Dracula is standing on my neighbors’ front porch. He’s been there for the last few weeks staring past their Ravens flag, past their excitable Jack Russell terriers, past their chain link fence to some spot across the street. I imagine it’s the same spot where my dog stares, ever hopeful, waiting to catch a glimpse of the feral cats that live in a tool shed with a man named Danny behind my other neighbor’s house. Read More →
University of Baltimore MFA grad student Sue Loweree knows a heck of a lot about hair removal — her hilarious self-help advice might convince you never to shave your gams ever again.
Some states, such as Vermont and Maine, and northwestern mountain towns and Germany do not require shaved-legs. Female wrestlers, cow wranglers, and river guides are also exempt, unless they are going home for the holidays, are asked to be a bridesmaid, or are invited to an upscale pool party. Read More →
Love. Local writer Lucy Avalled recently redefined the four letter word when her serious boyfriend was sent to jail.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love doesn’t make fun of me for my obsession with drag queens and lets me watch marathons of RuPaul’s “Drag Race” reality show without questioning my credibility as a grown-up. Love dismantles his drum set and moves it to the garage so that we can have space for my computer desk. Love is trying really, really hard not to cry in the courtroom as I watch him be escorted to jail. Read More →
University of Baltimore MFA student Ellen Hartley has a few questions for her readers…and herself. But she doesn’t take any of them too seriously!
Does my life have direction?
What is direction? Do I have
a purpose? Is purpose
direction? Is direction
linear? Is linear
With trademark humor, Baltimore poet Jenny Keith shares a heavy-duty secret.
Sharp elbow! Heads up from the iced tea and lawn,
the glass door swings open, invites everyone.
A ring dance, a blessing, a twirl of good cheer.
See now, coming forward from kitchen and parlor:
It’s clever, transcending its genre—its gender!
You will love it and honor it, cherish forever
this one like the ones you remember, but smaller,
cuter and sweeter, much nicer, petite-er,
the bite-size of meat that will never taste vulgar.
Baltimore author/playwright and UB instructor Kimberley Lynne is disturbed by the fact that the dead and gone never seem to depart Facebook — here’s what she proposes be done about this insensitive oversight.
Five of my Facebook friends have expired, yet occasionally a helpful sidebar will cheerily suggest: You haven’t talked to Greg in a long time, why don’t you send him a Starbucks gift card?
I’d love to, I think, but I hope he’s beyond those mortal concerns now. Read More →
Fiction writer Michael Downs recently received the largest Individual Artist Award given by the Maryland State Arts Council. In this frank yet philosophical talk, he ponders the role of art in a world rampant with violence and tragedy.
What follows is adapted from remarks made at the Maryland State Arts Council’s reception for winners of 2013 Individual Artist Awards. This year, the state government supported 87 Maryland artists, writers, and performers. The reception was held May 20 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
Moments before, they had been running: Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour laced in tight knots across their unhappy feet, feet which had complained at Mile 11 or 18 or 22, but hurt no longer because this was the finish and nothing hurt anymore, not their crunchy ankles or their sore knees or that sharp cramp felt near the heart just a few strides ago. Those quicker runners who had already arrived ate bananas and smiled for cell-phone cameras, hands upraised and fingers making a V for victory, not for peace, not really, though peace is a thing much wished for, a thing on which so much depends. Read More →
UB MFA candidate Oakley Julian’s graduate thesis, Words and Silence, tells a true family story — the good, the bad, the foreign, the familiar. Read two micro-chapters below.
He was the first to make Van Gogh references and bar-brawl jokes after half of his ear was removed in 2003. Beyond those jokes and keeping folks more or less up-to-date on upcoming scans and procedures, there wasn’t much else added to the melanoma discussion for nearly 10 years. As his wife Joy told me, “Walter’s attitude towards this whole thing is that it’s chronic, not terminal. When something pops up, we handle it and then go on.” Read More →
UB grad student Ellen Hartley watches her wild life race past from behind the wheel.
1956: The Chrysler
When I was 15, my mother drove me to the doctor’s to have a growth removed from my neck. I was old enough to get my learner’s permit but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. So I had to be chauffeured. Mother was more than happy to comply — she was in no hurry for me to start driving. Especially since it was her car – a shiny new Chrysler Windsor Deluxe – that I’d be abusing. Read More →
Baltimore writer Caryn Coyle weaves a true story of classic romance and classic cars.
The crush I had on my dad faded when I was a teenager. I was selling shoes at Hutzler’s Department Store and met a startlingly handsome man. He had dark hair and eyes as blue as my father’s. His voice was soft, jovial. He smiled as he leaned on the counter, next to me, writing receipts. I was a wreck and I did not want the evening to end.
When the store closed, he asked if he could walk me out. At the store’s entrance, he told me he’d see me again if I was working the next day.
I was three years from getting my driver’s license. My dad was my chauffer, but I told him not to come the second day of the shoe sale unless I called him.
The following evening, I walked through the store again with the handsome man. I told him I had to call my dad for a ride. Tilting his head, he smiled at me, “I’ll drive you home. Where do you live?”
He pushed one of the department store’s double glass doors for me and there was my dad’s 1962 Chevy Impala. The car rolled slowly up to the wide concrete curb by the store’s entrance.
My dad’s window was down. “Oh. You have a ride.” He was cheerful, matter-of-fact. The car never stopped and he drove away. I was stunned. Embarrassed. Furious at my dad.
I could feel the cold pavement through the soles of my shoes. It was winter. February. 1972. “That was my dad,” I finally said.
He nodded, “He probably just wanted to be sure his little girl was all right.”
My embarrassment lifted and I followed him through the parking lot to an identical Chevy Impala, the same year as my dad’s. He opened the passenger side door for me and I slid in. Read More →
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