By Sara Goudarzi

Sara Goudarzi is a Brooklyn writer. Her non-fiction, poetry and translations have appeared in National Geographic News, The Christian Science Monitor, Scholastic’s Science World, The Adirondack Review and Drunken Boat, among others. She teaches writing at NYU and is at work on a first novel. Follow her on twitter, at your own risk: @saragoud

CASTING CALL

Are you: an out of work writer, a devoted YouTube commenter, laboring over a screenplay? Are your Instagram captions two paragraphs long? Do you have a mommy blog? A major cable network (Spike TV) is casting talent for Written Off — A reality show, focused on writing, hosted and judged by supermodel Kate Upton and spiritual self-pleasurer and author of more than 30 books (all pretty much on the same topic) Paulo Coelho. Each episode requires writers to showcase their mastery of the English language with challenges such as: penning e-cards (conveying emotions people are too lazy to put into…

SPACE CHATTER: A MEETING OF TWO PROBES

On September 21, 2014, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft entered Mars’ orbit. Two days later, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)—aka Mangalyaan—also began orbiting the Red Planet. Millions of miles from their home planet, the two met for the first time in space and started a kinship uncharacteristic of most probes. – – – MAVEN: What up Manga? MOM: Greetings Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution. Actually, my given name is Mangalyaan. MAVEN: Call me MAVEN dude. Sorry Manga, your full name’s a bitch to pronounce. MOM: It is extremely cold in this region, no?…

SIX STORIES

For all the movement it was making, it was very silent. For all the movement around it, it was still very silent. At six stories tall, it was, like most New Yorkers, very slender. No longer green, one immediately knows this one has been around the block for many years. When my mother met my father, across the seas, it was here. When the Empire State Building was the tallest of its kind, it was here. When I had my coffee this morning, it was, still, here. When the jackhammers were going in the pre dawn hours today, it shed…

FREE

Bury me again So that this time, I may die Maybe I’ll come back a tulip in your garden and you’ll pick me Or a drop of water finding its way to your spring from which you’ll drink I’ll grow back a weeping willow shading you when you’re blistering Or a morning glory wrapping myself around your lyrical dreams A sunray to your sighing flower on that dawn Or the rock that fills the gap preventing you from slipping Maybe I’ll be that star and realize away your solitary A child holding your hand to cross that stream I’ll come…

SIX STORIES

For all the movement it was making, it was very silent. For all the movement around it, it was still very silent. At six stories tall, it is, like most New Yorkers, very slender. No longer green, one immediately knows this one has been around the block for many years. When my mother met my father, across the seas, it was here. When the Empire State Building was the tallest of its kind, it was here. When I had my coffee this morning, it was here still. When the jackhammers were rattling earth in the pre-dawn hours today, it shed…