by Maurice Frank
Out in the park, it struck me: not only were there virtually no aircraft in the sky, but the heavens were clear, uncluttered by clouds and not a contrail in sight. For a few seconds, I felt as if I’d been flung back to an earlier time. This is how the skies must have been for most of the human history of this place, even at the dawn of the Holocene, twelve thousand years ago, as the glaciers receded from the shallow valley between Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, leaving behind a malarial swamp that would eventually become Berlin. Continue Reading →
by Gaby Bila-Günther, aka Lady Gaby
I havent put on make up
i havent dressed up
i havent worn lipstick to kiss anybody
i havent touched my face with unscrubbed hands
i havent worried about preparing
i havent worried about getting there on time
i havent stopped cooking
havent stopped washing my hands
havent stopped disinfecting my life and everyone in it Continue Reading →
by Adi Gelbart
Clouds are moving in from the east. They are carrying supplies: candles, conditioners, dry pastas, frozen gnocchi, cream cheese, mineral water (both kinds), sneakers, canned leggings, vintage issues of Penthouse, Matchbox Audi Quattros, pigs. The clouds rain down the supplies. A direct hit from any of the cascading items is lethal, thanks to the momentum they build as they free-fall from the sky. Continue Reading →
by Mike Hembury
I guess I’m much reduced, these days.
This morning at 6 a.m. I got up and caught sight of the two poplar trees in our back yard, their still-emerging leaves on fire with the morning sun.
I see these trees every day. But this is not every day. These times are not every day.
Every day is broken and gone.
So there’s me, and there’s the trees. And there’s the moment.
And I do my best to savour the moment, because who’s to know how many moments we have left? Continue Reading →
by Rose Cullis
MA: An Amazon in their early fifties. 5’10” and 170 pounds of muscle. They have a surprisingly gentle voice and a resting killer face.
DC: An older man in his mid-sixties. A nerd who dresses meticulously with good style. Somewhat robotic in his delivery.
RC: Me. In my early sixties. A playwright seeking material everywhere and anywhere.
TB: (An unfortunate acronym, under the circumstances.) The youngest at 44. A high-spirited, hot tempered red-head who’s trying to find an alternative to capitalism. Continue Reading →
by Sharon Mertins
These days, when I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is make myself a cup of tea and look out the window. I stand there longer than usual now, trying to make sense of what is going on. So I was a little surprised when one of my friends actually said, they’re ‘skeptical about shit ever hitting the fan.’
The thing is, for the past two weeks I have been glued to the news, German political talk shows and interviews with virologists, to Spanish newspapers, to reports about methods of containment in China, articles commiserating the exorbitant amount of deaths in Italy and Iran. I have definitely —along with a large percentage of the world population, I suppose— willingly placed myself in the ‘mass brainwashing’ vulnerable zone, if that is indeed what it is, by consuming so much news. Continue Reading →
by Maxine Gallagher
Some corona thoughts to let off some verbal steam:
– There is so so much good content being streamed and sent around right now. Live concerts from famous people, opera, authors talking, yoga… I was all excited about this, then three days in I have to finally accept that this is not a holiday in which I lay about and consume free cultural treats from people who should really be earning money from me anyway. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s a busman’s staycation with tiny unpredictable coworkers. I will not be watching concerts, I will be working when the TV’s on and building lego when the TV’s off. I will be making breakfast/lunch/dinner/dancing to gangam style/hanging washing/tidying up toys/reading stories/telling people to stop calling each other “dumb” and “blöde” then starting work at 10pm, which is the time at which my brain has just about drained itself of its binge diet of corona stories and I can focus for more than 1.5 minutes in a row without being asked for a snack/help with finding a hot wheels car that was rammed under the sofa by a sibling. Continue Reading →
by Göksu Kunak
Ayetel Kürsi is a prayer that protects you, said my grandmother, that protects our houses and bodies, words and souls.
“Once, we were going out of the home at night, I somehow felt uncanny, as if something might happen to our belongings—from the cushions and blankets to the concrete surrounding us—and I read Ayetel Kürsi.
When we came back, there were two watchmen of the neighborhood, sitting at the entrance of our home, like two lions protecting our presence, watching the passersby.”
Continue Reading →
by Viola Nordsieck
My windows are draughty. I always feel I am heating the universe when I try to get our flat warm. The old building is beautiful, high ceilings and dense spiderwebs in all those corners where I do not reach and almost never sweep. Maybe once or twice since we moved in I have stood on a ladder trying to get at the webs up in the corners, but mainly I leave them be. We like spiders. We like spiders and high ceilings and even the draught that sneaks across our wooden floors. Continue Reading →
by Fullamusu Bangura
Image: Deborah Johnson
1. in ninth grade, my chest peaked and i considered hijab for the first time. my hair fried from the hot comb, a chest unhidden through layers of thick, green army cotton blend uniforms. a boy told me he liked me because he could grab my ass in the hallways and i wouldn’t fight back. Continue Reading →