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Writer’s Site December, 2012

VOL. 1# ISSUE 1

Christmas Eve bY: Emily St. Clair Samuel Bolt had one obsession in life. One absolute weakness. He tried to balance this fact by reminding himself that every man had an Achilles heel. His just happened to have a great pair of legs to go along with it. And Lord, how he liked those legs. Now if he could just find her...

Christmas is an event in the Bolt family. And Christmas Eve is just as big. Still, this now meant that his wife, April, was lost somewhere among their Welcome, to the APL’s very first literary zine featuring the writing and creative works of the members of the Aurora Public Library’s, Writer’s Night @ Eola Road Branch !

fifty-odd invited guests. Family and friends gathered everywhere and Sam couldn’t take a single step out of the foyer without the doorbell ringing to bring him back.

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Poetry Can By Wendy Meyers Simpson Today I can make a difference I can change it I can will it I can move myself to advance I can I can make a difference I can walk I can run So much to do So much to make Control it Control it I can control it Control it

Pages by Eileen Kimbrough

Wait Wait Must I do all that Today?

I write my life on pages small words big pain


graphed shows for my sister and me to perform for our parents. In junior high and high school, I never missed a dance if I could help it. Dance was my escape and my joy. I dreamed of being a dancer on stage – never the star, but definitely a backup dancer. But I didn’t realize dreams could come true, that I could really be a dancer. Fast forward to 2007 I was the network manager for a large and

Confession: I Kept Dancing By Raksanna Larcher-Gore Editor’s Note: “I Kept Dancing” is an excerpt from Confessions of a Belly Dancer; Secrets of the Hieroglyph © (ISBN 978-1-300-28931-9; available via Lulu), a collection of real life stories from actual belly dancers from around the world. The theatrical adaptation of the book debuted on November 3, 2012 at the Paramount Theater, Copley Stage in Aurora IL. For more information about the book, please visit www.confessionsofabellydancer.com)

fast-growing school district. It was very stressful and demanding. Too much work to do and not enough time or people to do it, but I loved the work and was really good at it.

As happens in work situations, things changed. A new manager came on the scene and he made my life hell. He took over my department while I was on medical leave for a hysterectomy; when I came back, I was pretty much pushed out of all decision making and planning. By the time I went to administration for help, I was a physical and emotional wreck. My heart was always beating fast and skipping beats. Finally, I went to an urgent care facility. The doctor was alarmed at the EKG

Music and dancing have been a huge

and sent me to a cardiologist. She looked at the

part of my life as far back as I can remember.

EKG, asked me some questions and then said,

When I was four, my two teen-age brothers would

“Well, we could do a bunch of tests, but I really

watch American Bandstand and I danced along

think you’re having panic attacks.” I was floored!

with them. In addition to American Bandstand, I

More LinkShe said I needed to relieve the stress or

grew up to Soul Train, Shindig, and Hullabaloo. I

I would develop serious health issues.

turned on the stereo in the living room and danced – leaping, twirling, kicking and sliding. I choreo-

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Quiet Night By Wendy Meyers Simpson

The quiet of the night breathes serenity Locusts pierce the air with mesmerizing songs Moonlight brightens the night sky shining on the dark terrain The moon's glow

Like A Leaf by Eileen Kimbrough

lightly dusts the trees and the flowers

Like a leaf from a tree in the fall of the year

and all earthly greenery

Ready to drop trembling with fear

God's earth

Of trampling feet of rake and roaring fire Of wind and rain trapping me in mire.

So sweet So sweet The quiet night

Dry and brittle color turned to rust

A soothing antidote

Crushed or burned my end is dust

Peace


More Poetry …..

Ignored by Eileen Kimbrough

He hears me like white noise, so I am red with anger. I lose all poise and envy him his languor.

THE SUNDAY BOOT CAMP CLUB

And that green envy makes him blue. He’s blind to the cause. I might as well be mute.

