Ken Diercouff

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About Ken Diercouff

Ken Diercouff is retired from laboratory work. He lives with his wife, Monica, in Corpus Christi. He has lived here for eight years. He enjoys reading, barbequing and fishing. He and his wife visit their children and grandchildren across the country as they can. 

GOING HOME

A little too much salt. Surely too sweet. This wasn’t the best margarita I’ve ever had, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Why do they have to mess with the best drink in the world? But no complaints today. How could anyone diminish a day spent floating and in this iconic sulfur pool, the toasty rays piercing the very thin autumn air of Colorado. They tingled my peachy, office-white skin. After another methodical stir, I killed the drink. One more? Sheila and I used to share a float, not a care in the world, having a few too many of these. It was a green turtle float built for two. We would huddle together, staring off in the horizon, mountain peaks etching the tapestry. Her head rested softly on my shoulder.


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Lizz Fraga Cosgrove

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About Lizz Fraga Cosgrove

Lizz Fraga Cosgrove has a BA in English from UT Austin. Her adventures this lifetime include being a teacher, a paralegal, an event decorator, a writer, a wife, a mother, a caregiver but most importantly a Light Seeker.

Late

I’m running late again…

My morning writing, that attempted to become my afternoon writing,

has manifested itself into my evening writing.


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Lou Ella Hickman

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About Sister Lou Ella Hickman

Sister Lou Ella is a former teacher and librarian. She is a certified spiritual director as well as a poet and writer. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as America, First Things, Emmanuel, Third Wednesday, and new verse news as well as in four anthologies: The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon, edited by Philip Kolin and Sue Brannnan Walker, Down to the Dark River edited by Philip Kolin, Secrets edited by Sue Brannan Walker and After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless was published in 2015. (Press 53.)

after a poetry reading

after a poetry reading

i was asked today where my poems come from


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Lucas Diercouff

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About Lucas Diercouff

Lucas Diercouff was born in Denver, Colorado. He was a Combat Medic with the U.S. Army with tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Shortly after, he attended New York Film Academy in Burbank, CA where he received a BFA in Filmmaking. He is a member of the Veterans in Media and Entertainment and alumni of the WGF's Veteran Writing Project. His first short film 'Strawberry Barbara' screened at LA Shorts Fest and he has been involved in film productions ever since. His writing has been recognized in the UK Film Festival, BlueCat, and ISA's Emerging Screenwriters competitions. While his focus has largely been screenwriting, he is eyeing a novel and making Texas his home for the foreseeable future. 

Dr. Brittle

HARVEY TATE REPORTING: “This footage can give you…the heebie-jeebies! The Gulf of Mexico has RECEDED approximately one hundred feet from the shore! As you can see from this home video, it happened almost instantly. Like a drain pulled from a bathtub! What COULD have possibly caused this? What does this mean for the WORLD? When we receive more information we will pass that along. Wait. Are you kidding me? Is that a surfer?”


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Mariah Hinojosa

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About Maiah Hinojosa

Mariah Michelle Hinojosa graduated with a Bachelors degree in Communication from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and lived in the small town of Taft for most of her life. Currently, she lives in the Austin area with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Aurora. Mariah loves to write and has written many pieces since she was a small child. She also enjoys reading, spending time with her family and learning about the world. Her dream is to be a published writer and a Communication Director for a non-profit organization.  

Isn't it funny

Isn’t it funny

That poetry

Is just words


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Nick Martinez

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About Nick Martinez

Nick Martinez is a native of San Antonio, Texas, where he attended UTSA and obtained a Bachelor’s of Art in English. During high school and his time at UTSA, Martinez discovered a love for writing and academics. His love of academics brought along his desire to obtain a Master’s of Arts in English, which he obtained from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in December 2015. Outside of writing, Martinez teaches high school English at the sophomore and senior level. Martinez currently resides in George West with his wife and two cats. 

Night Raid

The concrete broke and fell into the sewer with a loud crack that was heard for blocks. In the sewers a young man and a young woman struggled forward. They gagged with the stench. Blood coated their clothes and stained their arms and necks.


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Nikki Ikonomopoulos

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About Nikki Ikonomopoulos

Nikki Ikonomopoulos works as an artist, web/graphic designer and writer throughout the South Texas Coastal Bend.  Her love of nature shows through the multiple roles she takes on in life.  As an artist she works in many mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, mosaic and more.   Her art works including murals, portraits, ink drawings and online store can be viewed at www.alphaomegaart.com.   Nikki also operates online resource guides local to South Texas which can be viewed at www.coastalbendattractions.com.  After the impacts from Hurricane Harvey she launched a FREE booklet published bi-annually which can be viewed online at www.portaransaswildlife.com or picked up in one of several locations through out the South Texas Coastal Bend.   Some of the profits from that book are donated to benefit local organizations that help protect wildlife.  As a creative soul she loves the natural beauty that inspires life. 

Wind

Whispering wind screaming so loud, calling your promises throughout the deaf crowd. 

Listen close & hear the sound, your feet will plant firmly into the ground.


