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Robin Hemley Indiana University Press ePub

TO: Poetry Association of the Western Suburbs Listserv
FROM: Lisa Drago-Harse
SUBJECT: Next Meeting
DATE: July 17th

Hi all,
I wanted to confirm that our next meeting will be held in the Sir Francis Drake Room at the Bensenville Hampton Inn on August 3rd. Minutes from our last meeting and an agenda for the next meeting will follow shortly.

Peace and Poetry,

Lisa Drago-Harse


TO: Poetry Association of the Western Suburbs Listserv
FROM: Michael Stroud
SUBJECT: Re: Next Meeting
DATE: July 17th

Dearest Lisa,
First of all, I love your mole and don't find it unsightly in the least! There is absolutely no reason for you to be ashamed of it (though it might be a good idea to have it checked out). But please don't remove it! Heaven forbid, my darling! As I recall, I gave you considerable pleasure when I sucked and licked it like a nipple. A nipple it is in size and shape, if not placement. That no one else knows your mole's position on your body (other than your benighted husband, poor limp Richard, that Son(net) of a Bitch as you call him) is more the pity (if Marvell had known such a mole, he undoubtedly would have added an extra stanza to his poem). But my coy mistress is not so terribly coy as all that, if I remember correctly (and how could I forget!). You were not at all what I had expected in bed—not that I had any expectations at all. When you started massaging my crotch with your foot underneath the table in the Sir Francis Drake Room, I was at first shocked. For a moment, I thought perhaps the unseen massager was none other than our esteemed president, the redoubtable Darcy McFee (makeup and wardrobe courtesy of Yoda). Is that terrible of me? I have nothing personal against her, really, except for her execrable taste in poetry, and the fact that you should be president, not she. And her breath. And that habit of pulling her nose when she speaks and that absolutely horrific expression of hers: twee. As in, “I find his poetry just so twee.” What does twee mean and why does she keep inflicting it upon us! So imagine my horror when I felt this foot in my crotch and I stared across the table at the two of you—she twitching like a slug that's had salt poured on it and you immobile except for your Mont Blanc pen taking down the minutes. Ah, to think that the taking down of minutes could be such an erotic activity, but in your capable hands, it is. To think that mere hours later, it would be my Mont Blanc you'd grasp so firmly, guiding me into the lyrical book of your body. But initially, I thought the worst, that it was Darcy, not you. My only consolation was the idea that at least I had her on a sexual harassment suit, her being my boss after all at Roosevelt. Another reason I thought it was her and not you was because I know you're married and she isn't and I knew that Richard is a member of our esteemed organization, too (and he was in the room, seated beside you no less!). It was only that sly smile in your eyes that tipped me off. I, too, love the danger that illicit public sex brings, as long as it's kept under the table, so to speak. And yes, maybe someday we can make love on that very same table in the Sir Francis Drake Room, my darling. But I must ask you, sweetheart, where did you learn that amazing trick. I have seen people wiggle their ears before, but never that! What amazing talent and such a pity that this is not something you bring out at parties or poetry readings to awe the dumb masses! Would Darcy find that too twee? I think not! Thinking of you now makes me so hot. I want to nibble you. I want to live in your panties. I want to write a series of odes to you equal in number to every lucky taste bud on my tongue, every nerve ending (no, not endings but beginnings!) on my body that live in rapture of your every pore. No, not poor, but rich. I am rich. I make metaphors of your muscles, of your thighs, of the fecund wetness bursting with your being and effulgence. I must swallow now. I must breathe. I must take my leave, my darling, and go now to relieve myself of my private thoughts of you and you alone.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 8

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

Next day, the Parthian guards order the prisoners out of Carrhae onto the Road in the direction of the awakening sun. Everyone wonders who will fall victim to the brutality of the morning. All prepare to dive quickly to the ground, hopefully into a gully. But as the sun emerges from the pale blue, the usual signal for the dreaded horseman to arrive, he doesn’t appear.

News of Surena’s fate winds through the straggly line. A ragged cheer breaks out from the tired Romans in stages, as word of the deliverance passes along the Road, whose flatter stones here seem to indicate its relief too. Marcus says to Gaius that Epicurus had a point when he said pleasure is the absence of pain. The big man merely grunts.

