No Peace in the Quiet
Ellis Island, NY 1918
By Staci Troilo
His mother gripped his hand, shook it. "Speak!" She spoke in Italian so the Immigration Officer wouldn't understand, although her meaning was pretty clear.
Gregorio didn't want to speak. He didn't want to be there. People were packed just as tightly around that officer's table as they were on the ship. They were like anchovies in tins oily, smelly, and pressed together so that he could hardly tell one from the other. He had nothing to say that his mother wanted to hear. As they crossed the ocean, he told her he didn't want to come. She said Papa was there, more family would come later, and he'd make new friends. She would hear no more of it and told him to be quiet. So he said no more about it on the ship. And he still wasn't talking.
The Immigration Officer scrutinized him, then looked up at his mother. "We don't take no mutes. Get in line over there. He'll have to go back."
By J.M. Tompkins
If a gilded cage is not what is meant
And pain is something I don't want to give
What is it that we have
And how can together we live?
I'm screaming and running
You patiently wait
Where I go I can't see
When will it be too late?
Changes and chances
Decisions to be made
Impossible to cipher
My words are blades.
Everything has to mean something
Love is not without pain
My pebble has created a storm in your ocean
All over me I feel your rain.
By Lorrie Unites-Struiff
Vivian May held the corner of her babushka over her nose to keep the bitter cold from stinging her throat. Her shoulders hitched with sobs as she stood in the small hillside cemetery and the other hand gripped the firm arm of her son, Johnny. She shivered as the mid-February storm blowing off Lake Michigan sliced into her bone marrow and iced the tears on her cheeks.
The service now over, she stooped and laid one red rose on the grave of her husband, Mike. She let Johnny hurry her into the car that was parked among the other North Side mob members and friends. Once in the car, she stared out the side window.
Behind the swaying pines, across the snow laden gravel road, four men were hunched against the wind, scarves wrapped around their faces. She nudged Johnny. "Do you think those guys are Capone's South Siders?"
"Nah, I don't think so. What would they be doing at Pa's funeral?"
By Susanne Skoruppa
Melancholy is light- and like fingers flying over piano keys, it connects lived moments, showing decades in a time lapse to comprehend the incomprehensible: death.
Melancholy is heavy- under the day's iron blanket
one can so easily give up on the self
and sink into a detached flow of all and nothing.
Meaning is mute.
Melancholy is life-
it alone can grasp the power of youth and the pain of its passing. Loud and silent alike, it owns time,
it tints the morning and illuminates the night.
It feeds on the moon's passions. Breathless, ceaseless, endless, hopeless, vast.
I'll Cry If I Want To!
By Natalie Sebula
Since I can remember I always had a passion for the food industry and a love for Pittsburgh! However, I think Pittsburgh is lacking in one area, the culinary scene. Granted, Pittsburgh does have a few historic places to eat, such as the Grand Concourse which was constructed in the 1900s, and is the remnant of a train station, and Mineo's Pizza House. Mineo's was founded in 1958, and through the years has become a Pittsburgh staple.
I live in the suburbs which can really suck at times especially when I feel like going out to eat locally. There are mostly fast food chains in the area which isn't healthy to eat all of the time. I am also boarder line vegetarian, and I am studying to be a nutritionist therefore, fast food is no longer in my vocabulary! I consider food to be an art. I see the plate as a blank canvas, and the food to be the portrait. Artists put heart and soul into their artwork. I don't feel that much heart and soul can go into a fast food meal. Granted the fast food industry has made a few positive changes to their menu in the past few years. However, I know they can do better than just adding apple slices as an option to the menu or provide the nutritional intake to the customer. A better choice for the fast food industry would be whole grain bread as an option, or other fruits as sides, or even adding fresh dark greens to salads opposed to the ordinary head lettuce (which contains no nutrients).
By Larissa Gula
God is in the rain.
Let me catch and hold each and
every single drop.
Spring Issue 2013 - Our 1 Year Anniversary: Letter from the Editor
It is with great pleasure that I announce that this issue marks the one year anniversary of the Holiday Café. I believe we have come a long way since that first issue was put out there on April 1, 2012. Every month our viewership has grown as well as the talented folks that are submitting. A few of our first pieces are still favorites among readers and have topped over 700 hits. This is amazing and it not only shows that we have a lot of viewers, but we showcase quality. I am proud of all of our writers and artists.
In this issue, we sat down with Kristofer Collins as he talked about his business ventures in Pittsburgh. We are also featuring one of Mr. Collins poems in this issue as well. The Spring issue is featuring a lot of new writers to the site, please welcome them.
Just a quick note about the Fall issue, I am thinking another theme issue will be due by then, how about everything and anything related to autumn. That includes leaves changing, the holidays, trick-or-treats, etc.
Email me your stories, comments or suggestions and see you in the Summer!
The Holiday Café Contest
First Official Contest - Rules and Whatnot
The contest is going to be for three (3) separate categories, Short Story, Poetry, and Artwork. The contest is not genre specific as long as your work fits into one of those criteria it is eligible. Reasons your specific work would not be eligible yet fit the three categories listed would be due to, 1. Explicit sexual content, 2. Profanity ridden, or 3. Offensive in any way, this is just following our general terms for acceptance listed on our website.
An Interview with Kristofer Collins: From Records to Words
By Nicole Leckenby
Kristofer Collins is this issues spotlight person. I have known Kris for several years now and have worked with him on various writing projects in the past. He has put together a few books of poetry as well, and unlike me, he doesn't mind getting up in front of a crowd to read his written word. Kris is the owner of Desolation Row Records and Low Ghost Press, if you ever find yourself on South Craig in Oakland, stop by the bookstore and check out the music selection.
By Kristofer Collins
I cannot think of you without thinking of the Carnegie Library in Oakland And the many nights hung-over in the stacks, the secret card games and Frank Zappa records will history even care we slept away our shifts in the break room