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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life


D.W. YOUNG "A Fitting End": After the incident with the deranged lepidopterist, Frederick Vance began to have trouble sleeping

PETER WEVERKA "A Ghost Story": One afternoon as I purchased cigarettes in the corner store, the man asked if I had seen any fantasmas in my rented house

JORGE LUIS BORGES "Ragnarok" translated by Noah Hoffenberg: The place was the School of Arts; it was dark

ARLEN DONZI "Microphone Guy": Denise's professional life as the buyer for a chain of music stores brought many men into her cramped workspace with offers, and most of them earned titles: Tape Guy, Cable Guy, Drum Head Guy, Guys on the Floor, Guys in Stock and Guys With Needs

ART ROSCHE "Fish Store": For eighteen years Trevor had been the lead guitarist with Fish Store

WILLIE SMITH "The Art of History": The autumn I turned thirteen, I went through, for about a day, an aborted stage of trying to be egalitarian

MARK S. WEBER "A Scholarly Thirst": I know, I know. You've all heard it before. Shakespeare was a fag. When I was in graduate school they told me Shakespeare was a fag. But it wasn't Shakespeare who was a fag! It was just that they were fags and they wanted Shakespeare to be one too

SAM WILHIDE "Lepus": Even after several years of practice, he was still no good at teaching sex education

NELLY REIFLER "Two Stories with Beginnings by Henny Youngman": I was so ugly when I was born that the doctor slapped my mother

EUGENIO VOLPE "Love Sick": My sister, now happily married with three kids, slept upstairs

BRYAN QUINN "Bachelor Boat": In the stern, Mark the pirate was cutting up a mackerel for bait

PAUL A. TOTH "Glowfish": Bonnie knew Maggie was bright, a good writer, and passionate

SWEET VETCH "Hedysarum Alpinum": Seeing my befuddlement, she grabbed me by the balls and led me to her river

SCOTT RUTLEDGE "A la Carte": The garbage is offered to you before it is hauled off to the dump, and you pass by the display lining both sides of the alley, selecting items which you place into the shopping cart

DAVIS SCHNEIDERMAN "Always Crashing in the Same AlwaysCrashingCar": Old Mann Roderick screams 'Ich ein bin Berliner' and shoves jelly doughnuts directly into his stomach, bypassing lips, jaws, and esophageal lubricants with full-fisted determination


MARK ESTRIN "Eve of Destruction": Eve jumped out of bed, and into her sweats. Arnold reached out after her, grabbing only the air

PETER FREUND "Place of Skulls": The first ones to hear the strange noise were two sailors from the Black Sea Fleet and the girl they were trying to make out with by the Place of Skulls on Red Square

MILTON BEYER "A Shadow in Chelsea": Orson Welles and John Houseman created the Black Theatre in Harlem, an offshoot of their W.P.A federal-funded Mercury Theatre. They produced "Macbeth" there in 1936 and I took a school chum, Ruth, to see it on a date. I was 19; she was 18

MIHAI GRUNFELD "Raw Potato": It was always Father who read the prayer book, so although Mother recited the Shabbat prayer on Friday evenings, I was surprised that she knew how to read Hebrew

AL MASARIK from Heron Dance: Hospice came with its catheter and morphine patch

JANET MASON "The Dolorous City": A low moaning surrounded her, tossed back and forth in frothy swells. In their grief, the girls were echoes of themselves

DARREN HIGGINS "Two Stories": Sickroom Raskolnikovs, the would-be-kings, take feral advantage of season. Nurses and custodians clatter through the halls seeking the perfect syringe

JOE KUHL "Two Expats and a Homeboy": I was out for lunch with Ray, a smart, sexy Italian-American young woman who turned down a teaching job at the Gulf University where I was teaching in favor of marrying one of Ted Turner's boys

SUSANNA BRESLIN "Two Stories": He had cried constantly as a small baby, masturbated obsessively as a young teen, and become the kind of man as an adult who only truly enjoyed himself when he was hurting other people

BROCK "Two Stories": So there I am spanking the old monkey on my bed

PAT NOLAN "Phone Sex": He had been slowly masticating the bland fare and indulging himself with people watching, an occupation of the smug and ultimately insecure

LEE COOMBES "My Girlfriend Is Becoming a Bloke": I've come to dread the sound of her feet on the stairs, her beery breath, her drunken bonhomie, the way she pushes her fat fingers into my ribs

ANDREW GALLIX "Sweet Fanny Adams": It's like this: your train is due to leave any minute now


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