Sunday, 19 September 2010

Cherrypicked Hands #3

Hello there, and welcome to Cherrypicked Hands #3.

We have some exciting news for you. We are now on Facebook. You can find us at Please be our friend. We are lonely and we need you.

There has also been a change in the email address to which you should send your submissions. It is no longer, as I think by now we have all recognised the truth of this statement, and would all agree that, despite some mistakes in the past, Greg is indeed a good Greg. The new email address is now This email address is permanent. Unlike you, it will not change.

In other news, it is raining. It is also Sunday morning, so that is all right. Soon I will have to brave the elements and go into town and buy some paint. Then I am going to paint some walls. That is my task for today.

Your task for today is to read this issue of Cherrypicked Hands. Your task, I think you'll agree, is much easier to complete than mine, as there is only one item of interest in this issue, and I have four walls to paint. One poem versus four walls: I know which I would choose. And it wouldn't be the walls, that's for sure! Yes, it is.

In other news, Cherrypicked Hands is still being hounded by Japanese/Chinese sex-traffickers. They keep commenting on the poems and fiction included in here. This used to bother me. Now, it doesn't. I welcome the sex. I like sex. I like Japanese people and I like Chinese people. It is nice of them to introduce our readers to a world of Oriental iniquity. So if, after reading a poem or a short story, you fancy a bit of sexual gratification, just scroll down to the comments, click on the comment button, and take your pick. All the links are in Chinese or Japanese, so it will be pot luck which sex scene you access. Hopefully, it will be something to your liking. If by chance you happen to click on a link that doesn't take you to a sex site, I can only apologise, and ask you to please let me know which link it is, and I will delete it immediately. I don't know how these Oriental people found us, or why they believed we would be interested in their many sexual suggestions, but I have decided to look upon it as a blessing. From now on, only Oriental sex links are welcome in the world of Cherrypicked Hands. Let us embrace our misfortune!

I have nothing else of interest to say just yet. I hope you enjoy your day.

by Rebecca L. Brown

I am doing this for you,
Said the man who was superior.
I am suffering to protect you
From the horrors of this world
Lest you be consumed
By the evils of greed and lust.
One day, you will thank me
For my ultimate sacrifice.
You owe me a doughnut
She told him.

This poem is by Rebecca L. Brown. She is a British writer currently based in Cardiff, South Wales where she lives with her partner and assorted menagerie. She has recently returned to writing medium-length, short and flash fiction pieces (including micro-fiction), after a short break which felt considerably longer than it was. Rebecca specialises in horror, SF, humour, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost. Updates and examples of Rebecca’s work can be found on her Twitter page @rlbrownwriter and at her blog Bewildering Circumstances (available at I think we would all agree here writing has wandered into the right place this time.

And that's it. The end. I hope you have enjoyed your brief journey today, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. You are free to click on a sexual link should you wish to do so. Unfortunately, I have no time for that at the moment. I'm off to buy some paint instead.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cherrypicked Hands #2

Today is a big day in the small history of Cherrypicked Hands. It is our second issue. To continue the theme of "second" things, there will be two items in this second issue - the first, and the second. They are both poems.

You may be saying to yourself that this is a short issue. You are right - it is a short issue. That's because I'm a short man, and time is short, and also, mainly, because I have only yet received two submissions that I feel are worthy to be included.

This will mark a change in the way Cherrypicked Hands is distributed to the big wide world. From now on, I declare issues will only be issued as and when I feel there is something worth issuing. If I receive one thing I think should be issued, I will issue it, and will no longer wait until I have amassed enough other submissions to make an issue seem worthwhile. I hope that has cleared that issue up.

In editorial news, there is not much to say. We have a new government here in England. I didn't vote for it, but that doesn't matter. Other people did - kind of - and in times like these, I always try to think of other people. Summer is on its way, but the nights are still cold, and every day I still have to go scavenging through my local woods in my caveman outfit and lug back armloads of logs to burn on my fire. It is nice, but tiring. One time I found a collection of logs all set together, as if somebody was preparing their own fire with them, but as I didn't see anyone around, I picked them up and carried them back to my place. I think you will all agree that this does not make me a thief. I am drinking a lot, but I am not an alcoholic.

What other news? I am still getting Chinese/Japanese and sometimes English messages about sex. Sometimes these links to sex sites are disguised as words of wisdom - "Do not cast the first stone!" says one of them. I clicked on this link, and was led to a world of sex and iniquity.
I suppose it is something you just have to get used to if you start an online literary magazine. Since starting it, I have indeed been plagued by sex.

Oh well.

Other news? I don't think there is, no. I suppose one downside of what I envisage to be more regular updates of Cherrypicked Hands is that I will have to write more editorials. It is time I started to lead a more active lifestyle, in order to have more things to fill you in on. Hm.

