micro monday poetry

The Cicadas of September by Matt Mason

The Cicadas of September | Matt Mason

The song of summer is cicada drone,
buzz and flow in surround sound stereo
where every tree you walk past
adds notes to the whole grand chorus.
You only see them at the end
of their measures,
when you open your front door
and see one there on your porch
in a body that crunches
if you dare to touch it—
though its wings look soft, still, virtuoso
in meditation before their obbligato,
as if ready to snap and decide
between finale and flight.

About the Author:

Matt Mason has run poetry workshops in Botswana, Romania, Nepal, and Belarus for the U.S. State Department and his poetry has appeared in The New York Times. Matt is the Nebraska State Poet and has received a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry, and in several hundred other publications. Mason’s 5th book, Rock Stars, was released by Button Poetry, September, 2023. His website is:

micro monday poetry

the come back by Simone Flynn

the come back | Simone Flynn

there’s a moment when you fall
into the long way home
and you are driving by yourself 
your windows are down
your child’s takeout 
saag paneer and naan 
in the back seat 
and you go the long way home
down southeast street 
and then just one street more
farther than you need to 
to stay in this place 
where you are your own home 
where there is no difference 
between you and this summer evening
and it is so beautiful 
everything you ever gave away
come back to you in fireflies 
and roadside tiger lilies


About the Author:

Simone Flynn is a poet living in Massachusetts. She has published creative work in Anthropology and Humanism and academic work in PlosOne. Her poems engage often domestic situations, relationships and objects to understand self and others — to offer catharsis and comfort. “You write the poetry of life” is one of the best compliments Simone ever received about her poetry.


Author Q&A with Rachel Sussman

Author Q&A with Rachel Sussman

by Christine Nessler

September 6, 2023

Rachel Sussman’s work has appeared in Into the Void, Months to Years, My Chronic Brain, and is forthcoming in The Pinch. You can read her movie and television reviews, which have been called “snarky and piercing,” on She is also on Twitter and Instagram @RachelXSussman.

Rachel’s flash nonfiction piece, Selfishly, I Planted Flowers, is featured in Issue #12 and was the winner of the 2023 HoneyBee Prize in Nonfiction.

Tell us about yourself.

Phew. With the exception of “tell us about your hobbies,” nothing instills more immediate panic in me than this gentle, well-intentioned prompt. My mind goes blank, and I instantly forget everything about myself.

I grew up bouncing back and forth between suburban Maryland and rural Vermont. I’ve spent the past decade and half living in centrally-isolated Pennsylvania with my two kids, husband, and two cats—with breaks to spend a handful of years living in South and Central America. In addition, while I’ve lived with Chronic Migraine for most of my life, over the past decade it has become much more severe and disabling, which has wholly reshaped the contours of my and my family’s life.

When did you start writing?

Writing and words have always been an important part of my life, but it’s really been in the past six years that I’ve committed to formalizing the practice and trying to get more pieces published.

How has writing impacted your life?

Especially in the past several years—as my disease has gotten more severe—writing has saved me. Symptoms like pain, brain fog, and confusion often leave me feeling like any kind of communication or human interaction is impossible. Putting words together into sentences and paragraphs and entire essays gives me a sense of freedom, creativity, and connection that I just don’t find elsewhere.

Selfishly, I Planted Flowers is such a beautiful story about grief. How did writing this story help you with your own grief?

The process of writing and re-writing the piece really forced me to unpack my memories of my friend and examine them closely, which was so painful, but has helped me face the reality of her being gone and understand what that means. Like planting the flowers themselves, writing the piece was very cathartic. It gave order to my chaotic thoughts and emotions, and allowed me a space where it felt right that her memory was always so alive. That said, nothing quite prepared me for the moment when the story was published and she was the first person I wanted to share the news with.

How did it pay tribute to your lost friend?

