Literary Impulse April Prompts

Day 30: Memories

Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash

He spoke to me for twenty-five years, yet I seem to only remember the same seven or nine words or whatever, and they always come out of nowhere like because of the muzak at the grocery store or the way I stand when I cook eggs…just as he stood, my fist on my hip, my leg bowing in and out at the knee.

I am me because he was him; the best of me is syphoned from his heart and synchronized mind, and the rest of me from my imagination - all of those things I cannot be, the beings…


Revealing the Roots and Behaviors of Addiction

He was sure to come and take my kids away — Dryuary Day 14

Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash

Plucked from the sky like diamonds
Plucked from the sky like spring’s new leaf
Whether it’s God’s will or my wish
It happened, yeah yeah, you were
Plucked from the sky like dragonflies
You’re almost an angel.

Eleanor, from the album Three Wishes, Shannon Worrell, 1994

Dryuary Day 14

This is going off of our story in Africa, so forgive the digression for a small celebration and some cleansing.

Today marks two weeks since I’ve popped a cork, opened a bottle, taken a shot or enjoyed the fizzy foam of a nice pale ale mustache. I have even poured wine…


May 12 Wednesday Prose Prompt: Revelatory

Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash

I am a trapped free spirit. I fear the version of me that is untethered, and thus chose a strong figure as a husband. He grounds me. Sometimes, I feel smothered, but in our recent forced separation, I find myself going from daily tears to a sort of elation. Then, the elation deflates, and I am enveloped in panic.

“Ok,” he said in February. “You are not coming back to Lebanon (ever). Make plans to look for a job. Get an apartment. We will talk further when I can come.”

“When can you come?” I pleaded. …


Bringing Life into Death

Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

Pull up the ice core and you can see the moment I was rendered extinct. A land wealthy with flowers, suffocated under pillows of cinder, and e’re since my head is a relic sticking up out of the ash.

Prophet under the ribbed vault, wherein he dwells, the one who waved a wand at my amorphous fate and effectively dispensed of my spirit at the hands of a devil. Rudely fleeced of moxie and mettle, I cast a glare on the monster, scruffed and putrid, who levied an iniquitous tax on the tender middle of my belly. Certainly, he thrives…


The Brain is a Noodle

Why is killing myself a comfort zone?

Image courtesy of Flickr

Tomorrow I will wake up and have water before coffee, meditation before curses, God before self-loathing.

Tomorrow I will waft sage around my brain and love my body, its aging curves and plump where I never had plump before.

Tomorrow I will not have disdain for people who watch TV all day long or drink too much alcohol or eat late into the night. Who the fuck am I to judge? I have slowly been killing myself for thirty-five years on cigarettes.

Tonight, as always, I will practice these mantras before sleep. I will breathe deep and cast a blue…


You can get a copy for four bucks!

Image taken by author

You know, I love my “brick and mortar” friends and family, but you guys here on Medium are the reason I get up and write every day.

I am humbled by your ongoing support. I continue to read your work with immense joy and satisfaction. Of course, I learn from each and every one of you as well.

My short story, Fishing at Rock Creek, has been published in Issue 5 of Lit Quarterly, a journal out of Canada. Upon the acceptance announcement on January 17th, I cried on and off for the whole day. It is a milestone momentous…


Literary Impulse NaPoWriMoShabdAaweg

Day 29: Shouts and Murmurs

Image courtesy of Flickr

Wrenched intrusion,
sapien and blithe,
bust the crust,
snap trap capture,
wrestle the noisy warbling,
lusty, strident trilling,
snuff the little lightning bellies,
and stuff the great, grizzly pelts.

Biped black hole
melts oceans and forests
into pyroclastic flow,
thumps and deadens
the quiet booming of whales,
buzzy whispers of butterflies.

All life,
leaf and claw,
rustle and gurgle,
mighty redwood fall,
sucked in on a torrent,
shut tight
in a jar with threaded lid.

Then, silence,
as Man finds himself alone.

Josie Elbiry, 2021

Rusty Alderson’s beautiful verse about waking to birdsong inspired my journey into writing for Day…


Revealing the Roots and Behaviors of Addiction

I got high on meth the day we left Washington D.C for the Central African Republic — Day 13

Photo by Peri Stojnic on Unsplash

Think about how many times I have fallen
Spirits are using me, larger voices calling
What heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten

Southern Cross, Crosby, Stills and Nash — 1969

(Fun fact: David Crosby’s vocal is not on the studio track.)

In the days before leaving for Africa, I packed like a twelve-year-old running away from home.

My husband (Anthony) has a brother named Yousef. We call him Joe. Joe has a son named Fady.

Anthony was born twenty years after his brother, so although Fady is my nephew, he is thirty-two years old. We are kindred spirits…

Josie Elbiry

2x Top Writer “This Happened to Me”. Creative nonfiction, short fiction and poetry. Thank you for reading.

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