Month: April 2016

The Freest Man Alive

    Chapter from High in the Streets   My whole life I’ve thought myself defective or at least peculiar. As a boy, I could do what the others did—with some effort I managed algebra, chemistry experiments, and reading Conrad. In this way I was not strange. However, there was one thing I simply could not suffer—foreseeing a future for myself, an attainable goal, something to strive for—as all my friends and classmates did. They saw themselves becoming doctors, teachers, engineers, and judges, and planned accordingly. Take this set of courses, get this certification, intern for this many years, keep...

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Every Sentient Being – after Frannie Lindsay

  Every Sentient Being after Frannie Lindsay   The carcasses have been piling up All fall—atrophied chipmunk splayed under our kitchen island, Mouse belly left in its usual corner of the dining room like a miniature Human stomach, house-wren Dragged in dead and half feathered, a pile of delicate bones that fit in the cup Of your hand. A spine, each vertebrae aligned as in life, Sits in a puddle spewed by the dog at four a.m. onto the rug And not the towel that you, nearsighted and naked, placed under our retching Animal. Not eating meat, you say,...

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In the Realms of the Unreal

  Meditation 1: Her Desire to Be in Two Snuff Films This is her film. A man loves a woman so much that he agrees to give her unbearable pleasure. They go to a cave of a house. He ties her up. Then for a long time, days, he approaches touching her, but does not touch her. It’s slowly, slowly. He reaches. Energetically. His touch builds. Finally, he brushes her, softer than a blade of fresh grass. He passes over her during the night. It’s a week before he touches a stray hair near her genitals with one of...

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The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

  What if a war criminal appeared in your town and passed himself off as a poet and holistic healer? What if your town was a small isolated place and the man is handsome in a brooding mysterious way? It could happen that he would be secretly sought after by women with private troubles and conned into trusting him to the point of intimacy. So does the incredible Edna O’Brien imagine how this would play out. Fifty-six years after The Country Girls was published, this is not quite the same Edna O’Brien. She is still mining the plight of...

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Disconnect

  But my Pa is getting old, worked up and about to die. Everyday he lies on the raffia-woven lounge in the patio, beckoning on death to come. When the frightened voice of my sister; Ada, begs him to come into the main house he would say; “Death is coming for me, I don’t want to give it a hard time finding me when it comes.” As soon as Ada would hear this, she would run into the house, crying and hugging my Ma. Ma would laugh over it and tell her that the old man was just using...

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