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Raven Yoder

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About Raven Yoder

Raven Yoder is majoring in English with a focus in Writing Studies at TAMUCC. She produced a Haas-award winning research paper, presented “Coinage for Caring,” at the 2019 TAMUCC graduate conference, and has published multiple original poems. She works as a writing consultant and has also served as Assistant Editor of Fiction for TAMUCC’s literary journal, The Windward Review. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring nature, reading, and spending time with family in Waco, Texas. Learn more about Raven by viewing her portfolio

Fences

The Feeling of Yellow

Nineteen years ago, a time when my knees barely rose above the willowy grass of our lawn, found me cowering in the doorway of our house, my tiny body consuming the fiery heat of the late afternoon sun. From a vantage point I was much accustomed to, I watched my mother. My frightened eyes peeped timidly upwards where they were soon shocked into attention. A loud bang rattled the room, and I screamed as the walls shook and wood splintered to the floor around my feet. My mom was a recognizable savage. Her rage filled the air, and the chair she’d thrown laid in mangled pieces not even inches from where I’d stood. 

And even at two years old, I was used to these eruptions. These volcanic explosions of fury and fervor were the only impressions I had of my mother—the only side of her I saw and the only one I knew. And even then, I was haunted by them, assuming, in my innocence, that the release of her demons was my fault. It wasn’t until many years later that I understood: it wasn’t only the demons to blame, it was the spirits. 

From the time of that first memory, an air of mystery and anarchy permeated my thoughts and surrounded my mother. Her sporadic appearances became only added to the charade and secrecy she portrayed. She was a being only present some birthdays and Christmases, but one omnipresent in the confused consciousness of my cluttered young mind. ‘Mother’ became synonymous with ‘dread.’

That day the chair splintered, my mom taught me how yellow felt. The sun sucked up the color, introducing me to a liquid and hazy hue. Where the sun should caress, it burned. Much like my mother, where it should enlighten and inspire, it ruined and scalded. Yellow whispered provision and renewal but its touch was scorching isolation.

I wish I would have known fences then. I didn’t yet know how to shield myself from suffering. I didn’t know there were things in the world that warranted boundaries at all. And I didn’t learn until later how to form fences. But what I did know even at my young age: yellow was a lie.

Chain-link

If I stood within the little diamonds that formed the chain-link and stretched my neck to the point of strain, I could almost see over the top of the fence and into my neighbor’s yard. The yard was sparsely decorated and always empty. But it held one thing that captivated my attention: an old yellow wooden swing. I didn’t know then that the swing would introduce me to a home that held me better than my own.

I was five when they moved in. I watched as the once barren yard became a miniature amusement park. They added a tire swing, a zip line leading to shallow waters, and a tree house. 

Again, I stood in the chain-link, hands raw and red, and wished there were no boundaries. 

Through the fence, I called to the blonde boy. “Can I use your swing?” He was currently rocking back and forth on the yellow board I so envied. 

The boy shrugged. “I guess, but it’s my turn right now.” 

That reluctant statement was all the confirmation I needed...


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Roger Lawrence

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About Roger Lawrence

Roger Lawrence lives in Corpus Christi. He founded the Navy Office of General Counsel for the Chief of Naval Air Training Command. In that capacity he represented the Blue Angels and the National Museum of Naval Aviation. As a sailor, he earned a Coast Guard rescue. He is barred from every golf course in South Texas. 

Rattlesnake Christmas

The December cold fronts this year have forced small rodents to seek the warmth of our garages and yards in the Garden Court subdivision of Corpus Christi, Texas. We’re a small, gated community on a half-street adjacent to a swath of coastal marshland along the Oso Creek estuary. For our rodent neighbors, Garden Court is a welcoming refuge area that is just a short march from the marshy bottoms.


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Sarah K. Lenz

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About Sarah K. Lenz

Sarah K. Lenz’s nonfiction has appeared in Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, The Fourth River, The South Dakota Review, Entropy, and elsewhere. Three of her essays have been named Notable in Best American Essays. In 2015 she received the New Letters Readers’ award in nonfiction. She holds an MA in Literature from Boise State and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Georgia College. She teaches composition and literature at Del Mar College, and hosts writing workshops at the Corpus Christi Writer's Studio. Find her on the web at writersstudio.org

The Tricycle Lady

Whenever I saw her tricycle, with its giant reflectors and ugly metal basket, parked under the pine trees by the pool house, my heart sank. Painted royal blue, her trike was the same shade as my family’s ancient and embarrassing Plymouth. (Everyone else drove minivans.) Whenever my mom dropped me off, I’d slam the Plymouth’s door extra hard. 

The Tricycle Lady disgusted me. I’d see her pedaling around town, handlebars quivering, her body jerking and lurching, her bones twisted with some kind of palsy. She might have been retarded, too. It was hard to tell. She wore her dark hair in a Pixie cut that made her seem a lot younger than she must have been, but the sagging skin around her mouth gave her away. As she churned the pedals her skirt rode up, exposing milky thighs scored with blue veins. 

