Issue #399 Dec. 11, 2019

Silent Nights

Christmas memories glowing in the dark

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

We sang “Silent Night,” standing up on the shiny marble steps, up in front of the church. For our parents, brothers, and sisters. For our teachers and the priest. And I guess we sang for the big Jesus hanging high up behind ...

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Issue #398 Nov. 27, 2019

Right Before Dark

sitting in the trees and listening

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Right before dark, things calm down. Out in the woods. All day long out there, you get used to it. The small but explosive chatter of animals smaller than your fist. The clattering of tree branches ...

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Issue #395 Oct. 16, 2019

The Darkest Holiday

Halloween is the best and that’s that

Mike Paulus

Pale dead weeds flank the wrought iron gate. Dark, dirty windows gape at you from the rickety walls. The roof has many angles and lots of little places to hide. The house stands three stories ...

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Issue #394 Oct. 2, 2019

October Sky

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

At night. Sometimes I get dizzy looking up at the sky. When I look past the black tree branches and past the moon. When I look up to the tiny grains of light littering the atmosphere ...

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Issue #392 Sept. 4, 2019

Take Your Seats

What does high school really teach us?

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Everyone reading this loved high school, right? High school was one long pizza party, correct? None of you were awkward or stressed out or plagued by a string of social embarrassments broken up by occasional cannon blasts ...

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Issue #391 Aug. 21, 2019

Hiding in the Woods

What’s out there waiting for us?

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

There are a good many things hidden out in the woods of Wiscosnin. Old things. The things we’ve forgotten. The things we’ve stopped caring about. But new things, too. The things we keep private ...

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Issue #390 Aug. 7, 2019

The Bullet

aka the carnival ride i never rode

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

I never ever rode the thing. I was too scared, and my little paper tickets were too precious to waste on something I wasn’t sure I’d like. Far too precious to waste on something that could kill me. Discounting the Ferris wheel, it was ...

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Issue #389 July 24, 2019

Wheeling & Dealing

nothing drives me crazy quite like driving

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Beth Czech

Raise your hand if you have family or friends living in the Twin Cities. OK, keep your hands up. Now, raise your hand if you have family or friends living about two or three hours from the Chippewa Valley. Good, just keep those hands up. Now, if you find it kind of annoying to visit those ...

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Issue #386 June 12, 2019

Downtown Drama

seeing Harrison Ford in downtown Eau Claire

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

In the year 1990, I broke the law. Kind of. Well, maybe I broke the law. Actually, maybe I didn’t break the law. OK, after some quick research I’ve realized that in 1990, I didn’t actually break any kind of law ...

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Issue #385 May 29, 2019

Wheelbarrows

remembering how I used to roll

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

Yes, I have read the famous poem about the red wheelbarrow. And the rain water. And the chickens. And how so much depends upon ...

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Issue #383 May 1, 2019

Block and Awe

you can’t just sit back and hope your neighborhood stays neighborly

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

Looking back, I wish there’d been more stickball. And gangs of 11-year-old kids defending their turf. And little newsie caps. Lots of those ...

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Issue #382 April 17, 2019

The Clog of War

stick with it until your worries drain away

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

When it was over, relief washed over me like a gush of clear water rinsing the dirty suds from a dinner plate. When it was over, a knot of muscles between my shoulder blades magically untied itself ...

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Issue #380 March 20, 2019

4 Ways to Complain About Winter 2019

‘tis the season of weather-related problems – remember to mix it up

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

This winter, as you may have heard, has been bat-crap crazy. Soul-crushing cold gave way to roof-crushing snowfall which gave way to basement-destroying flood water. Any day now, we can expect ice demons to rise up ...

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