Notes on “Prayer for my New Daughter” by Rebecca Foust from issue 300.1

Prayer for My New Daughter

After Yeats, and inspired by an attack on transgender students using a “bathroom with urinals” at a college in the northeastern US.

A soul in chrysalis, in first agonized molt,
must choose: LADIES, or MENS.
For some—for you—these rooms are fraught,
an open field where lines are drawn: think of
the White-Only signs. Or Serrano’s Piss Christ
and Duchamp’s Fountain, pitted with acid
and icepicks, de-faced. As for restrooms called
“Bathrooms with Urinals,” no, his words
will never deconstruct the master’s house.
For an hour I have walked and prayed,
considering icepicks, how they’re made
to fit a blind hand; how kept so well honed.
You are soft as sown grass and fierce as cut glass.
You pack your new purse with lipstick, and mace.

This poem presented me with several technical problems, most imposed by the limitations of sonnet structure. “Prayer for my New Daughter” is part of a manuscript called Paradise Drive that recently won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry and will be released at AWP in April 2015. Because Paradise Drive is entirely comprised of sonnets—some faithful to form, and others exploded—I did feel compelled to say all I had to say in this poem in fourteen lines. I don’t necessarily love epigraphs (and have noticed many editors don’t, either) but I felt I had to give attribution to Yeats. Also, while still in the process of revising the poem, I noticed that it worked better at readings where I had a chance to give background on the events that inspired it.

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Learning to Drive or Why I Write in my Car by Faith Shearin

I don’t like to drive so I was surprised to find, sometime in my 30s, that I enjoy writing there; I park with a view of water or crooked trees, keep a backpack in the passenger seat with my favorite notebooks and pens. In winter, I bring a sleeping bag, sometimes even a pillow so I can dream.

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Throwback Thursday featuring Chelsea Wagenaar with “Errata” from issue 295.2

Chelsea Henderson’s poem “Errata” won second place in the 2010 James Hearst Poetry Prize.

A note from the author: I wrote “Errata” the summer after my second year of college, a summer that was difficult and emotional in many ways.  I read Simic’s “Errata”—which inspired my somewhat shameless take on his poem—and something about the emotional compression, the barely-muted desperation and longing, in his poem really struck me.  In writing “Errata,” which I wrote in about 30 minutes, one of the fastest poems I’ve ever produced, I hoped to write a poem that was more of an emotional experience than a coherent narrative.  I’ve not written much like it since, but the poem remains an important turning point in my maturation as a writer, as well a great affirmation when it placed second in the James Hearst Prize that year.  My first book, Mercy Spurs the Bone (Anhinga, 2015), contains almost no poems written before 2012, but “Errata” is one of the few I never cut from the manuscript.  Something about the poem still seems an important articulation of my relationship to language, its possibilities, its rescuing power.

Hummingbird Continue reading

“Recipes You Need” by James Engelhardt from issue 296.4

The poem is set in the Midwest during the period of western migration, but it intends to make the reader consider how food and culture intertwine on several levels, from family to country. Perhaps it’s good to remind ourselves of this linkage during this time of year when culture, family, and food are so prominent.

Jeannie-Phan-Illustration-Precedent-Food-Banana-Bread

Recipes You Need

To Make a Cake Without Butter

Melt down a piece of salt pork, strain it through muslin, let cool, and then use as butter.
You can fatten a pig on any damn thing, but milch cows will eat you out of grain and green. Your father knows they’re prettier to look at—big eyes, soft ears, the wet nose and heavy tongue—but only one family nearby will be able to afford one. So when you’ve narrowed your choices to one young man and he brings his family for dinner, you’re more likely to have salt pork than butter. Once the salt’s out, fat is fat.

To Make Sugar of Sorghum
Boil sorghum until thick and it will granulate over 10 days in a warm room. Then pour into containers with perforated bottoms and let the molasses drain off.
Who do you send into the warm room to check? Send your daughter and tell her it’s a story about how the races separate. She’ll keep that phrase in her head for her whole life, when she moved out to Seattle, when she marries that boy from Boston who’d moved west to work with real timber for a few years. She’ll go back with him and their son, and she’ll always think about that dark sorghum syrup running out leaving white white white crystals.

