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a crushed pepsi can floats down

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These days, even God has a day job.

inevitable

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War

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Once, an elephant contracted a sudden bolt of insanity in the streets of Ernakulam and trampled three children under her feet before she was shot to death. It took them seven bullets to bring her down.

Rwanda Suite: Slim

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Paris was a better place for African Americans in those days. Josephine Baker sent a spray of roses. James Baldwin helped him find a good apartment.

Hitler's Mustache

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“Where do you want your mustache?” Melanie asked. “You can have it on the side, you know, or, if you prefer, across your labia, in which case it will also look like a cross?”

Johnny Dangerously

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An old man, a widower; living alone, defenseless. It was a given.

Raw Salt

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It was Gatlinburg in mid July

Phenomenology as Snapshots

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The fluffed-up clouds, darkish in spots,/ are moving fast, opposite the wind/ where I stand and look. Equations// could describe the multiplicities

The Miracle of My Father's Hat

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During the liberation, a Jew in the Russian army, asked him who had been the cruelest. My father gave them the name of the farmer who had murdered his father, and was later told the farmer's son was sent to the front and killed.

Four Noble Lies

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When Carlotta left me, I cried / into my soup. I shriveled into / harsh mathematics.

Self Alaska

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Why was it so difficult to move / toward anything?

Sermon of Lilac

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The night was a lilac bowl of darkness

OVER EASY

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She slouched on one hip, scribbled on the order pad. “How do you like your eggs?” “I like them very much.”

April, 1956

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I felt/ no need to show what I had made/ to anybody else.

LOTUS

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Make cartography with your mouth...

The Shield

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A man and his wife are walking through a museum when the man sees a shield on the wall. Look at that! he says. Isn’t that remarkable? The two of them walk a little closer. What’s so remarkable about it? says his wife. Well, the workmanship! s

Time to Rest

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the mighty mountains sighed, and the wide seas heaved

Europe

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On the way over, on the ship, I met a girl from Cleveland.

The End of My Second Life

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We are moments away from the end, and it feels like it.

dozen haiku more

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tonight's sky is full:/each lunatic to his moon/sings separate songs.

7

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7 My son has toxic epidermal necrolysis and the nurses who come in from the burn unit, 7 of them, the number 7 don’t you see the number 7 has meaning for numbers have meaning for everything has meaning and I sat in that sacred space in the ICU whe

Reincarnation for T. Waits

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Your fuckin' shoe.

Rats

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She liked this young woman. They’d met two weeks earlier, when the young woman had been walking her pet chicken on a pink ribbon leash.

The Cabin

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That evening I sat and watched the sunset. The color of the water changed from blue to black. The sky turned from pink to star-spangled ebony. There was no moon.

sex at antioch

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the definition of beauty is easy

Big

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I found the knife in a fishing box in the closet. The box was made out of varnished wood. My father’s father had made it.

French Fries

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Tuesdays she worked afternoons at the bookstore, and he’d secretly go, buy a large order, sit in a corner with a newspaper. Fries covered in vinegar, veins of ketchup.

SOMETIMES

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Sue Ellen walked on. “You were thinking about me -- I saw you.”

X

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I was always too political, you said, with my Malcolm X posters and my DC rallies...

The Sleep of Trees (Three Parables), part 3

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in a puddle of water, the butterfly rests on a stone