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The First Night of the War

He couldn’t sleep.  Beside him, the woman had shrugged free of the covers.  Even in the dark, he could make out the rise of her hip and the long descent of her leg toward the blanket rumpled about her feet. The man eased himself from the bed with both hands, hushing the creak of the […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: An Excerpt

The condemned man wore no shoes.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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February 22, 1944

The war had finally come. It was right above him. Yet, beyond the orange glow of the streetlamps he saw only stars in a clear sky, not the earthy shapes of low-flying planes he expected.

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Two Cowboys

 The calliope crashed to the ground. The cowboys gaped. The calliope was smoldering and shuddering and making a faint whizzing or wheezing or maybe it was a whining sound. The pipes were bent and cracked, the steam boiler badly dented. Its painted panels caved in on themselves, perverting the circus scenes once so delicately depicted […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Ain’t Like Those Other Guys

Everyone on the block knew that the longer the rat tail, the flyer the guy. Lefty’s rat tail wasn’t as long as his older brother Pedro’s but it was getting there. We all noticed. It was summer and the action started at the basketball court in front of IS 147. By then everyone had put […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Difficult Happiness: A Conversation between Jerry Stahl and Lydia Lunch

Jerry Stahl: I’m kind of a binge writer. I used to wrestle with the question: Do I have no life because I write, or do I write because I have no life?

Posted in Fiction, Interviews

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The Ostrich and The Aliens

The ostrich has its head in the sand when it hears a high-pitched noise. It looks up to see a large spherical object come in for a landing nearby. The ostrich watches as it settles to the ground, then wanders over for a closer look. The object is silver, and very shiny. It doesn’t smell […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Girls Where You Live

“Don’t eat it,” he said. “Don’t eat the pussy.” This from the man who’d shuffled in into the liquor store after me. The counter was walled in plexiglass except for the revolving window at the register, so that he and I were cooped there as though in a terrarium. It was dark out and the […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Where We Were

We spent ourselves and each other like pocket change, and we spent that, too. We weren’t supposed to be in this city, nevermind with each other. We’d ended up here on a weeklong vacation almost haphazardly, after the mutual friend who had introduced us bailed at the last minute. I said I wanted to go […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Waterless Cistern

I have a recurring dream—a vision maybe—of my breasts removed from my body and hanging in the air. Independent of everything, and of each other. Floating against the backdrop of a brilliant blue sky. They’re beautiful there, and strange, like an art gallery painting, the bright green grass below them, and the brilliant blue behind […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Trompe l’Oeil : An Excerpt

For the Murphys, there was always the house and the idea of the house, one relatively more stable than the other.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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The Cartographer of the Universe

It does feel like the work gets harder every day. He had thought that after a few years, after a few millennia, he would be able to scoot through tasks, scoot like a worm through dirt. He thought that way at the beginning, when the work still celestial. The Cartographer of the Universe lives in […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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October, 1918

As his train hurtled toward Latvia, Peter Carl Fabergé mustered an ounce of gratitude: for it was night. In this darkness, he would not see his beloved Russia disappear. They’d departed Saint Petersburg at dusk, and he’d been lucky to board. His feet guarded no briefcase, and no suitcase sat overhead. His person alone would […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Last Supper

Ted wanted to get The Last Supper tattooed right across his pale Irish ass. I told him losing Christ in the crack would be sacrilegious but he said, Jesus says light shines in dark places. His mom said she’d disown him if he did. His dad, At least now when you’re talking out of your […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Bandera

Y’all want something real. Y’all live in Austin, where autumn is one long festival weekend, and every thoroughfare is overhung with vinyl banners punched with holes so the wind can get to work, and y’all want out. Just for a weekend. Y’all want to leave behind the organic neighborhood Saturday markets and the middle-aged triathletes. […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Topaz

I teach the geology class that you go to in your dreams. I have never graded an assignment, scored a midterm. No one shows up until the day of the final exam. You must identify 3,827 types of rock indigenous to earth terrains and some space rock. That was our week five unit, which you […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Count Until Thunder

We sat on the steps waiting for the storm. Rachel spit watermelon seeds into the twilight. Lightning flashed behind a bank of clouds and I got to 10 before thunder rolled. “Hand me a slice,” I said. We slurped cold melon, searching for seeds. Juice trickled down our wrists. “Got one,” she said. “You?” I […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Adult Onset

She hung up to see her mother cannoning from the crowd, all four-foot-eleven-and-a-half of her, jaunty in her beret, her bling, her snow-blindingly new running shoes, hurrying toward them with a funny splay-foot walk that reminded Mary Rose of Maggie. Was that new?

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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When Out Looking for Antlers in Wyoming in January

When out looking for antlers in Wyoming in January, it is important to walk slow. You are not exercising, you are out looking for antlers, and antlers won’t appear to you if you are too focused on breaking a sweat. Your feet will slide on the snow where it is packed, and they will sink […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Swimsuits

Mary chose black, and I chose Baby Color. She was sunning on the dock, but her skin was still pale, paler against the black suit. If I pulled my straps down, I could find a tan line, at least something to bring home with me at the end of summer. I hated the suit my […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Farid and the Gazelle

Farid has never seen the sea, never gone in.

Posted in Fiction

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Sustenance

The sous chef has opinions, like frozen shrimp invite the devil in. He, Chef D, is second in command at the upscale Chinese restaurant where celebrities don’t eat, the one that is unquestionably better than the upscale Chinese restaurant where celebrities do, though it failed to make last year’s LA Times 101 Best. But LA is […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Our Endless Numbered Days: An Excerpt

This morning I found a black-and-white photograph of my father at the back of the bureau drawer. He didn’t look like a liar.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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You’re Making It Sound Like Something It’s Not

“Then what should it sound like?” Eliot asks. The swivel chair hisses as he stands. “Don’t’ be like this.” Claire shifts to the edge of their burnt orange couch. “Its not as if—” “You’re stepping out on me?” Eliot is still in hospital scrubs after his thirty-hour shift. He paces across the frayed rug to […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Boy Teen

The uniform skirts were heaped in the corner, almost all of them unbuttoned so that they didn’t even really look like skirts anymore but kind of like very large, very ugly party garlands. One skirt stood impossibly up on its own, its pleated frame starched into a kind of sentience. “I left everything in there,” […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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