Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
1A piece removed. 2Come eat it.
Or don't. 3Wine, Shoulder, Bolt, Socket. 4Mothbombs 5On the road with your only soul. 6One woman's trash is another woman's treasure 7Aliens! Right here in America! 8It's not as crazy as it sounds
or, music is as music does 91) Sign.
2) Hope for the best. 10A friendship in a bottle. 11A five-year-old tries his hand at action adventure. 12Will the circle be unbroken. 1390ways' first Quaterly Review rages on:
2 samples of Fiction. 14Muscles and fat.
A thin layer of sweat. 15Fiction goes serial.
Part 1 has sex and drugs.
You know you want to stay tuned. 16Our fiction serial concludes to cure your
vertigo from last week's cliff-hanger. 17An iced-out 21-speed sensation: The Moves are
all up on your handlebars. 18We're all in this together.
Except those bastards in administration. 19Jilted, laughed at,
and in the air. 20Swirling and swirling... 21You can't make yourself like them, but you have to pretend because they are your family. 22How well do jewel cases retain odor?
About as well as you stink. 23It's black and white. It's old world.
It's photo time. 24Piggy calls, wanting to sell you insurance.
This is what's on the other end of the line. 25A long pause, then, 26Fiction's Second Qaurterly Review
can speak Italian. 27It's only bread, after all. 28It's job search time at 90ways. 29George W. Bush's resting heart rate and a bum in a green sweater. 30Antique weaponry and teenage angst.
Together at last. 31One-hundred-fifty-three syllables
of October fun. 32there is only
self 33She's cold to the touch.
Cold and pebbly. 34Gut-wrenching love.
And wallabies. 35Building a habit out of ivies and orange flowers. 36A 90ways exclusive sneak peak at the
new and groundbreaking Alphabet Book. 37Type it with one hand and
see what happens 38A face any susbsitence farmer could love. 39The Quarterly Review: read it again for the third time. 40For every task, someone is the best.
Sometimes that's impressive. 41I didn't get a computer;
I moved to Indiana. 42A piece removed. 4390ways has new concerns about identity theft. Lock up the children and your sense of self. 44time. eyes. deep sighs. 45I know there's a place 4690 stars are born. 47I had to ask. 48It's about sex.
But isn't that always the way with classical music? 49The epistolary form in the 21st century.
Complete with neuroses and unpunctuation. 50There is no end to the party. 51Rockin to the sweet sounds of prepared food. 52Of or pertaining to. 53Including spaces, this blurb is 90 characters. Ways, words, characters. It is a leitmotif. 54Minnesota. Miami. Poetry in 90ways' Fiction.
It's the best of all worlds. 55It lives and breathes and is hungry for carnival food. 56A piece removed. 57The curtain is being pulled back... 58Up in the Fiction house! It's a bird. It's a plane.
It's an illustralogue! 59The hat, in all honesty, is a private matter. 60Putting up with all the doth. 6190words strike terror into the hearts of the longwinded. 62Return of the illustralogue! 63Take one down, pass it around,
blow your nose. 64A piece removed. 65The First Quarterly Review wants
you to meet its little friend. 66From our servers to your ear buds!
It's misguided enthusiasm, in podcast form! 67Questions for the man himself.
Plus, the podcast adventure continues. 68No one would ever use Starbucks
to define their identity. Right... 69Don't you remember the rose clipped under my windshield wiper like a butterfly under a pin? 70Oh, it's nothing.
Oh, it's life-threatening disease. 71It's not you. It's me.
And my Eurasian captors.
72Root, root, root for the brisk
sale of anything possible. 73Look within the very bowels of the soul.
Or at least your mother. 74We're not strangers any more. 75He knows of what he speaks. 76I find that often times I'm quite
mature enough to enjoy a few beverages. 77He is licking me.
I don't like it one bit. 78Our favorite stuff is coming 'round the mountain, again. 79A wooden-back brush and a homemade bowl of oatmeal. 80A man's home is his... 81Fack to the Buture. 82This dude pulled back on his nose
and mucus and unleashed a city. 83The polls are in. 93% of respondents do not approve of the monkeybone lodged in their lower lip 84Like a thirsty man in the desert 85Taxpayer dollars wasted on broken egg. News at eleven. 86She loves her red octopus.
She will chew it to death. 87Bubbling, gurgling, fighting a moment to stay afloat. 88Molting our pasts into the air... 89The Return of 90 Words 90It comes but once a... ever. 91Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, the end of the Fiscal Quarter. 92The 540 word circle is now unbroken. 93An emptying out of the animus, perceived as tranquility
94All roads lead to South Dakota. Or at least the I-90 does, anyway. 95He laid down his whittling knife and he and his brother took up arms in rage. 96Drinking manhattans made with a good bourbon, and strong. 97Living white and pudgy, I never expected much for myself. Now, I could tell that was true. 98A few gestural lines towards the thought of death. 99Rest in peace.
