I’ve got ahold of my six-year-old son, and I sure as fuck better not let go because traffic is whizzing both ways on the cross street, and I know from driving that street at that very same time of day that those drivers can barely see me, and they sure as hell can’t see my 50-inch-tall son. My hand is gripping his hand tighter and tighter, and I’m thinking I have to be careful not to break it, but I’m still holding it as if my life depended on it, since it does. And I’m pretty sure now that I’m wrong, this car isn’t going to stop.
HAZEL EYES BY HAZEL JAMES 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 54
I wrote Hazel Eyes because I think we all need to be reminded sometimes that this is it. We’re living now, and what we do with our lives matters. I think we can all relate to wanting to realize a better version of ourselves. My advice to anyone else who is looking for their true calling in life is this: Chase your dreams like they are the most important thing in the world. And if you find that those dreams aren’t what you thought they’d be, listen to what other dreams are calling your name. Why not live your best life?
I am from a progressive college town in the Midwest of the United States. I have had a wide assortment of jobs for a person my age, in pursuit of a meaningful and fitting career. My hobbies and passions include practicing yoga, hiking, cooking and creating new recipes, traveling, collaging, and searching for the best cup of chai tea.
I write because it makes me happy. It forces me to stay in the moment and notice the little things—like the old guy with the Santa Claus beard who smiled at me this morning as I was coming home from a run and said, “God bless you,” after I sneezed. Being a writer also gives me an excuse to go places and do things, like walking on hot coals or broken pieces of glass. I did that. I also travelled to East Africa when I was in my early 20s. I worked at an orphanage and volunteered on the maternity ward at the Kisumu County Hospital in Kenya. When it was time for a vacation I rented a car and headed for the desert. You might be wondering whether I met a lion. I did. The car broke down too, but Mau is a product of my imagination.
Most recently I interviewed a homeless woman for a story in the July 2018 issue of the Midway Journal. I also wrote a children’s book, Sally and the Singing Whale, and I have a BA in creative writing from Columbia University.
I was 15 in a car when my mother fell asleep at the wheel on an interstate highway and the car was totaled though no one was seriously injured. I was shocked that I came so close to death and a week later, stuck in a traffic jam, I realized that I wanted to become a writer.
I stopped trying in school and quit baseball. Instead I tried to follow in the steps of Rimbaud’s “reasoned delusion of the senses” to divest myself of everything that had come to feel as a shackle.
In my early 30s, tired of dead-end jobs I got an undergrad degree in History and a Masters in Global Studies, with a concentration in Conflict Resolution.
For work, I ended up getting an office job. For fun, I play in a bluesy rock band around the Boston/NYC area.
My writing has been published in the Boston Literary Magazine, Wilderness House Literary Review, Ethnic Studies Review, Truthout, Antiwar.com, and Counterpunch, among others.
CRISTIAN ANGELO GINEZ
I wrote this story for a creative writing class in college. My grandparents, especially my grandmother, have always been a large part of my life so I felt it satisfying writing about them.
Since I was young I have dreamed of being a writer and entertaining people with stories. I write stories in my free time to the best of my ability.
LETICIA DEL TORO GARCÍA
I was born in a tiny village on the Canary Islands. I devoured books. It became a passion which would grow with the passing of time. I loved books, old, new ones, it did not matter. I wanted to read them, to understand them. So, naturally, I had to study them. I studied philology, and with great effort and enthusiasm, I graduated at University. But I wanted to go a step farther. I wanted to be a Doctor of Literature so I started a new stage, a very hard one. And when I had to choose a topic, I decided on one of the most difficult, I selected contemporary North American poetry. Almost by chance, Susan Howe entered my life, and though I recognized her work was really opaque, confusing, almost inaccessible, it also became a challenge which made the effort worthwhile. I got my PhD with a cum laude, and I am the proud author of the first monograph on Howe’s work written in the Spanish language. And I feel I am just beginning to find my way in this world of literature. I want to help other readers to understand contemporary poetry, to be able to read such difficult poems as those of Susan Howe or other writers who, like her, offer the modern reader a new concept of literature in which we are not passive consumers but active participants.
I am an aspiring writer of short stories and personal essays. I have been working on my writing for the past year or so and have gotten to a level where I can show some of my work to the public. My main passion is creating fiction short stories in hopes of becoming the next Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, or Flannery O’Connor.
I wrote Automation to inspire people who receive bad news. That being you never know why bad things happen. The only thing you can do is adjust when they come. My goal is to compile my short stories into a book and maybe create a series.
I’m a Milwaukee, WI-based writer, musician, and painter. I’ve written a number of things, published a bit, recorded a few records, and toured a lot. In 2016 my short story Jimmy was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2017 my story Boots was nominated for the Best of the Net Sundress anthology. I’ve had stories published in Sky Island Journal, Two Cities Review, Palaver, Pithead Chapel, Gris-Gris, and Per Contra. I have some black-ink tattoos on both arms and I really like Kurt Vonnegut, Two Cow Garage, Tillie Olsen, Greg Dulli, Tom Colicchio, Willy Vlautin, and Albert Camus. I’m working on a novel titled Tyne Darling, and released a record These Ghosts in November of 2016. I have a follow-up record slated for late-2018. I teach English at Milwaukee Area Technical College and prefer (if I’m honest) to write with pens poached from hotel room cleaning carts.