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hannah stevens

CALL OF THE CIRCUS by Hannah Stevens

She didn’t know they were coming but she knew when they’d arrived. It was April and the weather was too good for the time of year. She heard the noise on the breeze: the faint, twisted sound of faraway music from a tent. She was outside and sat on steps

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joseph grantham

DETECTIVE STORY by Joseph Grantham

There was this woman’s voice. It came on the radio at about 11 p.m. every night. The jazz station. KCSM 91.1. Think her name was Dee Alexander. She told her listeners to breathe in fresh air and exhale negativity. She told us to love our children and to take care

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jennifer greidus

MR. ANGEL by Jennifer Greidus

She was no Ingrid. She was more of a Pat, or even a “Chuck,” but she was no Ingrid. An Ingrid would never own a truck stop on 85, and an Ingrid would never tell blue jokes to men who haven’t bathed in a couple weeks. When her daughter, my

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WHERE WE LEFT IXIAN COUNTY by Tobias Carroll

The suburbs of tiny Ixian County were unmade in the torrents and floods of 2003. After the waters had abated they left behind a highway exit, a handful of roads, and little else. Four towns’ worth of ruins and a farm, abandoned to bankruptcy years before, that had gone largely

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juliet escoria

OUTTAKE FROM JULIET THE MANIAC by Juliet Escoria

We waited all evening for Nicole’s parents to leave, a cord of excitement running taut between the two of us. When their Land Rover finally pulled out of the driveway, we waited ten extra minutes, just in case her parents forgot something and came back. Only then did we take

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xTx

A GOOD BARGAIN by xTx

I am 4’9, 323 pounds. I cannot leave my house. I cannot lift myself from the couch. I cannot find the remote control. I cannot rub my feet. My butler robot can only make so many fried egg sandwiches. My maids have been instructed to black out all mirrors. I

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FOLK SINGERS, SKINHEADS, AND BEARS by Alistair McCartney

Folk Singers We have never enjoyed folk songs. In fact, we had a profound dislike of folk singing—all that plaintive strumming did not agree with us—that is, until the other evening, when we reluctantly attended a smoky folk club in downtown Los Angeles and the sleepy folk singer with the

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scott mcclanahan

SCOTT MCCLANAHAN INTERVIEW

Scott McClanahan is the author of The Sarah Book, The Incantations Of Daniel Johnston, Hill William, Crapalachia, and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan Vol. 1. He is the owner the finest small volume library in the state of West Virginia.  What’s a book that first put the hook in your

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CARS THAT TREATED ME POORLY by Jennifer Greidus

These aren’t pictures of my cars. In fact, they may not even be pictures of the years of my cars. They are the color of my cars, the model, the make. The years, however, are a blur of heartbreak, manslaughter, and ice storms. Volvo 66: My mother conceived her second

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LONGBEARDS by Chris Dankland

Before The Smiths signed the contract for the brand new house they were set to purchase, the real estate broker said: I have to tell you that in the last few weeks a few of the construction workers have sighted some Longbeards near the woods. I’m only mentioning it because

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gary j shipley

LISTEN, MY SISTER, LISTEN by Gary J. Shipley

He watched his legs grow from the armpits of his baby sister every day for a year. Both white calves there on the door of the fridge whenever he looked, and around them the arms of his sisters that through some mistake of birth were limited to two. Their eyes

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IN CARS by William Lessard

1 The car stopped turning. Jay would drive to the deli, reverse the process once the six-pack or bag of 40s was chilling his inner thighs. The job of the person with him was to rotate their head to the middle of their back. Bumper distance within ten feet required

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“LIVEBLOG” EXCERPT by Megan Boyle

MARCH 27, 2013 1:20AM: going to change up the game. really. um. this is really going to happen. so, in grad school, my dad and his friend motivated themselves to finish their dissertations by agreeing to mail one $100 check to the nixon administration for every day late. so. here