A Good Receipt for Vinegar
Take forty gallons of water, one gallon of molasses, and four pounds of acetic acid.  Mix and let sit for a couple of days.
There are other ways, other means, but the need for the bite of vinegar is strong. Sorghum molasses you already have, and the acetic acid should be cheap, even by mail order. Don’t handle the crystals directly. Pour them in. Let the molasses darken and sweeten those forty gallons.

Popcorn Pudding
Soak two quarts of freshly popped corn in three pints of sweet milk over night. when ready to bake, add three well-beaten eggs, a little salt, and sugar to taste. Bake like a custard pudding.
Popcorn is cheap, available, but you don’t want to give the extra to the pig. And you don’t have enough ingredients to have a dessert for the family, though tomorrow is Sunday. And you’ve about run through the credit at the store. You don’t have enough.
You can’t make them all content, and certainly not happy.
How to extend the custard?
You could give it a flavor like smoke. Hulls add flakes of texture. Tell yourself it’s good that way, that the family will want more.


James Engelhardt’s poems have appeared in the North American Review, Hawk and Handsaw, ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, Terrain.org, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cirque, Ice Floe, and many others. His book, Bone Willows, is forthcoming from Boreal Books. His ecopoetry manifesto can be found at octopusmagazine.com. He is the senior editor at the University of Alaska Press. Jame’s poem in featured in North American Review‘s issue 296.4, Fall 2011.


Illustration by Jeannie Phan, a Toronto-based freelance illustrator. Jeannie has been featured in several issues of the North American Review, the most recent of which is issue 299.4, Fall 2014.

Some Questions to Ask of Your Poem by Jack Ridl

I taught the composing of poetry for thirty-seven years at the college. Here is a little note and a list I sent out before each class began.

Let’s make poems for some real reasons to enter art—to bring worlds to one another that we otherwise would not have, to create a place where you are safe to be you, to give your inward self the care and validation it needs and deserves, to write in order to have moments IN the writing that bring to you what you most cherish, care about, that connect you to the meaningful parts of your life, those that you are distracted from most of the time.

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Here’s a question I am often asked: “Is my poem any good?”

Here are some other, I hope, better questions:

Is my poem a place you were glad to be in?
Is my poem one that connected you to something that matters?
Is my poem one that brought you a smile? Moved you to realizations? To feeling like crying or sighing? To laughing out loud?
Is my poem one that took up your time and you’re glad it did?
Is my poem like an honest friend, a good pal?
Is my poem one that enlarges your world, your heart?12.16.2

Is my poem SINGING the blues?
Is my poem like a faithful mutt?
Is my poem useful to your spirit?

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Is my poem useful?
Is my poem larger than Canada?
Is my poem smaller than a snowflake?
Is my poem one that enlarges the temple?
Is my poem one that comforts?
Is my poem one that shames the oppressive?
Is my poem one that redeems? Reconciles?
Is my poem so tiny and important to you that you want to keep it in your pocket or a locket?
Is my poem one that points you toward what you want to have time to care about?
Is my poem one you would give to someone?
Is my poem one that makes you so mad you want to fix the world?
Is my poem making a wonderful fool of itself?
Is my poem a means to healing?
Is my poem wonderfully silly, whimsically heart happy?
Is my poem risking what’s worth risking?
Is my poem a Saturday?
Is my poem a turtle crossing the road?
Is my poem trying to speak to one human heart?
Is my poem glad and grateful to have come into the world?


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Jack Ridl’s latest collection, Practicing to Walk Like a Heron (2013, Wayne State
University Press.), was named one of the year’s two best books of poetry by Foreward/the American Library Association/Independent Bookstores. Broken Symmetry (Wayne State) was named best book of poetry by The Society of Midland Authors in 2006, and Losing Season (CavanKerry) was named by the Institute for International Sport as the best sports related book for 2009. He is co-author with Peter Schakel of Approaching Literature (Bedford/St. Martin’s). Ridl was one of twelve writers invited by the Fetzer Institute to a weeklong conversation on compassion and forgiveness. The Carnegie Foundation (CASE) named him Michigan’s Professor of the Year. More than eighty-five of his students are now published authors. Jack is featured in issue 296.3, Summer 2011.


