In Defense of Adverbs

May 5th, 2023

The Temporarily Modified v. Modifying Temporally

Adjectives are weak because they rely on the verb to-be.  An adjective is.  Verbs to-be are weak because they rely on the instant.  To-be changes the very next moment— that’s the nature of being.  

Active verbs overcome the moment.  You don’t act for only an instant, actions start one instant, to end in a later instant.  Any action needs at least two units of time.

So.  Adverbs: when an adverb modifies an adjective, the weakness is amplified quadratically.  Any adverbially adjectival phrase is even more bogged down in the moment.  Oof, that last sentence gives me the heebee-jeebees—  I’d better add another, oof.

However, in my theory, when we modify an active verb adverbially— free from the weakness of the moment— we can modify strongly, in detail, and with economy of language.  As long as we can act, we can act in diverse, specific ways; whenever we may use a single word to distinguish how, we should.

I also think -ly has a pretty sound.  It’s an Old English construction— can’t beat that West Germanic stuff.

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And the Winners of the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest Are…

May 1st, 2023
is proud to announce that the winner of
the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest

Given Night” by Tyson Canale.

With 72% of the votes, your Fan Favorite is
What do Nikolai Gogol, the Dalai Lama and Jeff Bezos have in common?
by Beata Stasak.

Keep surfing through,
Lovers of Literature,
we do this three times a year.

Our Summer Publication Season opens with:
The Love of My Past and Future Lives” by Paul-Newell Reaves

Back to the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest
Enjoy the Inaugural Lengthy Poem Contest
Enjoy the 2022 Lengthy Poem Contest

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The Love of My Past and Future Lives

April 30th, 2023

by Paul-Newell Reaves

Some of us will meet our truest love. 

Somewhat fewer will spend our life with that person.  Mmm, yes, somewhat fewer.

I do feel most of us will catch at least a single glimpse of our truest romantic love– remember that one person who pantingly rode their bicycle past, always late, everyday on the way to school; or radiantly caught the same elevator that one night after work.

Right about in early May, 2010, I kissed the love of my past and future lives.  

Thirteen always has been my lucky number.

I saw her once after that– for about half an hour. There wasn’t much time for a kiss.

I still can capture in my mind how her hair smells, envision the way she carries herself, remember toying with her slender fingers, recreate her after thirteen years gone by– and, perhaps, from many, many before.

I bet’cha I’ll encounter this being again.  If not in this life, or in this form, than in another.

Submission is now open for the 2023 !Short Story Contest!

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Meet the Finalists of the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest

April 29th, 2023

Including our tradition of a picture of our authors’ favorite chair.

FAN VOTING is still open until April 30th.
!Back to the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest!
Who’s responsible for this madcap assemblage? Masthead
Surf from our retro Navagation Panel, site left,
or go directly to Books & Bonafides.

Abdulrazaq Salihu, TPC I, is a Nigerian poet and member of the hilltop creative arts foundation. He won the Splendours of dawn poetry contest, BPKW poetry contest, Poetry archive poetry contest, Masks literary magazine poetry award, Nigerian prize for teen authors(poetry), Hilltop creative writing award, and others. He has his works published/forthcoming in Bracken, Poetry Quarter(ly), Rogue, B*k, Jupiter review, black moon magazine, Angime, Grub Street mag and elsewhere. He tweets @Arazaqsalihu; instagram: Abdulrazaq._salihu. He’s the author of Constellations (poetry) and hiccups (Prose).

Beata Stasak is a migrant from post-communist Eastern Europe, who settled in Perth, Western Australian in 1994. On the eve of the Velvet Revolution, Beata stood proudly with her two young children on the city square with other protesters, under the watchful eyes of army personnel with guns, waiting on order to shoot. Fortunately for them all, the communism fell apart peacefully. She teaches Art and Eastern European Languages in the South Perth Metropolitan area.

The poem that you are holding in your hands right now started as an idea during the recent lockdown with the aim to connect a group of female enthusiastic readers from not only Australia but from different parts of the world in a weekly online poetry share.

Tyson Canale is a hobbyist writer and Minnesota native who enjoys urban hiking, retro tech, and cats. His prehistory, when the world was without shape or memory, is a source of endless fascination. He developed writing and the arts in the archaic period of childhood, which progressed into a flourishing golden age where magic and wonder reigned. After a creative decline preceding his early modern period and subsequent dark age of the 30s, rebuilding efforts are now underway in a possible renaissance, and he anticipates an enlightenment following his middle ages. He is the 2017 winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in the Purple Prose category.

Thanks for joining us, Lovers of Literature–
surf through again, sometime, we do this every year.

