Queen of Cups’ second issue, featuring poet Jeannine Hall Gailey, went out last Wednesday to 357 subscribers. Besides our weekly tarot card and writing prompt, this week’s issue will feature poet Carol Edelstein with two micro fictions. Under the title after Sarraute, Edelstein’s Tropisms were inspired by the vignettes of the same name written by Russian born French writer Nathalie Sarraute in the 1960s. Tropism is defined as ‘the response of an organism to an external stimulus by growth in a direction determined by the stimulus’. Sarraute’s and Edelstein’s Tropisms are small character sketches, brief depictions of relational dynamics, family tableau, vignettes rich with detail. Edelstein’s Tropisms delve into that terrain where an organism, in this case a person, is shaped by external stimuli in the form of environment and other people. Queen of Cups will feature two of Edelstein’s Tropisms, both lush with sensual detail, focused on a moment or string of moments, and somewhat mysterious. Flash or micro fiction, it seems to me, can’t operate on the same principles as the average short story, can’t achieve the same ends. There’s not much room to develop character and plot. Something has to go, the whole must be compressed. Micro fiction is the love child of the narrative poem and the short story, but like all children, has its own quirky personality, leading its parents to shake their heads and say ‘I don’t know where she came from’. Edelstein’s Tropisms contain this mix of heredity and unmistakable originality. You’re in for a treat!