By Patric Huff

I stood in line with the other members of the Sunday Boot Camp Club, an organization designed for those who failed to properly celebrate the mass at St. Pete’s Catholic Church. Father T., the Pastor, had appointed Ms. Clunc, a short, squat woman in her early 60S to supervise the program. Under the guidance of Ms. Clunc, the club members were trained to choose proper church attire, follow along with the prayer book, sing hymns, pay attention to the homily, and maintain proper church posture. Bertha Clunc marched up and down the line scrutinizing our appearance for church. At the head of the line, Maia, a plump, bleached blonde woman in her late 20S, had already been sent home three times for failure of the dress code. Ms. Clunc had followed her home on the last trip and hand-picked Maia’s current attire. More Link Here

Doubt by Eileen Kimbrough Each time success seems near, I feel the pressure of your anxiety, letting your insecurity threaten me. Each time I let you interfere. Even if I persevere, nothing saves my confidence, beaten by your dominance. Revel in your sweet success and make me see my worthlessness. Nothing I can do will please you. Doubting me is your specialty, then making me doubt myself as well.


The Flying Alligator By Bob Walker Sydney opened the door to his trailer home and yelled “Food Claude!” The announcement was greeted with a snort and a growl as “Claude,” Sydney’s pet alligator emerged from his bathtub home with a splash. “Here’s your dinner, baby,” as he dumped several pounds of raw hamburger on a large tray on the living room floor. The alligator, nearly five feet long, slithered out from behind a plastic shower curtain leaving a wet trail across the well-worn linoleum floor. Sydney had found the alligator as a fledgling infant and took him home to his trailer where he fed him tadpoles and minnows until he was old enough to eat raw hamburger. As Claude ate, Sydney related his unsuccessful job hunting efforts to his reptilian friend. “Nothing again today, Claude. The tourists are staying away this season.” The alligator’s only acknowledgment was a brief “snort” as he continued to gobble down his food. For years Sydney had been in the entertainment business in south Florida, catering to the tourist trade. As a teen, he had performed as a juggler, and later became a clown and roustabout for the Bruce Babbitt Carnival and Thrill Show.

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A Poem Grandma Cheese By Eileen Kimbrough  

It Doesn’t Matter by Eileen Kimbrough

“Who’s Velva?” I asked. Aunt Edna was talking to Mommy and Aunt Ellen about who would be coming to my fifth birthday dinner. “It’s just next week,” she said as she pointed at the calendar on the wall. October 1945. I couldn’t read it but I knew that the 10 was my birthday. There was a big red circle around it. “Velva is your grandmother’s name,” Aunt Edna answered. “Oh, I thought it was just Grandma.” “She has three names just like all of us. A first name, middle name, and a last name.

It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t make them go away, the scars that came from your abuse, no matter what your lame excuse. What drove you to such cruelty? How could you be so vain? What prompted your ferocity? Who ruled your domain?

Grandma is a title. It tells how she is related to you. Mom is the title that your mommy uses for her because she is your mommy’s mother.” It was all very confusing to me. “So what’s her other names?”

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I know you meant to hurt me. There’s nothing to explain. Hurt at such a high degree, that memory is pain.


“Yeah, I’m not. C’mon, what are you doing here?” Oliver asked.

The Bureau of Mysterious Ways and Means by Greg Stolze

Oliver didn’t recognize the angel as such, since it was dressed in gray coveralls and a matching cap. Both were adorned with a sewn-on embroidered logo patch, “MWM” in white, with wings from the sides, on a sky-blue field. He meant to ask “Hey, what are you doing here?” but a mild cough had been dogging him for days, so he only got as far as “Hey, what are you…?” before a gristly sound rumbled out of his lungs. “I’m an angel,” the angel replied, in a tone that mingled resignation and embarrassment. “Be not afraid,” it added, as an afterthought.

“Mechanical repair,” it promptly answered. Had it given this response to the question he’d intended, Oliver would have checked the guest’s documents and let it on through into the mall’s basement, had the papers been in order. The angel had a toolbox in one hand (an exceptionally clean one) and a clipboard in the other. It strongly resembled one of the myriad of technicians and repairmen who came to work on the mall’s HVAC system, or its electrical wiring, or its acres of hard-used heavy duty plumbing. But there was something about the way it said “be not afraid”—neither defiant nor crazed, just stoic and matter-of-fact, like a truck driver getting a speeding ticket he deserved, or a dermatologist informing a patient that the skin cleansing wipes weren’t working as well as she’d hoped. That ‘something’ made Oliver look closer and realize that he could not hold this visitor’s face in his mind, not even for a moment. Even though he was wide awake and freshly caffeinated, regarding this guest took him back to first period biology in high school, when the teacher’s droning recitation of the classes and phyla and species names slid effortlessly out of his mind as his eyelids drooped lower and lower. “What do you mean you’re an angel?” More Link Here