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April 29th, 2023

FAN VOTING is still Open for the 2023 Lengthy Poem Contest

Saturday, April 29th — Meet the Finalists

Sunday, April 30th — “The Love of My Past and Future Lives”
by Paul-Newell Reaves

Monday, May 1st — Winners Announced

Wednesday, May 3rd — “The Watch, pt. 1”
by Chantelle Tibbs

Sunday, May 7th — “The Watch, pt. 2”
by Chantelle Tibbs

Sunday, May 14th — “Concept Albums Explained: Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising”
by Paul-Newell Reaves

Sunday, May 21st — “The Watch, pt. 3”
by Chantelle Tibbs

July -August — !Short Story Contest!
submission is now open

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Letters to Alissa

January 29th, 2023

by Allison Steinman


I’ve been waiting forever to get the greenlight on this pen pal thing! I’ve always wanted to have a pen pal because I think I’m a good writer. I’ll answer fast and I always have lots to say! It’s hard doing some of the stuff I want to try sometimes, because we have to share so much here. Not that I’m complaining, because I understand why we’re so important.

I’m Allie Grant, and you don’t know it but I pray for you every night!  It’s true, right after I eat a snack, (usually Cheezits) and right before I fall asleep, I say

“God take care of Alissa, and help us to do our best for her!”  I think he always hears me, even from inside the attic.

We’ve been with you longer than even Alixx can remember, now, and she’s on top of absolutely everything. We all live in a place called “The Attic.” That’s where we go when we aren’t part of the system. Ariss says that you haven’t been part of us in a really long time because you’re very scared. It’s okay to be scared, you know. If you’re lost, the person before, if “Alissa White” is lost somewhere I just know that this notebook will find you! They let me decide what picture is on the front, I hope you like Tinkerbell as much as I do. She should be named an official Disney Princess even though she’s a fairy, don’t you think?

Ariss doesn’t want me to make my letter too long. She always tells me I’m too young to get involved with the personal inside things, but I’m fourteen now. All the teachers at my school, Brennam Academy, think I’m mature for my age. Even if I happen to -have too many freckles and only look like a scrawny eleven-year-old.

Stay Hopeful and please write back soon!

Allie xox


 You are probably feeling very confused and alone.You may also find you have no memory of buying this hardcover Tinkerbell notebook. You did not buy it, we did.

I have decided that the best way to start, if there is one, is to finally fully explain it all.

It was my idea that we write to you initially; but the first set of writing is Allie’s, she was impossibly excited, and it seems she could not be stopped in her quest to speak first. You will find our printing is very different from one another.

 My name is Alixx Doford. You do not know me, so I write this letter to introduce myself. At 24, I am the eldest. Short of making this sound like a dating profile, I’m a tall redhead with short hair. I am a fitness instructor so when I’m inside the attic;, you can find me in the gym teaching a class or working the bag.

Okay, I slipped a bit into profile territory there. You get the idea; that’s a pretty good description of me and my personal life. This might not seem relevant to you at all, but it is, so just hear me out.

When you were born, you were born consciously as one identity. The one your parents named “Alissa Marion White.” Along the way, I came into the picture. Like a big sister. Kind of a big sister you created, to help you process and organize the unpleasant events of your past. You have Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is also known as D.I.D. or multiple personalities. It happens in early childhood, a separation of consciousness. It is a brilliant strategy for coping with trauma. It works every time.

Ariss is a protector and the manager of many memories the rest of us don’t have. Allie is fourteen. She’s been inside since she was born, and is the only one of us who ages besides you, Alissa. She has no recollection of our past or the people who hurt us. This gives her a carefree attitude and an existence without scars.

Currently I am the dominant personality inside your body; inside you… we have been working as a system for several years now, because what you went through as a child was too much for just one little soul. When your parents couldn’t be there to protect you, we did.  That’s why we’re writing this; there are others here too.  Allie, Ariss and myself perform a specific function within the framework of your life. There’s been discussion lately about you as our original host, about whether we are doing what is best for you by keeping you in the dark about everything. I thought we should reach out.

Please do not throw this away, I think we all know this has been a long time coming. We are all friends to be trusted here.

Here for you,


Ms. Alissa M. White,

We are writing to inform you that there are several other people who take up residence in your body regularly.

No but seriously, bro, this letter is a terrible idea with concepts that are sketchy at best. Like who do you really know that would write  cryptic  diary letters about such a serious subject? Like, “Hi I’m you like three times over, hope you find this and that doesn’t scar you even more for the rest of your life.”

That’s why I’m not even going there. Just going to tell you the facts as it is, and if we don’t hear back from you, believe me, I get it.

I exist to remember and manage those things that happened to the body, so the one called Alissa, can live her best life. Without remembering and empowering, the pieces of absolute dumpster slime that tried to steal it.

