New poem: The Sound of Metal (on bullying)

Degenerates: Voices for Peace just released an anthology on bullying. Two of my poems are included.

The Sound of Metal

love your brothers and sisters, momma said
carry us like a song in your heart

in high school, i whispered gossip to mean girls
and, on alternate Tuesdays, tried to not to drown

in labels
and expectations

and a labyrinth of dented lockers
that made hollow sounds

when bodies and metal collided
for the thousandth occasion

at the same high school
at the same time

my brother was molested

we didn’t learn what happened ’til years later
after he stopped coming home…

Read the rest…

The editor of Degenerates, a fellow named Weasel, also reprinted Paper Cheerleaders.

Emailing him “Dear Weasel…” was possibly my favorite part of the publishing process. (My friends all have boring names.) However, Weasel made the whole endeavor delightful. He send proofs to authors–early–and released the issue on time.

Weasel Press is open to submissions.

New micro-flash + science: SPACE INVADERS

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #59.”

I also call this one “Space Invaders.”

Story Seed Vault

They slipped their young into our cribs. If we refused to raise their babies, they destroyed ours. Generation upon generation, they preyed.

In a story that raises echoes of the fae, Anna Kander writes inspired by the brown-headed cowbirds, a type of bird called a brood parasite. Cowbirds fool robins into raising their young. If robin parents push cowbird eggs out of their nests, cowbird parents retaliate by breaking all of the robins’ eggs. Scientists believe cowbirds undergo an “anti-imprinting” process; the birds are born knowing a special call to find other cowbirds. // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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New micro-flash + science: THE SHARPEST KNIFE

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #59.”

I also call this one “The Sharpest Knife.”

Story Seed Vault

When the military harnessed neuroscience, diplomats stopped killing with kindness. Now it hurts you to see me hurt—and I can make you die.

In the hunt for the cognitive mechanism behind empathy, the discovery of mirror neurons has lead cognitive neuroscientists like Marco Iacoboni to conclude that this is the neuron responsible for emotional motor control. However, this theory is not without controversy – scientists argue that it is not clear whether mirror neurons really form a distinct class of cells. Anna Kander takes this disputed theory and assumes if true, then relating to other people rewires our brains. For Kander, empathy is the sharpest knife. // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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New drabble: Tiny Tales (fairytale retellings in six-word stories)

For fans of micro-flash, this story is a challenge within a challenge. I wrote six-word stories–fairytale retellings–then wove them into a 100-word drabble.

Bonus: political satire!

fairy-tales-2693669_1920

By Anna Kander

“Mom, tell a fairytale! Can you do it in six words?”

“Hmm—”

“Alice in Wonderland?”

“Well, it’s 2017 … The Mad Hatter gets himself elected.”

“You made it political!”

“I teach politics.”

“Aesop’s fable about hard work?”

“Grasshopper ran. Ant voted for him.”

“Come on. Try The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

“‘Failing’ boy spreads fake news. Sad.”

“Mom!”

“Boy Who Cried Wolf: nobody tells that story anymore.”

“MOM!”

“Jack and the Beanstalk: Beanstalk? We’ve giants to kill—here.”

“I can’t even—”

“One more, sweet daughter: Kissed frogs. Lived joyfully. Beautiful tadpoles.”

“What do you call it?”

“Happily ever after.”

     
Anna Kander is a writer in the Midwest. Her tiny stories have appeared in Nanoism, tweetpulp, Story Seed Vault, TweetLit, and 121 Words.

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New Twitter fiction: fairy tales & pulp fiction

Thank you to Seven by Twenty for featuring my tweet-length stories this week! (Sep 25-29, 2017) They are the coolest. They published The Queen and Her ConsortAfter-School Special, and three reprints from tweetpulp and Nanoism.

Links for more Twitter fiction:
Nanoism
Seven by Twenty
tweetpulp

New poem: Growing Up

This week, I have a gritty, dark poem featured at Leveler.

Growing Up

What a disappointment
to realize the utter measure of men.

On the clocks of universes,
you towered for seconds.

Look down.
See your cartilage erode,

feel your discs flatten,
know your shrinking bones…

Read the rest!

Thank you to the editors of Leveler for publishing “Growing Up” side-by-side with their thoughtful take on the poem.

New poem: The Blue Whale (on perfectionism)

Happy morning! I’ve a new poem, The Blue Whale, about perfectionism. (A howler monkey also makes an appearance.)

The Blue Whale

my creative spirit
is a blue whale, I think

she swims in deep waters
but we breathe the same air

and, like other blue whales,
she has the loudest, strongest voice on earth…

Read the rest…

Thank you to Dear Damsels, a young women’s writing collective, for publishing the poem in a special issue on “nourishing ourselves.”

Thank you, WordPress friends and wanderers, for reading. 🙂

New poem: white lie (on racism & US politics)

At Poets Reading the News, I’ve published a poem about racism & US politics. Here’s an excerpt…

white lie

wave it like a white flag, surrendering

with handshakes and smiles
so civil

project upon it red and blue patriotism

stars like ordnance exploding
stripes like prison bars

(truth, held captive)

Read the rest…

New micro-flash + science: A FUTURE SO BRIGHT

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #56.”

I also call it “A Future So Bright.”

Story Seed Vault

Now, everyone wore shades that filtered out blue; the world looked rosy. One day, she tore off her shades, saw the world as it was—and wept.

Anna Kander weaves together three scientific concepts in this piece to create a piece of horror that may become all too real. As the earth’s ozone layer thins, it lets in more UVB light, just past blue and violet on the color spectrum. Blue and UV light can harm human eyesight. The obvious solution? Visible blue light can be filtered with sunglasses that are reddish-yellow. Will we search for more cosmetic answers to climate change instead of trying to reverse it? // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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