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jim ruland

RECOMMENCE by Jim Ruland

Carol is calling from Los Angeles. She wants to know how the cat piece is going. The cat piece isn’t going is how it’s going. I write for a golf magazine. Not the magazine per se, but the blog. A golf blog. I hate everything about it. Its obsession with

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sam pink

SAM PINK INTERVIEW by Benjamin Scott

Sam Pink is the author of a dozen books, including Person, The No Hellos Diet, Hurt Others,  and Witch Piss.  I interviewed him about his latest book The Garbage Times/White Ibis, his paintings, and his time living in Florida. BS: You lived in Chicago for a while but several years

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nathaniel duggan

IMITATION CRABMEAT by Nathaniel Duggan

Dad spends Christmas Eve on the beach killing green crabs, before he returns home to turn on all the holiday lights. The house flashes and dazzles like a landing strip. The sky, meanwhile, looks foreclosed. “You should’ve seen the fuckers,” he tells me, pinching his fingers to imitate claws. “Some

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anastasia jill

THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED by Anastasia Jill

THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED, we lost our power first as lights and machines shut down like stale organs folding into their lives without blood. Mucus membranes settled in the trenches of my eyelid and produced chemical tears. “It’s okay,” we told ourselves. “I am not afraid.” After a few

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OH, THE MEADOWS by DAVE K

Five pairs of hands let me go on Monday morning. Only one pair was needed. My supervisor did a lot of the talking, though the other four men in the room would chime in at intervals to finish his sentences. There was no pattern to their interruptions. Poor head for

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ashley hutson

ON OUR WAY TO SEE YOU by Ashley Hutson

Right now we’re stuck behind a funeral procession and it looks like we’re going to be late. Mack keeps saying, How long, how long? We’re on our way to see you. I adjust the rear-view mirror, and Mack is in the back seat, bouncing around. He never settles down when

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LITELIFE by Jimmy Chen

The receptionist hid the instant message regarding the logistics of an imminent gathering behind her work email, though the only thing visible to others in the waiting area was the back of her computer, which featured a ubiquitous apple with a sole bite mark in its side. Those who waited

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bram riddlebarger

SOY by Bram Riddlebarger

It was when he started drinking the milkshakes that the trouble began. Before two weeks had passed he had ballooned up fifty pounds and was beating the pulp out of every motherfucker that came within an inch of his mind’s eye. His power, he believed, came from his special method,

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nathan dragon

DANIEL, MOSTLY by Nathan Dragon

He always felt like he needed things to be told to him. Bed and drinking water were always good, though. Something like that, so his TV would easily be a good distraction and some rest. People’s voices, anyways, were fine. He worried a lot. Daniel needed something that could help

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kristin garth

95 IN QUEENS by KRISTIN GARTH

JONATHAN It’s five past. The bookstore owner with the crooked back eyes me as if I’m a suspicious character. Sinister I wear like a Brooks Brothers suit.  Not suspicious. Six past. If I’d been thinking, I’d have sent these things UPS. If I’d been thinking, I would have dumped her

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LUCK OF THE PLUG by Gregg Williard

The power strip could take nine plugs. Only four were being used. The floor lamp, table lamp, TV/DVD player and CD player were all off.  She pressed the off switch on the strip. The little light went out. She pulled out the plugs.  She went to the kitchen and got

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LILLY AND THE NINE-TOED WOMAN by Toom Bucksaw

Lilly brushed her teeth and saw another woman’s face in the mirror. She stared into her eyes and wished she could ask that woman where the fourth toe of her left foot had gone. Why hadn’t she taken better care of herself? Didn’t she know Lilly would need her toes

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andrew miller

6:54 by Andrew Miller

I arrive at 6:55. I climb the stairwell to the main lobby, swipe my badge to access the elevators. I wait. I have earbuds in and keep my eyes dipped so that no one acknowledges me. I enter the elevator. I exit the elevator at my floor. I begin my

