My newest publication is a lengthy short story, titled “To the Buses and Planes, I Thank You,” and released in the online journal Monongahela. I feel that the trend over the years has been improvement, and this is one of my favorite stories thus far. I think that it is one worth reading, and the price is right so you should definitely check out pages 20-38 of Issue 9 of Monongahela Review.
The story itself addresses a theme that I love returning to – public transportation. Through a series of vignettes that transpire within buses, planes, terminals, and a light rail train, a narrator describes his dissolution and his possible redemption. Which is a bunch of fancy words for “weird shit happens to me on the bus.” I think you’ll dig it, so get out your transfers, tuck in your knees, plug your nose, and enjoy the ride.
The Monongahela Review wants heartache, it wants romance, it wants death, it wants joy, it wants so many things that it is hard to say exactly what it wants. One thing is sure: the work must be genuine and passionate about its subject matter. Peruse our previous issues to get a complete idea of what we like.
Issue 8, Fall 2013
Go to The Monongahela Review’s website, and you won’t find out much about the journal by just browsing. Without much information or submission guidelines, you really have to read the journal to get to know it. Download the PDF or open it in Issuu, and get cozy.
Joan Colby delves into the alphabet form in her poem “Choices” which begins:
Derek Gromadzki experiments with pauses and sighs in his poem “Sospira,” setting the tone from the very beginning: “Come the being we call calm / from the motion that bodies tick out to measure time.” The repetitive “s” sounds sooth throughout, lulling as the lines move back and forth:
Brenda Lynaugh’s “A Play for Tamara” tackles an unrequited love that starts in high school and has a bit of finality now that the main character has graduated college. Visiting his best friend Tamara at her university, he feels that even though she has a boyfriend, he needs to sort out his feelings: “He’d come to see her because of their history, because maintaining friendship was important, but he knew that wasn’t the whole truth.” Is he still in love with her? Or is it lust? Are the things she does actually endearing, or does he just view it that way because he likes her? There’s no resolution, but one thing is clear, relationships are messy.
And Ping, a character from Moria Moody’s “The Great Yu,” knows this sentiment all too well. Raising her son Qi in the United States while still struggling to speak English herself, she runs into conflict as the lies she tells him about his father and the way he meshes into this new culture both drive a growing fissure in their relationship: “Ping knows her son changes with every season. He is always slipping away from her, and she studies to stay close.”
So while the website may not offer much, there is plenty of poetry and prose and art to delve into once you’re inside the issue, and there is plenty to enjoy there.