Illustrations by Anthony Tremmaglia, an Ottawa-based illustrator, artist, and educator. His clients include WIRED, Scientific American, Smart Money, HOW, and San Francisco Weekly. Anthony is featured in issues 299.1, Winter 2014 & 299.4, Fall 2014. Find more of Anthony’s work at http://www.tremmaglia.ca/

The Story as Essay: Or, What I’ve Accidentally Learned by Teaching Comp by David Ebenbach

About ten years ago I wanted to write an article about how writers, who often teach composition courses, are the last people on Earth who should be teaching composition courses. I had good arguments: First of all, it’s hard for writers to understand and communicate with people who so dislike writing that they only take a writing class when it’s required, and, second, we don’t spend as much time thinking about grammar as administrators might like. Above all, I thought, people who write stories and poems don’t necessarily have all that much to say about the very particular kind of stuff that gets written in these classes—argumentative essays, mainly—because those essays are so far removed from what we do.

Moon

Well, nobody wanted my article; magazine editors didn’t see the same problems that I did. They told me that writers get a lot, in fact, out of teaching composition courses. Naturally, this made me feel sulky and misunderstood.

Ten years later, I can say they were right.

Of course, there are the obvious benefits—the pleasures of learning how to articulate what we know about writing, of being pushed to think in new ways, and of kindling real interest in writing among students who aren’t expecting to like it. In general, I have found teaching to be good for the mind and for the soul, and comp means encountering students and ideas that I wouldn’t encounter otherwise. But there’s also been an effect I never would have expected: teaching the argumentative essay has changed the way I write short stories.

I mean, I should have seen it coming. I’m constantly telling my students how their papers need to be like short stories, how those papers need to have (like a good short story) precise detail, a compelling voice, obstacles, and suspense. So I already knew that short fiction could teach us about how to write essays. Why should it surprise me that the connection goes both ways? If an essay can have plot (will the author turn out to be convincing, or not?), why can’t a short story have arguments?

Indeed it can; in fact, without even intending to, I have found myself writing some stories that actually resemble the argumentative essay.

The signs are subtle in my story, “Our Mothers Left Us,” which doesn’t offer an argument, exactly, but which, like the essay, uses each paragraph to make a separate point. In a typical short story, individual beats/scenes are broken into a number of different paragraphs, including lines of dialogue and actions and so on. In “Our Mothers Left Us,” on the other hand, I move chronologically from one thing to the next, and each time there’s a new beat in the narrative, it gets its own single paragraph. In one paragraph, the mothers disappear; in the next the kids search for them; in the next the fathers become involved; et cetera. The story accumulates in clear, distinct steps, which is an ideal (for essays) that I harp on in class.

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My story, “We’ll Finish When We’re Done,” operates in a similar way. In this case there’s dialogue, and lots of paragraph breaks in this one continuous scene—but the story, about a surprisingly enthusiastic barber, builds (just the way I teach my students to do it) point by point. First he gives the customer a trim, and then a more drastic cut, and then a military buzz, and then he shaves him bald. Step by step, the cut gets closer—believe it or not, it gets closer than bald—just the way an essay gets closer and closer to the vindication of its thesis.

And then there are the stories I’ve written that don’t just resemble the form of arguments but instead actually become arguments. In “The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy,” the speaker—a collective voice—tries to explain why the group didn’t invite this one guy to the orgy they just had. In a sense it’s a backward argument, because the speaker rejects (rather than advancing) one argument after the next—specifically, it isn’t that the guy is prudish, or bad in bed, or unattractive, or a bad guy. In fact, he’s great in all those respects. And so the story is resisting the final impulse to become an essay; it’s trying to fail to explain what happened, by trying not to embrace a thesis. And yet, I have to admit: by the end of the story, an explanation—a thesis—creeps in anyway. I won’t include the spoiler here, but suffice it to say that the power of the argumentative essay is inexorable.

What I never expected was that this power would come to shape my fiction-writing. And yet I’ve already written a handful of argument stories—not just these but others, like “Nobody Else Gets to Be Crazy When You’re Being Crazy” and “Counterfactual”—and I assume that there will be more of them. These stories will have their place. It’s good, in fact, for a writer to try on new forms—the short-short, the letter, the recipe, the instruction manual, and (why not?) the argument.

