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The Six-Second Rule

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The Six-Second Rule They come to the new world, but bring the old world with them – the six-second rule. When their bagel drops face down on the café floor, apparently it’s the old world six-second rule that applies, instead of our own

Cats Do It Doggie Style

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Xao Ping reflexively dug her claws into the plush chenille of the sofa and let out a low yowl. She knew the old lady would be mad if she tore the fabric, but she couldn’t help it.

3 Haikus for Dutch Kickboxer Gilbert Yvel

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silent black badass unstoppable foot of God now the sweetest sleep

Swimming with Whales

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The plan was this: We would take our first vacation. My husband and I would take our 2 ½-year-old son Ethan and 13-month-old son Jonas to Mystic, Connecticut, a 90 minute drive from our home outside of Boston. We would stay at the Hilton, which was right near the Aquarium,…

Torn

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My parents were married for forty five years. “A lifetime,” is how the rabbi at my mother's funeral describes it. The man says it with such a tone of familiarity, of genuine sadness, that one might think he has known and adored my parents all their lives. But…

Haircut

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She is cutting his hair. The wind is in her curls. She rises and falls like a sleeping animal. He has removed his shirt. There is a towel around his neck, the smell of spice and banana, the scent of vacations. You are reminded of the time in the beach house in Florida…

Bones of the Amazon, Part I of a Novella

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Lulu Petite was sitting in a lounge chair by the side of the pool when she heard the man splash into the water, almost unnoticed by the guests milling around the backyard of the palatial estate. Everybody, seemingly, was involved in a balancing act of one

Children

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This was a dream in which I didn’t know fear.

Odds Are

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We're on a bench in the park under some trees close to the carousel when she tells me I can't count on having a career as a professional gambler.

The Nondescript

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Her arm rests at her feet on the platform. She wears the remains of tiny leather boots. She is naked except for her boots. For a hundred years she wore a Russian dancer’s dress.

Journey to Malta, from the novel "Grok"

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The journey to Malta would take almost four days. Both men, with knapsacks and sleeping bags on their backs, stepped eagerly onto the train in Zürich. A whistle blew and they were off. In his knapsack, Grok had brought pictures of his family

Marjan’s Tooth

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When my feet touched the ground on the tarmac at Bagram I cannot begin to describe the feeling I had. It was as if God had spoken to me directly, whispering in the cold mountain air: “Son of Marjan, I welcome you.” The feeling took hold and overcame m

Pieces of Lou, pt. 2

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Serbs and Croats? Hutus and Tutsis? The east coast/west coast thing in hip hop? Lou Lou and more Lou.

What Hands Can Do

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I can't remember the last dog I spayed. It's possible that one of the techs gave her a dose of preansethetic in her cage before I came in, so that when I met her, she was already a little…

Remember?

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We'd been talking about the baby, about what we would do, when the women began fighting after the wedding held in the church next to our apartment. Their fierce and piercing arguments crawled up the walls to the second story window we sat next to. We'd looked outside…

Free Time

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The desk calendar was brilliant, unused. The problems with it didn't begin until March.

Artist Statement

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which consisted of me being shoved down a flight of stairs. Thanks to a PELL grant in 1996, I was triumphantly run-over by a family Winnebago in the critically acclaimed, Run-Over. This lead to a series of “happenings” I conducted in alternative space

Pieces of Lou, part 1

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Camper Stacks arrived at the offices of BURN magazine on January 14, 1989 in a state of unaccustomed joy: Lou Reed was going down.

Christmas Morning

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Dad woke us up and said it was time to go.

Preliminary

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After court, the three of us skipped third period, walked down to the river and huddled under the 6th Street Bridge.

When Alone

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She'd sit out on the back deck and dig into the skin around her toenails with a paring knife until it bled. He'd listen to a single aria of Opera's Greatest Hits, number 10, until the cusp of some feeling, either despair or rage, would build and fade. Then he'd start…

Excerpt from House in the Attic

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We stopped at the Western Summit of the Mohawk Trail. Below Richland lay in the valley. I could see all the way to New York State and well into Vermont. From memory, I picked out the Hoosac River running south under the railroad

Major Chaos

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Major Chaos came here one of those hot days. I was washing the floor, wearing old clothes, when he knocked on my door. Since I don’t have many visits, I let him in. At first, he seemed like a soldier, but upon reflection I realized he was a big green fr

The Tree That Took Brooke’s Faith Away

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The thing was, though, she couldn’t shake the image of that dead dog she had found inside the black trash bag she thought could be first base, right before the twins said, Screw the game, let’s swing.

I Will Never Be Happy

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The woman’s face bulges on one side to signify that she is eating.

The Poor Little

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Wow. I’m just going to say it/ That’s one ugly little girl you’ve/ Made for yourself. But now someone/ Will miss you when you’re dead.

Andrew

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Andrew didn’t need oil and neither did his mother. In fact, the only reason oil was on his mother’s mind was because it was the last thing on her mind. He did not get up to get it, and she did not protest.

I Was Strolling Through The Water One Day

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The Killer Whale came back and promised to be nice.

minimal one

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Maybe he should have a schnauzer in the room. He could toss a ball and the dog would bring it to him. Again and again the dog would return the ball.

Broken

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We sat under the broken umbrella, its flowered fabric hanging limp on one side. The rain fell softly at the edges of our backs. I kissed his hand, the one without fingers (not a casualty of his job, only of birth). My lips pressed what I couldn't say into his…