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GHOST SEX by Chris Dankland

Lucille died of leukemia in Utah. Richard died in a car accident in Seoul. They were both 16 years old when they died, and now they’d be 16 years old forever, two pissed off sulking virgins condemned to populate the dreams of the living. All those faceless extras that appear

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derick dupre

LITTLE CACKLES by Derick Dupre

A windy morning outside Denny’s in Carefree. Windshields and gas pumps ping with dust. Rosettes of yucca twitch and sway. Inside it sounds like a light rain passing through. A waitress saunters up to a table where three men sit. Her dirndl skirt swishes in time to the dust, and for

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dora grober

DEATH BED by Dóra Grőber

You’re sitting in your bed, legs pulled up to your chest, black, unkempt hair in an unusual ponytail and you don’t talk, not because he’s not home but because you have nothing to say. Just a few hours ago you were standing on your desk and painting on the wall,

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bob schofield

CREATION STORY by Bob Schofield

At first the world was just one spiral. Then that spiral grew a face. The face was hungry. It filled with water. The face was silent, but never sleeping. A single tooth grew through the bottom. The face was a word, and that word was “lake.” The lake was tended

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THE PASSENGER by Ted Prokash

Raymond pulled into a Love’s Travel Center somewhere in southern Indiana, shortly before dawn. Their routine for stops had been well established by now. Walter went inside to piss and buy snacks, while Raymond paid for and pumped the gas. Raymond was STRESSED. He was rather high-anxiety to begin with…

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m.c. zendejas

MEANING OF NIGHT by M. C. Zendejas

Dean never came around too much to start with, but after his dog died he stopped coming altogether. Claudia had just moved out, and there wasn’t anything to do anymore. I sat in front of the TV, flipping through channel after channel until I eventually hit static. The quiet became

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penny goring

PENNY GORING’S hatefuck the reader REVIEW by Chris Dankland

GET THE BOOK (read online + download epub and mobi versions for free) LENGTH: 7,000 words PUBLISHER: 5everdankly publications, 2016 YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: Kathy Acker, Édouard Levé, Sarah Kane Penny Goring’s book ‘hatefuck the reader’ starts with the sound of someone talking so close to your

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mieze zuber

TURNS OUT, IT WAS BONE by Mieze Zuber

It was early spring, nearly like now, before Columbine, and I was drinking again in that bar perpendicular to the office where they’d housed me. I was with a couple of the bankers and J., the gay man who refused to admit what he was. He knew I knew, and

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marc olmsted

SCROTUM NEAT AND TIDY by Marc Olmsted

And so began, at least for me, the first real public event of the piercing phenomena – now performance art 1989 – video cameras providing close-ups of this guy driving nails into the skin of his balls, the pain lashing through him like a visible hot flash of kundalini.  Later

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jason teal

EVERYONE TO BLAME by Jason Teal

In the past, when bodies turned up, or there were kidnappers, officers arrived on TV, badges glinting, to arrest the suspect. Marjorie is missing at the proctologist’s office, her job as office assistant. Maybe you are a suspect still. Marjorie looked guilty. You remember that. You wish the phone receiver

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eilot tuerie

CUCK by Eîlot Tuerie

I have had sex in a church with a girl who lied that she was under the age of consent. I have tied someone up and left them on my bed while I had sex with someone else. I have had sex with three different people at different times on

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jeff phillips

THE CUPS by Jeff Phillips

Orel Gammon stopped wearing his cup the second day he played in the “majors.” This wasn’t the Major League Baseball. The rec center named their little league for ages 10-12, “the majors.” For all who played in “the minors” before it, this new league was a big deal. It meant

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michael seidlinger

PEOPLE WATCHING by Michael Seidlinger

You aren’t alone even though it still feels that way, long gaps of nothing between discussions that seem to have everything to do with the weekend, which leads you to the assumption that tonight won’t be much. You are with someone familiar, been around, floating along with the same circle