As I was writing it I kept wondering if it really was paying tribute to her, or if it was an entirely selfish act. She was an amazing and self-effacing person, who also brought dignity, respect, and joy into everything she did, and I hope it pays tribute to her by highlighting some of her mundane acts of greatness. Also, I hope that by allowing other people to see themselves and their friendships reflected in the words, it honors her memory and her gift for making people feel welcomed and respected. 

The way you write is very poetic, do you primarily write creative non-fiction or do you dabble in other forms of art?

I always seem to come back to creative nonfiction (or the movie and television reviews I write). I really enjoy working within the confines of prose and facts, while playing with the cadence, imagery, and other aspects of language to create a strong emotional connection.

How do you take time to care for your own well-being?

I take walks. Spend time with my family. Watch loads of TV and movies when my body is uncooperative. Listen to audiobooks. Snuggle my cats. Exchange snarky texts with friends.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what does it involve? If not, why not?

I have a writing routine that allows the space and grace for my chronic illness to regularly upend it. I used to set up these hard and fast goals for writing at this particular time, in this particular place, and for this particular length of time. When my body didn’t allow for that to happen I felt like a failure, and often just gave up on the entire endeavor. Now, I’m careful to acknowledge all the pre-writing parts of the routine as well—the thinking, mulling, and musing that goes on in the background—which I’m often doing even while I may not feel well enough to actually write. I tend to write best in the morning, and then I find pockets of time and energy throughout the rest of the day to plug away at it more—trying to stop before I get frustrated or exhausted. I meet with someone weekly to trade drafts of what we’re working on, which gives me a fixed deadline to work toward, and it’s immensely helpful.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “The Good Life?”

First, I think of The Good Life Review. Then, I guess I think of things like watching the sunrise on a day you wake up without pain; laughing with friends until your sides ache; the feeling when a small child slips their hand into yours; the first sip of hot coffee in the morning; the first crisp day of fall; the green shoots of spring; or slipping into clean sheets after you’ve showered.

Rachel’s Flash Nonfiction piece “Selfishly, I Planted Flowers” is available in issue #12 ~ Our Summer Honeybee Prize issue.

Thank you, Rachel, for trusting us with this story and allowing us to share it with our readers. We appreciate you and your willingness to spend extra time with us on this Q&A.

fiction micro fiction micro monday

Elvidarium by Kay Sexton

Elvidarium | Kay Sexton

I’d never spoken to Ronita before we covered synesthesia in English class. To start with her name was weird, and she was weird. She always had chewed off nail varnish and how is that possible? There has to be a day when it’s perfect, surely?

I knew, from the moment Miss Perkins defined synaesthesia, which one of us was going to claim to have it. Magdalena Pike. Magdalena with the too-long fringe that she constantly brushed out of her eyes, the too-prominent Adam’s apple that was bound to raise questions in later life, the fluttery laugh with a hand pressed to her chest (the hand that wasn’t brushing hair out of her eyes). Magdalena would go on to become a hypnotherapist, to recover memories of past lives and end up suing an employer for discrimination because they wouldn’t let her bring in a six-foot pyramid to heal her clients’ endocrine systems.

Magdalena’s instantaneous acquisition of the ability to hear numbers and smell days of the week caused me to eye-roll inadvertently enough to catch Ronita’s attention, so when we paired up to write a piece, she tapped her pen on my desk. “You and me,” she said. 

We wrote about the colors of emotions. Not the obvious red for anger stuff. Taupe was depression, peach was the hour before school ended on a Friday, and jade was the color of a walk with your pet dog early in the morning before the newspapers were delivered. It was okay. It was adequate. It was more fun than anything I’d ever done in English class before. That was how we began, giggling through our creative writing, asking Magdalena snarky questions about tasting numbers as we ran downstairs to our next class, skipping afternoon school without discussion, without guilt. 

We played on swings like little kids, smoked cigarettes like grown-ups, talked like teenagers who’d never had a best friend before, which neither of us had. We became inseparable. But not for long. Three weeks after we first talked, on the peach hour of Friday, we were sprawled in the long grass behind the playing field, sharing a roll-up, when Ronita said, “You know when you wake up in the morning and turn over in bed and remember it’s Saturday and you don’t have to get up?”

