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...
Bread and Death
It was like chalk. It tasted like chalk. But she loved the stuff. Slice after slice. I couldn't believe it. I had slipped mine to the dog twenty minutes before and she was chipping off a fourth slice from the mother loaf. And the jam they had to spread on the stuff. Syrupy. Overly sweet and runny. Maybe trying to compensate for the chalk. I don't know. Maybe not.
There are two instances where I get it. I understand eating lots of bad food. One is when you find yourself chatting away really delightfully with a nice British person you just met who is simply fascinating. You get a little nervous and you suddenly remember how nice it is to hold onto a chalky piece of bread. A nice prop to develop a bit of business around. Maybe an interested nod just as you take a bite, followed by an mmhmm through a mouthful of bread paste.
The other instance is when you're staring dead ahead, glazed over. Perhaps at a funeral. Or a wedding. And the only sign you're alive is that you keep shoveling chalky bread into your mouth. You need to remind yourself as much as the other guests that you're still breathing. Again, you're essentially looking for a prop here.
But she. Oh no. She needed no prop. Her hands were doing all the talking. She went so far as to put the bread down when she wasn't eating it. She disdained it as a prop. But as food, she couldn't get enough. And there was hummus. With carrots. Very good. Tasty, moist, savory. But she couldn't be effed.
I was, in theory anyway, talking to Pete from the grocery. The fancy grocery next to Mike's Electric. Pete was holding forth on his theory that suspension bridges were the key to Mayan success, but also, ultimately, mysterious demise. It actually was very interesting. And more substantiated than I had first given Pete credit for.
But it wasn't long into the 13th century when I noticed her across the room. No. Nono. On the other side of the island. We were in the kitchen. I had been there 40 minutes and hadn't yet ventured past the kitchen. That's where the hummus was, after all. With the carrots. But it's also where that terrifying bread was and Sylvia was looking like she was getting ready to foist another piece on me. In short, I wasn't long for the world of the kitchen. But she didn't look like she would leave for all the shallots in Pete's fancy grocery. Which, I noticed the other day, is a very sizable amount.
Look. The point is, despite looking forward to the arrival of the conquistadors and their impact on the history of suspension bridges, I couldn't get my mind off this girl. I would drift in and out of bridgeland but mostly my eyes were glued to that bread. She was camped out next to the dusty matriarch of the batch. Slicing off a piece whenever a drop of saliva threatened to settle in her mouth. She sneezed once and I half expected a cloud of flour to billow forth.
I've felt for sometime, and I think Pete can back me up on this, that bread is not the hardest thing in the world to make. Not that all bread is great. A really superior loaf is rare, but most folks can approximate something close to edible. That Sylvia had failed was surprising. That this girl hadn't noticed was beyond words. Beyond comprehension. Because I did eventually find the words.
My cheeks were flushing. I was sure it was obvious I was staring. It would have been less embarrassing if I'd been looking at her cleavage or something. As it was I was blatantly checking out her loaf. I wish I was being euphemistic. She was not a knockout. A pretty girl. Easy on the eyes, certainly. Especially if you kept the eyes away from the monstrosity she kept shoveling into her mouth. But I couldn't. Like a moth to a flame, I gazed at that damn bread.
I found myself in Egypt once. With family maybe. On business. Through school, somehow. It's not important. What is important is that I had the most amazing bread of my life. It was incredible. It dared you to leave room for dinner. It double dog dared you. Sylvia's creation was like some distant, 15th generation ancestor of that bread. With lots of inbreeding.
And then Pete's conquistadors came. And in theory, I was fascinated. I know a thing or two about conquistadors and had been looking forward to this part of the conversation. But in practice, I was moving. Around the bar. Across the room. Whatever it was. I was moving. Away from Pete and toward the horrible bread and its lone devotee. I had seen her eyeing a fifth piece and could stand it no longer. Just as she reached for the knife I arrived.
In the nick of time, if you ask me. I grabbed her wrist. She looked at me. I looked at the bread. I shuddered. She made a puzzled face. I said that I was taking her away. Away from all... this. Sylvia. The bread. The jelly. Even the conquistadors. I may have mentioned Egypt. I said I was taking her out to eat. At the best restaurant we could find and money could buy. I said she was throwing herself away. I said that this bread was horrible and she deserved better and didn't she know that? I said what I could never tell anyone else. I said I cared. I said it would all be over soon. I said I would take her away from the bread.
She said, "But I like it."