The Atomy’s next theme will be “Summer Nights.” We’re now accepting submissions, so please send us your best fireside story, sparkler-filled photograph or illustrations.
The Atomy is now accepting submissions for our June issue.
Our theme for June is “flight.” We encourage all artists to interpret the theme in their own way; prose, design, photography, illustrations, music, film, poetry— explore the theme for yourself and be creative.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES HERE.
"Sympathy, Oh Sweet Sympathy"
by Vernon Ross.
I chose the subject of “first” loss. But more simply, the first time it actually knocks you back.
I was only eleven when I first heard about someone dying.
Someone close to me, really. I had heard before about people’s parents dying and stuff but nothing that ever gave me concern. That may sound harsh but it’s the truth. In the second grade the classroom genius’ dog died and he didn’t show up for two days. I think that family really loved their pets. The next year this girl Clara in my class was gone for a whole week because her grand-dad died, he was old they said. “How old,” I asked.
“Old enough,” the teacher said.
The Atomy is now accepting submissions for our May issue.
Our theme for May is “ocean.” We encourage all artists to interpret the theme in their own way; emotional seas, poetic oceans, photographs of beach explorations, art, prose, design, illustrations, music, film— explore the theme for yourself and be creative.
"There are first times even for the worst things"
This short writing piece is based heavily on actual events I experienced shortly after the death of a close friend… it was the first time I lost someone close to me. I believe as a result of this, it is also the first time my writing was adapted as a direct outlet.
The neighborhood’s getting too old. Every driveway is empty, peeling windows are darkened by nine. It’s just modest porches and lawns cut by rent-a-mowers every second Sunday. This late at night even the cars on the roads, rare as they are, seem to meander besides the sidewalks like big, sleepy, mechanical dogs. The sunset is a communal entrance into a periodic coma. It feels like the streets are no one else’s but yours though they’re not. You don’t own a thing about this place. You can sit under the borrowed light of streetlamps and feel as alive and drunk as you want, there’s things bigger than the biggest of us just inches out from the pavement. Lumbering, awful shapes that cement a place in your constant mind as soon as you find them. They’ll snatch you up just to remind the rest of us that we don’t have any business pretending we belong to or mean a thing.
That’s why Mark’s dead.
"My First Attempt at a Love Poem (1997)"
by We Swallow the Sun
i was seven, i knew her. kinda. she had long, shiny black hair. she wore a red ribbon, i’m almost sure. her eyes were blue. she had freckles all over her face and i always wanted to sit down and count them, one by one. i guess i knew her better by the way i felt when she was two feet from my toes. i don’t remember her name. all i remember is that i had a wrinkly dollar bill and a stubby pencil in my pocket and nervous hands that would spill a glass of milk every time they tried to pick one up. i managed to write out about a sentence on that dollar bill. it was my first attempt at a love poem, of all i knew of love and girls. it went:
“i do nott kno u, but i tink i kinda kno u & u r vary pritty like a flwer or a rainbo, but bettar cuz u r a girl.
i love u.”
that’s when she saw me and i saw her and paused then gulped and i gave her the note and she didn’t say a word and she tucked it in her pocket and stopped chewing her gum and plucked it from her lips and stuck it in my palm then gave me a smile and left in a van with her mother. that’s also when my tiny heart shot off like a mushroom cloud. i felt like an ocean, too infinite to tred by doggy paddle.
and i’m pretty sure i drowned.
Read more of We Swallow the Sun’s works at his blog
The first time I told a boy I loved him, I was twenty-five and I was sitting in a crowded coffee shop and I don’t know if he heard me. I didn’t say it again. Maybe I had been in love before, but I’d never dared utter those words. They terrified me; they loomed large and I felt that if I let them fly from my lips everything would come crashing down. But I loved him, and I knew that I did, truly and completely. I told him I loved him and my coffee was cold, but I didn’t notice. My eyelashes were matted with tears and I could barely see and I said: I love you. The words seemed to slip away into nothingness and for a moment I wondered if I had even said them. My head was swirling with thoughts and it had been a long two weeks—across the Atlantic and back, and crying every goddamn day. Barcelona had held no charms for me: stunning buildings and sand and sea, but I didn’t give a damn. I had planned to spend New Years in Morocco, but I couldn’t bear the thought of it. I missed him, and I hated myself. I charged the ticket change fee to my credit card, and I came home to him. I was broken, and I was losing hope. He said it would be okay. I said I love you. He looked away.
I don’t know if he heard me. I didn’t say it again.
Read more of Tamara’s words at her blog.
"No Dress Rehearsal"
by Jen M.
This is the story of the first time a girl found her backbone; the first time a girl realized she was not trapped in an abusive existence that sought to destroy her. It is the story of the first (and last) time she stood on her own two feet, said “no”, and left.
She looked around the room, taking a mental inventory. She did this every day. Every day, she’d take a few moments and walk slowly around the house, her eyes pointing things out and placing them, mentally, in her car, putting together a puzzle, prioritizing importance and space and time. Calculating. Defining what was important; what she could do without. In the gym, she started speed drills, training for the day, knowing she’d have less than two hours to get everything of any importance in her life into her car and be across the state line. Biding her time. She sat cross-legged in the center of the bed, their bed, one eye on her suitcase in the corner of the closet, her other on her clothes fresh out of the clothes dryer, sitting next to it in a pile on the floor. Wishing she was better at visualizing space, and contemplating what was truly necessary, and how soon after she was gone he would wash the sheets so he no longer had to sleep with her.
SUBMISSIONS needed from:
Artists, poets, photographers, illustrators, filmmakers, writers, musicians, and anyone else who creates!
Due: March 31st.
- The Atomy firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore. Create. Submit.