Dispatch #089


by Michael Brownstein

The sun beckons us outside,
a spring wind waves its hand,
so we go--leaving the fortress
into the world of confusion,
disharmony, angst, and fear.

Our masks neckless our necks,
gloves warm our hands to sweat,
and we begin our game of avoidance--
Incoming, she shouts, to the left,
and we cross the street. Incoming,
she points down the sidewalk
and I see children playing
near their porch--we cross again.

A two mile walk and three dozen
incomings. No one catches us
off-guard, no one nears our space,
and then we are home, the door
locked behind us, the air clean, safe.


by Michael Brownstein

They were not a young couple
with a love of lust,
but elderly,
with a lust of love.
Do you know the difference?
I was there once,
and I am older now,
much older,
and I can truthfully say I do not.

At what point did hand holding
become a tangling of tongues,

somewhere personality exposed
imagination, creativity, intellect--
two talking heads waking together,
snow falling outside,
the temperature falling from 50 to 6 below,
a wraparound wind,
neither one so uncomfortable 
they need to turn on the furnace.

Whew--that was a long line.

A lust for love,
not a love of lust.
Thirty years of marriage.
It does get better.


by Michael Brownstein

What do we do now, Mr. Wizard of the Whitewash.
the great tree is broken near the wall,
the retaining structures is into freefall.

Everyday another mistruth, another potion to drink--
disinfectant swallowed whole, maybe a bit of bleach.

Let's not forget the toilet paper scare 
or how one day all of the eggs and cheese went away.

Blame it all on someplace else.
That's fine and well and can't get better than this,
but wait and see--What's next?--Another freefall.
Sent to us on: March 2, 2021

How will the Coronavirus Pandemic shape storytelling for the years to come? 

Calling all Dispatchers!

San Francisco Creative Writing Institute is pleased to announce we were awarded California Arts Council Local Impact Grant! 

With support from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Creative Writing Institute will present Dispatches from Quarantine: hybrid storytelling events and writing workshops. 

The project is scheduled from January 2023 to August 2023! Our first event will be an online workshop on May 1. Then, an in-person reading on May 3 in San Francisco.

We will be broadcasting the public readings and discussions on our youtube channel as well as hosting four creative writing workshops with writers from diverse genres. The project will continue to be interactive as we will encourage viewers/participants to send in their “dispatches” to be published on our blog, keeping it alive as a living document.

 We invite you to submit a dispatch: 

Suggested Theme:

What is your Covid story? How will you tell it? 

You can send submissions in any format to us via email at: All genres will be considered for publication on the blog. submissions@dispatchesfromquarantine.co  The theme should be somehow related to this time of Coronavirus. We are particularly interested in posts/ideas/writings from 2022-23.

Submissions can be sent by email to: submissions@dispatchesfromquarantine.co

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