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
The Visit

The Visit

Cool air wakes her abruptly. The neck of her oversized cotton nightgown has fallen, revealing a mass on her chest that protrudes like an awkward third breast. She is hardly aware of it but for a familiar lethargy that lingers within her. She looks down at a pair of hands, liver-spotted and sagging over bone. A television...
Rocket City, USA

Rocket City, USA

My father, a career IBM man, was one of myriad late-1960′s NASA-related personnel contracted in the effort to beat the Russians to the moon, and a few months in “I Dream Of Jeannie”-era Cocoa Beach was just part of the drill. It remains amazing to me how antiquated, yet currently unfathomable, is the notion of...
Still Life

Still Life

  The mother of all storms is upon us. We are taken aback, our skirts blow up. We show our panties, bad girls all of us, march off to school with our lunch boxes open. Do you want my apple? Do you want my pear? See all the fruit for the taking, piled high in...
I Love My Beard

I Love My Beard

Officer, I’ve told you exactly what happened. I’ve been here all day and, frankly, I don’t appreciate being treated like a criminal. Now, I’ve answered all your questions, filled out a report, and signed my statement. What more could you possibly want from me? Again? You want me to go over what we’ve already been...
Ode to the Crumb

Ode to the Crumb

  Speck of cheese, dot of bread, slivered hint of once pie. They stir up our hunger, send a flare down desire’s dark hole, invite us to rise up again from here. A crumb of bird humming contends, hungry, with the bee. Green-back glow and the long beak sneaks into flowers with smooth insertion until...
GCC's Exquisite Corpse

GCC’s Exquisite Corpse

Among Surrealist techniques exploiting the mystique of accident was a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Based on an old parlor game, it was played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of...
How to Fall: An Interview with Susan Stinson

How to Fall: An Interview with Susan Stinson

Susan Stinson is the Writer in Residence at Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts, and the author of Belly Songs, Fat Girl Dances with Rocks, Venus of Chalk, and Martha Moody. Her upcoming book, Spider in a Tree (Small Beer Press, Oct 2013), is historical fiction chronicling the life of Jonathan Edwards, one of the great...
The World's Greatest Salesman

The World’s Greatest Salesman

Dad was dying. I was the only one of the children without a steady job and so the obvious choice to fly down to Florida and navigate him through to the end. The morning after I arrived at his condo, he entered the hospital for the last time. There were going to be more X-rays...
Apologies

Apologies

  “Apologies” was a collaborative project that invited people to send us poems, stories, paragraphs or whatever that told the story of a wrong-doing of which the author was not really sorry for.  Below are the five pieces we received. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I lied on this invitation. And I’m glad I did it. I’d do it...
The Small House on the Street

The Small House on the Street

There was a time in Greenwich when people kept a car for more than a year and could look at their house and say, “Maybe this is enough.” When my grandparents, Jean and Dean Barker, moved to Greenwich in 1968, it was actually a pretty ordinary town. They bought a house with half an acre...
Always, The Old House

Always, The Old House

  My grandmother shows me my first yellow rose, pale – called Moonlight Glow – which she tends by the stone wall beyond the old, old house. I shut tight my eyes to see us both in the afternoon light. There’s a tale of Bereft in that house which doesn’t yet speak of Grandpa naked...
Swans' The Seer

Swans’ The Seer

Recently, while browsing through new albums on a website of music reviews, I came across a void of black from which some sort of Wookie/bobcat crossbreed was grinning at me. It had dirty, human teeth and was missing its eyeballs. Creepy, I thought. The album cover had no text, but below the painting was some...