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The legend you’ve heard is true. A woman did live in this eyesore house and her sister did chop her cleanly in half with a sickle. They had quarreled for two years before the older one built the house next door, the front door facing the younger’s place, as if to say: Here is […]
“Walter fired Polly,” Marsha said. “Because she wouldn’t let him kiss her.” “Well, I wouldn’t let him either,” Sally said. “Good for her.” “He caught her near the supply closet. Not a very original thinker.” “I wonder if he really had hopes. Do you think he expected she would? That might mean that he […]
My wife still wouldn’t leave her room so I had to take the afternoon off to bring Buster into the vet. At home the dog was hungry and all the lights were off. There were two more sympathy cards in the mail. I threw them away. Buster was tearing ass around the house and wanted […]
My Great Uncle Adolphus had a pet duck named Patrick. Patrick was insecure, needy, foul-tempered, and brilliant. Not just brilliant for a duck either, my Great Uncle would say. Patrick possesses a keen mind. He has a deep curiosity about everything under the sun and a bracing skepticism! Patrick would hiss at us whenever we […]
I • Where are we? How did we come here? Where are we going? • And anyway, who lies sleeping here with us? Wherever that is— I mean—wherever we are. II • To begin: the Burrow is a low mound that rises out of the ground. It rests on what would be, if not […]
This story appears in Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine, edited by Ru Freeman. Red wool, and falsely brightened, since we need the help. A child because the chambers of the heart will hold so little. —Still Life, Linda Gregerson There was once. A little girl named Lala lived with […]
The impulse comes over me when I’m bored and out of sorts. Paul would say that it’s Satan at work in me. Since I know what he would say, I don’t tell him. Looking up Marla from high school leads me to Jody, posing with two kids and a car. Her husband works for Union […]
While we wait Molly explains to me from the backseat the secret history of San Francisco. There didn’t used to be hills, she says. That’s what they said at school. It used to all be just water from where the bay is now. That used to go on for more, where the ground is, and […]
An excerpt from Shann Ray’s American Copper (Unbridled Books). Tonight the dignitaries of Montana gathered with their wives in the great room, wide-eyed. The men endured with slick hair, part lines clean and straight, faces shaven, black or brown full beaver felt hats in hand, derbies and straights, tapers and cowboy hats. The women wore […]
Do I want to hear a drinking joke? Do I seem like the type who would answer that question? A guy walks into a bar, and so what? Maybe he nods at the regular who keeps to the corner or eyes the ragged blonde grabbing a smoke from a guy whose paunch prevents him from […]
We weren’t used to our teachers being famous. Instead of an apple, Mr. Garfunkel kept a Grammy on his desk. Still, every class quickly learns to play its teacher like a Rickenbacker. You hear about the ones who drone on because they love the sound of their own voice, but you don’t usually hear […]
As we continue to take applications for our upcoming fiction and nonfiction coastal workshops, we have been rolling out a series of posts featuring our stellar faculty. Today we revisit Dorothy Allison’s contribution to our Anniversary Issue. Jason is going to be famous, and the best part is that he knows he will be good at […]
“Think of what you were doing at his age,” Andrew said. His fourteen-year-old kid skateboarded a respectful distance ahead, up the dark winding path on the Santa Cruz cliffs, that steep drop into the invisible ocean, so that we could smoke a joint without feeling guilty. We’d all gathered for a friend’s wedding. Andrew […]
First-born, a girl, but anyway his first-born so he brought me to watch when he touched the other woman.
He was used to hearing the bells toll for the dead and watching funerals from the bank office, but this time, alone behind the desk, as the church door swallowed up the swarm of people, he had the impression that the bells tolled louder than ever, twice as loud, four, eight times louder, because there […]
There’s a map bred in the bones of the bird. Before you ingest the chicken wing, you must know the vertices of its hinge, that place where tendons and gristle connect and shake hands. It’s all very scientific. Step One: The Origin Find a likely tray of sacrifices at the church picnic. You’re in […]
The boy skates from one end of the empty café to the other, pretending not to hear the conversation taking place between his parents and the nurse. They are talking about medication, about nutrition, about how much longer his father will have to wait for a liver transplant.
It was the final night of the Eagleburger retreat, held at a cluster of chalets owned by an alum’s shell corporation. The mountains were too close to see. Snow hissed into the jacuzzi. The Dean, the Department Head and the Adjunct stewed in the frothing glow. The Adjunct wore boxers. He had forgotten to pack […]
When they were children, she and her sisters buried their baby teeth in the garden behind their house. Her youngest sister believed the flowers that grew over them—all pink and drooping like pouting mouths—burst straight from the enamel. Roots spread out through the pulpy gums of the earth. She told her youngest sister, Probably Mother […]
The streets of Boston and Cambridge are running through my head again, and it is as effortless as dreaming.
Twice, I have given fake phone numbers to men I met in bars. The first must have been fifty. He bought me a drink; and, offended by how little I talked to him, took it back half-drunk. Ballsy. The second was a film director in Berlin. He was sweet and well-dressed; ever since, I’ve been […]
Damage flowed from my fingernails, which I’d painted a bright shade of indigo. I was obsessed with indigo back then, a time I can barely reconstruct now. I named my rescue cat El Salvador. That country is the world’s largest producer of indigo. I squandered time back then, down Internet holes. India is a name […]
On a Friday evening in June, stoked by the awesome weather, Chip, Lee, and I were doing tequila shots on the patio of Noah’s Ark Taxidermy.
I work in the city’s tallest building, so tall its penthouse is completely ensconced in clouds.
During a few years in which I went to bed half-heartedly wishing not to wake up and woke up whole-heartedly hoping to be the person I believed I would someday be, I worked for eight months at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Telecommunications Headquarters for the Southwest Chapter, Region 8, calling local business leaders and begging […]