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An unfortunate oxymoron

My daughter doesn’t know what I mean when I say, “Family party.” She knows the two words, but together they don’t make much sense. She’s more familiar with family disaster and family emergency and family troubles, words often headlining her absence notes. Close your eyes […]

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just how you do so many things

Your wife isn’t allergic to cats, so she’s at the party, playing board games that pair well with red wine, getting fur on the black leggings she wears under her floral skirt, and you’re at home watching a two hour special about pharaohs on the […]


Making Pizza with Cousin Pauly

Cousin Pauly is teaching my mother how to make pizza like he makes at Yetty’s, his Italian restaurant in Herkimer, New York. Wearing matched blue gingham aprons, faces whitened with flour, they tease each other and work the dough. Haven’t seen my mother laugh like […]



Karl and I worked at the Bistro du Pape on Esplanade. He worked the service bar and I was a waiter. It was a posh joint, where we spent every Thursday through Saturday serving expensive meals to Montreal’s French-speaking elite, including television news people. Karl […]

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Your guidelines clearly state that any story in translation must be submitted with the original text. This problem has me sacked out on my couch staring at the ceiling. I have no original text. Please consider making an exception for this submission. The narrative concerns […]

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Hawaii, 2014

My daughter is passed out in her grandmother’s bed – the steady rise and fall of her ribs in her tiny Ariel swimsuit. She sleeps through the sound wafting in through the screen door to the balcony. Rasp of a breeze through the palm fronds, […]

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Thanksgiving with Uncle Charlie

Uncle Charlie sits alone on the porch. The rest of us are inside getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I sit by the fire and watch him through the big window in the front room. It’s a cold, windy Thanksgiving in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. […]


Tobacco and Tea

Granma’s room was always dark and cool no matter how hot it was outside. Shaded by aspidistra, ferns, ivy, begonias, she sat on her armchair. Jaundiced light slipped through the tobacco-stained fabric of the sun blinds she kept pulled low. Silent as a mouse you […]

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The morning after the dastardly attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, when that ole recruitment center in Amarillo opened up, I rightly recall Sam Lofton standin amongst the other men crowded against the door. Lofton was the son of Jim Lofton, out in Hutchinson […]

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Dive-Bombing Tourists

And when I get to the cafe on the breakwater, mum is picking at a cinnamon bun but not really eating it, just deconstructing its parts and sorting them into distinct piles on the table: icing, raisins, bread. My sister is squished in beside her […]

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Right Turn

My friend drives the car with her left foot propped up against the window frame.  Helps circulate the air up my shorts, she says, keeps me nice and cool in the summer heat.  She had once signaled left with her foot, but the cop tailing […]

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