Tag Archives: Marc Harshman

FLAPPERHOUSE’s Most-Viewed Pieces of 2018

Everywhere Eyeballs Are Aflame – Odilon Redon, 1888

With a new year ahead of us, let’s look back at the 10 pieces that attracted the most eyeballs to our site in 2018…

10. “Betula nigra,” Avee Chaudhuri’s beautifully twisted short story from our Winter 2018 issue.

9. “Chemtrail Mist of the New World,” C.D. Frelinghuysen’s paranoid & poignant flash fiction from our Fall 2018 issue.

8. “X-Ray,” Rosie Adams’ unnerving yet captivating flash fiction from our Winter 2018 issue.

7. “Sycroax Martinez is a witch from Corpus Christi, Texas,” Luis Galindo’s spellbindingly brilliant poem from our Winter 2018 issue.

6. “Too Late for Anarchy,” Marc Harshman’s wry and wistful poem from our Summer 2018 issue.

5. “Fetish / Recluse,” Rita Mookerjee’s magically sensual & intoxicating poem from our Summer 2018 issue.

4. “moon-cleansed,” Monica Lewis’ cosmically beautiful & gut-punchingly powerful poem from our Winter 2018 issue.

3. “Questionnaire for the Gravitron Operator Before I Ride,” Jennifer Savran Kelly’s curious & captivating flash fiction from our Fall 2018 issue.

2. “Knock Knock” Todd Dillard’s vivid & tender poem of love & parenthood from our Summer 2018 issue.

And our number one most-viewed piece of 2018 was “Snapshot from the Revolution,” Perry Lopez’s historical & horrific short story from our Summer 2018 issue.

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“Too Late for Anarchy” – Poetry by Marc Harshman

The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli – Carlo Carra, 1911

“Too Late for Anarchy” is one of three (or five) wry and wistful poems by Marc Harshman in our Summer 2018 issue.

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I SEE THE PRESIDENT ON THE NEWS.
I curl up on the floor.  Play dead.

I open the envelope containing my paycheck,
              accidentally tear its little cellophane window.
Carefully, close all my windows.  Weep, regret,
              and think how a pound of flesh is inadequate.

Sorry excuses come across my desk.
I’m sorry they do, sorry they are,
              sorry they’ll not be enough.

It might have been a victory.
By the time we got there
              it was just blood and roses; not quite
              a cemetery, but something solemn, sacrilegious
              about which words fell like ashes
              into and out of history.

I look the winter in the face.
The bare trees straighten
              their crooked branches
with heartbreaking enterprise.
              The pond freezes over.
The arthritis flows through me
              one sorrow at a time.
I’m no longer sure I can
              clench my fists, let alone
              close my eyes.

You asked me to tell you.

I no longer watch the news.
Sometimes I remember who we were.
Sometimes I open my eyes.

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MARC HARSHMAN’s collection, WOMAN IN A RED ANORAK, has won the 2017 Blue Lynx Prize and will be published later this year by Lynx House/University of Washington Press. His fourteenth children’s book, FALLINGWATER, co-written with Anna Smucker, was published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan in 2017. His poetry collection, Believe What You Can, was published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press and won the Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association. Poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. He is the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia.

“Beyond Kansas” – Prose by Marc Harshman

Tornado Over Kansas - John Steuart Curry, 1929
Tornado Over Kansas – John Steuart Curry, 1929

There’s a storm brewing in “Beyond Kansas,” a powerful piece of short prose from our Winter 2017 issue by West Virginia’s poet laureate Marc Harshman.

{ X }

In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.  – William S. Burroughs

AS LONG AS  THERE’S A BREEZE, the uneasy shimmy of shadows persists and, though he pretends not to care, a reckoning is sure to follow.  He’s seen this kind of weather before.  The jay’s screech fails in the monotone of the freeway. It might have been important. You see what I mean, he wants to say. Today is not the worst, but it is worth considering how bad it could get.  He knows that.  Someone is worrying about the banks.  He understands that, too.  Maybe they worry because they know they must worry, like he does, about whether the dog food will hold out.  He can imagine a self-imposed exile from life’s headaches without going so far as a vacation.  Perhaps a concussion is all that’s needed.  Or a break-through in his writing.  “Another round of TV and platitudes.”  He makes up phrases like these all the time, writes them down, then posts them like flags around the bedroom.  They will amount to something some day.  His mother had assured him as much, that he would, amount to something, some day, though he wonders sometimes if it was said parentally, or simply as a rebuttal to her boyfriend who’d kicked him off the couch as he watched Malcolm in the Middle.  It was a weird show. He’d masturbate after every episode.   Was he a deviant?  There are screams out there that knock on the door to come in.  He gets very still; lifts the curtain to see if what happens next will be enough.  He wants it.  He wants life to be real, yet it’s all so scary.  The wind is picking up the shadows and hurling them at the windows.  He should offer to help.  Open the door.  There are so many locks on it.  He wonders if he should add more.  Time falls through his head leaving its great holes.  The storm stops.  It will be useless to try to do anything now.  Did he hit his head?  The doorway is filling with sunshine and leaves.  The door itself is gone, blown back to Kansas.  There is a little dog.  He tries talking to it.  Picks up the single, yellow brick that came through the window.  Feels the lump on his forehead, begins to understand things.  Returns to his study, re-reads his notes, begins writing a letter to his mother, tells her he’s buying her a car and they’ll really go someplace this time, beyond the cemetery, beyond the weather, beyond the beyond.

Continue reading “Beyond Kansas” – Prose by Marc Harshman