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timothy willis sanders

ZERO PINEAPPLES by Timothy Willis Sanders

Billy asked Chris and Molly what movie they had picked and Chris held up a DVD copy of The Birds. Billy shot a look at Meg. “Hitchcock had a really fucked up obsession with Tippi Hedren. I read about it online so I decided to never watch the movie,” said

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brian alan ellis

“NO BOOK BLURB, NO CRY” EXCERPT by Brian Alan Ellis

An Inspirational/Crazy Informative Guide to Proper Book Blurbage (An excerpt from Sad Laughter, forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms) “[This book] will fry up some prose eggs in your ol’ brain pan.” ⋆⋆⋆ “[This writer] is the kind of poet whose madness and how [he/she] exorcises that madness is a thing

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rebekah morgan

DENTIST TRIP by Rebekah Morgan

I drink three nescafe coffees before i leave Iași for the rest of the weekend, heading north on the 10:49 CFR line. Sometimes on Saturday mornings i halfway tumble my ass all the way down to the railway station in Gară from my bloc near the top of the huge

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BURL by Drew Buxton

Tori put her hand over my mouth and pointed. I never could hide my excitement. She stood off the bed real slow and tiptoed to our bedroom door but stepped on this one creaky spot in the carpet, and you could hear Joselyn scurry back to her room. She’d been

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benjamin niespodziany

CORPORATE CLIMATE by Benjamin Niespodziany

Corporate encourages that we ride to work on company pogo sticks. Company bicycles and unicycles are also okay, but everything else is frowned upon. “We can’t force anyone,” the CEO laughs. Sheryl hates to bounce, rides in on a skateboard every morning. Everyone used to adore Sheryl, used to throw

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FRIENDSHIP WOLFCHEESE by Jonathan Cardew

Slide through the doors of the convenience store. Live a little in your skin. This skin was given to you in about 1975. Friendship Wolfcheese made sure you got the kind of skin that earned you favor. Ask for cigarettes. Carefully enunciate the vowels and the consonants. Friendship Wolfcheese was

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blake middleton

CHARLIE by Blake Middleton

i took some adderall the other day and for some reason i decided it was time to replace my old washing machine with a new washing machine my roommate got a lighter stuck in the part of the washer where all the lent and other bullshit builds up so we

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gene morgan

XBOX VIDEO GAME REVIEWS 2018 by Gene Morgan

Fortnite Fortnite is a riot simulator for children. Characters lives are short like ours– the game is filled with moments to reflect upon hard choices, choices in the format of a fun cartoon-like murder game young boys love. Fortnite for Xbox is a perfect way to get killed over and

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THE NAVIGATOR by Kelby Losack

Because your friends are assholes, they toss us in the trunk in the sixty-nine position. They duct-taped my ankle to the steel rod of my prosthetic leg. I don’t even know how to feel about that. You think that twin telepathy shit is real? Check, one, two. Nod your head

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michael mungiello

A BOLD NEW KIND OF STORY by Michael Mungiello

Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… It will be new… It will come now… Somehow… Somewhere… I know… It will start on the next page… One time I was reading important books… It was very important

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chad redden

FROG POND by Chad Redden

After you open the door lying on the bottom of the pond it can go two ways. The door will open to deeper water that shimmers in an unusual way. The water behind the door connects to another pond, in another world. To get there, you will swim downward, through

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simon graham

GAME THEORY by Simon Graham

For a time I dated a girl who was also an orphan. It was really great at first, us being orphans together. We had no responsibilities or allegiances, and we had plenty of money. Sarah and I used our money to play games. I liked games because they stopped me

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vanessa norton

EMPATHY by Vanessa Norton

The man who lived downstairs kept a wooly pig as a pet. Sometimes, he would stab the pig with a kitchen knife until the pig fell over. He insisted that the pig enjoyed being stabbed; in fact, he would come to the door just to get it. Falling over meant

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jennifer greidus

TUNA SANDWICH by Jennifer Greidus

He orders tuna salad because he always orders tuna salad. Today, he also orders bacon potato soup. It’s too hot for soup. He likes to wipe his pretty mouth with the back of a hand. He sneers at the waitresses and only pays attention to the ones with fat tits.

