2015: Olentangy Review | Blue Fifth Review | 2014: Olentangy Review | REVOLUTION JOHN | 2013: REVOLUTION JOHNWhat Weekly | Mrs. Chatterjee’s Most Excellent ReviewMadHat Lit | Esels-Ohr 1/2/3 | DOG-EAR | A-Minor | MicroscenesOlentangy Review | 2011-2012 | 2009-2010
Photo: dead tree in Garrison, TX (on the way to AR).

Photo: dead tree in Garrison, TX (on the way to AR).

Olentangy Review is a beautiful quarterly journal by Moonkind Press. The fall issue 2015 contains exceptional poems, art and fiction – including my “Arkansas Arcadia”, a story triptych & an homage to ‘The Natural State’, complete with images from the road. Download it, settle down in a comfy chair, pull up your legs, sip a latte and imbibe this issue.
[#161] Excerpt from “Arkansas Ascension”:

The priest had noticed the elderly robot who came to every one of his services: he always sat in the back of the church, almost in the dark where the windows were broken and were now boarded up. The robot came in, knelt, bent his head, folded his claws and stayed that way until the concluding rite. The priest imagined that the robot did not want to raise a ruckus by getting up and down – old machines could be noisy.

The description of the cruell Martyrdome of Sir Iohn Oldcastle, Lorde Cobham. Book of Martyrs 1563

Image: The description of the cruell Martyrdome of Sir Iohn Oldcastle, Lorde Cobham. Book of Martyrs 1563.

The Princess, The Warrior, The Horse – three vignettes in Blue Fifth Review’s Winter Quarterly, themed “FIRE” – taken from “Gisela”, my historical flash fiction novel to be published by Folded Word Press in 2015. [#160] Excerpt from “The Warrior”:

Smoke-tongues are rising from burnt houses. They lick the darker Eastern sky. The eyes of warriors are bloodshot, their gait is unsteady when they stagger into the hall after 10 hours of fighting in the saddle. They throw themselves on the ground, hero next to hero, every one light as a feather and heavy as iron, sharing women, drinking beer, gnawing bones.


Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

SELFIE WITH COMET” – my Christmas offering in the winter 2014 issue of the Olentangy Review along with marvelous art and poetry – free download courtesy eds. Melissa  & Darryl Price. With audio[#159] Excerpt:

»In general, comets get to do whatever they like. They whirr among planets and suns like happily glowing children, orphans that don’t answer to anyone. It happens that a sound system cap- tures a comet: it will then spend some time circling within the confines of its captor, but give it any opportunity to escape — and only gaseous memories remain of its glorious presence. Once a comet’s good opinion is lost, it is lost forever: it’ll take care not to return to the ungrateful neighborhood….«

childrencrusadeOne year on, Revolution John, Sheldon Lee Compton’s brainchild, is just as cool but buzzier, busier, more boisterous in its selection of poetry, prose and photos. Proud to have a new story, THE CRUSADE, in there now: written on the morrow of the Ebola virus outbreak, for the launch of another book. Enjoy! [#158] Excerpt:

When the virus began to ravage the land, ripping families apart, taking brother from sister, mother from son, husband from wife, the children’s crusade began. At first, there were only the orphans who walked from village to village, but when the pestilence continued to kill, others joined who had lost a relative or a friend, and finally even children who had not lost anyone went with them.

424px-Adam_and_EveADAM AND EVE in the new REVOLUTION JOHN — ed. Sheldon Lee Compton — 3 stories, 3 Adams, 3 Eves. These vignettes emerged originally from prompts posited in a Berlin Writing Group at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore, Berlin. Excerpt: [#156]

Adam couldn’t help noticing the fear in her eyes even though it was concealed by an unusual set of props, which included: thick glasses, strong makeup heavy-handedly applied, and light brown hair that was styled to appear accidentally artistic if artistic was the right word, but Adam was fairly sure it was because she had mentioned art, artists and the world artists lived in or could live in if the world outside art would only make it a little easier for them to exist on their own terms…

9476248045_8a4cbcc83e_o[Translate] Ich veröffentliche ja nicht viel dieses Jahr, aber im Esels-Ohr Magazin bin ich immer gerne. (In der ersten Ausgabe sogar im Druck.) Diesmal: “Herbstsonate“, die deutsche Übersetzung von “holi होली day“. Das Bild dazu: so fühlte ich mich. Farbzersprungen, fragmentiert, formverloren. Jetzt geht es mir besser! Auszug: [#155]

Kartoffelsuppe kochen
Schilfrohrflöten schnitzen
Haarknäuel handbemalen.

erich salomon berlin 1920Timmy Reed curated my story “A Good Day” for the What Lit corner of Baltimore’s unique What Weekly magazine. A writer’s story about Berlin and angst in the city. Excerpt:[#154]

I tend to freeze up when I have to meet a creative deadline, compared to, say, a business deadline. Perhaps this is so because there are no demons present, who, I imagine, get very excited when a writer has promised to finish a piece by a particular date. These demons are creatures made entirely of disappointed desires, punished passions and sickeningly anticipatable alliterations. They all look exactly like you on a bad day, and I’m not just talking about any bad day but one of those days when the light itself seems to be an insult.

