15 Dec

Wild Flowers on a Table

AJ Huffman

seem wrong, a specifically heinous sacrilege
against their animalistic nature.
Buds that bloom in the darkest corners,
intrusively force eyes to take notice

of their beauty, should maintain the right of root,
should be granted reprieve from any potential

removal, should never know the meaning
of cut or pluck or pick, should have the right

to request a stone to shatter glass
vases that far too closely resemble prisons.

Bio: A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), and Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications) are now available from their respective publishers. She has two additional poetry collections forthcoming: Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press). She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2300 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com.

05 Jun

Volume 3, Issue 1 Now available!

cover

© Samantha Johnson, June 2015

Volume 3, Issue 1 is now available online! We are slowly moving back to our regular posting schedule. Volume 3, Issue 2 should be posting in early September. We’ll be working over the next few days/weeks to get Volume 2 posted for download.

Keep your eyes open. We’ve got some big news coming up in the next couple weeks and hope you will celebrate with us! Thank you for your support!

01 Dec

New Issue Available + Holiday Deal!

©Ann Brantingham

©Ann Brantingham

Volume 2, Issue 3 is now available!

For the entire month of December East Jasmine Review is offering 25% off all issues—including Volume 1! To get your discount, enter coupon code HOLIDAY2014.

Ending today, we also have CYBERMONDAY for 50% off your order.

Enjoy these discounts yourself, or share the gift with friends and family.

01 Sep

Nonfiction: A Cheeseburger and Pickles

Keiko Amano

I came to the U.S. for the first time in June 1970.  I wished I would be able to speak English in no time.  I was nineteen.  Shortly after, I attended Palomar Junior College in San Marcos.  The following is an excerpt from one of my stories.  This day, I was in the cafeteria waiting for my turn to place an order.

“Next!  What would you like, young lady?” a waitress says to me, holding a yellow pencil in her left hand.

“Hamburger and 7-up, please,” I say.

“Would you like a hamburger or a cheeseburger?” she says with a broad smile.

The waitress looks like Alice, the housekeeper of the Brady Bunch.  Over the counter, a male cook picks up a stainless-steel spatula and turns over hamburger patties.  A sizzling sound echoes.  He puts a piece of bright yellow cheese on top of each patty.  They look yummy.  Those hamburgers probably come with cheese or without cheese.

“Hamburger and cheese and 7-up, please,” I say.

“Do you want a hamburger or cheeseburger?” she says looking into my eye.

I pursed my lips.  My heart begins pounding.   I don’t turn back, but people are behind me.   I have to hurry up.  Maybe I should use the word “with” instead of “and” because a piece of cheese will melt and stick with a patty like a mother holding her child’s hand.

“Hamburger with cheese, please,” I say.

“Do you want a hamburger?” the waitress says making her chin double.

People must be staring at me.

“A cheeseburger?” she says without changing her tone.

“Yes.”

I wonder what difference a cheeseburger and a hamburger with cheese make.  I can recognize burger and cheeseburger as a pair, and hamburger and cheesehamburger can also be a pair, but the pair of hamburger and cheeseburger throws me off.  I used to think English was logical.  Maybe her mind works in a different way because she is left handed.  I hadn’t had any friends or acquaintances that used their left hand except my grandfather.  My grandfather used a pair of scissors with his left hand and wrote using his right hand.

“What would you like to drink, dear?” the waitress says.

“7-up, please,” I say.

“What?” she says.

“7-up,” I say louder.

“Coke?”

“Yes.”

I wish I would be able to pronounce 7-up like Americans.   I’m disappointed and frustrated, but I don’t know what to do about it.

The scene above happened almost 40 years ago.  The following scene is from March 2009 at the Subway restaurant in San Dimas.  I made an order for a six-inch combo with Italian herb bread.

“No pickles, please,” I say to the young worker.

“Would you like jalapeños?” she says to me.

“No, no jalapeño, please,” I say.

“Would you like pepperchinos?” she says picking up a few strips of yellow pickles.  She almost drops them on my sandwich.

“No, no.  No pickles, please.”

She drops the yellow strips back to the container.  I had the similar conversation at the place every time I went in to place my order.  I chatted with most of the workers there.  They recognized my face but not my preference for no pickles.  One day, I went there late.  I was the only customer.  I thought this was a good opportunity to explain myself if they asked me about pickles again.

“You don’t like pickles, do you?” another worker says to me with a smile.

“I love pickles, but lately I can’t eat too sour foods.  It bothers my skin,” I say. “Please, no pickles.”

“Okay,” he says, smiling.  “Do you want jalapeños?  Jalapeño is not pickles.”

“No jalapeño.  Pickles mean processed vegetables with either salted water or vinegar,” I say and point to the bin of fresh cucumbers, “That’s fresh cucumber slices, but the other is pickled cucumber.  You know what I mean?  Those jalapeños or pepperchinos are also pickles.”

We went into more detail about pickles, and we burst into laughing.  We began using the word “family.”  The family of pickles.  I thought I finally achieved my goal in our communication.  I was happy.

But life is not easy.  My next visit there, my situation went back to the way it used to be.  A server asked me about pickles again.

Going back to cheeseburger, to me, the word connects to a brilliant comedian, John Belushi.  In the television program “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” he played a cheeseburger cook.  He shouted, “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!” no matter what customers, other cooks, or waitresses said.  I love those sketches and the character.

Almost forty years has passed since my cheeseburger incident.  My language development was long and slow, but I thought I made my progress.  But the pickle incident sent me back to my original question.  How do native English speakers think behind their words?  It is still a mystery.