Trader Joe Is a Buddhist: Guest Blog Post by Laurie Frankel

Trader Joe Is a Buddhist: Guest Blog Post by Laurie Frankel

Trader Joe Is a Buddhist

Trader Joe Is a Buddhist

by Laurie Frankel

Hello, my name is Laurie and I am attached to outcome.

Everyone: Hello, Laurie!

It all started when I was born. I came out with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish and, I don’t mean to brag, but by the time I was eighteen months, I achieved them all. I could focus, roll over, crawl, walk, talk and win at scrabble (except for the winning-at-scrabble part which happened just last week). Achieved goals flew past. I thought this life thing is e-z! And it was, until I wanted to be a published writer and then well…

I am not good at letting go. I am like a dog that way. The desire to be heard through my writing ie publishing, is deeply rooted in my soul. I know this about myself. It is one of my five crosses to bear (the third being my “ethnic” hair. Let’s just say had hair mousse been invented in the 70s I would have had a social life. In other words, I coulda been a contenda…for Math Club President. Just sayin’).

A quick note about my world view: I do not believe in fate. I do not believe things happen for a reason. I do believe life offers up endless opportunities to learn and it is my job to make meaning from the things that do happen so that, going forward, I can do better. Otherwise, I feel I am little more than a circus idiot (no offense to members of The National Circus Idiots Coalition who I know hone their idiot craft for years before taking it on the road).

In light of this self-awareness, I have sought ways to tame my rabid attachment to publishing through yoga, meditation and, of course, shopping at Trader Joe’s.

No offense 5000 plus-year-old yoga, but everything I learned about writing in the face of rejection I learned from shopping at Trader Joe’s. For those who have long suspected, yes, Joe the Trader, is the original Buddhist of commerce who started his store as a means of teaching non-attachment to outcome. How? By selling high quality, super tasty treats at reasonable prices and then, as soon as you’re hooked like a meth addict on morning glory, yanking them from the shelves.

Why Joe, why?!

Joe: To decrease suffering in the world by teaching non-attachment to outcome just like you said in the above paragraph.

Me: I was kidding.

Joe: I wasn’t. Seems someone hasn’t read their latest, Fearless Flyer.

Me: I’m busy. I work. And if you haven’t read this blog post, I’m trying to get published which takes an awful lot of time because first you have to write something worthy of being published and then hope some blowhard I mean editor deems you worthy…of being published.

Joe: Hey, Sisyphus! Ha, ha, just kidding. In the meantime, why not take it down a notch with some of my Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.

Me: You mean the mind-numbingly good holiday cookies that only show up for one month and leave me crying my eyes out for the remaining eleven?

Joe: Yes, those same ones.

Me: Been there, done that, Joe. Think I’ll pass.

Joe: Sounds like someone needs to work on their non-attachment.

Me: Tell me something I don’t know.

Joe: The universe is expanding and therefore has no center?

Me: Very funny, Joe. Don’t quit your day job.

Joe: Good advice. Keep shopping Laurie. And good luck with that writing thing.


Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel 


Writer and humorist Laurie Frankel knows pain is the root of all comedy and is thrilled her life is so damn funny. Her literary work has appeared in ShenandoahThe Literary ReviewSequestrum, North American ReviewBelleville Park Pages, Alaska Quarterly Review and New Orleans Review among others. Her books include “I Wore a Thong for This?!” and “There’s a Pattern Here & It Ain’t Glen Plaid.”: “. . . laugh-out-loud funny . . . great practical suggestions . . . A quirky, earnest guide to regaining self-esteem for the modern woman.” — Kirkus Reviews. She is the winner of the 2014 Time and Place Prize, Brittany France and the 2014 Walker Percy Prize in Short Fiction. Visit her blog at

New Poetry by James G. Piatt

New Poetry by James G. Piatt

They Remind Me of You by James G. Piatt

An Evening Stroll by James G. Piatt


Light by James G. Piatt

Light by James G. Piatt 

Dr. James G. Piatt has had poems nominated for Pushcart and Best of Web
awards, and his poems have been published in The 100 Best Poems of
2015 & 2014 Anthologies. He has won poetry awards, was interviewed as
a featured poet in numerous magazines, and has published 3 poetry
books: “The Silent Pond” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms” (2014), and “Light”
(2016), and 850 poems in over 90 different magazine, anthologies, and
poetry books. His books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.



