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“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares


“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant


“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus


“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction


“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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Monday and everything after

Went to an always-stellar lineup at Last Sunday, Last Rites Baltimore. Was especially impressed by the poetry of e. megg magee. If you're in town on Sunday nights, check out this series at the Baltimore Hostel.

If you missed last night and need your fix before the holiday weekend, check out the new nonfiction reading series, New Mercury. Their next reading is May 30th, 7 pm, with readings from Charles Cohen, Melissa Hale, and Steve Luxenberg.

Also, the summer issue of jmww will be up this week, so stay tuned for that. John Madera has chosen some fantastic pieces for his debut as senior flash editor.

An oldie but goodie (first published in flashquake):

Sharp Objects

We take the dog on one of her long walks, following the perimeter of the harbor down to Henderson's Wharf, then back. I am quiet; you intermittently discuss the future. Would you like to look into buying one of the waterfront townhomes? No, I decline. Too expensive. We need to get a sailboat. You can always sail on your father's, I answer noncommitally.

I have a sharp object hidden in my hands. At some point, I must be ready to plunge it into your heart.

Not tonight. It can never be taken back once it is done, the stab. There is no room for error.

Recently, I have seen your weapon as well, the glint from your waistband. It reassures me, knowing you are prepared. Perhaps you will make a preemptive strike.

But are you prepared? You complain your hand hurts; it dangles, flaccid by your waist, next to your knees, which also ache.

Why are you not a bear charging instead of this fragile deer?

I lie awake, feeling the edge on my fingers. I toss and turn and feel its teeth in my stomach, my arms, my neck. I must sleep with it, night after night, so that you don't find it.

You will always know its purpose.