EurykleiaandOdysseus[Translate] “Noch’n Gedicht?” — Wohl kaum. Gedichte sind und bleiben die Ausnahme. “tarabiscoté” (Franz. für ‘convoluted’, oder ‘verschnörkelt’) ist in Esels-Ohr veröffentlicht und entstand als Auftragsgedicht für Connotation Press. Dies ist ein Beispiel für eine Deutsch-englische Ko-produktion, bei der ich anfänglich übersetze, dann aber beide Versionen gleichzeitig bearbeite, bis es am Schluss eigentlich keine Ur-Version mehr gibt. Viele meiner Geschichten sind so entstanden —mehr in meinem Interview in TYFYS[#153]

Ingres, “Ossians Traum” (1813)

Connotation Press published three of my poems, Pericardium, tarabiscoté and Hour of the Hunter in alongside a long interview with me, conducted and conceived by poet & editor Mia Avramut. Excerpt (from “tarabiscoté”): [#150-152]

When I lie on
the couch, I think
of Ithaca. When I’m
in Ithaca, I dream

of Troy. You see:
I’m beyond help
Not here!
Not there!

Marathi women in traditional Nauvari sari, India, 19th centuryEVIL SIGMUND” a new short story of truly fantastic proportions, is now in Mrs. Chatterjee’s Review — Excerpt: [#149]

You know, when I was ten, I was a breezy Marianne, and I was really very young. When I was ten, I became aware that I couldn’t control everything in my mind. It was almost as if there was someone else inside me, who did whatever she wanted. I boldly named her Miss Collins and told my mother “I have an unconscious now.”

H G Wells signedThe Last Letter” at MadHat Lit — (MadHat Press being the publisher of my collection “Thank You For Your Sperm“) is really nothing but a lyrical, fictionalized memory of my father who loved H G Wells—especially his optimism towards the future & his reverie for technology & machine men. Some of which I’ve inherited. But the older I get the more I think like the old man. And probably write like him, too. — Story comes with my own reading, my rendering of Wells (see image), and a barrage of links to places where I’ve recently been. Excerpt:[#147]

«Whenever I begin to think about editing and publishing my father’s angry, political poems, I am overwhelmed by the multitude of images that surround my recollection of his gray head bent over the typewriter…»

bakelit-telefonNever been published in German before—except once in >kill author a while back, and now it happened again in the German off-shoot of Dog Ear Magazine, Esels-Ohr, with “Mein Erscheinen in Providence“. The English version of this story was published last year in Airplane Reading. Excerpt:[#146]

Plötzlich erinnere ich mich an die USA-Reise 1980: keine Mobiltelefone; die abgeschlossene Drehscheibe des Bakelit-Fernsprechers neben dem Motel-Bett. Die Farben der 70er Jahre überall, Vorvergangenheit war gerade mal Gestern.

Mooning by Marcus Speh I like new shiny things: DOG-EAR is new. They kindly published my flash “MOONING“, a thinly (i.e. not at all) veiled story from my youth including the (no more) secret why I love tales. Excerpt:[#145]

It’s fun to reminisce. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go back in time, perambulate the past, cull clover leaves.

happy islesI’d like you to be happy like I am. “ONE WEEK ON THE HAPPY ISLES” is at A-Minor Magazine — with a bow to editors Kenny Mooney & Nicolette Wong. Excerpt: [#142]

Water and wine flow freely here. Nymphs coil themselves around the muscular arms and legs of men; fauns meander, their faces friendly grimacing masks. They put their hairy hands that move swiftly like small serpents on the buttocks and boobs of women.

microscenes family home coverThe Great Purging“, a fantasy of decay, appeared in Microscenes. For issue 2, the theme was “The Family Home”.  Reviewed by Beach Sloth. Excerpt:[#141]

One day the sewers in all the cities will cease to work. Then the people will pour into the streets and they will look at each other with wide open eyes, which reflect two questions: «Who is responsible for this cock-up?» And: «What shall we do now?»

tin man and tree snake appleTinpot Love” is published in the new/old Olentangy Review. The story itself comes with a drawing by my daughter Taffimai Metallumai. Order the summer issue via e-mail. Excerpt:[#140]

Under the tree of the one apple, the Tin Man waited for his Tin Woman. He wanted to ask her to become his Tin Wife. But there were a few things that he didn’t know and they worried him and put him in a metallic mood: what was love?

When the virus began to ravage the land, ripping families apart, taking brother from sister, mother from son, husband from wife, the children’s crusade began. At first, there were only the orphans who walked from village to village, but when the pestilence continued to kill, others joined who had lost a relative or a friend, and finally even children who had not lost anyone went with them.

Read on for my publications in 2011-2012 and 2009-2010.

3 thoughts on “Fiction

  1. Pingback: Death. Decay. Doom. | Marcus Speh—Nothing To Flawnt

  2. Speh you’ve found a very good work ethic that I envy, but I was never like you any way. I’m more scattershot, but I do love your work almost to a point of embarrassment, so I look for every opportunity to read it. If the world were in any way smarter you would be hailed in every literary nook from here to forever, but, alas, I am but one voice. For that small miracle I am thankful to get to say to them that you are a wonderful,generous and singular talent that makes it great to be alive.

    • This is very sweet, dp, thank you. I was going to say “work ethic whaddayamean?” but then I realized that indeed I do have something like a ‘work ethic’, perhaps too much so, sometimes I wish I’d be more ‘scattershot’ as you say or at least more able to let go of stuff…I suppose this is exactly the attribute that, if I may return the compliment in kind, makes your poetry so magical; truly magical because your work is both on the ground and in the clouds; physically this is not possible but what is physics where love rules. Being the only one of me I know all about singularity and the true miracle of minds meeting is that despite this loneliness we can love and respect one another as if we knew the other as we know ourselves. Thank you — blessings to your shore, dp!

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