issue nine

Cover Art by Kwong Kwok Wai

Autumn 2022

9 Inside…


Yahrzeit &
Meditation at North Beach Park, Burlington
              by Anne Whitehouse
 The Hair Poem: a Haibun &
 The Wax Poem
              by Andy Winter
  Mother’s Day, Register 7
              by William Bonfiglio

Flash Nonfiction

Mutation of a Body
              by Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter
 The Reason You’re Wrong About Wearing Shoes in the House
               by Mathew Serback


Explication Of My Guilt
              by Jessica Pulver
              by Lauren Davenport

Flash Fiction

              by Rhea Bryce
Ersatz Coffee
              by Ernie Sadashige


Let It Burn
              by Noelle Nori
Take Your Shot
              by Briana Wipf

Others appear more frequently but are so angry, hungry, tired, sick or depressed that their full forms are hard to see. They are might-have-beens before they ever had a chance to be. I see their families in their eyes. The broken promises of that horrible phrase “a better life”–a phrase scribbled on poorly written formulaic essays that I teach them to write in order to pass the state exams.

– Failure

Thumps like those are the drumbeat of my guilt that has aged over a decade. In them, I hear reverberations of fears and shame. Like an echo chamber: Leo might not walk. Leo might not talk. Leo might not have a friend, a career. Leo might not be able to kiss the person he falls in love with.

– Explication Of My Guilt

Oh, my – soulless shoes, worn through the middle, decayed like other idols I couldn’t abandon. It was only when I was in those Jordan’s that people paid attention to me.

– The Reason You’re Wrong About Wearing Shoes in the House

Eventually, your eyesight will grow dim, the pictures before you faded, no longer crisp and clear. Facial features become a soft haze in your cloudy vision. Your control will find you on your knees, carpet scratching, tears rolling down as the world whittles down to four senses.

– Mutation of a Body

                          She’s slashing at
the terminal. It’s asking me to
swipe my card she says. I did that
already. I tell her the machines are
temperamental and sometimes they
don’t take.

This isn’t true.

– Mother’s Day, Register 7

… i
am just a letter. that yearns to be licked, to be stamped. that never gets sent. always lost in the mailroom, on the bathroom floor, at the bottom of the sea. siren song of foam & razor.

The Wax Poem

I gouge a pumpkin, rub its entrails around my lips & chin. Its orange blood conceals all that’s purple & blue. This is an ancient ritual, passed down through generations of witches.

– The Hair Poem: a Haibun

Sometimes the young listen politely
and sometimes impatiently,
propelled towards lives
that haven’t happened yet.

I feel my hold on life growing tenuous,
like those islands farther off—

– Meditation at North Beach Park, Burlington

… But here they are,
by a quirk of the Hebrew calendar,
yoked forever and forever,
until the end of time…

– Yahrzeit

I tell my friend while we sip drinks we ordered one minute before the end of happy hour and she asks, are you happy? and I tell her we’re happy and she asks again, but are you?

– Where

the buzz: news and interviews

The Good Life Review nominates for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net

2022 Pushcart nominations
2022 Best of the Net nominations
2021 Pushcart nominations
2021 Best of the Net nominations

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from the archives:

Summer Elegy II by Todd Robinson

Summer Elegy II | Todd Robinson Nebraska’s bare branchespaw at skies full of pointless blue, mercurial daymoon.Powerless like me or my disabled wifewobbling our broken palace in cashmere and bracken. She…

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dear sister by Sequoia Maner

dear sister | Sequoia Maner   i’d like to think we never experienced a world where foster care fostered absence. we went to the roller rink for birthdays. later we…

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What They Carried With Them by Ellen June Wright

What They Carried With Them | Ellen June Wright They carried everything one can bring              when one can bring nothing. They carried everything they knew:              languages and dialects, songs mothers taught…

read more
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The Good Life Review is a 501C nonprofit literary journal made with ♥ from Omaha, Nebraska. We are committed to exploring the overlooked and are taking active steps toward a more diverse and equitable publishing platform.