Performance Anxiety

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When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go… but sometimes you just can’t.More

To the Cherokee Strip

To the Cherokee Strip

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“It seems wrong because it is wrong,” Thomas said. “And we’re doing it anyways. Won’t be the first time for either one of us. Let’s cut across right-handed and set up in those low hills. Rain’s coming.”More

Frank, Start, Middle and End

Frank, Start, Middle and End

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I’ll be listening now to Rachmaninoff, thinking about Marc in every note. “Hear that, Frankie?” I murmur. Frank could whirr back in a murmur. I’ll rest against his pretend skin, accepting tenderness when he offers it. But sometimes, hugs are what I miss, and I lash out.More

Master Plan

Master Plan

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I will sit in my company’s unfinished office space with a woman I hardly know and tell her everything about me, from the most deeply personal details to the most inconsequential. During our interaction I will drink high-quality gin to facilitate the telling.More

Wednesday Evenings and Every Other Weekend

Wednesday Evenings and Every Other Weekend

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Gary realized that his son hadn’t spoken a word while they’d been together. His shoulders slumped. The curtains were drawn at the front window, so he couldn’t see the interior, but he imagined the smell of the sandalwood candles his ex-wife liked to burn most nights, a fragrance Gary had grown to associate with home and family. His cell phone pinged and he saw his girlfriend’s name flash across the screen. He didn’t pick up.More

Smile

Smile

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Why don’t they sell crack at Publix?More

The Wound-Dresser

The Wound-Dresser

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I saw Walt Whitman walk the smoking ground, nursing the injured and kissing the lips of the soon-to-be-departed. More

Truer Than Anything True

Truer Than Anything True

Essay by

With images of sexism, oppression and white male privilege swirling through my head, the Women’s March and rally brought up a ton of issues, one of which was my writing.More

The River Comes and Comes

The River Comes and Comes

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“You remember what I promised?”

“I do.”

“What I promise?” he asked.

“You said, ‘Baby, I love you and I will love you until this river runs out. Until Tennessee and Arkansas kiss across the mud.’ Don’t you remember what I said, Papa?”

“You said: Baby, I’ll be with you until the birds fall out the sky.”More

The War of Naked Aggression

The War of Naked Aggression

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“When Sherman took Savannah,” she whispered to his ear. “He left it unburnt.” Her head rested below his left shoulder, away from the room of eyes. “That’s how I’d like to leave you.” More

The Zoo Lion Is Like a Hurricane

The Zoo Lion Is Like a Hurricane

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The lion gets out of the zoo and everyone is afraid.More

Parental Peace Talks

Parental Peace Talks

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If our son shows an interest in anything—typing, math, science, literature, the law, the pop-culture and psycho-social implications of preserving the Nixon-as-a-symbol-of-what-exactly? in American life—we’re gonna encourage the hell out of it. At least that’s what we’ve said we’ll do.More

The Stillness of Remembering

The Stillness of Remembering

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After two more drinks they went back to the room. Matt stripped down to his red Hanes boxer-briefs, Warren in a pair of shorts. Matt lay in the center of the bed and Warren lay on his side on the edge of the bed. Warren heard Matt crying; it was the familiar sound of muffled air slowly eking out of a tightened throat. Warren turned, rolled over so he was up against Matt’s body. He threw out his left arm and wrapped it around Matt’s chest, pulled him close.More

Bounce Pass

Bounce Pass

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He laughed. “Did you know there’s a better chance of becoming a pro-baller than there is of becoming an astronaut?”

I let out a huff of air. “You glad you went pro instead?”

He didn’t answer, so I turned to him. He stared at the water, shaking his head, some play he didn’t make bouncing across his mind.More

Truth is Violence, Violence Truth

Truth is Violence, Violence Truth

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Violence is all about the truth. You have to hand it to violence — everyone knows where they are with it.More

Snotknockers

Snotknockers

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He lowered his head to spear the bully in the chest, maybe knock him out of the game without the help of the refs. He imagined himself a rocket, charging through the cosmos. The moment his head made contact with Peewee, he realized why bullies always got what they wanted.More

“The car had been through a reconstructed transmission, a busted carburetor, and was an absolute lush for Valvoline.” – Jordan Farmer, “Brothers”