Come celebrate the release of White Van by Meg Tuite and Flight Advice: a fabulary by Tobey Hiller at Parleaux Beer Lab in New Orleans!

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We also made cups of coffee, smoked cigarettes, ate crackers and left the stage to go to the bathroom. Eventually we invited a couple of friends on stage to hang out, play the guitar, tattoo fingers with a needle dipped in Indian ink, whatever they wanted to do.

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As Howard gathered bags of marijuana and Etienne’s expensive
     New scale
That he had stolen from Lady Snow’s,
I smeared my blood on the walls in a detached, tongue-in-cheek
​     Gesture,

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at the last cultural hollow
the divorce of collision motive
from a left-wing counter vaunt 
handed the ambiguity gone
​to rupture fairway cactus

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Tiffany and the Nimrod took their first night in a motel just past the truck stop, in a scarlet and white bridal suite. The motel had plastic furniture in the lobby, and “Jesus loves you,” graffitied on the condom machine in the public restroom.

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The urgent note from Larry, the vice-principal, was delivered to his classroom during a Monday lunch hour. Mr. Moss found it when he got back from a short nap in the staff lounge. “Please stop by my office after class ends today. An agent from the Education Commissioner wants to speak with you.” Mr. Moss blinked and re-read the note and muttered, “Fine, bring it on.”

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The milling assembly on the sidewalk held signs that read: “Every Life Matters”; “Children are a Gift from God”; “Choose Life, Deny Death”; “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart”; “Every Life Deserves to Live”; “Let God Plan Parenthood”.

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I have no genetic fitness. I did once: my genetic material was carried by my sister’s daughter, my godchild and niece, Irene, whom I raised and let down. She committed suicide at the age of 35. She was a psychiatrist who knew pharmacology well and a determined individual who said that if she were to kill herself, she would do it so that no one would know.

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At the same time, my suicidal mutterings and fantasies became more frequent, and more pronounced. I have mentioned that I sometimes spend days thinking of nothing but reasons I should kill myself. For months in 2016 and 2017, I thought of little else.

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Someone took over a five-story hotel in the Filmore/Bush district of San Francisco and started renting cheap rooms to hippies. They named it, cutely, “The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Girls (and boys also).”  Over a hundred old hotel rooms all rented to folks in the scene.

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The girl capsizes herself with alcohol, Black Beauties, angel dust, sex with strangers, and slicing. Darkness barely discusses her. Blood covers our kneecaps one night from smacking into a lamppost. We buckle under her when she passes out.

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When the black hole swallowed my relationship with Mom and my entire US-based extended family three years into my post-MFA writing drought, I was left to make sense of a story that seemed to have come to its natural conclusion.

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it takes a flashing tongue to cauterize
the many spurting necks
before their progeny reach the ground
and sprout reinforcements;

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