That boy said it’s all monkey talk listen he said. I wasn’t to listen but Jake’s door was open because I was to. It’s what you do he said, how the thing is done is nothing but whispering in the library, the boy said you won’t.  I’m not approved of Jake and you won’t stand up but that’s not how things are done is it Jake what am I supposed to do then?

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“This isn’t about some kind of minor infatuation,” Mable said. “It isn’t about sex either, or lust or any of that other shit that consumes people, but I will say that it is about love, which is an emotion I can’t help but feel every morning when I wake up and go out into this world.”

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We lived the kind of life that goes unnoticed, in a town no one cared about. Small town, run down. No highways near it. Nobody noticed guys like us, guys with crummy lives. Not until we shot someone or got shot. Not until our face could be used as the face of some new drug epidemic.

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No one to pull the desecrated Bible from his hands or return the books to the library or confiscate the notebooks where he wrote about the CIA targeting him, the cops drugging him. No one to halt the paranoid letters to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram or the neighbors. No one to block him from entering the Wedgewood Baptist Church in the middle of September wearing jeans and a black jacket.

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When Lucifrinia fell to Earth, the journey was uncomfortable but not as painful as God’s minions wrote about in the Heavenly tabloids. But they were prone to lavish hyperbole, and they had an agenda. They didn’t want any more residents fleeing the Golden City, which was terribly dull. Neflix and chill indeed.

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Now, when the neighbors saw Tommy pedaling down the sidewalk toward them, he was accompanied by Buddy, who, despite his friendly name, could still remind people of an angry, metallic dinosaur, a flesh-eating titanium pterodactyl. It’s to be certain that Tommy’s voluminous questions received much more thoughtful replies.

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Glen blushed. The night before, he’d had that very thought when the snow began to fall, but was so engrossed in a crime drama marathon that he didn’t think it again until about eight inches were already piled up, so he didn’t bother. His inexcusable laziness created so much more work for the both of them; it shamed him.

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And God would then pass the hot hot pipe to you after puckering his lips so that they looked rosebud butthole-like and, after bitching about burning his lips, then lunged into one of his stoned and spendy raps that reminded you of a typical cheesy Marvel comic book (God’s raps, too be honest, never rated DC status), and God’s steering became ever more erratic as he told how he loved Isaac’s arms, Isaac’s track marks, a terrible beauty there, God said,,,

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“I’m Florabelle, my sister’ name’ Corabelle, and she ‘Dumbelle’,” they would alternately say when introducing her to other children, remaining ever faithful to the canon of New Orleans blackfolks’ rigid color-caste system.  “We ain’t like her,” they’d tell their playmates. “We go to Corpus Christi. She go to Phyllis Weekly. We got good hair. We don’t need no hot comb like her,” they’d say, stroking the colorful barrettes her dexterous, dark hands had fastened to their ponytailed tresses.

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Hi, I’m LA NEGRITA, this is my story, this is my song. Welcome to my world of scandal and oppression. I was on my way to be a kind, gentle and obedient Negress, until I got a phone call from my best friend MACHINE GUN KIKI. She requested I immediately come to her rescue at the Institution of Achievement for Colored Ritards.

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In the morning before school, while her mother and sisters discussed the topics of the day such as gluten (against it), the Ice Bucket Challenge (for it), and the growing number of civilians being shot by law enforcement professionals (for it), Bookworm read the Cheerios box.

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Otis pops the trunk. We carry 3 cases of bottled Rolling Rock beer to my 2nd-floor apartment. He sets a fat bag of weed, an elk-horn pipe, a small metal pipe, & a lighter with a Pittsburgh Pirates emblem on the kitchen table. We're reading our poems at the Erie Art Annex at 8. By then, there's no way we'll be sober.

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It was five days ago that the train carrying Billy Rae flew off the tracks, killing fifteen people, including Billy.

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I laid in bed, trying to wish the morning away and ignore all the racket Dani made as she finished her breakfast, all bowl scrapy and slurping. The neighbors had been going at it for a while, quiet enough to begin with, but soon they were moaning and rutting the bed so it squeaked and popped. I put Dani’s pillow over my face and tried to wish that away too, but the noises got in my blood so much that I fapped.

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When I come to, I am half sunk in ivy, the sun bright in my eyes. My right leg is tangled in my ten-speed. The handlebars dig into my side and the front wheel is bent like a potato chip.

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The three boys walked up to the fence and stopped. They looked around a little as they made it there. Each of the boys had a flashlight, and they scanned the little field with them, passing over half a dozen goats. After a short pause, the tallest boy said, “That one. The brown one.”

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I come to work at seven-thirty. I start and seven-thirty and finish at four. We get half an hour for lunch.

As you walk down the corridor it gets shabbier and shabbier: the carpet turns from light green to dark; the rooms get darker; the carpet ends and becomes tan and pink lino; the tan and pink lino ends. Our lino is two shades of grey. Our office is woodwork-teacher furniture, old typewriters and four time clocks. All the time clocks are wrong.

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The workday, truncated as it was, would be followed, soon enough, by yet another. The man fumbled with his keys as he stood outside his flat in the dim yellow light of the hall. Fatigue hampered the man’s fingers and threading the key into the lock required three attempts before the man met with success. Home smelled of two parts lemon drop, one part cinnamon, and a dash of pine scented floor cleaner. Breathing in the chilled air of the empty flat, the man dropped his keys on the marble-topped table in the foyer. The only other item on the table, a porcelain doll, lay face up with its eyes closed. He righted the doll to sitting and as he moved it the eyes clicked open. The man smiled.

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It’s been this way since 9/11. Too close to D.C., I guess; and, now, just as business is picking up again, the Beltway Sniper strikes. So, it’s mostly just the diehard Harlequin romance readers who come in these days. And the mallrats—when they run out of change for the arcade next door.

And Albert.

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"Are you eating your own shit again, Tubbs? What a worthless jackass!” Tank yells at a closed stall at the end of the locker room. Guys laugh & hoot, preparing to leave or to begin their 8-hour shift.

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Riddle me this one: what the fuck is wrong with being a witch?  

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This is it, then, the festivities, the high color, the bewildered spark of crowds. It's not what I've expected, but it'll do. I'm lucky to be here, I was invited, I didn't have to beg. That's one thing I'll never do, I'll never beg.

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The black hash was a lot stronger than the blonde stuff I was used to. One little chunk in my pipe and I was flat on my back in the woods by Van Allen's field, pine needles prickling through my t-shirt.

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