Some thanks and three of my micros/prose poems up at Fictionaut

Last night’s reading at the Mercury Cafe went really well! Huge thanks to uber talented Katharyn Grant, who hosted the evening and who also very generously read a couple of my stories and did them more justice than I ever would. Thanks also to Sally Reno, who read a fantastic story of her own before giving the kindest introduction, ever. The F-Bomb series that Nancy Stohlman curates is a fun, interesting, flash fiction only event and I was glad to be a part of it. So thanks also to Nancy for the invitation! I think I read better than usual last night, so maybe with practice I’ll come to really enjoy giving readings. Anything can happen!

I want to talk a little here about the intersect between microfiction and prose poetry. How do we tell them apart? Is it even necessary to distinguish them? For myself, prose poetry is more imagistic, metaphoric, and well, poetic. It doesn’t require the arc that flash fiction does (and some would argue even flash fiction doesn’t require an arc, but I would say, it should at least give the sense of an arc, if that makes any sense). Prose poetry, to me, is pure sound and image and language and rhythm and flow. I like to write it. I like to get out of pure storytelling mode sometimes, though I don’t consider myself a poet at all.

So! I’ve started participating at Fictionaut again and I’m having a lot of fun. Just throwing up whatever strikes me to get new readers to the work and also reading all the fantastic stories and poems on there. Jane Hammons is posting her work again and do go and find her, she’s a genius.

Anyway, here is a link to three prose poems/micros that appear in my Matter Press chapbook, WILD LIFE. They are…strange, be warned:

Three Micros.

Microfiction: The Cartoonist

Child-hand-drawing

The supper: Mashed potatoes with bits of beef and gravy mixed in. Large tumblers of cold milk. Your father’s bald head bent over his food, filling his cheeks like a squirrel. Birthmark shaped like the state of Maine on his forehead. Nobody talks, except for “pass the. . .” Your mother, looking weary, bags, actual pieces of luggage, under her eyes resting on her cheekbones. Your baby brother, banging his spoon, his smile too big for his face. A crow flies down through the chimney and enters the dining room, ruffles its feathers on the buffet table. Evil, triangle shaped eyes. Your mother rises, grabs the broom, shoos it out. Furrow her brow. The bird flies back and forth, slamming against the walls, the windows. Feathers drifting down over the table like confetti. Your mother screaming, swinging the broom. Exclamation points all around her head. Your father’s words: sit down you lunatic, in a bubble above the steamed peas. Big brother in the shadows, slumped against the doorway, his baggy jeans and sleepy eyes. Smaller than everything and everyone else.

(originally published in the sadly now gone elimae and featured in my flash fiction chapbook Wild Life from Matter Press)

Kathy Fish’s Flashes of Life: A Review of Wild Life

Many thanks to Randall Lahrman for this lovely review of my chapbook with Matter Press, WILD LIFE, at Litconic, where he says, among other nice things:

“The stories are short, intelligent, and linger. Although capable of being experienced in small doses, these are not stories to be rushed through. This is a book to keep at the kitchen table and read one story during breakfast, and then spend the day with it roaming through your mind and dissecting the meaning until you get home and read it again to verify your discoveries.”

Read the rest of the review here:

Kathy Fish’s Flashes of Life: A Review of Wild Life.

Also, Randall asked me a lot of very smart questions here.

Interview + Two New Flashes @Connotation Press

Many thanks to the lovely Meg Tuite for interviewing me and featuring two of my flashes at Connotation Press.

“I just read “Wild Life,” again and am mesmerized by the movement of your characters, dialogue, stories. They have their own pulse. I find something buried deeper with each reading. I’ve been sharing “Petunias” with my flash fiction classes. You have many admirers in Santa Fe as well as everywhere else on the map. I’m a huge fan. I am looking forward to your new collection coming out through The Lit Pub.

Your two exceptional stories, “Neil Figgens,” and “A Pirate or a Cowboy,” are both intimate moments in very different ways between two characters.

“Neil Figgens” had a touch of Flannery O’Connor in it. I’m remembering her story, “Revelation,” set in a doctor’s office. But more than just the setting, it’s the intriguing exchange between the two main characters, Neil and Beth. He’s the older of the two, but she is direct and keeps at him even when he goes inside himself from time to time.”

Read the rest of the interview and the stories here

Two New Reviews of WILD LIFE

Nice to get two new reviews before the year is out. Jim Ruland, author of Big Lonesome, included a mini review of WILD LIFE in this article at San Diego City Beat: Collections of Short Stories to Hang by The Fire With Care

“The most slender of the books assembled here—each story in Fish’s “collection of undomesticated flash fictions” is fewer than 600 words—Wild Life has teeth. Although you can read it from cover to cover in a few hours, there’s nothing slight about these slim fictions. These stories are culled from real life, making them all the more harrowing.

Quote: They discovered the baby in the grass, under the frantic cotton sheets. The clothesline spun and creaked throwing light, then shadow on his face, his wee head smooth and curved as a doorknob.

Also reviewed are: VOLT (Alan Heathcock, Graywolf), MUSEUM OF THE WEIRD (Amelia Gray, Fiction Collective 2) MAGNIFICENT MISTAKES (Eric Bosse, Ravenna Press), TUND (Thor Garcia, Litteraria Pragencia) and AMPERSAND, MASS. (William Walsh, Keyhole Press). I’ve read Museum of the Weird, Magnificent Mistakes and Ampersand, Mass. and recommend all three highly.

Also, the great Roxane Gay reviewed Wild Life at Beyond the Margins. And says, among other kind things: “Fish does what the best writers of flash fiction hope to accomplish—she finds the most necessary moments, and reveals their complexity with an economy of language.” There, I’m also in good company with reviews for The Rest of the Story by Chris Tarry, Green Girl, by Kate Zambreno, Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp, and the debut issue of Unstuck, which is excellent.

Latest posting during my month as Writer-in-Residence at Necessary Fiction: a reprint of a Robert Lopez story (originally appeared in Sententia), “Inconsequential, Oklahoma” and you can read it here: Robert Lopez story.