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Third Wednesday is a finely produced print journal that provides a quarterly outlet for both experienced and new writers and artists whose work deserves to be in print, publishing writers, poets and visual artists from all over the world.
Third Wednesday accepts submissions of poetry and prose through our Submittable account. We never charge submission or reading fees (except for contests) and registration at Submittable is free.
Mary McCarthy is a retired Registered Nurse who has always been a writer. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, most lately “The Plague Papers” edited by Robbi Nester, “The Ekphrastic World” edited by Lorette Luzajic, and the latest issue of Earth’s Daughters.
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work appears regularly in Britain where he was shortlisted for the Wordsworth Trust Prize in 2017, and in the USA, where he has twice been shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Haverfordwest.
Nina Rao is an audiovisual archivist with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She lives in Atlanta, GA, where she spends her time digitizing old VHS tapes and winding through shrunken 16mm film.
January Pearson’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tahoma Literary Review, 2River, Rust + Moth, Notre Dame Review, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The American Journal of Poetry, The Cape Rock Review, and other publications. She was named a finalist in The Best of the Net 2020 Anthology.
Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Paperback, 104 pages
There is a long history of Gog and Magog: some say they were individuals, some say peoples, some say lands, but this is the truth and Magog would tell you the truth hurts
.Gog lived in a valley and Magog lived on a nearby mountain. They weren’t much to look at – hairy and stinking with bad teeth, but they lived mostly outside and had to hustle to stay alive. Their mates looked about the same, only they had boobies.
Gog and Magog got along fairly well, and only occasionally came to blows. Gog was jealous of the mountain, because it was cool in the summer, and Magog was jealous of the valley because it had a nice river with sweet water for drinking and bathing. Each wanted what the other had. They were, after all, men.
Every now and then Gog would climb the mountain or Magog would descend into the valley and the two would drink the fermented juice of berries. At first meeting, they were happy to see each other and discussed mundane things like how many toes does a sloth have or do birds go underground in the winter. They both felt that the fermented juice increased their intelligence, though they could not have explained this.
As they continued to drink the fermented juice, they would grow angry and begin to fight. They would slap each other on the head (they hadn’t invented fists yet), but generally did very little damage. Then they would both go home where their hairy wives would scold them by making clucking sounds, then pack mud on their cuts and bruises. They were both dense and their wives would have divorced them, but divorce hadn’t been invented yet either.
Fruit grew well in Gog’s valley, and one day he got an idea as he was eating a banana: he would bring bananas to his next meeting with Magog, and instead of slapping him on the head he would throw bananas at him from a safe distance. Magog didn’t mind this (unless the fruit hit him in the eye), because bananas didn’t grow at high altitudes and he would just eat them later. Though unintentional, Gog was sharing his food.
Then one day banana season was over and Gog decided he could also throw squash and mangoes and avocadoes. True, Magog could eat these also, but if you ever get hit with a well-thrown mango… well…it hurts!
After a particularly heavy bout of increasing their intelligence with fermented juice, Gog threw a hard winter squash at Magog and hit him in the testicles. This is always funny on You Tube, but it’s really not. No one would laugh at a woman getting smashed in the boobies. Like divorce, You Tube hadn’t been invented yet. Still, Gog fell on the ground laughing. Magog fell on the ground rolling in pain.
“Awwwwwww,” yelled Magog (vocabulary was somewhat limited then). The sound echoed over the mountain and down into the valley so that the women lifted their hairy heads and were frightened. Even Gog grew frightened. It was like the sound of birth.
Finally, Magog sat up, grabbed the first thing he saw (a rock) and flung it at Gog. It hit him in the head. “Awwwwww,” said Gog, then his eyes crossed and he fell face down in the dirt. Magog waited, but Gog did not move again.
Something had changed. Magog grabbed his mate and kids and moved to a far-off mountain to hide. He didn’t know why, he just thought it a good idea. But it didn’t do any good.
Gog’s mate and kids found his body and the killing rock and figured out what had happened. It was if something else had been launched along with the flying fruit and the rock. Maybe this is what Magog had sensed. It was in the air.
“A little yeast leaveneth the whole lump,” Magog used to say as an old and unhappy man when he drank too much fermented juice. No one knew what that meant.
Well…you know the rest: arrows and spears, slings and cannonballs, television and politicians, gain-of-function research and lawyers…La-De-Da.
The Magogites still live in the mountains and the Gogites still live in the valleys. They still drink fermented berry juice, think themselves intelligent, and throw things.
Research indicates the root word Gog translates to your last name.
Or maybe not.
Gary Wadley / Louisville, Kentucky
Gary is a Writer, Poet, Artist, Musician, Playwright who’s visual artwork has often appeared in 3W. This story recieved an Honarble Mention in our recent George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest.
Terry Belew lives and writes in rural Missouri. What excites him most about poetry writing is the process and seeing a poem develop from a raw piece of emotion or snippet of thought into something meaningful.
Glistening calm as the sun breaks over the far horizon
Not a ripple, not a wave, not a crest or movement
Faint late summer fog rising
As if the mass of water was silenced for a moment in time
Stroking easily, 18 feet of ash wings
Catch, draw, pull, catch, repeat – rhythm of movement
The sliding seat in opposition to the draw on oars
The touch of blade to water
Behind me a sweeping arch
My wake, nearly delicate, marked on each side
Parallel pools of disturbed water
Blade markers of my path, a pattern of my past
The horizon now glowing with sunlight
The stillness on the shore
Now strays into morning,
the moment has passed into a day
Richard Douglass / Tawas City, Michigan
I am 20 months beyond my wife’s death. She prepared me for her dying, but the passage of time needs nurturing if I am to fully heal. One of my tonics is sculling, a single shell with ash oars, on Tawas Bay early in the morning. It is healing, like meditation in motion. So today I put my morning’s row into words.