Brady Wants to Get Shot by Ron Riekki

Summer After Summer by Ewa Mazierska

Creative Nonfiction

Henri Rochemont by Joseph E. Fleckenstein


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A combined Winter/Spring issue is apt for the unseasonably cold weather we—and many of our readers—are experiencing. It’s been a year since our last issue, and more than a few people have been asking if we, like spring, would ever be seen again.

First of all, we’re flattered that our absence registered at all in these turbulent times. There are so many platforms seeking to push words at us—too many virulent and divisive—that a WordPress literary journal feels almost quaint, like a hornbook seen at a museum. I thought a lot about platform as I assembled this issue: WordPress feels clunkier every time I use it—which, admittedly, hasn’t been much. Every issue, I feel that Gloom Cupboard deserves better. The same goes for Facebook: we all deserve better.

I’ve known it for awhile. But in deference to the demands of work and life and serving others, I’ve allowed things to slide by the way they’ve always been.

Inertia, as I used to tell one of the biggest enablers I’ve ever met, is a choice. Not a good one, but it’s a course of action. And in a world (cue cinematic voice-over) where people produce content—some of it lovely and necessary—and others fight to be featured in it (that’s us, writers), who’s the audience? Who’s listening? Who’s not? What should we choose to reject inertia? (Responses welcome).

~T.M De Vos, Editor


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