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The Counter Where Names Go To Die

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One day a woman, one of several translators at Ellis Island, asks him why he has changed a passenger’s name from Checzowicz to something else. “The name was too long,” he says. “Ten letters.” She replies, “But you didn’t change O’Shaughnessy, and it has


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If you work in a library, you work with book carts, so naturally you give them nicknames. You could call your faithful book cart Bumpy, Squeaky, Rusty or Tipsy. But surely you can do better than that! Here's…

I'd Be Happy To Date You When Hell Freezes Over -- One Single Librarian's Collection Of Online Dating Profile Turnoffs

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Dude -- I DON'T want to date your boat!

How Poets Die

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Mark Strandover decadesa steady diet of dictionenlarged his heartone day it just burstRobert Frosta crazy ideathat he couldbuild a wallwithout mortar tookpossession of his mindhe piled stoneon stone higherand higher untilthey toppled overcrushing him beneath Wilfred…

How To Love Like a Raven Loves

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I Would Make the Worst Cable News Anchorwoman Ever

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I'd laugh, cry, splutter with confusion or outrage. I'd probably say “Duh” a lot, grow pale, flush, and wink at the viewers. I'd furrow my eyebrows, raise one or both, and my eyes would narrow, widen,…


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Over the years, his face began to alter

Damn Sure Right

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The man had come up behind me and locked my arms backwards. I could feel his cock or gun against my low back. He told me if I moved he'd hurt me and he said did I know what that meant? I did know, however I was watching from…

Over Fifty

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Yet it was another thing to grow to become indispensable to someone without whose infirmities the helper could not exist. People in general had started to call that helpless requiring “codependency,” but to Althea that word did no good,

Two works by Jill Chan, first published in Blue Fifth Review

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a bridge of words capable of unsaying the past like shelfless memory

The Winner

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i never much liked Elvis never did then never do now he was no Kris Kristofferson

The Summer Reading Program -- A Librarian Tells All!

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It's July, which, if you work in a public library, means that the Summer Reading Club is in full swing. The SRC used to be just for kids, to motivate them to read when school wasn't in session. But in recent years many libraries have expanded the program to include…

A Brief Conversation With A Man Who Fell Off a Cliff

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I asked him where he hurt and he said everywhere.

What We Know but Can’t Describe

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We know them just enough/ to recognize them when we find them.

Transcription of Audio: Meeting with Miss Jewel Eppinette

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No one has touched me for a long, long time and I believe that is why I am dying. This is a notion that is new to me but it has persisted over the last few weeks and I believe I finally have apprehended the truth. There was a time, I remember all too well, when I might…

Old men, old dogs

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old men with crispy sunburnt ears

Missed Connections

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We were on the L train.You were reading Fifty Shades of Gray;I was reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. You never looked up until just as I moved off, always looking back your way and hopingyou would lift your head. And then you did, at the last moment,but…


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You anchor the real You make love to the true I am bound to you in consecration

Late at Night

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My eyes hold my mother. It's not easy being human she tells me. She always told me. Sure, but the stories are lovely. We all know that. We generate the tales, tell the tales, kiss our children. Live on in their eyes, though, don't…


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In a time of drought,/ the sound of rain is sweet/ and joyful music.

Auden at Swarthmore

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So I went to see the wrinkled and rumpled poet, who insisted on reading from memory, stumbling through his sheaf of poems.

Cardboard Suitcase

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There are no atheists or agnostics in our family.

Trio Anomie

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We deny one another, here,/ as long as it’s plausible.


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We can apprehend beauty only/ by framing it with the photographic/ paper’s edge or the novel’s margins/ and bookends.

The Stop

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You were busy, moving, alert inconstant motion; packingbooks, clothes, paintings;deciding yes to this, no to that. I was simply tryingto settle somewhere in the space.We'd known it for years when things were in place. Now, this abrupt interruption of…

All About the Tumor

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Stupidity is not a mask; it is the face / and it is the face that betrays us / always.

Star Heart

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This is the place where I could breathe. I didn'tSay I understood. I only wanted to hold someone andMean to. I don't care about the rules for caring.The place where I could speak was incredibly far from Where I'd met you. The place where I could speakHad its…

Bring Down the Babies

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a bazaar of voices / opening doors.

the ethics of graffiti

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The Tongues of Spring

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Another new spring and the leaves