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Skin Without Chloroform ZackLiscio

*for a gorgeous and meaningless girl, thank you for these thoughts. the river shakes the sheets of her canopied four-poster a little girl again running legs over each other like second hands waiting, sunning her rough spots above the rush to be beautiful and mean it. is there something for me to wear? There has to be. A mask, a cape, some paint… everywhere preparations full-swinging celebrations attired in ecstasy atrophied. had I known, donning the zombie colors, why the leaves and trout were so caught up in pageantry, laughing at the self-effrontery leaning mad and naked over the mirror. Had I known how ridiculous we look, rustling in the wind I fed the fermented rot wind dampening our breath. We’ll be drunk and miss the party if we keep this up… lost to the glamorous décor of clamor, loud trees flirting with themselves chattering careless compliments And the party doesn’t start. All the masqueraders now timid or tired, washing away their painted skins, retire. And I am alone with glass and streamers where wallflowers expire.



an excerpt from

The Man Who Made Chairs SiobhanMay

So naturally, as Michael stood there, staring down at the drop of blood gathering at the top of his finger like a bubble about to burst, all he could think of were bats. The workshop, as it were, was in a lofty garage, with long-running fluorescent lights which left a shiny white glow on any flat surface. Anything above those lights was darkness, and any sound in that workshop that couldn’t be attributed to a saw, a sander, or a soldering gun was attributed to the creatures in the darkness above the lights. Michael was sure it was home to the hairiest of spiders, the nest of a barn owl whose eyes he’d seen glowing in the corner, and of course, dozens of bats. “It’s just a splinter, come on over here.” His father said, as he passed him to sit on a footstool in front of a long workbench. He grabbed a rough paper towel, spit in it to make it soft and then wiped the blood from his finger just as the drop raced down into the valley of his index and middle finger. His father took his hand and with calloused, trunk-like fingers, he held Michael’s pointer finger very still. With his other hand he took tiny tools from a green Swiss Army knife. He chose a delicate pair of tweezers. Michael watched with wide eyes as his hand disappeared beneath his fathers clenched fist. “Does that hurt?” His father asked, stopping for a moment and looking up at Michael, “No,” he lied. It felt like he was poking his finger over and over with needles. “Good boy.” He said with a smile. He turned back to the evasive sliver still lodged in Michael’s finger. “There it is, look at that,” he said and he held out the little piece of wood between the tiny tweezers. “That’s pretty big.” “I’d say,” his dad laughed as he put his tweezers away. Michael inspected his injured finger. It was a little red, a little puffy and very sore. “What’s the prognosis?”

“What’s that mean?” “It means, how is it going to turn out? Good? Bad?” “Oh,” Michael took one last looked at his wound. With pursed lips and a thoughtfully scrunched brow, he decided, “I’m gunna be good.” “Good to hear it.” His father said in the same serious tone. “Do you still get splinters?” Michael asked after a moment. “Oh yea,” his father told him. “I got three on this one alone,” he said standing and showing Michael a chair turned upside down on the table. It was a rocking chair, it was smooth, with great curved legs and it was the color of sand. “Is it done?” Michael asked, his hands deep in his pocket, not daring to risk another splinter. “No,” his father told him as he took a seat in front of the chair. “I have to sign my name on it, and then polish it and make it nice and shiny and then it will be almost done.” “Can I watch?” Michael asked, he sensed the importance of the moment and so he spoke very softly. He had never been allowed in his father’s workshop for so long while he was working. Most of the time he was shuffled out with his palms flat on the sides of his head to defend himself from the piercing sound of the electric sander. His father looked at him as if he was measuring him, as if he was seeing if he was tall enough like for the rides at Disneyworld.

an excerpt from

College, Through the Eyes of its Students MattSinger

-College life is just like one big game of beer pong. You sink some, you miss some, sometimes you’re on a hot streak, and sometimes you just suck. But if you ever, ever, even think about bouncing, I’ll kick you outta my house dude! -Look guys, college is all about rules. If we don’t follow rules then there can be no fun. College isn’t about “drinking” or “enjoying yourself” or “socializing with peers in a comfortable setting.” College is about living in the dorms your junior and senior years to make sure other students understand the importance of mandatory ice-breaker games and wacky-wild bingo on Friday nights. -Check this out Bro---College is the shit. I mean, have you seen the women here Brah? They’re ridic. Boozin’ face, mackin ho’s, parties, women, beer, girls…what more could you want Broseph? Oh, and if your lookin to score some coke, I got your back Broham. -College? I don’t have time to talk about college. I have an exam in 7 weeks and a semester. Look, everybody here just thinks they can skate by with “93’s” on their tests. They’re a joke. It’s a proven fact that if you spend the time to eat 3 meals a day during college, you will flunk out and your parents will laugh at you.

Prison Boy Scout JustinSadegh



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