Alana O'Koon

Poetry

Sirens

A siren rings outa few streets awaythen anothersomething is happeningsomething, one suspects, not good Where I standI can hear the siren, I can sense the

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A Pinch of Herbs

A Pinch of Herbs—Basil

Frigid, record lows (-25˚ in Dayton!), slush, freezing rain, flooding, sleet, and those sloshy, grey, black-crusted piles of old snow that are utterly depressing. Ready

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Fiction

A Letter from the Sea of Love

A Letter from the Sea of LoveAugust 16, 1977 Basilio BoullosaOrdinary SeamanS.S. Overseas Alice Tookie Took— Hey Crazy Motherfucker. Greetings from the poop deck! The sun

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Nonfiction

My First Summer as an International, Top-Secret Spy

I was a mean kid. I thought everyone was studying, practicing to be top-secret spies, as I was, so, I was naturally suspicious of everyone around me, even those close to my age.

Her name was Maudie and she was draped in Sarah Coventry jewelry. Her mother sold it in their own living room back in Toronto. Chunky gold-plated rhinestone and fake turquoise rings, bracelets made of a tiger eye glass cabochons, and an enormous perfectly symmetrical lime green pansy brooch.

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Creative writing and inspirational ideas
Nonfiction

Coffee Shop Didactics

Over the years, I’ve heard a kaleidoscope of versions of this myth—yes, myth, one that’s right up there with the idea that says all writers must live in dingy attic garrets and drink cheap red wine incessantly although, frankly, sometimes a nice, quiet garret and even awful wine sound wonderful after a day of trying to get words to do what you want.

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Poetry

the dead

. . . plankton too glimmer in the existential dark
last summer’s daylilies
bloom again while a squirrel
squashed under your rear wheel last fall
sits up bright-eyed chittering in your path
and your favorite mutt

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Nonfiction

Going Places, Who Knows Where?

The mouth of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth empties into the nearby Atlantic Ocean. When I lived in this beautiful New England town, I spent many hours at the pier in Prescott Park on the edge of the Strawberry Banke, where the first area white settlers came.

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Fiction

You Are Not Alone

. . . The first time she stopped here on the way home from the new mall, Donna picked up her package of ground chuck and wound up wandering the aisles as, one after another, the Indigo Girls, Moby, the two Franks, Sinatra and Ocean, Steve Earle, the Cranberries, Gene Pitney and India.Arie poured out of the overhead speakers. When Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” followed her out to the parking lot, she knew she was hooked.

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Poetry

A Night at the Symphony—Music Hall

The establishment
The old crowd
Chatter bounces off the lobby marble
Auditorium seats built for a smaller generation
Hey, they still have the same concertmaster
He always seems humbled by the attention
The orchestra tunes up

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