E-mail Home to Say, There’s Something You Ought to Know

By Benjamin Hostetter

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i haven’t always been upfront with you, esp. when it comes to sex. sure, it’s totally natural, and so what’s there to be embarrassed about, right? well. if you haven’t already guessed, i prefer to keep some things private. or at the very least, just between me and the person i’m sleeping with. still, i set out to tell you the truth about chloë and me, and so and though i can’t say that i’m totally comfortable with what i’m about to tell you, i’m just going to come out and say it, just so you know.

so what now, then, huh?

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Workplace Priorities

By Jill Cox-Cordova

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Morning Must-Do List (Day 365 at Painted Rock Creations)

  1. Wear impenetrable armor to prevent the How-In-The-World-Did-You-Get-This-Job-Managers (HITWDYGTJ-M) from detecting my actual flaws.
  2. Google what to wear to make walking, sitting, and walking away easier to do when you’re wearing a shield on your body and mind.
  3. Eat a protein bar (or several) like I am starving during the morning team meeting to stop myself from opening my mouth to say that any intelligent, forward-thinking person would see the HITWDYGTJ-M’s ideas to purchase cheap plastic rocks won’t work.
  4. Cancel my hair appointment so that my long strands will continue to hide my eyes that roll during meetings.
  5. Send an email to my boss (and cc myself) that gives him ideas that will work like hiring artists to create templates for new looks, if that’s what they want. But I must make sure he also knows that I, Abbey Bell-Watson, want to be credited for that idea (not your idea, Mickey. Jerk!) Even if it is just this one time.



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Letting Go

By Marc Joan

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I hate the sea. At school someone said there’s under-ocean canyons deeper than ten cathedrals, full of cold and starving things with mouths that can open wider than their own bodies and fins with glowing bits they use to seek you out. They just stay at the bottom, waiting for drowned things to sink. I can’t imagine going down, down, into the heavy darkness, and watching these little lights getting closer and closer, and knowing what’s behind them. I can’t think of that.

They won’t have missed the lantern in the shop. They’ve got loads of them, cheap things, only paper, with a thin card platform underneath holding a tea-candle. So I don’t feel too guilty about nicking it, even though Mr. and Mrs. Chang are really nice. Anyway, I think they’d understand, if they knew. If they knew why I took it, I mean, not just that I took it. They already know we’re being kicked out of the flat now Dad’s gone, and the money’s gone. I think that’s why Mr Chang gives me a tube of Smarties sometimes.

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The Crane Fly

By Ruth Deming

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On my white windowsill
among dainty tea cups,
a ceramic bird house, a
blue and white vase from France,
lies something dead.

As he flew past, for it is an insect,
was he dazzled by these objets
d’art as he sought to free himself
from the confines of the house?

The crane fly is a beauty
has he procreated already?
He lies folded up like an
origami soldier,
diaphanous wings at rest.
A body so slender
you wonder how
all the parts fit inside.


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Thoughts On Baudelaire’s “The Old Woman’s Despair”

By Christopher Woods

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Baudelaire is, without a doubt, a father of the prose poem form in contemporary writing. Yes, prose poems existed long, long before, notably in the Bible’s “Psalms Of David.” There are other historical examples as well. But for all practical purposes, one thinks of Baudelaire who made prose poems an accepted style with the publication of Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) in 1857.

Recently, I read one of Baudelaire’s prose poems, “The Old Woman’s Despair,” in which an aging woman tries, unsuccessfully, to admire a newborn baby boy. As the woman approaches the baby, she is shocked that the baby sees her and begins to wail, as though frightened or repulsed by the old woman. The result is that the woman suddenly has a sad epiphany about being old and decrepit, and of no longer being able to please. She even compares all old women to scarecrows, and she bemoans the fact that, no matter that she wants to love little children, the aging process has made doing so utterly impossible.

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