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claire hopple

THIS IS GONNA BE GOOD by Claire Hopple

“Do you know where Bernie is?” a stranger asked the man as he was headed in to change. “Not sure. I think I saw him in the parking lot a minute ago,” said the man, trying to be helpful to the stranger even though he was technically a stranger. “Who’s

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daniel handelman

HONOR SYSTEM by Daniel Handelman

“Maybe some people have both,” she said. She was rolling up a joint. It had too much weed in it. The edges didn’t connect. “The way she writes the male,” she said. “She knows the male. But does the male know the female?” She leaned back into the couch. They’d

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ANATOMY OF A DISTANCE by Elle Nash

A list of things you miss. A touch with the lips. The knock-you-on-your-ass touch, the kind that starts in the lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, as he moves closer to you, the kind where he waits for you to wrap your ammunition around him and then he

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troy james weaver

DOG PERSON by Troy James Weaver

For over an hour she’d been thinking about killing the baby. Was it a baby? A toddler? He sprawled between two exhausted, resigned parents four rows behind her. They had been in the air for six hours, somewhere over the Pacific, and she’d just had it already with the carts

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lanny durbin

LIBERTY KID by Lanny Durbin

I saw the kid’s face when he got hit by the car. He was standing there on the sidewalk with a blank look and then the car jumped the curb. Just nailed him. The blank look stayed on his face when he flew through air, stared right at me. Like

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OLIVER by Kevin Maloney

I was sitting in a McDonald’s in Elkhart, Indiana, eating a Big Mac, crying and swallowing. The beef, or whatever gray rubber they wedge between the white bread and Thousand Island, was foul and made my stomach churn, but under my disgust was the pleasure of my unshackling. In Burlington,

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“YEEZUS IN FURS” EXCERPT by Shane Jesse Christmass

NINE CELEBRITIES WHO ARE HONESTLY LOW-KEY WITCHES. Cult Leader is vice chairman of a shady company. He exerts political influence. He commits securities fraud. Bomb crews scurry across the alien surface. Red lumps beneath my skin. Skateboarding to the awful motel. Car door slams as I watch morning cartoons. Dirty

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TIME TO MEET YOUR GOD by Chris Dankland

Mr. Coyote stuck his long down-curved nose through a crack in his apartment door. He pushed his head outside and looked left. He sniffed the stale apartment building hallway. He looked right. Nobody there. Thirty seconds later he left his posh 30th floor apartment holding a big bag of trash

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THE JANNICK OVERTURE by Avee Chaudhuri

Nacogdoches, Texas Jannick Meissner claimed to be from Eastern Bavaria. He spoke theatrically, e.g. “I will revenge myself upon Castro.” Castro had slighted Jannick by not inviting him to an ongoing, Sunday afternoon table-top role playing game. Jannick was livid. “I am an excellent storyteller,” he told me. We were

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zachary kennedy lopez

SALT by Zachary Kennedy-Lopez

You’ve come to cherish the fragility of snails, come to love them in a small sort of way. When you see one attempting to cross the sidewalk, you pick it up—and it shrinks from you—and you move it to the other side. When it rains, you become more careful, you

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PLANT REPLANT by Jon Berger

I smoked Bubba Kush with my cousin Will. He got it from a guy who grew hydroponics.  It was my first time smoking anything other than midgrade. Will had this evil clown hookah thing with hoses hanging out of its head. His friend Joe got so stoned the clown gave

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elytron frass

PSEUDONYM AS DOPPELGANGER by Elytron Frass

“My reluctant author types: I AM,” my reluctant author types. I am evoked: his incorporeal pseudonym. I am manifested from the zeroing incantations of outsideness—drawn into a closed occulted circle, sans apotropaic salts, of his postmodern syllabic construction. He writes my name and binds me to his will as if

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