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This Place I Go

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It’s a hidden place. And in this place there is a spring, an opening in the fabric of normalcy from which flow all ideas and stories, poems and songs and ...

Arwen

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“Arwen? Seriously? Arwen … What the heck kind of name is Arwen anyway?” “It’s a very unique name, the name of my favorite character from my favorite ...

Stone Falling Through Water

Quite sudden how I came to be here. One moment basking carefree in the sun, the next sailing spinning flat and wild, hurled by the boy’s learned hand. Now with my journey near its end all that remains is the slide and the stop, the infinitesimal pause before I dip beneath the surface and ...

Icarus Falling

“The more you approach infinity, the deeper you penetrate terror” ― Gustave Flaubert   Armstrong Station – Thursday, March 14, 2097, 4:42 pm EST “This is our last case, so make it count. Supply ship’s not due for another couple of days.” Takashi lowers the large cardboard box of toilet paper to the galley floor and rises with a grunt. Allard looks up from whatever he’s tinkering with under the microwave console and chuckles. “If twenty-three of us can’t make ninety-six rolls of toilet paper last for two more days, there is something seriously wrong with this crew. That’s like two rolls a day per person. Just steer clear of the burritos.”   Northwest Oregon Oncology, Office 2104 – 12 Days Earlier “Year ...

A Storm Called Cassandra

Tomorrow the sun burns the tiniest bit hotter. The rain falls ever so slightly harder. The wave washes an inch farther up the sand. The child has a bit less to eat.   It’s slow motion game of chicken. Except chicken is not quite the right word. Because in chicken, someone blinks. Only nature does not blink. And game is also not the right word. For games have winners and losers, and there are no winners in this.   There is only the sun and the rain, the wave and the hungry child,   and a tiny handful who cry out like Cassandra, into the unfeeling void, their warnings echoing futilely across the barren brown land.     October 5, 2019 Brian Kenneth ...

One Thousand Words

A simple enough assignment. One picture alone at the far end of a distant wing, obscure, exiled. Removed from the masters.   I’d wondered what to expect when I first saw the title, “A Girl Weeps Beside a Basket of Raspberries.” Something modern – a solid red canvas perhaps. A Rothko blur, some Twombly scribblings. But no, there she is, aglow in harsh white museum light. More literal than I had imagined, though vaguely defined, in a not-quite-impressionistic way.   The girl, young, sitting on a park bench, sixteen, seventeen, difficult to say. Her dress of taffeta white, matching bow drawing back black ringlets. After Renoir, but not as good. And there, beside her, sure enough, the basket … but of what? Raspberries if ...

Animal Spirit

The San Antonio Zoo has been around—officially—since 1914 (the zoo celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1989). But if you spend some time exploring the history of the zoo—which CEO and Executive Director Tim Morrow, subject of this month’s profile, was kind enough to provide to me—you’ll find references to animal collections dating back to as early as the 1870s, with the original small animal collection residing in San Pedro Park. Credit for creating the original zoo goes to Colonel George W. Brackenridge (also founder of the Express News), and since its inception just over one hundred years ago, the zoo has had seven executive directors, with Tim having begun his stint in the position in December of 2014. But the path that got ...

The Culinary Institute of Amer ...

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is the preeminent culinary college in the world, and the San Antonio campus at The Pearl is one of just three locations in the U.S. (the others being Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California). Those of us fortunate enough to live in San Antonio have long known the Alamo City for the astonishing quality and diversity of its restaurants, but—just to make it official—UNESCO named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy in October 2017, one of just two cities in the U.S. to be so honored. The San Antonio campus of the CIA opened in 2008, and it has since gained a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its instruction and the culinary innovation of its graduates. Notable local alumni ...

The Performance of a Lifetime

“I feel like I know a lot about the things you’ve accomplished,” I said to begin our interview at The Tobin Center, “but I don’t really know anything about who you are.” Sebastian Lang-Lessing has been Music Director and Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony since 2010, and his many career achievements and accolades are well documented on any number of web sites and magazine articles, hence the first half of my opening statement. The goal of this piece, though, was to learn a bit more about the maestro as a person. And so we started in the small town of Gelsenkirchen in northern Germany, a former mining town not far from the Dutch border, where Sebastian was born, the youngest of four, all of his siblings girls. The ...

The Book of Names: Stories

From the author of Sistina, Alone in the Light, and World Hunger   The Book of Names is Brian Kenneth Swain’s first collection of short fiction. The stories, characters, and themes explored in this work are as universal as they are diverse: bravery, greed, legacy, and a serious infatuation with horses and French horns. In the title story, one soldier turns hopelessness into a moment of grandeur and sacrifice. In “The Antique Shop,” the proprietor and his customer marvel at the absurdity of debating the provenance and value of a book that cannot possibly exist, despite it being there in the shop with them. And in “Convergence,” two Middle Eastern men share a drink and speak of the inestimable loss each ...