Category: Fiction

Trouble on the Tennis Court

Trouble on the Tennis Court

Can The Subaltern Speak More Quietly Please?     Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash A couple of old white guys were playing tennis in Cambridge, Mass. the other day when the following unpleasantness ensued. In the court next to them were two millennials, one an Indian (South Asian) male and the other a white female. They had…

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The Death of Ivan Ilyich

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Summer Sequel Series Part Two, Still Dead, Still Angry They have sequels of dumb movies all summer for the daft. How about some summer sequels for the intelligentsia?     You may remember from our first go round that Ivan Ilyich was putting up some curtains and he kind of fell and hurt his side. This being…

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Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

Summer Sequels Series Part Two: Still Dead, Still Selling   They have sequels of dumb movies all summer for the daft. How about some summer sequels for the intelligentsia? Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash Willie Loman is having even less success as a salesman now that he’s dead. Dead Willie: Ring ring. Man: Yes? Dead Willie: Hello sir, a…

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The Selfie of Dorian Gray

The Selfie of Dorian Gray

  Summer Sequels Series   Dorian took such a nice selfie of himself at the Huntington Gardens in front of the Shakespeare statue, with his selfie stick. “I am so young and good-looking,” he said to himself. Then he went to the Apple Store in the Glendale Galleria and had a strange encounter with weird…

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The Trial

The Trial

Summer Sequels Series Part Two: Dead. But Still on Trial. I seem to have taken on the task of crafting impossible sequels, that is, sequels to works which one might assume could never be “sequelled.” And yet, Kafka’s works feel like they could end at any point in the text, or continue on interminably in sequel after…

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The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

Summer Sequels Series Part Two: I take the more traveled road   Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by but now for the sequel I return to that fork and take the other turn and I find that since its the more ordinary way to go I am…

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Nobody Cares About Your Grandmother

Nobody Cares About Your Grandmother

  I am the angry writing teacher. I’ve been reading stories for more than twenty years. About your grandmothers. And trust me…your grandmother wasn’t all that. I’m sorry she’s dead. Really sorry. But does that mean you need to inflict that mess on the rest of the class? What do we care that this was…

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Some good news and some bad news about the office of the future, 2069

Some good news and some bad news about the office of the future, 2069

  Photo by Garidy Sanders on Unsplash I’m a futurist, so I know these things. Here’s the good news: In the office of the future, your boss will be an angelic being who gives you instructions by singing to you in an angelic soprano voice. These angels came to take over capitalism in the year 2067 because it…

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Allen Ginsberg Also Missing Supreme Court Arguments

Allen Ginsberg Also Missing Supreme Court Arguments

  The ghost of Allen Ginsberg reported today that he was also going to be absent for the oral argument phase of the next round of supreme court cases. “You know I love oral,” explained Ginsberg. “But I’ve had it with Washington.” Mr. Ginsberg explained that the current climate made it difficult even for a…

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The Sapiosexuals

The Sapiosexuals

by Christina Stevens I was instantly interested.  I had never met anyone in Los Angeles who had even heard of the great late French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.  But at a party in West Hollywood, he said that my comment was very Lacanian. “Lacan himself couldn’t utter his entire theory,” I claimed.  “Because he said the…

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Love and Sex in Frog Town

Love and Sex in Frog Town

 by  Anonymous. Have you heard about the amazing renaissance of the LA River?  The spirit of the river had been dead for so long.  But community groups and ecologist activists cleaned it up.  Now there are kayaks floating down, cyclists biking along the path next to the river.  And of course, this is LA, so…

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“Borges and I,” by Simon Black

“Borges and I,” by Simon Black

Photo by Sasha • Stories on Unsplash It was quite astonishing to read in the online journal Palimpest the other day a complete reinterpretation of Borges’ most famous story. The literary world has been stunned by the publication of such a bold and deliberate piece of provocation. Whatever the permanent effect on literature that Simon Black’s “‘Borges and I’ by Simon Black”…

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Apple Just Became a Trillion Dollar Company — and in a Way, So Did We

Apple Just Became a Trillion Dollar Company — and in a Way, So Did We

photo by by Julian O’hayon   Dear employees of Southland Dynamics, I’m sure you heard the news. Apple is a great company and they have passed a great milestone. I just wanted to write this letter to assure you that you have made the right choice coming here to Encino, California to work for this 12…

A Plea from Sasquatch

A Plea from Sasquatch

Please, America.  Cool it with the Sasquatch erotica, would you?  Do you know how embarrassing it was when my son little Billy Sasquatch came home last week and asked me, “Dad, are you like some kind of porn star?” Your news programs capitalized on a politician’s foolish post to his Instagram account and it may have brought…

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Consent Porn

Consent Porn

Erotic fiction for the Metoo era by Simon Black. “As they collapsed in an embrace on the bed, Jen felt the passion tingling in her sex.  “Make love to me, Pablo,” she cried. “Absolutely,” responded Pablo, his brown eyes blazing with desire.  “Let’s make the preparations.  I’d like you to meet my lawyer, Jeffrey Goldblatt,…

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Monkey with a Keyboard

Monkey with a Keyboard

I have been typing random key strokes for a trillion years.  Not only have I not typed Shakespeare’s works, I have not typed a single coherent page. So much for their fucking theories. Should I just give up?  No, I still have faith.  I believe if I just keep typing and typing through infinite time…

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I Have No Position on Woody Allen!

I Have No Position on Woody Allen!

I had a party at my house the other day, and I was sitting outside with some friends, my brother was barbecuing the meat, it was all going splendidly, when someone brought up the topic of childhood sexual abuse. “Well, sometimes it’s ambiguous,” I ventured.  “I mean look at this Woody Allen thing.  The daughter…

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Best Short Story of 2018

Best Short Story of 2018

The cramped oppressive space of the literary short story.  Welcome.  There will be some nice images here, in the first paragraph.  The first, a description of how she entered the house, not that she came home, no it has to be she tripped or tramped or sauntered or danced then a metaphor like a figure…

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The Filthy Little Red Hen

The Filthy Little Red Hen

by Simon Black There was once a little red hen who wanted help planting her wheat seed so she asked our president. “Sure, little red hen, I’ll help ya,” said our president.  “But first, I’ll have to see your papers.” “Papers?” said the little red hen.  She didn’t know what those were. “Your citizenship papers,”…

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There is no “Stuck” in Traffic

There is no “Stuck” in Traffic

by Simon Black I used to get really frustrated driving around Los Angeles.  Not any more.  I figured out the secret to enjoying driving in heavy traffic.  It’s all in your mind.  For instance, you might think you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway.  But observe your speedometer.  You might be going 20 mph.  That’s…

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