Sustenance, Sex, & Safety

It’s the morning, and I wake up with a terrible ache in my stomach, my wife gone, and darkness all around me. I don’t know the time, but surely she’s gotten up earlier to make coffee in the kitchen. I have to get there.   My eyes don’t work, however. […]

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The Guy in the Self-help Section

There once was a handsome man, with a big jaw and strong hands, a great job and many good years ahead of him. But, despite these blessings, there was one thing about him not so great, something odd and embarrassing. The minute he opened his mouth, he became aware of […]

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snow impatient

Snow Impatient

There’s nothing I hate more than wasting time, except talking about it. Yet I knew there was a pointless fight to be had as soon as I got home from the office. So I took the highway, hoping to speed down the left lane, get to my wife quicker than […]

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fairy tale

George and Hannah

There once was a secretary and a school teacher who loved each other very much, but they seemed to always argue over the children. They were hers, he said. She should do more to take care of them. Yeah, but I’m more busy than you, and you live in my […]

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Birthdays of Levinov

Birthdays of Levinov

2018. Julia sat at a table alone with a birthday cake. Stuck to the creamy icing were six wax candles and a red letter A. She had spent the morning mixing chocolate and eggs for her son, to see him enjoy the three or four slices he was capable of […]

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the man who no one loved

The Man Who No One Loved

I.   Leroy was an exceptional man. Except, for one reason or another, no one wanted to date him. It led to much confusion, then suffering. Why?   In answering this question, he began to consider his mother. The cause of his loneliness might be in her. Only, she was […]

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reflex reflux

R E F L E X + R E F L U X

With my inner wrist, I wiped the last dregs of vomit from my lips. The sickness was finally gone. Inside that toilet bowl was Bali, my dysentery, was Singapore, our sorrow, yesterday’s night out. I flushed, and washed my mouth, felt healthy. Sam was swinging his head to a song […]

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first date

Excerpt from thesis: “First Date”

It is as hot as last Sunday. The air smells like sand and seafoam. There she is.   The same waitress works today. She wears an apron, but who cares. Ilya is distracted. He can’t look straight at the woman he is meant to join. He sees her table has […]

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language

Mumbles

Sore-throated and restless, our hero today discovers the root.   He moved to a new city last week, and has been learning the language. Technically, it’s an old city, old language, since his family is from here originally. For this, something tells him he has returned to the city, although […]

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short story

“Forever, for ever, or never”

The restroom was occupied.   So Margot danced to the center, where Gaspar and Linda were wrapped in a single embrace. When the couple noticed who was approaching, they made room.   “Happy birthday,” shouted Gaspar.   “You throw cool parties,” followed Linda.   Margot thanked the new couple, handing […]

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human sacrifice

Blanco Brown: a story of sacrifice in Aztlán

for Gloria Anzaldúa   Open your eyes. Over you stands an eagle-looking priest with an obsidian knife in his hand, ready to cut open your chest from throat to stomach. It’s for a god you do not believe in, but because your hands are tied, you better believe.   Dizzy, […]

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poetic speech

Food, enstranged

Have you ever wondered what makes a great piece of literature? Theorist Viktor Shlovsky believed that what a good story was was this, one that sticks around, plays with us, remains. However, to achieve that “long-lasting effect” in a work of art takes a specific set of devices. Like poetic […]

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Airport Birds

It came to my attention that I should focus on deepening my characters. As it goes, things should actually happen in a story. Funny, because I have known for a while that my personages spend a lot of time thinking. What’s wrong with thinking. That some people don’t want to […]

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interview

Success, a NYC interview story

Pasó así, Papá, y aunque pese, como lo viví te lo narro, en inglés:   Completely cut off from chance, no hope, only needs and responsibilities. I got home at 1 PM from working a four-hour at the language school. I would talk about that shift later in the day, […]

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Groznyy / Грозный (Ivan Murders Ivan)

The 1885 painting “Ivan the Terrible Killing His Son,” by Ilya Repin, was damaged when a man attacked it with a pole at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.  — NEW YORK TIMES   The news, the news…   This week I have been editing a collection of short stories, with […]

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Asesino (Assassin)

(Art by George Fredric Watts, Hope, 1886)   Click here for PDF of Asesino. Asesino is a story inspired by the dream a friend, Diego Sebastian Figueredo, told at a milonga about a year ago.   It begins with an epigraph borrowed from Thomas De Quincey’s On Murder as Considered […]

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Wajdan — “The Story of a Gypsy Dancer”

(Art work found on Sufi Friends, and Negarkhaneh.)   Click here for a PDF of “Wajdan”   At Slice’s Literary conference last September, I attend a panel titled (something like) “How to Write When Finding Time is Impossible.” Middle of the afternoon, after having taught a class earlier that morning, […]

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A Sylph Sketch’d

(Link to story removed: story under consideration for print.)   Ricardo Soca, the philologist behind Palabra del Día and “La Fascinante Historia de las Palabras,” traces the etymology of “Sylph” back to the pre-Roman Gauls, forest dwellers of the north. The sylphs in their tales were the wild wind sprites […]

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