Even the Parthians seem pleased, for while admiring his talents, many of them suffered from his dark side. They have a new commander for the march, a junior officer, noted for harshness but not savagery. And so the prisoners know they will live today, unless sickness or unhealed wounds claim their due. It’s a blessing, even when measured against their journey into slavery.

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Medium 9780253012098


S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

EIZERMAN LEFT KAPLUNERS home completely disheartened. He’d expected so much from the first lesson—and had gotten so little from it! He’d hoped the teacher would immediately reveal to him the source of “secular wisdom”; instead, he’d been handed a children’s story to read, had lingered on the pronunciation of individual letters as if that were important, and had been compelled to write out numbers for no purpose. . . . In addition, he’d been forbidden to utter one word of Yiddish.

In the gloomiest mood, his eyes downcast, Eizerman made his way back to the Ore Miklet. He walked along the same streets that he’d traversed earlier that day when he was feeling so inspired by bright hopes and dreams—but these streets now seemed entirely different to him, foreign and gloomy. . . .

When Eizerman returned to the Ore Miklet, the “conspirators” had managed to finish debating their plan for the “betrothal.” It was decided to make all the arrangements for the next day and to involve one more of their comrades in this affair, Geverman, who was considered a steadfast fellow. For some reason, Eizerman’s return cheered everyone up.

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Medium 9781771870641

Needful Things

Hobsbawn-Smith, dee Thistledown Press ePub


WHEN THE SEWING MACHINE’S NEEDLE BROKE for the third time, Susan dug around in the bulky corduroy with her pliers, grumbling as she searched for the tip. Cutting down the jacket was proving more trouble than it was worth, but the young horsewoman who’d brought it to her had insisted. A gift from her brother, she said. And now Susan was late getting it done.

Each morning, Susan lay in bed and counted the flocked lilies on the wallpaper and considered the temperature of the linoleum. Wondered if she wanted coffee or tea. But she didn’t want anything, so each morning she stayed under the duvet. Counting wallpaper flowers. Even her appetite stayed dormant. Eventually, it was her body’s discomfort that drove her out of bed, not the urge to step into her day, not the tedious job of re-sizing a jacket.

What was it this jacket reminded her of? Nothing stayed with her for long these days. Not even her garden, where she and Peter had spent their summers. As his health had declined his energy slipped too, but he’d still loved mornings ensconced in a deck chair, watching her dig.

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Medium 9781552452585


Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub


AT THE TOP OF THE STREET where Brianna, Susanna and Alana lived was a parkette in the form of a teardrop turned sideways. The parkette had a slide, two sets of swings (one for babies and one for big kids) and a climbing frame in the shape of a rocket ship. Brianna, at six, was not a baby, but still gave the big-kid swings the respect they deserved. Susanna, at ten, loved the big-kid swings, and had the soar-and-smash scars to prove it. Alana, at nearly thirteen, was so over swings of any kind.

Just above the parkette was a used-car lot, and next to that, an apartment parking lot, and next to that the apartment building itself, a brownstone of moderate proportions. Surrounding the brownstone was a well-manicured lawn that had been sectioned off in the northwest corner by yellow police tape. The police tape had been there for eight days and now appeared slack in places, fatigued.

From the observation pod at the top of the rocketship, Susanna had a good view of the goings-on around and inside the police tape. She observed, then reported her findings in urgent bulletins to Brianna and Alana. The former received these bulletins eagerly, if indiscriminately, jumping up and down below the pod, while the latter sat on one of the rungs of the slide yawning and peeling back the petals of skin around her fingernails. Still, whatever Susanna could tell them could not in any significant way diminish or augment what they already knew. The reason for the police tape was that somebody had been murdered.

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Medium 9781574415384

The Good Luck Doll

Jessica Hollander University of North Texas Press ePub

The Good Luck Doll

Claudia’s mother sent the doll in a large yellow envelope that was torn at the top and dirt-smeared. The doll looked familiar: squeezable, dressed in overalls with a white lace-collared shirt adorned with the bright, awkward dots and wavy lines of someone unable to hold a marker properly. A girl with two braids chopped off and a brown smear on her cheek. The note said: You forgot to take your baby with you.

