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creative non-fiction

The Girl Who Painted Monsters
Vita Lusty

NON-FICTION<br>The Girl Who Painted Monsters<br>Vita Lusty

We spoke on the phone. She told me she was raped in downtown Los Angeles and needed a new place to stay. She was uncertain, she didn’t want to commit. I told her I would hold the room without any need for deposit. Frank, my new boyfriend Michael and I cleaned up the room, popped in a futon and burned an incense candle. I took a picture and texted it to her. “It is all set up for you when you are ready.” 

She texted back: “<3”. 

Naming It: An Essay in Six Parts
Part One: A Name and an Incident
Naima Karczmar

NON-FICTION<br>Naming It: An Essay in Six Parts<br> Part One: A Name and an Incident<br>Naima Karczmar

Naima Karczmar with the opening to her six-part look at race, identity, an d growing up, the brilliant experimental essay "Naming It". 

"My mother taught me about white people, swore at them when they appeared on the television, readjusted her rock as if it could protect her from them as well as the electromagnetic waves." 

One More Dead Dog Story
by Diane Payne

Diane Payne shares the last, tragic moment with her companion, and how a family moves on. 

I’ve buried many pets, so this grief isn’t unfamiliar. It’s not that death makes me more vulnerable or immortal.  It’s that while I’m immersed in grief over losing a dear pet, that immersion of grief blends in with all the other losses of life, and for awhile, I just need to be immobilized in this profound sadness. 

I'm Not Superstitious, But by Patricia Smith

I've never been a superstitious person. I live in an apartment on the 14th floor of a building that, like most buildings, has no 13th floor, like that’s supposed to fool the gods. I didn’t care. I didn’t believe in that kind of silliness. I even own a black cat, although I didn’t seek it out. It’s not like I look for ladders to walk under or make a practice of smashing mirrors. She was a bedraggled little kitten that showed up on the stairwell on a rainy day. What could I do?  She’s a good cat and a pleasant companion. I have no complaints. Like I said—not superstitious.