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Here's Part Two of "Goodwill" by Jason Lee Brown

The Austin mansion had sixteen rooms, including eight bedrooms, and Dee said she wanted to see them all. The two parlor rooms were packed with guests and a white noise of chatter that hung in the air. She held Ed’s hand and pulled him into the butler’s pantry, away from everyone else. Ed leaned against the all-white pantry, and she, still holding his hand, pulled herself into him, as if slow dancing....

Illustration by Matteo Gallo

‘Tis The Season!

Today We Begin A Story By Jason Lee Brown That Was First Published In Issue 299.1, Winter 2014. We Hope You Enjoy This Two Part Series Which Continues- Tomorrow.

Ed and Dee crashed parties, and when they crashed parties, Dee flirted with older married men, and when wives got in her way, she flirted with them, too—eye contact, compliments, smiles, light hand touches. She was...

Refugee

A pun, nearly everyone agrees, is a play on words.  Apart from the fact that the phrase “a play on words” is a good working definition of the art of poetry, this definition conceals more than reveals the functions and achievements of the pun.  In fact, defining a pun that way is like defining a dictionary as an alphabetized and annotated word list, for most readers not only find that volume often useful, but we also regard the dictionary as a monument of discovery, wonder, and entertainment...

I remember when Allen Ginsberg sold his old letters and notes and drafts to a library archive for a million dollars, or something like that. A lot of people complained that he had “sold out.” Many of my older literary pals sold their materials for big bucks as well: Norman Mailer, James Michener, Joseph Campbell, and John Updike. I assume American Nobelists Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck did the same thing. In the old days, that’s what happened. After a lifetime of writing literature...

Childhood dream

MOST ACCIDENTS OCCUR AT HOME

 

Nobody tells you this:

Every day is a creation story.

 

You’ll make a dome of light over waste and welter

some of the time, then wake one night

 

on your side of the bed and remember:

There weren’t many happy endings.

 

First the ripe fruit. Then the way he turned from her,

said it was her idea.

 

Nobody tells you this will happen again

and...

Making "Territory"

There’s an entry in my diary from August 2014. I remember writing it. I was propped up on the bed of an old caravan I’d rented and which sat smack bang in the middle of a wildlife park in the Northern Territory, Australia, where I was researching for a novel about animals. The wildlife park housed thousands of captive native animals—crocodiles, endangered northern quolls, microbats. But wild animals had made their home there too. As I wrote in the diary, a wild barking owl “woofed” overhead...

Coat Rack

“Every word was once a poem”[1]. Every poem was once an experiment. I’m a pragmatic man. I’m a test pilot flying a fountain pen. Testing the limits of honesty[2]. I was going to begin by saying “watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat” but that’s the sort of malarkey I’m trying to avoid, the stiff collar, cleverness of prose (should I apologize?).

There’s a theory that professes honesty is a requirement of writing. Poppycock! I’m being impetuous. I’ll test this theory with three...

For the second straight night, I had a basketball dream. I was playing in the Final Four. In my dream...

This essay is dedicated to Mohamedou Slahi, author of Guantánamo Diary. Slahi has been imprisoned at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. A federal judge ordered his release in March 2010, but the U.S...

There are a few constants in the many years since I have been trying to write seriously. One, of course, is the struggle to find a time to write, which has varied over my years in college, medical school, residency training, and practice as a physician. Despite massive changes in technology—moving from spiral-bound notebooks to an electric typewriter to a primitive IBM PC with two floppy disk drives to various cranky Compacs, Gateways, and Dells, and finally to my current sleek MacBook Air—I...

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