Dear Reader,

I'm excited to share the first issue of Cleaning up Glitter, a literary journal with you! This has been something I've been brewing for awhile, and decided to take a chance on this year. The name of this literary journal came to me one day as I stood at the top of our basement stairs and tried to make sense of what I was seeing. Sequins and glitter were scattered on each step, smooshed into the carpet, and my daughter was calling from the basement, "isn't it BEAUTIFUL, Mom!!!" Read more…

Cover Works


Gin and Tonic


We met in person for the first time on a Thursday night. The Thursday before Pride weekend in Dallas.

It had been five years since I'd come out to my family and friends, but in that five years I'd managed to work my way back into the closet. I dated briefly. It ended badly, my heart shattered, and when it did I convinced myself that it was a message from God. It was a message from the same God I'd begged for years to not make me gay. The same God who'd never answered. It was a message FROM GOD. So I packed all my baggage and moved back into the cramped and dark space I'd lived in for most of my, then, 29 years. Read more…



It started two decades ago. I dreamt a dream almost identical to what had happened earlier that day. I was twelve.

In the dream, as in reality, I was delivering a very important letter. It was a letter to my father. I’ve been writing letters to him every week for the previous two years, ever since he moved away to what my mother called “the special healing place,” and what I’ve since learned is called “rehab.” For most of those two years, I received a weekly letter in return.

On this day, the day of the first Big Dream, he had been dead for five days. But I would not let that alter the letter-writing routine. I had much to tell him. Read more…



Fill in this blank: “When I die, I want you to promise me that you will…”

No matter how you answer, I promise I won’t judge you. I bet that whatever you say, though, can’t top what my mother said from her hospital bed the week before she passed away from liver cancer.

Speaking of passing, it’s hard to believe that it’s been over three months on this side of her passing. I dreaded its coming for years—when a loved one hits eighty, people like me can’t help counting—and now that this coming is in the rear view, I don’t know how to feel. I’m not relieved except that she’s no longer suffering. I’m still grieving, though my grief is no longer debilitating. Read more…

Parkland , by Ellie Cohen

Parkland, by Ellie Cohen