Things My Parents Taught Me

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt
  1. Food is comfort. Spoon bread and creamed chipped beef, caviar and cream cheese, and Charles Potato Chips are known to heal broken hearts, disconsolate souls, and evacuated wombs.
  2. Tithe. It’s a loving thing to do. Particularly if your gift goes toPlanned Parenthood. Just don’t bring it up at family gatherings.

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Trinkle Tinkle:

Frank's Maiden Voyage to the Senior Center

By Dan McClenaghan

Jolene enrolled me in a class, something about learning how to baby my ailing heart. I bitched about it, but acquiesced. The morning of the class, I ate my English muffin and washed it down with two cups of coffee, jumped into my car and aimed myself at the Senior Center.


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Declaration of Defendence

By Conney D. Williams

I save my tears for weddings and presidential elections
while America the beneficent thrusts anthems up our spleens
the pasty ballot of deprecation without representation
please GOD, bless Ol’ Glory with sufficient stars and stripes
to vandalize my person until even bowels lose their allegiance


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Book review: Goosestep by Harold Jaffe

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

While a tide of new political activists is frothing across the nation, one seasoned revolutionary is quietly practicing his decades-long resistance in Mission Hills. Harold Jaffe, author and SDSU professor, continues his quest to challenge popular perception in his 24th book, Goosestep: Fictions and Docufictions (Journal of Experimental Fiction Books, November 2016).


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At Risk of Drowning

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

I love this road. Its metropolitan name, Fifth Street, belies its rural character. Just past the Rainbow Oaks—a favorite of truckers and bikers, which means good coffee, ample servings and a bar—acres of plants potted for sale line the road’s borders. Rustic fences, never-mowed yards, overhanging trees. And it has a wonderful dip, to accommodate a creek that becomes a roiling river when we have the rare downpour in San Diego County.


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On the Front Lines

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

You look in the bedroom mirror, small enough to deny self-adoration, and pull your brownish hair into a ponytail. Tight, like Mother used to do it, just the right way. You turn to the bed. Your clothes are laid out on sheets held taut by perfect hospital corners. You dress in practical layers, to accommodate the variable temperatures of the daylong vigil you perform every Thursday. First, your unmentionables, then flesh-tone tights and a plain white t-shirt. Next, the pleated blouse Mother used to wear, when you held the vigils together, and ski pants, a modest one size too large. Finally, a nice worsted wool skirt you found at Goodwill for a dollar. It’s a bit matronly, but you top it off with your 12-week ultrasound hoodie.


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The Power of Art and Things to Come

A profile of artist Patrick Brown

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Artist Patrick Brown is a fairly quiet man—perhaps a bit shy—with a cute laugh, a slight Southern accent, and a gentle sadness that sometimes shades his eyes. It’s a companionable sorrow, though. It reaches into his paintings and says, “It might hurt, but it’s OK to look; you know me.” And while there’s no recognized treatment for his particular sorrow, it is treatment of another sort that brought Patrick to California almost four years ago, from Nashville, Tennessee.


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The Gift of the Magi

By O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.


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