The Herrin Killings By Bob Walker

Interstate Highway 57, in Southern Illinois angles westward between Herrin and Johnson City before the Marion exit as the roadway passes through Williamson County. The landscape adjacent to the highway is lush and pastoral belying the bloody confrontation that occurred within a few thousand feet of this roadway ninety years ago, long before its construction. Just west of the highway, tranquil blue water marks a submerged strip mine that was the catalyst for one of the most violent episodes in Illinois history if not the entire twentieth century labor movement. Indeed, the annals of violence in Southern Illinois and in Williamson County particularly, earned the county the unenviable title “Bloody Williamson.” The Southern Illinois Coal Company owned and operated by William. J. Lester opened a new strip mine between Herrin and Marion, Illinois in September 1921. The mine operated

under a union contract with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). On April 1, 1922, the UMWA under John L. Lewis, began a nationwide strike. Unfortunately, Lester’s newly opened mine faced serious startup debts. As a result, he negotiated a deal with the UMWA to allow union members to continue to mine coal as long as no coal was shipped out. By June Lester had mined some 60,000 tons of coal while shortages created by the strike doubled the price of coal. Lester would realize $250,000 in profit if he sold the coal that had been mined so he decided to renege on his agreement with the union. When the UMWA members refused to ship the coal he had mined, he fired all his union workers. Lester then recruited and brought to the mine, a number of armed “security” guards and 50 strikebreakers, called “scabs” by the union members, that had been hired by a Chicago employment agency. By the middle of June 1922, Lester shipped out sixteen railroad cars filled with coal contending the work was being performed by members of the International Brotherhood of Steam Shovel and Dredgemen (IBSSD) union. But William J. Tracy, the IBSSD representative for the district disputed this saying no IBSSD members were working at the mine. Most felt Lester had contacted the IBSSD to hide the use of non-union miners.

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Gray By Eileen Kimbrough The small gray building had peeling white patches, the remains of a once bright coat of paint. There were two doors. The larger one, an entrance for machinery, hung askew by one rusty hinge. I entered through the small side door. It seemed still strong, though it squeaked. Inside I detected a familiar odor. I smelled it long ago but could not identify it. Perhaps it was the combination of oil on rusted metal tools and the thick dust, which covered everything in sight. Straw and dry horse manure were strewn over most of the floor. As I walked farther into the room, a picture flashed in my mind of some cows standing with their heads in stalls, chewing cuds and waving off flies with their tails. I remembered the

taste of fresh warm milk before it was separated from the cream. I moved forward as if compelled. A harsh scream pierced the quiet. After my initial terror, I realized that I had just stepped on a cat’s tail. The cat had been frightened as much as I had, so it darted across the room and out the large door. I was now standing before a dusty old wagon, which still wore most of its red and green coat. One dismounted wheel rested against the wall and the axle leaned on the ground. Five kittens of assorted colors climbed halfway out of the wagon bed. Their ten curious eyes all looked at me. The old cat returned and stared anxiously from under the wagon’s tongue. Had I once played quietly for hours with kittens like these? Above the wagon, dark bunches of crumbling tobacco leaves hung from the rafters. In my mind, I saw the faint image of an old man cutting leaves from a tobacco plant. I could smell it. Then the image flicked away as if a light had been turned off. Five rusty hoes, three spades, two shovels, and some other, unfamiliar tools lined the walls. Above those, and poked into the eaves, were several chrome pieces, shaped almost like bicycle handlebars. Irregular pieces of thin rusted metal with holes worn through them, hung among the chrome. The smell of dust made me feel thirsty. I glanced toward an old pump, whose cement covered well was probably dry also. On my way back toward the door, I passed an orange-red tractor. Its rear wheels were taller than I was. I felt like a small girl looking up at the huge machine.

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December 2012

Writer’s Night @ Eola Many thanks to the Writer’s Night group for their creative contributions and passion for writing. The Writer’s Night @ Eola is an informal critiquing group that meets on the second Tuesday of the month.

VOL. 1 ISSUE 1

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