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At the Bar

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On the Nightly News a pedophile in an orange jumpsuit does a sashay of shame in front of a wolf pack of cameras and satellite feeds that surround the downtown courthouse. At the bar, a woman with big blonde hair and a rhinestone manicure says off with his head. A…

Baby Hater

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You leave your husband and go to the nursery at 2 a.m., painted so cute, go to them, and that’s the only place you want to be, and there’s no chance to leave, or trust they will be okay if you turn your back on them. They won’t. SIDS. Meningitis. A

Sleep and Poetry

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It’s that, really, nothing else could be Sleep and Poetry, Mr. Keats

In the Air a Shining Heart

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In the air a shining heart, wet lungs releasing and releasing, your sweet milk head, your pulsating skin. Only an inch separates us. A shimmer of hot air trembles like boiling water above the highway. There are seeds floating in the sky. These things will become other…

A Well Dressed Woman of Recent Times

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One Overcoat, grey striped; One Suit, fur trimmed, red velvet; One Evening gown and jacket, cretonne; One Negligee brocade; One Costume evening gown; Seven Straw hats; Four Shirts for riding habits; Four Collars for riding habits; One Negligee, green crep

Laundry

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In the morning, Alan woke with only a half hour before he had to be at work. He pulled his clothes out of the dryer and folded them on the top of the washing machine. On the side of table he noticed, in among people’s old, stray socks, a button like one

The Body of a Cow

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It’s Halloween in veterinary school. The large-animal vet who is lecturing today on introductory nomenclature in bovine medicine is dressed in full Holstein uniform. His entire body is cloaked in white cloth, with black patches sewed on and a three-dim

BLACKHORSE

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All the neighborhood kids waited for the school bus on a small cement slab at the bottom of the first big hill on Blackhorse Road. My mother made me scrambled egg sandwiches on wheat toast every morning for breakfast before I left for school. Then one mor

To The Woman Who Sat With Her Back To The Door

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Such a curious smell in the air tonight: part skunk, part fire, part rubber of your tire, pulled liquid hot across that road.

Suicide Rough Drafts

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The morbidity of red ink is almost entirely lost on the playfulness of Snoopy stationary. But I boldly pressed on with my darkest thoughts to strengthen the effort of my offbeat creative exercise.

Captions

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This is my house. You park in the back. * This is a picture of flowers and hands.

Nothing

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Nobody goes over there cause that’s where the body was found. A little one. Half in and half out the water, waded up like paper.

DICKEY DEW

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One of my father’s friends never had a name so everyone called him Dickey Dew because he said that’s what everyone called him after he got his balls shot off in Vietnam. I used to sit on his lap while they played five card draw and he would pretend no

Someone Emailed Me Last Night and Asked if I Would Write About Nachos.

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I fell into a crevasse once. I jumped off a bridge once, right before a train was to hit me. Jumped off roofs several times. I have a thing for jumping. The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to nachos.

Oops

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Ok so oops. I messed that up. I made it sexual when it was sweet. Oops. I swear it was the beer. Ok I lie. I always lie.

Let x

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Let x equal the moment just after he tells her he's starting a club for people who know something about computers.It is summer, 1984, and this is their grade school playground. She is idling on a swing over a patch of scuffed earth. He stands just off to the side, one…

MY Last Lecture: Achieving MY Childhood Dreams

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The following is an excerpt of my commencement speech at The Hamlin Refrigeration Vocational Institute. Although I am NOT terminally ill, in all honesty, I haven’t been feeling all that great since, I would say, around April…

The Bottle

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That bottle just sits there in the closet, next to the hats and a box full of old gloves. Years it’s been there. Try as we might, we never open it. We just don’t have a damn thing to celebrate. Who was it brought that bottle into our lives and went and ruined …

Bland, weak, spoiled, slaughtered

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Their wedding gift to us was a night out with them and tonight was the night. But, you see, Rali and Kate had so much more to offer us than we could ever think to register for. They were giving us an exclusive guide on how to live as an up and coming coup

The Hollow

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They live on the edge of town. There is a cornfield behind their house. When the wind blows, it is like the hands of many children clapping.

Serial Killer

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Once Mom finally came to terms with the fact that my brother was gay, she became convinced he was a serial killer. “He has all the signs,” she told me as she trimmed my hair. “Signs?” I asked, watching her in the…

He Wasn't You

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This is you, this is me. Her voice gravelly with sleep, the woman traces the outline of her body and her husband’s as if at a crime scene, her hands the yellow chalk of police. She wets one tapered finger and massages his eyelids gently

Ambulance

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Once you start telling the truth it's hard to quit. You look around and reasons are everywhere. It's like a new appliance, truth-telling, a can opener that's so good you barely have to turn it.On the phone my sister asks me why I don't come out and see her in San…

Car

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My father brought home a turquoise Porsche with red leather upholstery. My sister and I were small, eight and six, and fit tightly in the jumpseats behind my parents.We went for a ride, tooled around Rome, circled the Colosseum, showing off for the people looking. My father…

Straight Out of the Can

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My other brother, Mike, has been camping out with the Carter boys down the street. For breakfast, he had beans, straight out of a can, and they were the best thing he ever ate. “These are the best,” he told them. “The best beans?” Joe, t

Touching Candy Taylor

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But you know what? You give yourself a fall back plan, you fall back. Not me. I am shooting for the stars and rising high. Next week, I start filming my first feature film. I get to play Tommy Lee Jones’ sexy little stepdaughter. Me and Tommy are g

Sadie Hawkins Day

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It’s Leap Year and my school is observing Sadie Hawkins Day, which means the sixth-graders have a dance where the girls ask the boys to dance and the rest of us get to dress up like hillbillies.

I Had Time to Kill

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I had time to kill. I got on the merry-go-round, letting it go slow, thinking of starting blocks, how I might push off them.

The Daughters

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Their mother never teaches them to wipe front to back or to brush their teeth before bed.

The Taco Stand

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This happened to me on Friday, May 3, 2002 in North Austin on the corner of North Lamar and Mulberry Street.