A man waves his AR-15, a woman her tiny pistol, at non-violent demonstrators in St. Louis. They must only eat cake in that palace of theirs; inside, there’s a wooden hiding place from the Reign of Terror.

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I wanted to explore the afterlife with my characters, I wanted to let myself fully free, while still tense in the form of literature I have chosen to lock myself into. The death of the world, the death of the ego, the death of the self, the death of god.

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My father raised his hand—I could see pale blue veins through his almost translucent skin. I felt again the ground shift as it did the first time I realized much of humanity will learn orphanhood before they die. With a trembling finger, Papa wiped both cheeks.

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Beginning with appeals to authority, we tend to believe we were born because we exist, we’re be(ing) here now and also, everyone knows you can’t have a chicken without an egg. But for some reason, being born is not always enough. You need more proof than that.

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He had been laughing it up with cronies about a cross burning on a young Black woman’s family farm, when we overheard him say: “I want to split that dark oak.”

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The Hoedads were real hippies. They weren’t television and movie hippies—all flowers and headbands and incense—but actual funky, fiercely independent and often downright ornery Freaks, who were also idealistic and compassionate almost to a fault.

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Drenched in sweat, I march on, holding my breath past an odorous empty lot marked “Toxic.” Up ahead, the four young men rest beneath the shade of a tree, long enough for me to pass, before they begin walking again.

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But when I was growing up, when I was hearing them tested every Tuesday morning at 10:30, the sirens were still called what they were when they were first installed during WWII all across a frightened America – air raid sirens.

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They didn’t wear hoods and Sam recognized their faces.  Some from the church balcony.  Some men who squeezed his bicep, asked him to come work for them, pushed him down when he did not.

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Because winter is a cataclysm for creatures like us. We, the green and leafy masses, unfit for city life, need warmth. We can’t create sweetness alone and in the dark, it has to be drawn out of us with rich soil, sweet breezes, and rays of light.

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Jealousy is the anticipation of loss, real or imagined, to a rival. Envy is prompted by covetousness and a wicked desire to supplant someone else. But it seems to me that jealousy is a euphemism for envy—one of the seven deadly sins, the hatred that prompts Nemeses to lead Narcissus to the pool. We call envy jealousy to hide its danger—Echo and her laughter.

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Without warning, the truck sped up and drove intentionally a few feet to the right, into the deepest puddles, and the massive tires sent waves crashing over him, pounding him like surf, forcing water into his mouth, eyes, ears, and nose.

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My intention is to be open, willing, and ready to any opportunity that might reveal itself as fruitful - to be in the right place at the right time, and, with the help of the universe, have all the pieces within my frame align with balance, order, and meaning.

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When his perceived enemies were the targets of mail bombs this fall, he never once reached out to the many high profile targets, but instead decided to whine about how the news coverage affected “republican momentum” before the midterms.

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I pondered this while simultaneously realizing the drunken hollering was getting out of hand with the ratio of males to females about three to one. What was I doing? The last thing I wanted was to spend all night avoiding guys who expected you to perform fellatio on them just because they had been nice enough to give you liquor.

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Are you breathing? The breeze is blowing shadows of the leafy branches over you, which creates the illusion of movement. I bend over you, and say, Sir, are you all right?. No response. I say it again, four more times, louder each time. No response.

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Unlikely Stories turned 20 years old on July 1, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Issue was released on July 4, 2018 and included more than a hundred authors and artists.

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Hands entangled in Mother’s hair, I had pulled her head back and exposed her throat to the sun. Suddenly many figures emerged in the dream, confrontations in a wooden booth.

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The person in LA took control.  He sub-let some rooms in the doctor’s office.  He employed a female dentist from somewhere in Central America, who might have been a dentist there but was definitely not one here.  He used the provider number for a dentist whose name I never heard, using the same scheme he’d used on my doctor.

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I am honestly more interested in the vivid life of the
village than in the erotic sculpture – at a certain
point however, in a hotel room, my hair catches fire.

