The Happy DMV

When Sarah Jones opened her eyes, the very first thing she noticed about the local Department of Motor Vehicles was the pervasive, defiant perfection. The immaculate office immediately struck her, the climate controlled setting blotting out the stifling memories of the trek from the asphalt parking lot. Her headache receded as she admired the emptiness […]

Asher’s Land

I just got back with a shitload of red lights. You know, Christmas lights, my wife calls them twinkie lights. At the junk store they were 20 cents a box, dirt cheap, so I bought 170 boxes. 100 lights to a box, that’s a shitload of lights. I come in the house with as many […]

The Mice

For the Greeks, who had no word for irreversible death, one did not die, one darkened. —Mark Strand Where the Japanese iris right now stand ready to accept the inevitable purple blossom she found four dead mice in their nest of dirt and dusty fur all with their small ears pointed like pilgrims toward the […]

Cherry on a Spoon

What she didn’t understand, Miriam thought, what she really didn’t understand was this stupid cherry on a spoon. The huge sculpture sat there in its lake, its bright red cherry poised happily on the grey spoon-bowl’s ridge, a symbol of Minneapolis. What about it excited people? What, exactly, was the point? She sat on the […]

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The Neglected Breast

He couldn’t help glancing at her legs. It wasn’t just that they were long and slender and perfectly tapered, or that she had swung one over the other and now tapped the air with a sling-back stiletto, or that they were smooth and tanned and flawless, but that they were bare. Like so many young […]

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Campfire

One muggy Minnesota morning during the summer straddling the scrawny divide between my fanciful childhood and jaded adolescence, my best friend Robby and I found religion. It’d been hiding, not surprisingly, inside the whitewashed pine chapel of Lake Bronson Galilee Lutheran Bible Camp. Robby and I first met, with a magnetic force, five years earlier […]

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Monster

Benjamin Blake is a freak. He is part of the new freshman class of Adelphus & Smyth Financial. He is also absolutely out of his mind. He likes to walk around his apartment with his dress socks over his hands, making his fists talk to each other. The left is always his supervisor TJ Anderson […]

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Bitter

After the radiation treatments, my mother wanted only green bananas. Bananas that weren’t even fruit yet, not a drop of sweetness throughout. “These I can taste,” she said. “My tongue has all but died.” She hadn’t died. Yet. Although she was past bargaining with God, she still wanted to barter with me. She would try […]

1984 Dodge Ram Roadtrek II – $4500

I bought this Roadtrek II, “the motorhome that drives like a van,” from a private seller (I want to say his name was Dan) three years ago. As transportation and sometime residence, the Roadtrek II has performed yeomanly. It is only because my mental health seems to be calling with some urgency for full-time non-vehicular […]

National Guardsmen Roamed the Subway

Things changed. National Guardsmen roamed the subway terminals now in their fatigues and black berets, brand-new assault rifles cradled in their arms. The homeless were suddenly visible again. Irony had reached the far end of its arc—Johnny Cash was covering Depeche Mode’s homage to Johnny Cash. It was a confusing time for me, after my […]

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