At the same time, I do worry a little: if I spend more and more time thinking about students’ composition papers, will more and more of my stories end up neat and orderly and driving to a point? Will I stop developing characters and plots in complicated and uneven ways—in organic ways—and instead only move things forward in discrete, distinct units?

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Which brings me to the point of this essay. Because there’s another thing I’m always telling my students: if you can become conscious of your writing habits, good and bad, then you will have some power over them. In other words, it’s one thing to try on a form, to use it as a tool when you need it, and it’s another thing to have it sneak up on you and use you. That’s why you need to pay attention to your writing. And I’m hoping that this little bit of attention-giving (i.e., the attention I’m giving it by writing about it right here) will help me turn this form into a choice instead of an inevitability.

These days, I wouldn’t claim that teaching composition is such a bad gig for a writer. In fact, I like it a lot. But maybe it’s time to start teaching something else. Math? Genetics? Business? Music composition? After all, I could be writing stories and poems in the form of quadratic equations, DNA sequences, earnings reports, or arias. What you learn by teaching forms—any and all forms—is that there is an orgy of possibilities out there, and that you are definitely invited.


2014 Hairston 08David Ebenbach is the author of two books of short stories—Into the Wilderness (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) and Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press)—plus a chapbook of poetry called Autogeography (Finishing Line Press), and a non-fiction guide to creativity called The Artist’s Torah (Cascade Books). His first full-length collection of poetry, We Were the People Who Moved, won the Patricia Bibby Award, and will be published by Tebot Bach in 2015. With a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Ebenbach teaches Creative Writing at Georgetown University. David is featured in issue 297.2, Spring 2012. Find out more at www.davidebenbach.com.


Illustrations by  Clay Rodery, an illustrator who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Clay’s illustrations have been featured in the North American Review, most recently in issue 299.4, Fall 2014.

Spycar: The World’s Fastest Independent Bookstore by Tom Lukas

book_thower

Danger. Intrigue. Escape.

Individualism. Suburbanization.  An Interstate highway system. And the American zeal to zoom.

From Steve McQueen’s ’68 390 Mustang Fastback in the police thriller Bullitt, to the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger, to Peter Faulk’s rumpled ’59 Peugeot 403 convertible in the TV series Columbo, it’s no secret that it’s the car that taps out cultural code to telegraph an undercover agent’s image. To encounter an operative behind the wheel, some secreted cul-de-sac within the imaginative psyche secretes the desire to drive – and suddenly readers or viewers believe it is we who are behind the wheel eluding peril and saving the day.

Of course my building the Spycar came months before I would scrutinize why that vehicle proved the secret weapon in promoting my debut novel – a psychological thriller titled Special Operations – and The Seethrough Spybook Series, of which S.O. is first installment.

My initial decision to build the Spycar was an act of utter frustration with the broken world of publishing, ubiquitous advice to self-publish and self promote atop heaping discussions of “breaking the mold.”  I thought: maybe stuff it into the furnace, then hammer it white-hot on an anvil stamped ACME—till I wind up with something I can use.

Equipped with a stealthy set of driving lights fashioned from cocktail shakers and a theatrical smoke screen device in the trunk, the Spycar awakens the twelve-year-old in all who see it. It captures and codifies the essence of my debut novel’s entertainment value—not unlike ways in which the more recognizable spyrides shoot us clues about the sleuths who drive them.

From the results of my 7,800 mile book tour this past summer, it seems I chose the right vehicle: a 1972 Volvo 1800e, a first departure from Volvo’s reputedly stodgy and square-ish looks—Italian by exterior design but powered by an engine of modest roots and outlandish last ability which had previously been the driving force of Volvo’s farm tractors. A delightful balance of style and stubborn: What better vehicle in which to tour the United States sowing Special Operations?

The American road trip seems somewhat of a covert operation. While the rest of the herd’s heading for after-school soccer practice, we’re hiding in plain sight and on the road to Shambala. Striped with an X of yellow crime scene tape, the all-black Spycar kicks up book sales; this past summer, day after day, mile after mile, independent bookstore after independent bookstore—from Seattle to Boston to Washington D.C. and then back to Seattle: people’s eyes lit up and copy after copy of Special Operations got sold—the title page of which I habitually inscribed, “Enjoy the ride!”