Light: A Collection of Poems by James G. Piatt
In his third poetry collection with Broken Publications, James G.
Piatt takes us on a journey through life, death, the afterlife, love,
devotion, the world, humanity, and beauty in the way that only this
poet can. With striking prose and vivid metaphors, this collection
offers readers imaginative and thought-provoking introspection
accentuated by beautiful, lucid imagery. In the book, you will find
the following poems originally published by TreeHouse, An Exhibition
of the Arts:
“An Observation,” “The Orchard Garden,” “Love Danced,”
and “The Last Voice of Sanity.” “Light” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Poetry by Bill Livingston

Bill Livingston

Poet Bill Livingston

Originally from Altoona, PA, this poet, humorist, screenwriter and advertising copywriter has been published in Danse Macabre, Saturday Afternoon Journal, Blue Satellite, Sic Vice & Verse, Flipside, Mobius, et al. He is a supporting member of The Poetry Project and an original member of Brooklyn Poets and Bowery Arts + Science. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and twin daughters.




As the young blackbird emerges

from its nest in the stone cherub’s mouth

members of the congregation cough

through pauses in the benediction

others sleep, dream of sodomy

and stirring up sweet fruit

from the bottom of yogurt cups

convicted child molester sneezes

rudely spraying

two rows in front of him

a stranger awakens with a start

blesses him

unqualified, insincere

under that beautiful vaulted ceiling

bolstered with alternating columns

of hope and futility

they’re both damned




Perseid scores the black canvas sky

With cat-scratch meteors,

Banishes the dog from Cassiopeia’s throne.

The bath-warm lake pleasures the willing shore

With its tongue-like waves

Before tiring and turning in for the evening.

Even the brightness of supermoon

Cannot overpower the starshine eternal.

Now close your eyes.

The galaxies repeat themselves on your lids

Like a memory that refuses to leave.

Close them tighter,

As the flash from a knockout punch

Comes unwelcome into view.

Now open your eyes.

The painful shadows of distant pasts

The inevitable pleasures of tomorrow

Present themselves in the pre-dawn canopy

Until Orion, watching over you,

Drops his club

Releases the lion

Turns and walks away.




Surrounded by entourage

of stuffed animals

giraffes, unicorns, the occasional penguin,

Disneyfied reminders

of childhood in the rearview.

She climbs down from her loft bed,

selects a body spray – warm vanilla sugar

and pirouettes into the perfume mist.

Breasts budding like violets,

pointing towards a future

I’ll no longer control.

A lightning week has passed.

Feeling the transition,

she was prepared for the inevitable.

Well-armed by her mother

against the flow of the crimson river.

So grateful it wasn’t on a school day.

As the scent of body spray hits my nose,

the sight hits my eyes –

the red in the water.

And I’m the curious little boy again,

discovering my sister’s bellbottoms,

crotch of red, soaking in the tub.

The white lie hits my ears

I had a bloody nose!

Then the whisper of truth from my wife

as my eyes widen

then well with tears

at the tragedy and triumph of growth.

Now objects in the mirror

are older than they appear.

Time was never my friend.

There’s never enough –

like a daughter’s embrace.

And soon I’ll relinquish that privilege

to an unworthy lover

who thinks I wouldn’t break him

if he broke her rules.

All of the birthday parties and summer camps.

All of the art lessons, guitar lessons,

gymanastics lessons, ballet lessons,

the outrageously expensive dental scaffolding

will become distant memories

as she grand jetes away from the child

whose hand is so small in mine.

Now is she woman.

Now is she woman.

Now is she woman.

Ready to bleed on the battlefield that is this life,


now is she warrior.