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...
Terrorist Attack in Second Person
The morning is brisk and windy. Ice fog breaks against the Marin hills. Cold air shoots through your hair, slides inside your glasses, frosts over your eyeballs. You blink and turn up the radio until you feel Ludacris thumping along with your heartbeat.
The road is steep down and one-way. Along the road are cliffs, rocky beaches, forts, and buildings that look like military facilities. Three deer are frozen in a field, their heads fixated at your streaking silver convertible. But you've seen all this before, on sunnier days when the sky is crystalline and the sun is warm and you can focus on the scenery instead of the duffel bag in the trunk.
You park the car in a gravel lot reserved for park service employees. You remove the duffel bag from the trunk and gingerly strap it over your shoulder before hiking up a short hill and down a narrow cement path and across a bridge and inside Point Bonita Lighthouse. The metal framed staircase to the top is narrow but you run it two at a time until you are just below the rotating blast of light. The lighthouse hangs on the edge of the ocean, looming and imposing, with twisted facades and sloped roofs that remind you of a mansion in a horror film. There is nothing between you and Japan except sea, small dots of islands, the occasional China-bound barge. You feel the duffel bag rub against your side.
You found the bazooka in a hollowed-out wall in the utility shed in your backyard. Your father was in the army, Vietnam, which might explain it if he hadn't turned into an outspoken critic of war, the second amendment, and guns in general. As for your mother, she's been dead for a decade now, cancer in her brain, so while the bazooka is old and rusted and possibly from her era, it's doubtful she's the one who put it there.
By now you've missed the first three periods of school. Physics, English, and History. Angela Gicotti is in your History class, two rows in front of you, and sometimes she looks at you with a curled lip and narrowed eyes. You've heard stories about her, about thong underwear and two-fisted blowjobs and swallowing and all that. It's intriguing, especially since you're a virgin and savor every moment in her dick-sucking presence. But Angela Gicotti can wait. It's not every day you find a bazooka in your backyard.
You haven't seen a soul. No ranger, no Homeland Security agents, no other visitors. A television crackles somewhere and you decide that they are hiding from the cold indoors, watching game shows and talk shows and local reporters visiting gardening experts. You look out to sea, but the Farallones are nowhere to be seen, lost in the mist. Faded San Francisco is across the mouth of the bay, an army of white ant houses crawling over hills. The Golden Gate Bridge is dull orange and lifeless; you can't believe its security cameras even know you're alive.
The shell had been next to the bazooka in the shed, stuffed inside a moldy canvas sack. It smelled like cold metal and could very well be a dud, you realize, permanently dormant from fungus and disuse. But you cleaned the thing thoroughly with rags and water, and its gray coloring looked cool and professional after being degunked. You pull it out of the duffel bag and load it into the bazooka.
The weapon is light on your shoulder. Easy to shoot down a helicopter or airplane, you think, if you had any idea how to aim the thing. There is a primitive sight built into the barrel, but you doubt the weapon is heat-seeking or has a tracking device or any smart weaponry built-in. It's too old for that, and whatever was there is probably worn down by its years in a dank shed. Then again, mindless guerilla fighters are always blowing up key military installations in movies and on the news. They can't be that inaccurate.
What would Andrea Gicotti think if she knew you had a bazooka pointed towards the Golden Gate Bridge? you wonder. Probably scared shitless, but subconsciously impressed. She'd probably double fist you in the next few weeks, show you her thong underwear and then some. You imagine Andrea Gicotti in the backseat of your convertible swallowing your come and let the bazooka droop down until its tip is pointed at the guardrail.
"Hey kid!" you hear. You swivel towards the voice. A man in a wide-brimmed ranger hat is running towards you around the rim of the lighthouse turret, reaching for his belt. "Hey kid! Put it down! Put it down!"
The zap of his filtered radio. A yell for backup. You right the bazooka, point it towards his face. "Easy now," he says. "Easy."
The sirens will come soon, you know, with the television crews and the ambulances. They've probably called your parents already. Andrea Gicotti will never visit the backseat of your convertible; you'll probably never even go to third-period History class again. This bazooka from the back of your shed has already killed one life.
You turn back towards the bridge. Even inside the drudgery of winter mist it stands proud and functional, a strip of color striking the Bay like a gangway plank. You are blindfolded, you realize, bayonets at your back. There is nothing to do but jump.
The bazooka arms with a flick of your thumb. There is a hiss, ancient battery connections fizzing to life, activating a warm embrace on your shoulder. You close one eye and pick a tower on the bridge, the one closer to Marin, and try to jam it in the crosshairs. A flock of birds dips through your sight and leaves; the rest of the world is silent.
You pull the trigger and hear a shot. Your shoulder shudders. There is a blare in your ear and you are pulled to the ground. Voices envelope you, feet press against your wrists, a wide-brimmed hat blocks your view. Blood runs from the back of your shirt.
You lie on the ground for at least twenty minutes. The paramedics are gentle and respectful; the rangers are cursing. They put you in a stretcher so the television cameras cannot see your face, then lift you in the air to go.
And just before your head dips down the metal staircase, you turn your head to the side and see it: the tower of the Golden Gate Bridge still ramrod straight in the air, the discarded bazooka surrounded by men wearing plastic gloves, the shell intact.
"Shit," you say, closing your eyes. "Shit."