You Academics, She Said

by Ken Smith

I was at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you know, in a hall filled with round tables, white table cloths with centerpieces, free pens and notepads, and ice water in glass goblets. One of the keynote speakers had driven up from the southernmost part of the state, where she worked in some sort of social program. During her speech, she said, "You academics think you live in the world. You do not live in the world. Visit me where I work, near the Rio Grande, and I will show you around. That part of New Mexico is not the world either, but you can see the world from there."


Ken Smith, over more than twenty years, has written and recorded more than two hundred short essays for broadcast on northern Indiana's NPR affiliate station, WVPE, for the Michiana Chronicles series. He retired recently from teaching writing and book design at the South Bend campus of Indiana University. Like everyone else, in his younger days, after he learned the secret handshake of the Partners in Misery, he saw it everywhere.


The Scar Forever Feels the Wound

by JS O'Keefe

I am with child, praise the Lord, praise his holy name, says my wife with the subtle smile of the Madonna. Actually, she uses drastically different language and her face resembles Medusa. She calms down but then I begin to worry: my older brother was stillborn and my younger brother died barely a week old. Eight months later the only question I have for the doctor if my son’s likely to survive beyond next week. The good doctor looks at me, chuckles and walks away shaking his head. Next day when I tell the coach I have to quit jiu-jitsu, I explain my wife’s given birth to my brother.


JS O'Keefe is a scientist, trilingual translator and published short-story writer.



by Diana Kinared

It comes without warning, unexpected, expected, furious, fierce, brittle, hateful. It goes the same, expected, unexpected and sweetness returns. calm consideration and laughter. My lover is possessed by a djinn called by many names, bi-cycles, bi-polar cycles, stealthily stealing love. I am thrown as from a swiftly moving car into rambles of pain, reason unknown, known, unknowable. My heart is calloused, trust gone an unbridgeable distance, leaving shredded tatters of love with only a gossamer thread remaining. The darkness of his despair, unreachable, unclaimed grips my helpless heart building an unbreachable wall between.


Diana Kinared is a dreamer, a grandmother, a mother, a wife, a friend, and a writer tethered on and off to reality. Check out her blog.