I know I will. 100And then we played baseball and then we played army and then we were best friends. 101We torn holes in sheets and became ghosts for each other's pleasures. 102I looked at the pictures of you, twenty years old,
sometimes skinny and sometimes your face a soft moon.
103Fingers clutching little trinkets of the day... 104All roads lead to South Dakota. Or at least the I-90 does, anyway. 105Everywhere signs of an interstice arriving. 106What you see and what you believe are two different things. 107It was as if a million literary ghosts poured from its pages, moaning to be set free. 108So what if too many times we have been here, both
lost in our machinations...
She would only read fantasy novels. No other genre would appeal to her. Not romance novels, with their over-muscled men, glistening women, and euphemistic words. Not science fiction, whose cold and sterile environments reminded her of the doctor's office. Not horror, whose bloodstained pages and visceral scenes made her recoil in fear. Only fantasy held her attention. Only in fantasy could she lose herself within the paper sheets, enveloping herself in the pages; wrapping herself between the words.
Fantasy, with its strong, virile men, powerful wizards, and damsels in distress, did something to her. Within its pages she could become the dragon-slaying knight, the impish thief, and the brave Amazon, willing to cut off her own breast in order to string her faithful bow. Fantasy made her into a hard, strong woman--a fierce being trapped within the soft and flabby casing of reality.
Every week she would step into the library, arms full of books, and steal away to the fantasy section to gorge. Each shelf was a buffet of realms. Each book was another escape--another place to run to and hide in and find seclusion. Each book meant one more day that she didn't have to face the harsh unhappiness of her life. Each book was one more moment of happiness, joy, and irresponsibility.
This week was different. This week she stood in front of the bookcases riveted to the spot. The fourth and final installment of her favorite series sat on the top shelf, next to a small sign reading "new." She felt her heart skip a beat. Her pulse quickened and the blood rushed to her head. A bead of sweat appeared on her brow. Her trembling hand reached up to take down the book. She stopped. Did she dare touch it? Frightened by her own thoughts, she retracted her hand.
No, she would read it. She would check it out immediately, forsaking any other book. It would be the only story read today. She would go straight home, curl up in bed and devour this book. Licking her lips greedily, she reached up and tore the book down from the shelf. The binding was new and unbroken. The pages were crisp; a fresh stamp ran along the tops of the pages: City Library. Slowly she opened to the title page. It was as if a million literary ghosts poured from its pages, moaning to be set free. She held the book up to her nose and smelled the pages. Both the paper and the ink smelled fresh and inviting. Clutching the book to her breast, she made her way to the checkout desk.
She watched with anticipation as the librarian did his business; eyeing him closely. Was that a hint of jealousy? Did he want to read the book first? Didn't he crease the first page just so? Didn't the librarian, coveting the book, mar the first page in an attempt to take the book's virginity?
Frowning, the librarian handed back the book. She snatched it and quickly left the library. She made her way to the bus stop, caressing the novel gently, as if she was afraid that too much pressure on the cover would erase the precious words within. On the bus, she held the book as if it was a newborn baby. It seemed like hours before the bus pulled onto her street. As soon as it stopped, she shoved her way through the doors and found herself on the firm but cracked sidewalk.
Once home, she stepped into the dimly lit apartment and waded through the fumes of her mother's cooking. As her left foot touched the first rung of the stairs, her mother's kindly face appeared from the kitchen.
"Is that you?" she called.
"You are having more books to be reading?"
Suddenly the concerned mother faded away and the kindly face morphed into the visage of a banshee. "Reading is not what you should be doing! Studying you should do! Working you should be doing! Reading is being a waste of time!"
The shrill voice was left behind, echoing through the kitchen and dissipating as it wandered slowly up the stairs.
Reading isn't a waste of time, it is the creation of time, she thought, I am the book and the book is me. Nothing will stop me from this.
She sat upon a cushion and gingerly peeled open the book. At last she could return to the white castle by the river. She could be fawned over by strong and handsome men. She would fight alongside her father, the King, and slay evil. Together they would take back their kingdom and reign forever supreme. She settled comfortably into the pillows.
She would drink from the Northern River and feed the birds that made their nests in the nearby fruit trees. She would learn the mage of the Nature Wizard and gain the talent to call to the animals. She would command the earth to move and the grass to grow. She would be the very realm that she ruled.
She would live happily ever after.
Hours later, when her tired mother climbed the stairs and came to drag her daughter down to dinner, all she found were some cushions and a library book, pages turning on their own; pushed by the metal blades of the fan sitting on the floor.