Claudia made up Steve’s king-sized bed and set the doll in the middle, as a joke. She’d moved into the apartment nearly a year ago and still couldn’t think of it as hers. Steve carefully chose his articles. “Hand me my remote,” “Let’s move my dresser closer to my bathroom.” Once he’d said, “My front door’s sticking again,” and Claudia said, “The door might be yours but the stickiness belongs to the landlord.” He ignored her and never got the door fixed. Now with the humidity, she came home and banged her shoulder against the sweet spot in the middle.

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Medium 9780253008183

3 Townie

Jason L Brown Quarry Books ePub

Roderic Crooks

AT THE DEADWOOD INN, THE WOMAN on the bar stool to my right whistles when I tell her I’m from New York City, then starts in on a long, rambling spiel about the five seasons of Iowa that leaves me unclear as to what constitutes the extra season. A football game is playing on a set above rows of multi-colored bottles lit from underneath, but this woman cannot keep her eyes off of me. She says, “So you visiting then?” She points her drunk, glassy eyes at me while the guy at the seat on my left mumbles about the ineptitude of whatever franchise is on the television. I can’t tell which side is ours or if they are winning.

I tell her that I live here now, that I’ve taken a job in town and wait for her to turn her attention back to the game, or to the man on my left, or anywhere but at me. She keeps her chin turned up and her gaze locked, so I add, “At the university museum.” I hope this helpful detail will satisfy her curiosity and send her back to whatever she was doing before she told me I didn’t look local.

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Medium 9789810861131

Kali’s Curse by Femke Tewari

Goodwin, Temari & Hoye (Editors) Monsoon Books ePub
"Kali’s Curse" by Femke Tewari

A romance/erotica short story set in Singapore, first published in "Love and Lust in Singapore" (Monsoon Books, Singapore)

How these bare prison walls numb my senses! How I long to be where I was before, following him into the smells and sounds of Little India, do what I did then, but from closer by, since I now have less to lose. Maybe I would even dare to run the tips of my fingers over that maniacal goddess he wears etched into his arm. But I know it is not to be. So together with my friend Durga, I made other plans for him. Quite different but equally satisfying.
 *   *   *
I was all innocence, or stupidity, rather. It now seems many lives ago, instead of a few years, but I guess that is what Changi Prison does to you. I sat all the way up in the back of a moon-shaped theatre packed with students, by myself of course, fingering one of my piercings, reading a copy of Best of Singapore Erotica in between taking notes in mathematics class. With my looks and luck it was not surprising that in my twenty-two years in this universe, I had never been with a man, but I was getting increasingly curious about what it would be like. The erotica book was quite helpful in that respect … See All Chapters
Medium 9781771870665

Representing Literature In Music for You

Fawcett, Katherine Thistledown Press ePub

Representing Literature in Music for You

FIRST OF ALL, NO MORE MR. Williamson. It’s Mr. W from now on. In fact, why don’t we drop the formalities altogether? You can just call me Paul. Okay? Welcome to off-campus class at Tim’s! Wave to the staff. Good. Hopefully you guys all did your homework. We don’t have a lot of time, so get your coffee and donuts and whatever and let’s get going. Gonna be a super-exciting class. Trey, what song did you choose?

“Spank Me Before You Leave”.

Okay. Coolio. Thanks. So. Before we look at the video, can you tell us what it is about this song that represents literature in music for you?

I don’t know.

Well, what’s the song about?

It’s rap.

And why did you choose it?

It’s good?

Okay. Let’s take a listen. Turn your computer so everyone can see. Travis, can you see? Trenton? Bring your chairs closer. Oh. Yeah. They’re attached. Well, just gather round. Troy, stand where you can see.

