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“New Perimeters,” by Kayla Pongrac

Cafe Sketch

On Monday I showed you around town like any good friend would do; I pointed to massive structures and historical landmarks that I thought might make your insides hum with familiarity.

As we dipped triangle-shaped slices of pita bread into red pepper-flavored hummus at a table inside a crowded café, I explained that all my friends have officially escaped, just like you did five years ago. Nowadays, I’m forced to picture everyone miles away, building new perimeters in different cities across the United States. But what I didn’t tell you is that when I picture them (including you, back in your new home state), I do my best to read their lips. They usually say things like this:

This morning I sprayed myself with silly string . . . I wish you could’ve been there to see me standing in front of my bedroom mirror, mummifying myself with those wet threads of blue. When I finished, I had never looked happier, or more appropriately attired.

This afternoon I plan to tie a dozen helium balloons to my mailbox so that passersby on cars and bicycles will know that the party is here, and it’s staying. Where are you? Did you get my invitation, or did it get lost in the mail again? 

Tonight when I take a bath, I’m going to add food coloring to the water. I’ll soak myself in blue before adding a few drops of red: maybe it’ll help me decide if purple is my new favorite color should it give me a nicer, more saturated hue. By the way, I must admit that I forget what your favorite color is. Forgive me for this.

We finished the hummus before we finished the pita bread—a rare occurrence for the two of us. Before wiping your mouth with a monogrammed napkin, you told me not to worry, that maybe I, too, will escape this town once I feel its dimensions shrink. You said that is the only variable that will suggest to me that it’s time for company upkeep.

On Wednesday morning, I sat alone in my favorite coffee shop daring the walls to closet me.

About the Author:

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in theNewerYork, Split Lip Magazine, Oblong, The Bohemyth, DUM DUM Zine, and Mixtape Methodology, among others. When she’s not writing creatively, she’s writing professionally—for two newspapers and a few magazines in her hometown of Johnstown, PA. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit www.kaylapongrac.com or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

Image Credit: © Isaxar / Dollar Photo Club

“KOWABUNGA,” by Kayla Pongrac

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About the Author:

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in theNewerYork, Split Lip Magazine, Oblong, The Bohemyth, DUM DUM Zine, and Mixtape Methodology, among others. When she’s not writing creatively, she’s writing professionally—for two newspapers and a few magazines in her hometown of Johnstown, PA. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit www.kaylapongrac.com or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

Image Credit: © vilnarobotav3d / Dollar Photo Club

theNewerYork at AWP

Come support theNewerYork at the 2014 AWP conference.

Joshua S. Raab (editor of theNewerYork) will be on a panel organized by The Conium Review on Feb. 27th, from 3:00 to 4:15 in Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3, Room 301.

Josh is also on another panel “Don’t Just Stand There and Read: Literary Events That Go Beyond the Usual,” Feb. 27th, from 12:00 to 1:15 in the Washington State Convention Center, Level 6, Room 613/614.

You can also find theNewerYork at booth 1604 throughout the bookfair.

Lastly, theNewerYork is putting on a literary carnival on Feb. 28th, sponsored by Submittable!  Join the writers and editors of theNewerYork from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Caffe Umbria, 320 Occidental Ave. S.  Readers/performers include John Mortara, Kevin Sampsell, Rose McAleese, Eric Lloyd Blix, Christopher Morgan, Mollie Boutell, Kayla Pongrac, John J. Rause, Eric Howerton, and Margaret Eaton.  Get more details on Facebook.

We’ll be there.  Will you?

The Conium Review panel at AWP

The Conium Review‘s Managing Editor, James R. Gapinski, will be on a panel at this year’s AWP conference in Seattle, WA.

“Let’s Avoid a Quick Death, Please: Starting and Sustaining a New Literary Publication”

Room 301, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

3:00pm to 4:15pm

This panel explores the process of starting and sustaining a new literary publication. Countless small presses and journals launch every year only to die after a couple issues. Let’s talk with some people who avoided that fate. This panel will discuss how to choose the right publishing medium, secure funding, attract readers, and deal with unexpected hurdles.

The panelists include Matt Muth (representing Pacifica), Stefanie Torres (representing Beecher’s), Joshua S. Raab (representing theNewerYork) and James R. Gapinski (representing The Conium Review).

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke moderates.