For an extended version of the blog and more information on the Spycar, click here to visit Tom Lukas’s website.


self_portrait_with_scissors_cropTom Lukass home is in Seattle and Bogotá. He received a Ludwig Vogelstein grant to finish his first novel, Contrapasso, or, a Season of Consequence, for which he seeks a publisher. Tom is featured in issue 294.6, November-December 2009.

Publishing With a Letterpress Printer by Aaron McNally

“This moment is the only thing in which I am at all interested. Ergo, who cares for anything I do? And what do I care.” –William Carlos Williams, “Spring and All”

The other day, I visited a friend of mine. We did what friends so often do. Sat down, had coffee, had a little chat. Played with the dog. Went out to the studio and spent five hours working on a letterpress project.

Julie is the proud owner of a Vandercook letterpress that once belonged to the art department at the University of Northern Iowa. For the better part of a decade she has used this giant instrument to compose a wealth of material: broadsides, greeting cards, fine art designs, bookmarks, and books of poetry, among other things. Her work makes use of ornamental antique type, and fuses it with her own etchings, carvings, and writings. Depending on her mood, the marketplace, available materials, etc., this might produce an elegantly simple card or a complex geometric composition that takes a dozen or more runs of the press.

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On the day I worked with her, our project was a bookmark. Sounds simple enough (and the final result looks simple enough), but the work put in from concept to design to finished project was remarkable.

We began with a simple drawing of Julie’s. Cobwebs in honor of Halloween. She had traced her pencil lines with glue, causing them to jut out to become print-capable surfaces. Secondly, Julie had selected a vintage piece of illustration to add to the top of the mark, a silhouette of a Victorian woman reading by candlelight. This was something that might have appeared in an advertisement in the corner of a magazine or newspaper from another time. For our purposes, it served as a mood-setter. It took us out of our own world and put us in the mood to read something transportive.

Finally, we set a little type. Julie had drafted a bit of verse, but suggested that I might revise it. It was a friendly gesture, inviting me to be a part of the process, and complimenting me by suggesting she had faith in my poetic craft. After three or four tries I drafted something that I felt fit the spirit of the process, and she seemed to like it.

Then to type. This took me a fair amount of time to complete. In hopes, I think, of giving me an appreciation for the work involved in setting type, Julie allowed me to set the lines myself. It took effort, concentration, tweezers. At one point, I realized we were short by a single letter—her type kit had only a limited number of a certain character. So I revised on the fly, changed a conjunction to make use of what type I had, and learned a small lesson about gratitude, resourcefulness, and necessity.

Employing those skills of paraphrase, engaging the semantic strengths I’ve developed over decades of reading and writing, and sapping up the sentiments inspired by the Hallowtide holidays, has caused me to spend a bit of time reflecting on this experience, the drying leaves of which I’m sharing with you now.

Julie and I spent quite a while setting the paper, attending to the ink (cleaning rollers, changing colors, adding more to achieve the desired saturation). It was a long process for very small return. After errors were accounted for, and satisfactorily straightly-lined prints trimmed to size, we had only eight or ten bookmarks.

Three lines of poetry, totaling 30 characters, written that morning, came out in an edition of eight.

This seems symbolical to me, somehow. Considering it, I think back to my career over the past ten years. In 2007, I released a single volume on Julie’s Caveworks press. I’ve published nothing since.

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In the past two years, I’ve only typed up ten or twelve poems. These typed versions were not sent out to publishers, but were printed large scale for gallery exhibitions of my work. Nine of the poems were printed out as a chapbook—in an edition of two. It was a Valentine’s Day gift for someone. I’ll let your imagination shade in the rest.

With the exception of my volume on Caveworks, I have published only three poems: one here in the North American Review and two in Inner Weather, the student publication at the University of Northern Iowa.

Aside from that, all of my publications have been collaborations with Friedrich Kerksieck, another Iowan letterpress printer located now in New Orleans (https://www.etsy.com/shop/smallfirespress).

Yet I continue to write, am writing seemingly all the time, in head or by hand. I’ve a trunk full of hand-filled notebooks. I’ve scraps of paper everywhere.

And I’ve published others. Chapbooks, journals. I’m editing a chapbook series right now called Quick and Dirty Press. Its second title is coming out next week. I’m Founding Editor of the cant journal based out of Kansas City, which continues to emerge despite my retirement from its offices.

