Monthly Archives: July 2014

three things that happened this morning

My job at summer school ended yesterday, and I have the next few weeks off from work. This morning I spent a half hour inside a room at our local shelter with a once stray cat that had been brought in the other day. She is in rough shape — you can see almost all the way down to her shoulder blades when she moves across a floor. She is a sweet lady, and she was more interested in the room than in me, but she accepted my pets without so much as a fuss. She was scheduled to be put down, but my wife, a vet student working at the shelter, will bring her home later to our apartment. We will see how she does at our place with our two other cats. The end goal is to find someone else to take her because our one bedroom is a little small for 3 critters. But in a pinch, she can stay with us!

On my way out of the shelter, the woman at the front desk had to let me out (it was before 9 am and the shelter wasn’t open to the public just yet). My wife and I had an awkward moment in which we didn’t know quite how to say goodbye with the other lady there. I actually gave her a high five (!) as she went in for the hug. It is weirdly nice to know that after almost ten years together we can still have one of those exchanges. Do those ever go away? I hope not.

One last thing. On my way home, I noticed a line of four horses, one bigger than the next, walking inside someone’s corral. They were doing a perfect single file, far better than my 3rd graders at school. I wondered if they were a family. I wasn’t sure, but it struck me as something I might want to jot down somewhere.

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Going shopping at the body part market (my new story published!)

I have a really short story called “Bargain Brain” up at the marvelous Apocrypha and Abstractions website. It’s sort of a dystopian thing and the main character is a young boy accompanying his mother on a trip to the body part market. Mom needs a new big right toe. The boy ends up putting his head in the price estimator and finds out how much his brain is worth. So yeah, it’s pretty weird.

Read it here

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when I die

When I die I want everyone to own a piece of me. I don’t care if you think it’s disgusting. Deal with it. I’m the one dead here. You know what’s worse than having my right arm on the mantel? Being dead. But who to give my head? My friend Tom who writes horror stories in his spare time? No, even he wouldn’t have the stomach. Maybe my uncle — yeah he’d enjoy the company. I always assumed he had a few lying around the house anyway.

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Near Death

When the sharpest knife I own fell through my hands
bounced off the floor
and tried to ravage me
I came reasonably close to serious injury
death even
yet I didnt feel the need to share the news
with anyone

the murderous kitchen utensils
the stupid left turns
are they not worth a mention?
a conversation?
are they not opportunities to rejoice
with loved ones?
why do we not throw lavish parties or even modest parties
to celebrate our triumphs
in the wake of death’s glances?

Cruel world it is.

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feeling webby

The internet is too much and too little too fast and too slow too powerful and too weak too fervent and too blasé too you and too me

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with every story read, the writer grew just a little bit more

he so wished he could see the rings as they moved further and further out

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Mango Salad by Stephen Mander

Back Hair Advocate

A man came into the post office today and asked for a chai latte. I said we didn’t have any. He didn’t believe me.

Are you sure? he said.

I said, look around. We sell envelopes, cards, boxes, jiffy bags. This is a post office, not a coffee shop.

He looked at the shelves then at the exchange rate board behind me and said: but I don’t need envelopes or anything like that. I need a coffee. A chai latte preferably. Why wouldn’t you sell them?

I said, because this is a post office. Post offices don’t generally sell coffee. It’s not what they’re for.

He looked confused, but you’re a shop, aren’t you? You sell things.

I said, yes, we are, and we do sell things. Just not coffee. You’re welcome to put it in the suggestion box, though, and I pointed at it.

He followed my finger there…

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we never sorted anything out
things just happened
and then more things
until there was a great pile
like stratum
until the only thing left to say was “I think it’s over”

we cried like infants not because we thought it was the wrong thing to do
but because after all of these years, it felt like we were siamese twins being torn apart

in time, I began to excavate
the things we piled
when I’d had two more beers than usual
and the shovel was handy

but the earth is always hard when you need it to be soft
and soft when you need it to be hard
and even when you do come across something
nothing will make sense anymore
I promise you that.

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Needs (a terribly sad poem)

one of our low income students
at school
a special needs boy
held a gun he’d constructed from blocks to my head yesterday
and slurred “gimme all your money”
part of me wanted to empty my pockets and tell him
he could have whatever he needed
if he thought it would help

at night
I dreamt he
was a man with intricate tattoos
and a mustache
jumping into a swimming pool without water

I tried to warn him, but the words wouldn’t come

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The Comeback by Catherine Weiss

Back Hair Advocate

When he returned to Earth last spring
our Lord Jesus
did indeed make the rounds
of the talk-show circuit.

His talking points were
dealing with an omnipotent
father figure,
the hiatus,
and next moves.

@TheRealJC even attracted
more followers than
Justin Bieber.
Totes populaire.

Unfortunately, the Son of God’s
music career never
did take off.

Sorry Jesus, nobody
listens to ska anymore.

Catherine Weiss is a poet and author living in Northampton, MA. She has been published in Drunk Monkeys,, Linguistic Erosion, Melancholy Hyperbole, and Red River Review. Her website is

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