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How she decants herself, abandoning the priests’ pressing: the whirl of soft yellow petals opening leaves me breathless, form refusing limit.  I clip the spent blossoms with shears, collecting their orange hips in an enameled bowl. All the stories are old, syllabaries of lauds told.

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a limited domain is inscribed with or without fuzzy boundaries. domains may be limited in sememe, space, and/or time. example: everglades bounded by hydrology, ecosystem. for example (below): everglades younger than writing, than human inscription.

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Horrified

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The current warming of Earth manifest in the Arctic Sea, the melting of polar ice sheets, penetration of snow storms into mid-latitudes, permafrost thaw, hurricanes and wildfires and the rise in extreme weather events, manifesting a shift in state of the atmosphere-ocean system, constitutes an existential threat to humanity and much of nature.

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my side of the paradigm is built for comfort not for speed. willie dixon & werner heisenberg put me wise to this ride. an observation deck where i can kick or scrutinize questions that are supposed to be asked but aren't necessary, no matter how you spill the ink or beans.

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The great Django Reinhardt wrote a song called "Nuage" - clouds - today there are no clouds - a pellucid sky, slight gold inscribed on the mountains and pure azure - a raven floats, the sun broad as in the poems of Whitman's "Song Of Myself"

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Traditionally political and economic negotiations aim at a compromise. Unfortunately, no negotiation is possible with the basic laws of physics and chemistry and with processes in the atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere system.

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This was my second year in education, and I now realized how uneducated and uninformed the educators were about the plutocracy. This is the same plutocracy responsible for Governor Scott Walker’s Act 10 which attacked and stripped down the rights and benefits of teachers and other public-sector workers, firefighters and police excluded.

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The 30 year old cool kids are emptying their children and youth all over the parking lot. Dirty diapers without an owner that once belonged to their kids or maybe themselves, smelling like a hefty child support court story...

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The last thing I remember before coming to at Mt. Sinai was lying on my belly on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by five cops, enormous from my vantage point. They talked among themselves and on their radios, ignoring me. Finally, they cuffed me behind my back; I begged them to tell me what I had done, but I was not worth a word.

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she bowed her head and turned it away
from where the flag had been raised 
as the Soviet national anthem played

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Police created the modern concept of Identity through this assumption of universal guilt among the working class. One is a thief unless one can prove otherwise. Thievery is not merely punished; it is prevented by this pragmatic measure. Have your identity card or go to gaol. 

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I was the rabbit in that play, once, not that long ago. Since then I have travelled and crossed paths with these characters, in a dotted line from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Coney Island, New York where I am currently writing these words in the poison gasses of my computer screen. If I were to borrow the Prince’s telescope I might still be able to see our paths entangled.

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The lining on Mr. Chepman's blue Upper Valley Cab Co. jacket looks like the interior of his car and he is driving it two buildings over to pick up Mrs. Plarst for her dialysis ride. She hates him because he plays Motown Mornings on Oldies WLLZ, and he hates her because he has to fold up her walker and put it in his trunk.

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{ The analogic is the dirty little secret of the digital. The analog is abject, tawdry, sleazy, as-if and nothing more. The fissured body is a wound sutured in silence or resulting in death. The digital is an application upon the body of the analogic. The digital functions as a gate against the analogic. The digital is the enclave of the rich; the finer the raster, the richer the enclave. }

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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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In terms of confronting the man’s racism, of course, that question doesn’t really matter, but it nonetheless put me in mind of how easy it is for Jews, white or of color, to pass as not-Jewish until we either self-identify or are outed—a term I am using purposefully, since there are still places in the world, including the hallowed halls of American academia, where it is not always safe to be known publicly as a Jew.

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Tensions have been high since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a letter on November 25th, 2016 stating that it will close all lands north of the Cannonball River, which is where the Oceti Sakowin camp is located. The letter further stated that anyone on the property after Dec. 5 will be considered trespassing and may be subject to arrest. Many immediately feared the worst, as a number of the water protectors have had previous run-ins with the heavily militarized police force that is guarding the pipeline.

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