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Medium 9780253010247

Chapter 6

Jesse Lee Kercheval Indiana University Press ePub

After that, I took the train as i’d meant to, though I could feel a bruise rising between my eyes. I changed from the RER to the Metro, headed safely and sanely in the right direction. But when it was time to change lines at the Gare St-Lazare, I made another mistake and got on the wrong one. As soon as the doors hissed closed, I realized what I’d done. “Screw this,” I said, loud enough to turn the heads of the two teenage girls sitting in the jump seats just inside the car, and I got off at Pigalle, meaning to cut over to Montmartre and come, that way, down into the flat lands of Batignolles.

I walked up Pigalle, past the strip clubs, sex clubs, and adult bookstores interspersed with the odd, brightly lit gyro stands. Women and men in singles and pairs passed me, some offering me things no French class covered. I kept walking. “Nice boots,” a tall transsexual in front of one of the clubs called out to me.

“Thanks,” I said. He was wearing black lace-ups with wicked heels and tight red fishnet stockings that followed his legs up into a scant circle of skirt.

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Medium 9780253016881


Michael Martone Break Away Book Club Edition ePub


Here’s what I tell myself: I’m a mime and this town is the invisible box that I only pretend to be stuck in. Its boundaries are wherever I press the flat of my hand. Look, I’m trapped! Look, now I trace a window with my burglar gloves and peek through. Now I lift the window, climb through, and escape. Now I’m juggling. Now I’m dancing. Now the invisible box disappears. It never existed. Ha ha ha.

Or: I’m a crow, one of the screeching thousands that perch on the bare tree branches along the river like quarter notes on a skewy treble clef, then fly away in melancholy chords. Just passing through.

I’m not even from here. I came from somewhere else, voluntarily. No one made me come. I just did. I came for the PhD. Lots of people get here that way, to get them or give them. We say we’re just passing through, but we’re all still here when the birds return the next year.

The high schools are named after a president, a saint, and a poet. My neighbor, whose sons attended the poet high school, named his dog after the high school. I don’t think he knew that he’d named his dog after a poet. This is something you find funny when you’re getting a PhD in the humanities. Until the neighbor’s poet-pet, leashed to a tree even as the temperature sinks and sinks, barks and barks while you (I) try to write a dissertation. And every (woof!) other (woof!) word (woof!) is (woof!) woof. Then you (I) realize it was never funny to begin with.

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Medium 9781771870948

They Talk With Their Mouths Closed Like People Should

Altrows, Rona Thistledown Press ePub


ERNIE WOULDN’T WANT HARM TO COME TO THEM. That’s why they’re in the freezer, the friends who have passed on. For their own safety. You think the freezer is full, somehow you find room for another friend. You make room.

When Ernie took off, he didn’t talk. It was left to me to figure it out. Maybe his guides told him, You better go now, mister, so Mara can have time alone with her guides.

Only I never asked for that.

We were planning to move, Ernie and I, maybe build a cabin in the bush, live off the land and the compensation money. Find the stillness you need to hear your guides. Leave this dump of a rental house behind. Escape from Roy and Leanne next door with their yelling every night, their beer parties, their mean Rottweiler on his short chain in the yard.

Hey Luisa, how’s my number one lady? Want to cuddle up on the hideabed?

Luisa is in charge. She was the first. Not my first cat ever. First for Ernie and me.

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Medium 9780253012098


S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

MIRKIN WALKED HOME together with Geverman. They trooped along in silence, both greatly affected by the discussion about conversion.

“You know,” Mirkin began all of a sudden in a very serious tone of voice. “I’ve been thinking about this question and have reached the conclusion that you’re making a big mistake. The question of conversion . . .”

“Oh. Leave it alone! Let’s not talk about that!” cried Geverman.

“No, hear me out. I want you to listen to me. When you say that it’s easy to convert and it’s even right to do so, you’re completely forgetting . . .”

“About others? About my mother? That she wouldn’t survive it?” Geverman interrupted him with irritation.

“No! I’m not talking about your mother, even though, of course, I feel sorry for her. . . . I wanted to say that by converting, you cut yourself off from other Jews. . . .”

“Well, that’s just splendid! To hell with them!”

“But if all freethinkers converted, who would work among our young people to open their eyes? It’d be impossible to sneak into the yeshiva, impossible to . . .”

