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Anne bean author photo
she'd left the baby somewhere--
not the bathwater, much to cliche, hope-
fully not in a dumpster somewhere like
in the tabloids, well maybe the baby went
out on its own, diaper and rain hat and off
to see the world (more)
Please answer the following. Your honesty is vital. You should go with your first instinct. If you are unsure what to do, then clearly you have no place being here and should crawl back into the oceans and have another go at evolving intelligence.
"I'll get you one just like it."

Of all the adult idiot things!
She feels rage flash to steam in her small body--
how can Mom be so dumb?
It was about the money after all--


You've got to think about percentages.
"It's only twenty bucks," you say, offhand, as if (more)
They met online as fortysomethings, so it wasn't an adolescent crush or a rush of glee seeing some respond to your writing on the forums. There were months and letters and checking to make sure his diction stayed the same, his tone constant. His words turn him into a(more)
When I was eleven, I had to climb off the San Simeon pier down a ladder to our Zodiac. The little inflatable boat looked tiny and insubstantial at the bottom of an epic, rickety metal ladder than disappeared, barnacle-encrusted, into the ocean. I had to get up on the(more)
Yes, I'll be going in for my second
degree in the fall, you say,
as if describing an operation you'll have,
plastic surgery, removal of some cyst--
not a master's degree that you've already
got one of, but something more dire (more)
Agnes got the "Extreme Ironing 2011" calendar as a gag gift in a white elephant. She wanted the leg-shaped lamp from A Christmas Story, but it was stolen from her and she ended up with the calendar. Agnes never got what she wanted.
Penny forgot about the thing in the sock until Sunday morning, when she put on her sister's housecoat and felt the lump in the pocket.

Penny closed her bedroom door and sat cross-legged on the bed, then pulled out the sock. It gray with sparkly pink pigs o(more)
A man walks into a bar, and doesn't walk out again for sixteen years.

A man walks into a bar for the first time in ages, smells the cider, throws up a little in his mouth. Drinks it anyway.

A woman walks out of a marriage an(more)
When I am eighty-seven, if I still have a mind to lose, I hope to be the one who still walks to the market, who carries a big stick and speaks not just when spoken to, who has a glass eye to scare children with, and a share of(more)
In town, there were Cadillacs and a department store, and the girls could go in and try on clothes and pretend they were in New York.  

Out here, there were just barns and cigarettes and cheap beer. And the electric fence. Enough of the cheap beer and we(more)
The American family gathering
used to happen on Holidays, American Holidays:
President's Day. Labor Day. Memorial Day. The Fourth
of God Damned July. There were white
shoes and red meat and the beer flowed like
beer. There was football and smalltalk and neighbors.

And now? It's Christmas:
most five year old boys want to be a t-rex
when they grow up, but he's achieving his dreams
now, roaring and farting around the room, ducking
and rolling and running and climbing,
a life made from gerunds, the ability to make anything
given scissors, paper, paint, crayon(more)
it didn't really count as trespassing, not like
there was anyone out here anyway, just you and me
we parked the shitty Tercel, hung it precariously
on the edge of the washboarded road, and hiked,
toes crunching in Ponderosa Pine needles,
winding through trees to where we could t(more)