I nodded. 

“You know the color you see behind your closed eyelids at that moment?”

I nodded.

“That color…” she inhaled deeply. “That color is elvidarium.”

I remembered that conversation when I heard the news on Monday morning. Heard that she’d taken pills she’d filched from her grandmother’s house – the house her parents thought she was staying at because they were away for the weekend. Her grandmother thought she was at a friend’s house. 

I knew I was that friend. 

I knew she’d woken that Saturday morning, rolled over in bed, said elvidarium to herself and known it was never going to get any better. 

I understood.

About the Author:

Kay Sexton has been a finalist for several writing awards including the Sunday Times Short Story Award, the Willesden Herald Fiction Contest and winner of both the Fort William Festival Contest and the Wollongong Literary Festival Short Story Contest. In addition she has had two non-fiction books and one novel published. 

micro monday poetry

Papier-mâché by Rosa Crepax

Papier-mâché | Rosa Crepax

My meteorite feet sink deeper in the ground
with each conquered breath. It’s 14.45
when plaster starts cracking, vaulting
the premature dusk. Some ancient soothsayer
must have talked about this. A thunder of void
runs atop fields that fear has dried out. No one
leaves in a hurry; time is asleep, yet the city’s
on fire, and a green ice lolly helps only a bit.

The day chestnuts turn into
papier-mâché; it goes all up in flames
with a pretty flutter of winds, farm animals,
soap bubbles, and refuse. I worry about
the toothpaste I forgot to buy, and the ballerinas
trapped in their musical boxes unable to breathe.
We could stop the car, release them at once, and doze
or daze off in the rye, the melody of their metal teeth
lullabying us to peace.

We could set up the table or join a cash machine queue
or whatever people do when they’re not scared
under alien attack. You drag me, who perhaps
am papier-mâché too, into your garden
place a sceptre in my hand. Around the pond
six story trees pierce through the ceiling. My mosquito-net cape
touches the water and floats…

Let’s set up the table for real.


About the Author:

Originally from Milan Italy, Rosa Crepax lives, writes and teaches in London UK. She has a PhD from Goldsmiths University and lectures in critical and cultural studies. As well as publishing in academic journals and books, she writes poetry. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Spoon River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review and 3:AM Magazine.

micro monday poetry

Obit by Kait Quinn

Obit | Kait Quinn

after Victoria Chang 

About the Author:

Kait Quinn (she/her) was born with salt in her wounds. She flushes the sting of living by writing poetry. She is the author of four poetry collections, and her work has appeared in Reed Magazine, Watershed Review, Chestnut Review, and elsewhere. She received first place in the League of MN Poets’ 2022 John Calvin Rezmerski Memorial Grand Prize. She enjoys repetition, coffee shops, and vegan breakfast foods. Kait lives in Minneapolis with her partner, their regal cat, and their very polite Aussie mix. Find her at

micro monday poetry

Grocery Store 3 a.m. by Kit Rohrbach

Grocery Store 3 a.m. | Kit Rohrbach

Worst of all
is the sadness of fruit
tumbled in a cardboard bin
remembering Cézanne’s
important apples
on a sunlit blue table
and Gauguin’s
sun-browned women,
their skin smelling of oranges.

The scent of oranges fades
in overhead fluorescence
like years and blue sailboats
on sun-bright water.

Oranges in my kitchen
sliced in half
fed to a juicer,
medieval punishment
for beauty or witchcraft,
as the lever ratchets down
to press sun-flavored juice
from pulp and skin.

The empty rind
fits exactly in my hand.

