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Lay on Me

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On Friday nights I'm not there.


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"It's what being out of work does to you, " she said, with that innocent sense of the everyday tragic, that kind murmur.

From the Kitchen of my Childhood

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An ice block heart rushed home to the beat of its melt.

It's a Boy!

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Sex when you’re pregnant Is like sex when you aren’t Pregnant, but with extra people.


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"Oh, damn,” I say. “A kitty.”


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He’d kept the parking space open. She used it most often, whenever she and her husband, an old drinking buddy, came to visit.

too horny for poetry

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sometimes the urge to write is like the urge to fuck


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She pulled into the doorway. Uncertain where to spend the night. Certain there'd once been a place with food. Here. This place. She remembered. Curtains. Small tables. Coffee cups thick-handled and sturdy. Crockery. Some words came back.

Leader of Men

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"Look," he said. "Look at the knife. See how I hold it?"

Margaret & Beak Discuss Jazz for The Last Time

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He lit a slim, brown cigarette and drew on it. "But have you heard the flugelhorn? I mean, have you heard a particularly adept flugelhorn?"

I'm Feeling the Monkey Around your Neck Isn't Quite Listening

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The sky's hand's so big andso vast that it takes ourhuge sun at the end of day and squeezes it downto a perfect diamond--just like Supermanwith a lump of coal-- poof!--obliterates it. Gone.Next day it's seen floating'round everywhere againlike an…

When the Translator Disappears, the Translation Withers and Dies

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She pined for the return of the trans­la­tor who / became mes­sianic in her eyes.

Roadside Attraction

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There is a certain stage of sobriety among men who drink every night. In that stage, they are their best selves: they write novels, fix cars, care for their young. Then they change.

My Name is Smegma Jones, and I'm a Pussy: A Memoir

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The Daughters

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

The Truth Will Out

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sorry I didn't inform you (missing cap) about my trip to Spain, (comma splice)

Bone Dust Disco

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He stands at the 53 bus stop, boy shadow dust-cloaked and fading, jangling her keys in his pocket, echoes of a journey cut short.

Lettie in the Ozarks

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Lettie picks wild grapes from the vines that twist between thorny bushes. If she's really hungry she eats dirt and all the things that live in it.

Dr. Doom

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I passed out one night while I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth.


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Arise, ye masses, arise!

After this last death,

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After this last death, I lose at musical chairs. Rough strangers shove me toward the carved door. Feeling fierce, I yell, “Don't push me!” House racked with noise, smells, rushing, I turn the…


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Sylvia used his computer to write two-page stories about women who killed themselves with blue pills because the shirts came back from the laundry unpressed and their husbands stayed out late with secretaries. Every story ended with the image it began.


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We descended directly from Charlemagne

Waiting for Big Bird

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Jonathan jumps up from his seat, knocking over his mug of coffee, when Mona tells him she thinks she is in labor.

Godot is a Heartbreaking Figment

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Godot is on the way.


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"My mother loses patience when I get sad," I said. "She tells me about the dog."

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.

Night at the Reservoir on Airline Drive

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Del and I watched my brother toe his way to the edge of the cottonwood branch that arched over the reservoir.

Dancers: Summer '69

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The locals cut stone in quarries, built elevators at the Cummins plant in Columbus, or brewed shine back in the hills between Bean Blossom and Gnaw Bone.


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Come home, my love, and live.