Santa Monica Review

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Santa Monica Review is distributed nationally by Armadillo and Ingram.

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Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice and
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AB INTRA

Unlike feelings, thoughts seldom work in reverse. Frank’s own signing with the National Guard to pay for college had, in retrospect, been a very bad idea, despite the vague prospect of life or death meaning it had seemed to offer him at the time. Life and death meaning, Frank now realizes, can be had by anyone at any time. – Erik Kongshaug

While she is supposed to be making sure the numbers add up, she checks her email instead. She has created an Internet profile on the computer that she checks daily, but she has no saint for the computer. In her profile, she is forty-seven, which is not her real age. She lives in Kalkaska, Michigan, which is not her real state. – Chera King

In the early 1950s, for example, there was a colony of disillusioned children living without parents in the wilds of France, who discovered that rich creamy sauces are not necessary for the development of rudimentary motor skills, and acting superior to one’s elders can be a rather enjoyable way to pass the time if you dedicate yourself to the refinement of such expressions and retain this skill into adulthood. – Rich Ives

Supposedly, Sanders had taken Bing aside and told him he needed to change his attitude, to come down from his high horse and let Christ into his life, and then he’d prayed for Bing’s soul, right there in his classroom. I’m sure Bing was sitting there, fingers clasped together, head bowed, smiling maniacally while Sanders droned on, because this would be his story, his next big exposé for the school newspaper. - Ryan Shoemaker

She had abandoned Thomas, or had he abandoned her?—like the entire history of their relationship, it was impossible to tell. Anointed by his tragedy, he was deluged with caretakers; everyone wanted to stand in his aura. He hung on them, drank their condolences. – Cai Emmons

She was majoring in Spanish. Since she already spoke the language, she figured the major wouldn’t be too hard. She delivered this information guilelessly, seemingly unaware that most students at Harvard were trying to do more work than was required of them, not less. – Cathy Jacobowitz

Their problems were familiar ones, something she had become good at solving—well, not solving exactly, but since most of their problems came from the very pain of existence in this world, could anything ever get solved? At least they needed her help, and she could do something for them. – Olga Zilberbourg

One day I paused before my reflection in a store window, regarding a man altered, sporting a full but well-trimmed beard and the new wardrobe suited to his weight loss. He offered his smile. Momentarily I considered changing my name—a fanciful thought. – Dwight Yates

Sometimes my abuelito would smile at me and I would smile back all awkward. My abuelita, well, she couldn’t even look at me at the time. I think it was because she was ashamed of the sin I was born from, because my parents weren’t married, and probably because my dad was white and left us. – Lorene Sun

Holding up fish seems to be a family theme. In one with my stepbrother Tip, the Eastern brook trout are much larger and I’m thinner, more muscular, a humid mist of rain surrounding us, Tip without a shirt on despite the moisture, a mass of blackberry bramble and rusted remains of cars looming behind us on the river’s edge. – Kris Saknussemm

Sometimes events are narrated as they factually occurred, and other times I contrive settings where Swedish people ride horses through rain. This is one of those drug stories, one of those older man/younger man stories. This is one of those shameful stories with a shameless narrator or a shameless story with a shameful narrator. – Timothy Dyke

This was shortly after the war, when people still drove downtown in the evenings and parked on Main Street. They sat in their cars just to watch people walk by. Boys sat hoping to see girls, and girls hoped to see boys, and older people who were already attached or married sat in their cars to see and be seen. – Robley Wilson

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