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In short, I’m busy. Too busy to publish, perhaps, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s a philosophical distinction on my part, a conceptual framework forging my attitude to fit a certain form.

I write first for pleasure, second for philosophy, and third for literary accomplishment. Somewhere in that mix is publishing, sharing, commingling.

It’s not that I don’t share at all. I read—at open mics and featured performances. Or, I recite, I incant, I chant, I intone.

And I leave little litterings behind, detritus, ephemera. Perhaps some of it will stick, and last. Perhaps I’ve poems yet to be discovered, waiting in the shadows of undecoded notebooks, longing to be set to type.


Aaron McNally lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa where he runs the Q&DP chapbook series. He is the author of Out of the Blue(Caveworks, 2007), and has published several poems and two chapbooks co-authored with Friedrich Kerksieck. His reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi and The Cream City Review. He is the founding editor of cant, a poetry journal.


Illustrations by Raquel Aparicio: I feel grateful this is going to be my ninth year dedicated to what I love, drawing. I live in Valencia, a sunny city in the coast of Spain. I taught a collage illustration workshop at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid; I also taught in diverse countries like Serbia or Paraguay. I work in a variety of media exploring different styles, producing illustrations, animations and comics. Mostly I work for magazines and illustrate children’s books, but I’v been also designing graphics for garments, advertising, and newspapers.

raquelportu-smMy illustrations were published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, New York Observer, The Scientist, Nylon, Dazed and Confused (Corea), Runner’s World, Prevention, Rolling Stone (Spain), Mia, Elle, Quo, Angel’s on Earth, Ragazza, Stella (UK), Psychologies, LDS Living, Ling, Yo Dona, Calle 20, H, Chow, Lados, Viajar, Looc, Europa, Forma (Paraguay), Simon & Schuster (US). Raquel is represented by Purple Rain Illustrations, Ella Lupo, T: 609-497-7330 C: 732-690-2515 

A CONSUMER COMPLAINT (in iambic pentameter) by Laurie Frankel

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(NOTE: click on the hyperlinks)

To Whom it May Concern et al et Al
Please review the following complaint
Regarding a company called, Door Pal
Problems with quality of wood and paint.

I ordered a new dutch door in dark red.
For those not in the know, a dutch door is
A door cut in half like on Mr. Ed.
(Horse not included. Not part of their biz.)

I put a 10 percent deposit down.
Six weeks later they came to install it.
Top door was smaller than the bottom. Frown.
What the? All I could think to say was, sh . . . oot.

I worried I had made a big mistake.
And that the sales guy had been a big snake.

To their credit they cut a new top piece.
But painted it on site which made it gunky.
This is wrong, I thought. Was I getting fleeced?
It’s my front door! Truth is it was funky.

Owner stopped by to evaluate.
Said, “I’d give it a seven out of ten.”
But I paid for at least a nine point eight.
He asked, What do you want me to do then?

I want you to give me my money back.
Sorry, I can’t.” He stood and shook his head.
Lucky for me I paid by VISA, Jack.
Time to leave through the crappy door, I said.

I got all my money returned to me.
Interviewing company twenty-three . . .

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Author, short-story writer, and humorist Laurie Frankel knows pain is the root of all comedy and is thrilled her life is so damn funny. Her books include “I Wore a Thong for This?!” and “There’s a Pattern Here & It Ain’t Glen Plaid,” about which Kirkus Reviews has this to say: “. . . laugh-out-loud funny . . . great practical suggestions . . . A quirky, earnest guide to regaining self-esteem for the modern woman.” Frankel’s literary work has appeared in Shenandoah, The Literary Review, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Pedestal Magazine. This former east coast gal, now residing on Planet OC, can be found saving the human race one love question at a time. Join the fun and visit her at LauriesLoveLogic.


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Illustrations by Gigi Rose Gray, an illustrator born and raised in New York City where she received her BFA in illustration from Parsons New School for Design. She now resides in sunny Los Angeles. Her works are inspired by the grace and elegance of women, mid-century design, french renaissance interiors, the colors olive green and mustard yellow, dreams, cypress trees, Greco-Roman art, and nostalgia.