Issue Twelve

Tornado Dreams

I’ve never been in a tornado. But the landscapes of my childhood dreams were ravaged by them. Brought on by the trauma in my waking hours, my tornado dreams were prolific, and proved to be, prophetic. The first, an EF-1, to spin its massive cone into my dreams, did so...

The Truth or Something Like It

I met Joe Nuxhall a few weeks after my fifteenth birthday. His hands were gnarled, and he spoke as though his mouth was half full of marbles, but he was sharp and funny as hell. I was only a few months younger than he was when he made his Major League debut....

Last Time

Yesterday, before the cocktail hour, I went shopping for loopholes. Bridget said it’s been her life-long dream to own one. Downtown, I felt like an animal lost in an animal city. So many attorneys. Fortunately, I was my other self, so I was able to take full advantage...

Round and Round We Go

Round One In the beginning, I knew my mom wouldn’t last forever because she longed to be reunited with her mother.  If there were a fair equilibrium, a true exchange, her mother would have wanted her to stay with me, not her.  She was dead.  I was...

Punch Line

Joke Me thinks it’s funny. Says the famous writer isn’t being literal. Serious Me knows better. We’ve been standing in line for two hours. The famous writer will sign our books and punch us squarely in the jaw. Then we can take our famous wounds to the ER. The nurses...

Good & Plenty

Dear Ms. Bettina Smit: Your phone doesn’t seem to be working, so that’s why I’m emailing. I’d like you to know that Makoto Kita is quite the gentleman, and I enjoy having him in my home while he attends his program. He sure has quite the appetite for American food!...

Jingle Hell

Deck the halls, indeed. It looked like a secular Christian rendering of Lil John and the East Side Boyz’s seminal masterpiece, “Get Low.” The high concrete walls of the first-floor garage tumbled and plumed with crushed crimson velour, designed in a petroleum-grade...

Liar

Nick and Crystal once talked about everything: their fantasies, their future plans and dreams. Longing and indebtedness and contentment and obligation. Now it is a lazy Sunday morning, both of them wearing boxer shorts and tees. She sits in the lotus position on the...

Today, with me, in Paradise

He smelled of hemp and strangled throats, but then again, no one ever imagines him that way. The First Century was a splendid time to be alive. A splendid time, indeed. The Pax Romana, the Roman Age of Peace, held sway over all the living and all the dead.. The Roman...

Rope Trick

To prove our love, we strung the tightrope across the backyard. We climbed on at opposite ends. The boughs of the two elms sagged with our weight. We steadied ourselves against the trunks; we each goaded the other to go first. Neither of us would let go of the...

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