I. American students usually do not know the average age of a soldier which is 15, nor how many mines tear off legs in so many countries where these very young and ignorant and emotional young men fire their machineguns II. The young women will believe anyone who offers anything different than what other women […]

Their Problem

“Abel and Moses won’t be coming today,” she said, reading the note the boy had given her. “They’re down with the itch.” “Goddamn them shiftless sons of bitches,” he said. “We got three days of harvest, and they got to be sick.” “Doc Jenks thinks it’s some kind of Negro smallpox,” she said. “Most of […]

Why We Fight

I wanted to be a Marine since I saw that Iwo Jima picture. I joined on my eighteenth birthday, June 14th 1949. President Truman had integrated the armed forces the year before. During boot camp they treated us Negroes the same as the white boys, which is to say like shit. I was part of […]

The Real

Kids together, we come up on the West Side corners, never knowing the clock. Never showing care Way I remember it was mostly summer B-Mo heat hanging on you like a jacket city stink of piss and spilled beer garbage strewn on corners  swarmed with flies a cold orange pop was all we want or […]

One of His Moods

My father was in one of his moods. Arms crossed, he sat in the front seat glaring at us through the windshield. “Why is Grandpa mad?” Buddy asked. “Doesn’t he like camping?” “Obviously not,” Cliff said. “Why’d we bring him then?” I looked at Cliff. “He can’t stay alone, Bud. You know that.” “Why not?” […]

Crowd Control

The Breslau Centennial Hall had been designed to hold twelve thousand people, but three weeks of relentless campaigning by the Brownshirts had swelled the throng to twice that number. Hundreds of  swastika flags hung in rows from the ceiling, and Goebbels had strategically placed dozens of agitators throughout the crowd. They knew their instructions to […]

High Times

Most of the high-end stores on the Mile use iPads. Supposedly the retail slaves all carry them around so they can ring customers up without needing to go to the counter, but the real reason is they think an iPad makes them look like the rich fucks who shop there. Chip and me had it […]

We Need to Talk

She searched for the right word. Hostility? No, that wasn’t right. Indifferent? She’d once read that the opposite of love wasn’t hate at all, but indifference. Was that what she felt? It was hard to say. She listened to him in the shower singing his same old shower song. Skylark, have you anything to say to me? He would […]

Conversing with a Penitent

Père Sebastién was grave as he listened to the young novitiate unburden himself. The boy seemed on the verge of tears, but it was all Sebastién could do to repress a smile. Such old stuff. Still, it was his duty to hear him out. When at last the boy’s torrent of guilt and remonstrance seemed […]

Leaving One’s Back to the Sea

She of course was dying to tell anyone the danger of leaving one’s back to the sea, an element she said with knifing lips, too dangerous, too vast for trust. The proof, she said was etched beneath its mystery if one could see every comma traced in the surf by dancing lovers’ feet, every vanished […]