In the meantime, enjoy the issue. It is short, but as I always tell my girlfriend, that doesn't mean it won't do the trick.


by William Doreski

Leering over crossword puzzles
for days and weeks has numbed me
with words like aloe, natal, fungus-
vowel-rich and useless except
to fill spaces empty as the rooms

of the house you abandoned when
a man of nonlinear mien
impressed you away with him.
Mien is another crossword. Too bad
you've left me with so many spaces

to fill with only five vowels
and the occasional y. Too bad
your new mien man can't solve
the warp you've left in time and place,
which eventually will overtake

and fell you both. Fell is another
crossword. Yes, it will hurt you.
Like that honky-tonk night in Dreamland
when in a Coney Island mood
lost in a single mutual smile

we drifted among bristling nightclubs
and swaggered home too tipsy to tell.
Tipsy occasionally crops up
in crosswords, and swagger as well.
Every day the New York Times

delivers fresh invective
to direct at the silence you left
brimming in the kitchen where we sliced
mushrooms fresh from the uplands.
That man you've snagged won't savor

wild mushrooms the way I do,
but maybe he'll make up for it
by eschewing crossword puzzles
in favor of a smaller lexis
still ripe enough to inscribe you.

also by William Doreski

Bicycling to New York to track you
to your lair, I feel the small towns
cringe in the heat of my passing.

Churches sag on brick foundations.
General stores peddle doughnuts
ten years old. Gas pumps weep fumes

that sicken mothers and children
en route to the local mall. The light
of Connecticut looks too slack

to support its huge economy.
Factories stand around sadly,
underemployed. My bicycle creaks

beneath me, tired of my weight.
I stop and oil the chain. Standing
instead of pedaling feels so natural

I question why I'm devouring
all these miles to expose you
rapt with your ripest lover yet.

Not my business anyway, this leer
you impose on half the world.
Let the Defense Department worry

about vulnerabilities exposed
by your rage for self-creation.
Let the President quake in his shoes

whenever your name scrawls itself
across an otherwise cloudless sky.
I point my bicycle home but walk

rather than ride, the long slow distance
extending my life span one town
at a time, the clapboard houses

waving their mortgages like hand-
kerchiefs at a parade, the landscape
too bulldozed and paved to object.

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire.
He told me some other stuff about himself, but I have accidentally
deleted his email, and can't find it, and rather than email him again
and admit to my embarrassing mistake, I have chosen instead
to simply give you the barest outline of his biography. I hope he
doesn't mind this.

by Meg Eden

what are you doing here? a man in the

airport asks.

it isn’t the Olympics yet. come back later,

as if Beijing is still dressing up, has her

panties over her head, no

make-up on.

we wanted to see China, we answer,

carrying suitcases to the bright hotel in front of

cheap camera stores.

everything reeks of pollution.

but it’s cold. you come back though, right?

white people are walking purses.

we tell him we’ll see.

Meg Eden is the name of the person who wrote this poem.
She's been published in a lot of places and has won quite a few
awards. Unfortunately, in the same catastrophe that also
deleted William Doreski's emails, her full biography has gone
missing - I have also decided to withhold this from her until
now. I hope she is all right with this.

I have also realised this has been quite an error-prone issue,
as I firstlyhinted that there were two things in this issue
(the first, and the second) but I now discover there are,
actually, three things in it. That is a bonus for you, reader,
no doubt, but it does make me look a bit like an unprepared fool.

Let's ignore it, hey?

Yes. Let's. Until next time - farewell!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Oriental Sex Advertisers

It's been a long time, hasn't it?

Yes, it has.

When's the new issue coming out?

Soon. But I need submissions. I have ignored a great many submissions due to a great deal of personal trouble that I don't think it's fair on either me or you to go into at the moment, and for that I am sorry. It is inexcusable, despite the vague excuse I have wedged into the previous sentence, and I hereby promise to make it up to you. So I would like submissions, and they will be responded to, and all will be well again in the world of Cherrypicked Hands. Or at least that is what I hope for - as well as world peace, of course. The email address to send your submissions to has changed. It is now: I hope that you will all, in time, recognise the truth of that statement, and be able to nod your heads and say to each other: "Yes, Greg is indeed a good Greg."

In the meantime, the previous issue has been commented on 5 times! Exciting stuff, ey?

Yes, that's what I thought, too, when I first revisited Cherrypicked Hands and saw that 5 messages were waiting for me. "Come back!" I thought they might say. "The first issue is legendary - where's the second!"

Things like that, I thought the messages might say.

But they don't.

They are all in Chinese - or Japanese, I'm not sure which.

At first I thought this must mean that Cherrypicked Hands is big in Japan. (Or China.)

But it doesn't.

All the messages are about sex.

Now, sex is nice, I grant you that, but to post a message to Cherrypicked Hands advertising sex is just not on. Is it?

So I would like to make a plea to all the sex-obsessed Chinese/Japanese advertising people out there, and my plea is this:

Find another literary-based online magazine to advertise in! Don't come around here with your sex-talk! Because you're not welcome!

There. I feel a lot better now. I hope you do too.

All the best,