Most of the time that means that Alixx is in the body. Allie likes to come out for junk food in the afternoons. (Sorry.) The nightlife however is always mine for leisure, baby! (Sorry again…)

When we talk about our lives and hobbies, we’re referring to the inside world. somewhere in here we have lives as real as can be. I’m a 21-year-old artist, a hipster if you will. My mediums are paint, plaster, clay and reality. Allie attends a school for gifted children, and Alixx teaches her fitness classes. She’s even started a real-world Youtube channel about us. (Which if you ask me is at least part of the reason she wanted us to write.)

I agreed to send my letter because that’s all good, a stable healthy life for the body, it’s really your body Alissa, know what I mean?

Maybe hearing from us can explain some things you been wondering about. Like why you keep finding food in the kitchen you can’t remember buying, or why you sometimes see that guy at the park who always waves, even though you never seen him before.  (Or why you own a Peter Pan notebook?) We have the answers, because we are the answers, and I really, we really hope that you can see that.

-Ariss Macqueen

March 23 9:33 P.M

Alissa White


Please answer back again.

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2023 FLASH SUITE Contest Winners

January 16th, 2023

Not to waste a moment,

the Winner is:
Three Sisters
by Maggie Nerz Iribarne

and the Runner-Up:
Shards Picked from the Floorboards
by Malina Douglas

How the Judges Voted:

One Grand Prize vote counts as two Runner-Up votes. In the event of a draw, the Fan-Vote becomes the tie-breaker.

Glenn A. Bruce:
1st Prize: Shards Picked from the Floorboards
2nd: Three Sisters

Lady Moet Beast:
1st Prize: O Mangi Questa Minestra…
2nd: Northport

Aditya Gautam:
1st Prize: Marsh Creek Grievers
2nd: Three Sisters

Cedar Danger Block:
1st Prize: Shards Picked from the Floorboards
2nd: Northport

FAN VOTING: (view how the fans voted, here)
1st Prize: Three Sisters
2nd: Marsh Creek Grievers

So–with two 1st prize votes for “Shards”, resulting in four points, “Sisters” has two 2nd prize votes, plus a 1st prize vote, also resulting in four points. And Fan Voting decides all draws.

!Congrats to Maggie Nerz Iribarne and Malina Douglas!
as well as to all our finalists and submitters.

And thank you, Lovers of Literature,
just for surfing through.
Remember of next time, we do this every year.

more Contests on

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Last 11 hours of Fan Voting– 2023 FLASH SUITE Contest

January 13th, 2023

You read the headline.

Over 200 ballots cast. As of last checking, the runner-up spot is tied.

Voting closes 11:59PM (that’s Eastern Standard Time)

vote and vote again

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Concept Albums Explained

January 11th, 2023

by Paul-Newell Reaves

Somewhere In Time
Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden gets my vote for the most evil rock’n’roll band in all of history.  

Their band name comes from the 18th-century instrument of torture, wherein a person is encased in a metal shell, but the insides are lined by sharp spikes– now that’s evil.  The band’s live performances feature actual sword fighting with giants– freakin’ cool type evil.  Then their mascot, dubbed Eddie the Head, is a crazed zombie who appears on every single one of their album covers– that’s a scary level of evil, an omnipresent crazed zombie.  Then their sound, it’s kind of like Glam Rock– which is already evil in a vile way– but Iron Maiden is evil Glam Rock– making it evil^evil (evil to the power of evil).

Their “Somewhere In Time” album– released in the middle of a trio of albums which some fans consider their best work, though many fans consider their sell-out point, “Powerslave”, before, and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, after  – is some sort of weird, wild, and very, very evil time-travel machine.

But this time machine clearly isn’t functioning correctly[read more]

Vote for the 2023 FLASH SUITE Contest
from our Retro Navigation Panel, site left,
somewhere around
<———- here

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Toeless Jack (a reading)

January 9th, 2023

by Paul-Newell Reaves

A Preface: For my Masters degree in English,
my focuses were in Poems of Modernism and

Disability Studies.

The goal of Disability Studies is first and foremost to rid the stigma
surrounding bodily differences– to deconstruct concepts of The Normal,
The Ideal and whatever the opposite of Normal and Ideal might be.

So when my cousin Jack lost one of his toes in the wilderness, I made him this reading with that Disability Studies goal in mind.

But how many toes does Jack need to not have in order to be considered toeless?

‘Cause I am fascinated by

partial disability

and the interstices between disability and normativity.
Because how hard of hearing should a person be to be considered Deaf?
And if a person who considers theirself obese rides an electric wheelchair, is that person to be considered In A Wheelchair?

These questions can only be answered in comparison to other people, and the only answers are more so or less so. For there is no binary yes or no where bodily difference is concerned.
It is always a multi-axis scale, shaded in gray.


[ This reading is rated G:
contains whiney children and dog poo.]

Vote for the 2023 FLASH FICTION Contest

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Welcome to
Defenestrationism reality.

Read full projects from our
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or start with What’s New.