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Medium 9780253010247

Chapter 20

Jesse Lee Kercheval Indiana University Press ePub

In l’angoissante aventure, the movie I had largely slept through in Ilya’s apartment, Mosjoukine, desperate for money to buy medicine for his daughter, breaks into his childhood home and opens the safe, only to be discovered by his estranged father, who attacks him. They fight, and Mosjoukine kills his own father. In the apartment, I’d woken up to see this nightmare playing out on the tape.

What ending could be more sadly Russian than that? Then—unbelievably, astoundingly—the film changes. It pulls the world’s oldest trick. Mosjoukine, young again, boyish, wakes up on the couch in his father’s study where he has fallen asleep. Every bitter moment of the film had been nothing but a dream. It was an impossible ending, one too silly for words, but I was overjoyed. Anything was better than the story turning out to be true.

Now I wanted to pull the same trick, wake up. But that wasn’t going to happen. My brother, Ilya, was dead.

When I told Ilya my dead were with me always, he’d laughed. Now, as the police hauled me from the church, as my eyes closed from whatever opiate they’d stuck in my arm, I thought, where is my brother? I felt the air around me for him, for at least some sense of him.

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Medium 9780253006837

22: Bashir Binladen

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub



WAR INTO OVERTIME on the field now. President brought in a lot-lot draftees to replace all the dead. And then Scud 2, it start talking negotiations. The chiefs went quick-quick into town to get armchairs, A/Cs an radios. Ran like rabbits to pick up armchairs before their friends. Chiefs of Scud-there, they so-so hungry they'd eat their rebel boots. President so happy, he decorated the wounded, soldiers without arms, soldiers without legs, children without papa an mama. He accepted wounded rebels in big hospital to make buddy-buddy with second-in-command of Eternal Opponent. So it real peace now. Cept Eternal Opponent left for Paris to take refuge, he said war-there not over, said Scud 2 sold out corrupt. Him, watch out he gonna throw Scud 3 onto the field now.

Hey, that true truth cause ambush start again at Randa, Ambado, As-Dara, an all. So us we stay stuck in military positions at Dikhil, Tadjoura, Obock, an in the Mabla. We defensive forwards to save the sovereignty and gains of the united and indivisible nation, that fat rich language like French head of diplomacy talk. So all that-there, not too bad for us, right? Me, that's how I kept my job. All the guys relax; we have fun after we cried a lot cause of buddies dead on the sideline like Housseini in Adaylou, the one who bought and sold the pink pills. Everybody knows the pills-there come direct from Mogadishu; they love pills there too much so they can keep on with fierce war. Normal, right? But you can't make fun of the other monkey's cunt when your own ass-there naked too, even. Somalians, they in deep shit, but we got our problems too. The whole world saying: Somalians, Africans, all a bunch of savages make civil war all the time. Well, gotta understand us. What you expect when politicians-there they pick up all the pots an chow? When they eat the skin off the nape-a your neck. You pick up rifle, that's all. Us, we don't got comfort, villa, car, pay vacation like French, English, an even Norwegians who're nice cause they give NGO money an keep their trap shut. Me I say if a big white guy he wanna take my place, I give it right away an go screw his wife an daughter. That way it democracy between us. I give my place an he take my place here. Then I take his wife. Tie, ball in midfield. Be serious now and stop that crap about rightsaman, rightsawoman, rightsababies. We got a right to the good life too, don't we? Sick of drinking our own sweat. Draftees wanna admire shooting stars too, cept what they see's tracer bullets singing sweet little songs like this: “C'mere my little honey, come this way, been waiting for you for a long long time.” Draftees, they like that old camel the family gonna kill to eat him cause he's too-too old. The old camel, he say to chief of camp: “I worked for you all my life. I marched, marched, and marched to carry your tent and your merchandise. You got all you needed out of my back, now you wanna eat my meat and bones. After that you still get more out of me cause you'll take my skin an you'll make shoes with it, right?” So there you are, us draftees like ole camel-there cept us, we younger. That's all. Gotta stop bringing tears to my eyes. I close parenthesis.

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