She is something to see with the homeless. Me, I’ve always called myself compassionate, especially regarding the disenfranchised. But she will follow her own offering of whatever’s in her pocket with, “What’s your story?” And here’s the remarkable rub—she truly wants to sit and find out. Not judge. Not preach. Simply listen. “The only thing anyone truly wants in this life is to be heard.” I marvel at her grace. The best I have in me is to give them my dollar and run away as quickly as possible, fear fevering from me like so many beads of sweat.
—Published previously in Angela Carole Brown’s collection of 100-word stories, Aleatory on the Radio (Haiku House, 2019); appears here with author’s permission.
Recipient of the 2018 North Street Book Prize in Literary Fiction for her novel Trading Fours, and the SoulWord Magazine Poetry Prize for her single poem “Cotton Candy,” writer-vocalist-artist Angela Carole Brown has published seven books in the genres of fiction, poetry, and memoir, and has produced eight music recordings in the genres of jazz and folk.
Shorter works have appeared in Flapper Press Poetry Café; MacQueen’s Quinterly; Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature; Echoes Media; and SoulWord Magazine; and are forthcoming in the poetry anthology In the Black / In the Red (Helicon Nine Editions). In 2021, Angela was honored with an entire concert entitled Short Stories by the Los Angeles-based, 60-voiced Metropolitan Master Chorale created around several 100-word stories from her collection Aleatory on the Radio.
At the end of 2020, Angela produced a videobook from her children’s story The Richest Girl in the World, which she also illustrated and narrated, and which is now the recipient of several film festival awards in Multimedia. She is featured in the documentary film The Goddess Project.
Author’s website: www.angelacarolebrown.com
⚡ Withheld, a poem by Angela Carole Brown in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 14, August 2022)
⚡ The Little Death (Un Poème Concret), at the author’s website