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The Birds

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My wife goes away for a few days to the little town where Hitchcock filmed The Birds. Her sister goes along. When she comes back, I ask her if she had a good time, and she says no.

Erase Her

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I wake up in the morning and write her name on the white paper napkin I always place in front of me at the kitchen table as I have my first cup of coffee. I write it throughout the day. Twelve or fifteen times. I've done this for exactly twenty-three days. I always…


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You have arrived at the river, numb with the murmur of the city and the sleeplessness of anger, boredom, and too many people loving too many people too much. The heat in this night, not the moon as in ancient poems, is blazing; the moon is pink like the…


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Urine is essence.

Winnie the Pooh and the Very Medicated Day

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One day, when Rabbit was taking his medications, Tigger bounced his carrots to smithereens and Rabbit had an idea. A wonderful, terrible idea.


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It's so nice to be under something else's power

A Course In Positive Thinking

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The debits and credits of life have been recalculated. You are not due tax; you are owed a trapeze. It turns out you have a natural gift for hanging upside down, knees to the clouds.

Wild Strawberries of Mars

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might leave NYC or Earth

To My First Crush

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But I came back around, after Robert Kennedy got shot, with one hand up your skirt and the other on the gear shift...

Sounds of Silence

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Mirko returns! All the words have been said.

Dead Dog Rising

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The dog is there, on sorry legs, with sorry claws. He looks toward the man, the bat, and says, You know me, Man. I know you know me.

Midnight Riders

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One dinner party, two couples, three bottles of wine. A moonbeam shone on the balcony. They felt a slight shifting under their chairs and heard a quiet scraping sound, then the apartment slid out from the building and lifted away.


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No one explained triumph would feel like this.

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…

The Cake for God

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is all but invisible. Some say this is because it is within a bakery within a bakery within a bakery and thus appears to be everywhere at once.The cake for God has never been eaten except by children who seem to later forget what it tasted like. Some …

insomnia made bearable

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the cheek of you! to dream/ upon my sheets in schoolboy peace/ when here i lie,/ each second spent/ a tranquilized tiger cursed with awareness/ for all the flesh so near its maw.

The Naked Man of Barcelona

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It is no easy thing getting noticed on Las Ramblas.


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a chosen cantaloupe a child let loose . . .


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This morning, she woke to the banshee: “Individuals must get up early and put in a full day’s work in this economy!”

On Being From the Dirty South, While not Considering Myself a Redneck

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How to not be a redneck? Basically, it is a matter of volume, ancestor worship, respect for the truth and a command of the English language.


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I used to score girls by taking them on a ride past Frauenstein, up on a hill where you could see the trees, the whole lot of them sparkling white and pink in the breeze.

Poem for the Poet

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for Bill YarrowPoetry is a way of breathingagainst the enemy's chest withoutlosing consciousness again. Itis a ghost dance. Poetry is tobe determined by the plight of bees.Poetry is a waterfall ona mailing list. I've never tasteda finer whiskey than poetry.Poetry is half…


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That spring the war still moved north but we did not go to it any longer.

1946, What I wanted..

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I wanted to sit in class in Iowa next to Flannery as she recited that first story that stopped the world with an accent so dense with dogwood we had to strain to collect every word.

Happiness in Love

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The happiness was a tablecloth for a picnic. The happiness was the carpet in the hallway. The happiness was the wall behind the painting. The happiness was the sky behind the cloud. The happiness was the seating in the Saab.


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Keisha was the name she gave us. She said she had no father and no last name. We wrote her down as Keisha B. We already had a Keisha A. She was about twelve though she told us fourteen. Her eyes were older than we dared think. We knew her mother had been murdered and that's…

How to Make a Baby

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Eat slowly. Wait. Do not bring reading material. Do not bring headphones. Avoid distractions.


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You climb on a stool, drink off the first glass without coming up for air. Man, that tastes good!


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He was not supposed to leave handcuffs or a butt plug laying around.

Milk For Free

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The last time she wore fur-lined gloves...