The Language Barrier

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On his way back from the office, Donald Davenport called his wife Martha at home from the phone booth that stood outside The Small Theatre off Franklyn Street. Next Tuesday, there would be a performance of The Clock in the Sky, a new play that had recently been written up in a reliable newspaper. After speaking to Martha, Donald hung up and entered though the old revolving doors of the theatre. The familiar rustic interior, the smoke stained walls displaying posters of up-and-coming shows, the gleaming marble floor, and the usual staff whom Donald knew well were inside. Shaking off the dampness from the late evening drizzle, Donald made his way over to the ticket office. Jane the ticket attendant smiled from over her typewriter as Donald approached.

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Death Made a Pie

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I found old man Hendricks’s house fascinating. The sunken in roof. The broken rickety fence. The brown mass of grass. There were never any lights on except for the upstairs, and I don’t remember the last time I saw old man Hendricks. I wondered if he was even alive, but then a shadow moved against the window. Four kids hurried over to his property. They reached into their plastic pumpkins, dishing out apples, and without hesitation, they launched them at the windows. Most smashed against the outside. One was a home run, and glass shattered. The kids bolted, turned the corner, but my attention remained on the house. Its owner never emerged.

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Kayapo, Bad Poetry, & Super-Storm by Mitchell Grabois

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The chief of the Kayapo tribe receives the worst news of his life. A hydroelectric plant will destroy his village. In the civic meeting, he is shirtless. He wears a sacred, red weaving over his heart and a bright yellow fan on his head. He puts his fingers to his brow, a salute to sorrow, lowers his head and cries.

It is too crass to segue to this:

The Republican candidate spent $77,000.00 on the care and feeding of his dancing horse. The candidate gets a nice tax break for that.

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24 Won’t Come Back No More (Parody)

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(Hit the road Jack. 24 won’t come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack. 24 won’t come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Jack. 24 won’t come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack. 24 won’t come back no more.)

Woah Woman, oh Chloe, looks really so mean,
Dark hair and make-up is not what you once seemed.

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Modern Modernity Pt. 2

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Suzanne carried Ariel in one arm, the baby resting on her hip. Her eyes were bright and her mouth puckered like she’d just sucked a lemon slice. “It’s been a goddamn hour and a half, Jill,” she said.

Since kissing Grover goodbye and watching his tan Escort rumble down the highway, I’d fought like hell to squelch the sadness surging inside me. I didn’t have the energy to fight with my sister. I simply told the truth: “Grover introduced me to his new boyfriend.” I looked down at my shoes, realized I hadn’t bought new ones in two years.

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Taking on the Universe

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All I did was go to sleep one night. The day had ended. Work was done, and I was spent. My life was far from perfect, but it could have been worse. I knew I was wasting away with mindless routine, going to work, going home, and with doing nothing in-between. I wanted more. I imagined a life out there that would fill me up, erase all the pain and hardship that I endured, and one day, I would live the dream. I never imagined living my nightmare. All I did was close my eyes and say good-night to the universe.

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Queen and That’s Not Love

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Looks everywhere. Smile frowns.
They don’t know what to think of her dark brown skin.
Is something unknown? Over here she’s different: she stands
Out. They don’t want to be friendly with her or let
Her in because she doesn’t look like them.
She’s tall…dark as a desolate jaguar.
She might hurt us or take our belongings.
Always skeptical; it’s like she’s not a human being.
Unfair treatment—

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Modern Modernity Pt. 1

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It’s stupid to fall for gay guys. That’s what my sister Suzanne said while she scoured the stovetop. But Grover is different, I told her. He wasn’t like all the men who fucked me over, men like Ariel’s father, whatever happened to him.

“Seeing faggot boy tonight?” Suzanne asked. She’d agreed to baby-sit Ariel while I worked the graveyard shift at Wal-Mart. She took another SOS pad from the box under the sink. A stickler for cleanliness, she refused to enter my apartment unless I vacuumed the rugs and washed the windows.

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Vestigial Steel

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Superman stole my jelly roll.

He took it right out of my lunch bag then sat next to me.

“Superman, that’s mine,” I said.

“Sorry, toots,” he said. He halved my jelly roll then pulled a pack of Decade Red out of his sleeve, lazer-visioned a cherry onto on of the cigarettes, and then he killed it in a single breath.

“You can’t smoke in the lunchroom, Superman.”

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