Nonfiction

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Warbler Delight

amy leach words shaped like a mountain range

Warblers are not beefy like geese; a goose on your head gets irksome, compressing your neck; but a warbler could spend the week there undetected, like a cherry or a shilling.

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Enough

Potatoes are dropped into a pan of steaming water. Turkey is layered with corn, tomatoes, rice, and cheese. I no longer know whose hands are mine.

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Walking with an Essayist

It is gray and frigid outside. I have accomplished little at my desk. I have plans, when I return home, to draft an essay about love. So I want my walk around the lake to go quickly.

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Big Government and the Big Easy

“…each proposal must be weighed in the light of…the need to maintain balance between the private and the public economy;” — from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” speech, 1961 New Orleans languishes today in a state of economic disrepair. With disruptions to the normal balance of life so complete, the traditional paths to economic […]

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The British Camp: An excerpt from Rory Stewart’s The Prince of Marshes

A Prince cannot avoid ingratitude. –Machiavelli, Discourses, Book I, Chapter 29 Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1483 (2003), and the laws and usages of war, I hereby promulgate the following: The CPA is vested with all executive, legislative, and judicial authority […]

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If I Should Die Before I Wake

While spring cleaning, I came across a crumpled letter I had placed in an old Beatle scrap book in my youth. It made me smile.

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12-31-04

new year’s eve. i have slept on a love seat with my feet up and my head down and allergy medication so my head is full of blood and rain and driving roads. i dream i write a brilliant story but upon waking i only remember the words “white” “crayon” and “sky” from the final […]

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Eco Next: The Mechanics of Hyperpraxis

Why—or more precisely, how—does a corset symbolize something very different when it is worn by Madonna than when it was worn by Victorian housewives?

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“You Call Those Nipples?”

You pour it all into a poem: your skeleton, your bile, your oozing primordial remnant—your private parts. To be told that the fundamental you is not up to snuff—that’s hard murder.

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The New Civil Service: An excerpt from Rory Stewart’s The Places in Between

I watched two men enter the lobby of the Hotel Mowafaq. Most Afghans seemed to glide up the center of the lobby staircase with their shawls trailing behind them like Venetian cloaks. But these men wore Western jackets, walked quietly, and stayed close to the banister. I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was […]

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Doing in the Great Pasha — plus a deleted scene from Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

One of the most difficult things about writing is self-editing. Not just revising and scrounging for the proper word, but eliminating description, exposition, and even whole scenes that fail to move things along.

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“I’m Still Alive”: Some Thoughts on Memorial Day

An Impromptu Essay by Matt Borondy Excerpted from the May 26, 2006 Identity Theory Newsletter Recently, a merry band of tiny black ants arrived in my bathroom and fell insanely in love with my fluoride-laced, Cool Mint-flavored mouthwash. The thought actually crossed my mind that the low levels of fluoride would somehow be able to […]

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Five Alternatives to Throwing Your Penis at the Police (A Cautionary Tale)

Perhaps lofting your penis toward a cadre of the Windy City’s finest as they descend on your house is not an ideal defensive maneuver.

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Disney and the Erotic Art of Dying

Joe made plans earwhispering elsewhere with hands in her back bluejean
pockets finding his, his what?, what were we looking for afterall
those barlikely nights?

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Why Insomniacs Will Buy Anything from Anybody, Etc.

We’ll always shell out for the latest, greatest sleep aid, and we won’t count off ten sheep before rushing to do so.

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