About the Author:

Kit Rohrbach lives, writes, and herds cats in Southeastern Minnesota.

fiction micro fiction micro monday

Madonna and Child with Butter Cow by Zachary Kocanda

Madonna and Child with Butter Cow | Zachary Kocanda

with a line from Wikipedia

When I say “Hillshire,” you say, “Farms,” then pull me in closer with your hooves. Spoon me like forgotten low-fat yogurt in the back of the refrigerator and kiss me goodbye before you leave for work. The most sensitive part of a cow is its udders, and the most sensitive part of you is me. But don’t worry. I’m fine. Take your time in the fields. I fear for the tipped cow, but you reassure me—: A healthy cow lying on her side is not immobilized; she can rise whenever she chooses. I follow the goings-on of the state fair, forlorn I can’t join you. The sculpted butter cow is the belle of the ball, like every year. I preferred last year’s design, but I’ll still protect her with my life. I take a twelve-hour shift and monitor the webcam to make sure she’s safe. The exhibit closes soon. I wait for you. A mother and child, alone, behold the spinning cow behind its bulletproof glass. It must be baby’s first state fair—so tiny, a pink bow in her hair, black and white polka dot onesie, little calf. The mother whispers to the infant: “You too are more than toast fodder, baby.” The child fusses. I see them stir before the sculpture has completed its rotation, and I white-knuckle my computer mouse. Hold it, I will to them, You must see this beauty from all sides.

About the Author:

Zachary Kocanda’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, Grist, Hobart, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among other publications. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Find more at

fiction micro fiction micro monday

Girls Over The Edge by Susan M. Breall

Girls Over The Edge | Susan M. Breall

The thrill of blue, the smell of cold water hitting warm concrete, the chatter of girls by the edge of the pool. It was a white-hot day, a day without current or motion. She sat, awkward and apart from the other girls.  She wanted to be like them, so she dangled her feet on their side of the pool. She rubbed at her sunburned legs as she listened to their laughter and pretended to understand it. She knew she was not like them, with their bronzed bodies and colorful swimwear.  She was a sun-bleached outdated magazine cover, a pair of discarded eyeglasses cast aside on a shelf. 

As she looked up at the wide expanse of sky a boy her same age approached. He had her coloring, her same beyond-white skin tone, her same pale blue eyes, red hair, and freckled cheeks. He gave her a warm familiar smile, then walked over to the beautiful chattering girls and pushed them, one by one, over the edge of the pool. She continued to look up at the wide wonderful sky during the screaming and flailing of limbs. One girl could not swim.

He was more than a brother. He fought every nasty boy who threw banana slugs at her legs. He knocked a boy unconscious who forced her to eat garden snails. But the beautiful drowning girl meant no harm, so when she stopped looking up at the sky and looked down at the pool’s edge where her brother stood, she screamed for a lifeguard who then came running from the back alley behind the changing rooms where he was making out with his girlfriend. The lifeguard pulled the beautiful drowning girl out of the deep water that was about to devour her. She thought how fortunate for the beautiful girl that she happened to be right there at the edge of the pool. 

About the Author:

By day Susan M. Breall handles cases involving abused, abandoned, and neglected children. By night she writes short stories. She is the 2022 winner of the Gateway Review flash fiction contest. Her stories appear in numerous anthologies including The Raw Art Review, Kairos Literary Magazine, Running Wild Press, The Write Launch, Impermanent Facts, Paragon Press’ Martian Chronicles, and Dreamers Writing.

micro monday poetry

Cli-Fi by Caitlin Cacciatore

Cli-Fi by Caitlin Cacciatore

after Tracy K. Smith

there will be thunder
without lightning.

there will be frost but 
nowhere for it to fall;

there will be windows 
without panes,

statues without faces,
and by then,

no one will know 
the names of man. 

even the graves,
given the task of remembering, 

will be scratching at their stony
heads, wondering

what it was they promised 
never to forget. 

About the Author:

Caitlin Cacciatore is a queer poet, writer, and essayist based on the outskirts of New York City. She believes that literature has the power to change minds and start movements. Caitlin is currently pursuing an MA in Digital Humanities with the goal of amplifying marginalized voices. Her work has appeared in Bacopa Literary Review, Sylvia Magazine, and many other literary magazines and journals. She loves animals, single-origin coffee, ethical fashion, and thrift stores. You can find her at