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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 […]
From the time I was very young, I knew I’d be famous.
In the dream, I was attending a pizza buffet with my brother when I was invited to a Caribbean pig roast.
He laughed. He said, That sign’s just there for the guys who come in to read porn. He made quotes with his fingers when he said read.
We wonder if those fatal river rocks appeared to you as they appear to us—like molars from the mouths of giants. Your first name is Meredith, and your last name is something German-sounding that we quickly forgot. From the banks near Paradise Lodge, some of us spot the dull lampglow of your life jacket under […]
Lesley Gore has a good voice, my grandpa said. Shame about her face, though. Where did I get the idea that things were better back then? Probably from my Pappy. The joke about old people goes that they don’t know how to program the VCR and can’t ever learn but Pappy loved videos, video stores, […]
One of the twins has his mouth sewn shut.
In my sister’s taxonomy, our father is a squirrel. She’s eight, I’m five, and we both agree on this, although if we didn’t, she’d have the final word. Our father: Limpid squirrel eyes, a narrow squirrel face, prominent squirrel teeth. He scampers and leaps and takes small nibbles of everything, even apples. “Pure squirrel,” she […]
We are pleased to present three of our favorites of the the fifty-two sketches of “men encountered by a young woman in Manhattan” in Louise Wareham Leonard’s autobiographical novel 52 Men, out this month from Red Hen Press. 4 Richard is a student at the School of Visual Arts. I pass him one day, on my way from the […]
Closing down the Open Bar’s week with Clarice, we present a freshly translated piece of Flash Fiction about a “hairy nun” who leaves the convent in search of sex. She was tall, strong, hairy. Mother Clara had dark hair on her upper lip and deep-set, black eyes. She had entered the convent at her family’s […]
In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we decided to hand The Open Bar keys over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Today, we bring you the previously unpublished story (!!!!!) […]
In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we have decided to hand the keys to The Open Bar over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Kicking off Lispector week is a […]
Perimenopause, have you heard of it? I heard about it today on NPR. It explains why women go demented as they get older. They compared it to puberty, how you go into it one way and come out of it another. But instead of cue ball breasts and fecund loins this “transition,” as they call […]
The design process for A Hanging at Cinder Bottom was as smooth as its poker-playing protagonist, Abe Baach.
In Montana the gaping sky dazzles like a baby’s mobile above our outstretched fingers. But what’s interesting to me is how the plateaus got here, Randy says, before recounting numerous myths, beginning with UFOs that flattened out the mountains in the 60s, leaving dozens upon dozens of alien refugees that fled to Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, […]
There was a noticeable buzz (and a few hoots) in the office yesterday as we learned that Namwali Serpell had been chosen as the winner of the 2015 Cain Prize. Namwali contributed one of the more memorable stories in recent memory for our Science Fair issue. “Bottoms Up” tells the story of, well………just give the first few lines […]
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 […]
The condemned man wore no shoes.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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?