A peculiar creature among the kids playing Marco Polo, the Tricycle Lady began her swims with a dive off the low board and plunged under the rope dividing the deep end from the kiddie section. From there she’d Aussie-crawl the width of the pool to the ladder and hoist herself out. Cutting through the chlorinated water with smooth buoyancy, she looked almost graceful. On dry land she was a mess of clunky limbs.

Even when submerged, the Tricycle Lady got on my nerves. She never strayed from her path. If you got in her way she’d crash right into you. The thought of her deformed flesh stroking mine struck terror in my thirteen-year-old heart. Like the other kids at the pool, I gave her a wide berth. Some even made a game of it, standing neck-deep directly in her path, then scattering like minnows as she neared. On the pool deck, she’d drag her clubfoot back to the low diving board and start all over again. 

For as long as I could remember she’d been a fixture at the pool, but it wasn’t until the summer before eighth grade that it started to bug me. That’s when it occurred to me that she had no clue how repulsive she was. 

Unlike her, I knew perfectly well how repulsive I was, and had been doing my best to fix it. I did a hundred sit-ups a day to flatten my round tummy and endured the stench of Nair (razor bumps—so disgusting!). I’d stopped swimming, since it smeared my mascara. Still, Mom dropped me off every afternoon at the pool, where I’d sunbathe by the chain link fence. If I got lucky I’d catch a glimpse of Clint Philips. He lived in a two-story Craftsman right across the street from the pool. Sometimes he’d play basketball or jump on his trampoline in front yard, executing somersaults that made my heart do a backflip. From his dimpled smile to his chiseled calf muscles... 

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Shannon Dougherty

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About Shannon Dougherty

Shannon Dougherty has English and creative writing degrees from Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin. Her poetry has appeared in Acorn, Modern Haiku, Oyster River Pages, and The Chaffin Journal. She has lived in Corpus Christi for fifteen years.

Aquarium Alligator

Kept fed, the bull alligator

basks on the grass

by the pretend stream

like a child’s abecedarian picture book 


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Sydney Spangler

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About Sydney Spangler

Sydney Spangler is a senior English student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi pursuing a minor in creative writing. She is the managing editor of the Windward Review, a literary journal showcasing the unique narratives of South Texas, the Coastal Bend, and the border, and a writing intern for Marketing and Communications at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  

Cole Park on the Weekend

When I was a child I would take a straw and blow air into my chocolate milk until the bubbles overflowed, making a mess of the table. I was six years old and sitting in the kitchen alone. My parents liked the phrase, “Children are not meant to be seen nor heard”. They slept in separate bedrooms...


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Teri Garcia-Ruiz

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About Teri Garcia Ruiz

Teri Garcia-Ruiz is a Texas native who enjoys both reading and writing poetry, historical and science fiction. Her work has appeared in The Windward Review and in the Poets Facing the Wall Anthology. 

The Eye of the City

Like the eye of a storm, the mirador is a quiet moment 

Standing still 

within the swirling sea of passing cars, sailboats and swooping 

laughing gulls that fill the rushing

salt air with the lively song of coastal living. Just stop.


Read the rest of this poem (about downtown Corpus Christi) in Corpus Christi Writers 2019

Wil Henneberger

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About Wil Henneberger

William Henneberger is a first amendment advocate and borderline-diabetic liberal with $43 dollars in the bank. He used to go by Billy but is now called Wil – yes, with one “L”.

For a hot second, he was a television newswriter and producer for Corpus Christi’s CBS affiliate.

A baker’s dozen years ago, he professionalized the zine he started in college, to its current newsprint version. He has since acted as publisher, “editor”, graphic designer, salesperson, and writer for The Vent Daily: A Monthly Publication, which consists of highbrow satire, lowbrow comedy, and (unibrow?) celebrity interviews. 

He is also the Creator of and Writer for ventdaily.com and deadtomeobits.com

Wil’s favorite suicided writer is David Foster Wallace, even though he has only read his short stories. His favorite living (at time of print) writer is Chuck Klosterman. 

He has impregnated his legal wife twice, in 1998 and in 2006 and is very proud of the results. Wil’s life is defined  by a constant struggle with the fact that he has a younger, thinner, more successful brother.



PRISON CAMP PLAYLIST TRACK 14 Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

I love Tom Cruise. So what if he’s nuts or part of some religion crazier than all the other crazy religions? When I look at Mr. Cruise I see a go-getter, a winner who conquered dyslexia and Katie Holmes. Say what you will about the zealous movie star, but I will always be a fan, and not just because of my family’s odd connection to that charming man. 

+++++ 

If I had to praise one thing about this Federal Prison camp it would be the individual showers, but if I had to praise two things, the second would be the Recreation Department. Some long-time guests of the Federal Bureau of Prisons say that Rec is better behind the fence at the larger, low-security prison down the street or even at other camps, but for a short-timer like myself it’s hard to complain. Sure, the Trivial Pursuit set 

was from 1995, but any later edition might put those who have been ‘down’ (incarcerated) for the last 20 years at a disadvantage.


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