Showing posts from May, 2014


She embroidered their childhood with friends and family, playgrounds and picnics, bounty for birthdays and charades at Christmas. Their mother was the apple in their eyes. They believed she was omnipotent. When their father began drinking, upright and authoritative, she placed herself between them and his violence. He raged and threatened: she was his. No one could take her away.  She took them away. He would never raise a fist against her.  Nightmares wet their beds, terrors kept them from school. Safe and surrounding, she kept him at bay. Beyond blunders at university, around relationship sorrows, through career disenchantments, she steered their paths. Fetching and feeding grandchildren, supervising homework, still strong and sturdy in middle-age, she stood solidly behind their constructed careers.  That day he pressed past her, pushed his way into the kitchen, pointed a gun at the oldest, and crunched the youngest under his arm. Little Thomas, only three, bundled into the b

The Arabic Origins of Flash Fiction... and a Syrian US cab driver

I was fascinated by this article I read in the the New York Times about exiled Syrian writer, Osama Alomar, who lives and works as a taxi driver in Chicago. I thought I'd share it here on Cafe Aphra for all our flash fiction fans and other writers... Taking Fares, and Writing in Between Osama Alomar Pursues His Literary Ambitions in Exile By Larry Rohter MAY 2, 2014 CHICAGO — In the Arab world, the Syrian writer Osama Alomar has a growing reputation as the author of short, clever parables that comment obliquely on political and social issues. But here, where he has lived in exile since 2008, he spends most of his time as the driver of Car 45 at the Horizon Taxi Cab company. Up to a dozen hours a day, six days a week, Mr. Alomar cruises the northwest suburbs around O’Hare Airport in his bright blue cab, dictionaries and a volume of Khalil Gibran piled beside him. When parked in line waiting for a fare to appear, he pulls out a notebook and tries to writ

Night Gathering

Fires along the walls. Lost light caught In corners, starved dogs summoned, sweat And smoke in little yards. Moon begins her wayward fall. Fingers practice the anatomy Of stone. You drink, you dance, You spill your wine in dust that soaks up Time. You like to sing the sparks That flicker in the gorgeous Mind, in the heart always dismissive Of stolid, arid tunes. Ruptured stars: down here it’s night. Sleeping hills are turning now to space Where nothing matters, your finger sliding warm And welcome down my arm. Swallow sweeping twin-tailed to a secret room To dive, my dress a bloom. There is a bead of love Between each wave that steals all Reason from your eyes--a peace That rights the murder, the only sense We ever made.   by Nancy Bevilaqua 'Night Gathering' is part of a book of poetry by Nancy Bevilaqua entitled Gospel , which is due out in the near future. Her website is:

Interview with Mary-Jane Holmes, of Fish Publishing

Sara: So you currently teach an online course in flash fiction writing run by Fish Publishing, which I’ve recently completed (and can whole-heartedly recommend!). Tell us a bit about the course and why you decided to set it up. M-J: The Flash Fiction course has been running since 2009 following demand from writers who wanted to explore the genre further but couldn’t find much guidance either online or through writing groups. At the time it was difficult to find workshops exploring Flash and few creative writing institutions offered a course solely dedicated to the medium. It caused a flurry of excitement when it was launched and since then has continued to be a very popular program. Sara: Flash fiction is an interesting form of writing, something of a ‘niche’ or minority form, which seems to be gaining popularity at the moment. Why do you think that is? M-J:   Many writers on the subject suggest that this form of fiction is enjoying resurgence and renewed popu