The online literary journal of Greenfield Community College

Across the Room From Sally Bellerose

Across the Room From Sally Bellerose

    On a warm, slightly overcast Tuesday morning at the end of November, I go to the Haymarket Café in Northampton to meet with local writer Sally Bellerose. She’s the author of the acclaimed 2011 novel The Girl’s Club and numerous short stories, mostly involving themes of gender, class,...
The Crispiest Apple

The Crispiest Apple

  My mother is an escort and an adult-actress, not a prostitute, call girl, hooker, whore, porn star, or streetwalker. Yes, she has a website and no, you can’t have the address. An escort doesn’t trade money for sex. She makes her living exercising the cliché “time is money.” One...
Thanatos on the Rocks

Thanatos on the Rocks

  The refuse of my disease isn’t orange pill bottles or syringes. You won’t find used needles or vials on the floor or in my pockets. You won’t find anything, but if you could, you’d see only fat bottles—emptied. The big bottles wait for me at the store. They hold...
Aching Sawtooth & Other Haiku

Aching Sawtooth & Other Haiku

  headless nails declawed hammer aching sawtooth * new health card break a leg outbreak of smiles * passionaectomy poisonberry soup gallstone fence * sculpted abs rottenstone belly chiseler’s mark * first gasp last legs back to back * overhead I underfoot * no prayer all morning kneeling bus
Saturday Night Book Club

Saturday Night Book Club

  “I need a good book.” Mary Jane Russell stared at the graying part at the top of her mother’s head, a dull line between the tightly permed blonde curls on the rest of her head. They were in Betty Russell’s dining room having their Friday night tuna, egg noodles, and cheese...
Blame It On Bad Luck

Blame It On Bad Luck

  “How long are you back for?” It was a question I would be asked a million and one times. “Are you home for good?” was only asked about half a million. “No,” I would tell them. “I’m only home for about two weeks. I go back at the end...
My Grandmother's Wings

My Grandmother’s Wings

  My grandmother had a Bakelite Philco radio, model 48-250, brown with gold numerals on the dial. Its five tubes received the AM band and operated on 115 volts. I remember little about her, just that she wore black dresses with small white polka dots, pulled her white hair into...
Will Anyone Harbor a Broken Poetess?

Will Anyone Harbor a Broken Poetess?

    Book-skimming is a bit like brushing fingertips across the face of the ocean. You caress a page and probe no deeper. Turn to the art tomes when words go from chime-clear to brassy. By the window of the bookhaven perches the kind of woman you don’t ask for...
Blade to the Wrist

Blade to the Wrist

He paints a picture with a slow precision Every stroke a product of his weighted thoughts He drags the brush across the canvas with a gasp and his breath rushes out making barely a whisper He is an artist who sits with one fist curled as he captures his pain...
Fighters

Fighters

The click, click of old Irish gold and wedding ring passed from nurse to hand, after a tug over a knuckle cracked and rooted in the past like an old ground stump.   Across the dance floor, at the Heidelberg bar, after a stranger’s slap to the ass of his...
Price of Beauty

Price of Beauty

What beautiful eyes you have. Look how gorgeous you are. Do you have a boyfriend? Oh, you’ll be a heartbreaker. Little girl grew up surrounded by praise, Words that kept her warm, even on rainy days. Looking in the mirror, she saw what they did, A beautiful girl, like you’d...
Let's Twine!

Let’s Twine!

Twine?  You mean a piece of rope? To wrap around something? Not quite. Twine is a way to make interactive, non-linear stories on the web.  And Plum’s started one! Here’s how it works: 1. Click the link to our Plum Twine: http://philome.la/HeyPlum/plum-twine 2. Read the excerpt and click on any...
Latest submissions
Baltra

Baltra

I am perhaps the only professional artist to ever be hired for a job at a scientific research firm. The offer came in the form of an email from my high school friend Damaris. “I need my right brain,” she’d written as the subject line. That was our high school joke. She was the left...
The Salt of the Earth

The Salt of the Earth

The boy is burning in the front seat of the pickup. The sun feels too close to the earth, and the heat rises like gasoline fumes from the rust-colored hood—the kind of heat that keeps the birds from singing and makes the gun dogs dig ditches in the yard and lay in them. Pop goes...
Snow Angels

Snow Angels

Where fly the angels, the angels carried here by the lightness of snow, where fly their feathery wings their soft knowing hearts their prayers they say for us and the ones they answer. Where fly the angels that dance in the flurries sideways, upside down, right side up and crossways; where fly the angels that...
The Field

The Field

  I love this green field! It’s forest green.               Never before have I seen such greenery. I love this green field! The deer feed heavily in this field. Turkeys are chasing each other around. I love this green field! The coyote watches the turkeys. What a beautiful morning....
Burn

Burn

Mere feet from fire station, the Big Y thief burns an old couple in their bed. Cut throats, empty wallets, then burn. Mami shoves some chicken into microwave. Twenty minutes on high. Papi’s pollo scorches,her fingertips burn. Jahn Foundry explosion. No more skin on Pablo’s fingers to touch his melting face, to fling off flaming...
Soldier-You, Exile-You

Soldier-You, Exile-You

The more you shared memories that broke off inside you, the longer I stayed every time you hit me. At nineteen, I thought that was love. Soldier-you smoked opium to forget boys, whose high-pitched voices chimed about promises of bikes, rice above rations, even a lamb. Khomeini, short on tanks and men, ordered soldiers to...
Gunpowder Green with Jedediah Berry

Gunpowder Green with Jedediah Berry

            A few weeks ago, I sat in the Fresh Side in Amherst, ruminating over the tea choices. Local author and professor of creative writing at Bard College, Jedediah Berry, was meeting me there to talk about writing and his very successful novel The Manual of Detection. I am not a tea aficionado, but Berry...
Running with Dogs

Running with Dogs

    Mid November in the January Hills, hunting ends at sundown. Shotgun season for deer wouldn’t begin for another two weeks, the shortest days and darkest nights of early December. Valerie and Jim drove their mismatched, rowdy pack of dogs into the hills where only the locals hunted, where no one was likely to...
Dad by Wind Chimes by Dad

Dad by Wind Chimes by Dad

Like—who?—a Zennist Who is lit up by a chunk of the mundane— Shinkichi Takahashi eternally burning seeing the baby’s Turd afloat in the communal bath— I’m walking past the greyhounds’ owners’ house When a tinkling chord from their portico Boards me. I am the most stupid For one finger snap, asking why is dad on...
Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

In those days change was law. After the day’s lawn faced the sky blue speech, Or its parade of clouds rolling like floats east, It looked up at one or two stars, Bordered by the two darkening maples and one big willow. The lawn had no eyes, but the dizzy Boy and girl, lying at...
Radioactive Girlfriend

Radioactive Girlfriend

Red hot isotope spit’n mama Baby you glow in the dark Entropic activity stirs a switch Half-life flesh ignites subliminal twitch Synaptic hormonal chain reaction Turgid particle accelerator raised for action Burning fire of unquenchable quantum desire Control rod guided deeper averts subatomic meltdown Your fission-fueled libido could light cities Radioisotope fire that burns so...
White Queen

White Queen

  If you make Your decision How am I to argue? A Mite with no knees. But I beg a plea That will go heard or unheard. The Moon gleams White And has no record for Keeping score But crosses in Her timely fashion As the Spider whirls its thread For foster flies to wed....