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Medium 9780253002365

Chapter Forty-Four

Gregory Schwipps Indiana University Press ePub

Throughout the day trucks hauled in mud-streaked logs of various sizes and types and stacked them around the sawmill in numerous piles, marked and labeled on the sawn butts. The skid loaders were unloading trucks from the time he got to work until he stopped, and inside the sawmill they’d worked just as fast. He’d driven home with a sore back and aching knees. His hands felt swollen and tight. Summer had promised to cook dinner, and Spring would be at her grandmother’s house, but if his plan had been less important, a little less life-changing, he might’ve canceled. That kind of day at work called for a couch and beer. The shower put some energy back into him, though, and he drove to her house rehearsing his proposal.

In the hours since his mother’s visit, he’d accepted the fact that the trailer was a goner. That listing ship was finally going the way of the Titanic. He wondered why he’d never managed to save any real money—after paying a few bills, the rest of his paycheck just kind of slipped away every month. Who the hell knew where it went. Now one possibility involved buying land somewhere on credit and dropping the trailer on it. His parents wouldn’t care if he took the trailer, seemed like. On the other hand, he was ready to be out of the damn thing. It didn’t stand to reason he could afford his own house, though, as he’d never had a mortgage or anything other than a truck loan in his name. The best idea, by far, seemed to be moving in with Summer.

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Medium 9780253006837

30: Abdo-Julien

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

30

ABDO-JULIEN

FALL 1892. They were exhibiting Ka'lina Amerindians from French Guyana completely naked in a Parisian park at the same time as our grandfathers in traditional dress, gathered in a flimsy hut indicating their generic name—Somalis—in the Zoological Garden of Acclimation. Take the Chemins de fer de l'Ouest, the Western Railroad, and get off at Porte Maillot station, said the poster announcing the attraction in all the French newspapers. All that memory is available with one little click. Thanks, Internet. To think that Grandpa served as a soldier whose assignment was to watch the borders for the Republic that had put his grandfather in a cage of a zoo open to the winds. And what do I have to with all this? Now that I think about it, I'm closely connected to that past, that colonial memory not always the color of the pink panther. That's why I sometimes reject that shared memory, and at the same time reject myself, reject my maternal side and my skin, which in fact isn't all that light. Repress my whole being, express myself loudly too, and shout from the rooftops: “Do not call me a mulatto, a métis. Metis was the first wife of Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. She died horribly.” But people here don't know that, either. So? So, don't breathe a word of it.

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Medium 9780253010476

Chapter 12 Eighth Year

William Williams Indiana University Press ePub

Having now been on this Shore full 7 years, I told Luta we would have a sort of Feast so concluded to kill one of our turtle, and this was done. After it was brought home I had them get every thing ready such as Yams, Plantains, pepper, Salt &cc, and made a good large feast on the next day, and to go out in the mean time for a good mess of fish for that I expected they would have company enough tomorrow to help it off. This I spake as a joack, not thinking that it would really prove so. But the next day as two of them were out fishing they espied Canoas coming. Away they pushed with the glad tidings, and now Toby became quite another man, having been on the droop for a time before. I then took my Glass and went up the hill and soon saw three canoas coming in. I directly ordered our Sailing boat out and for them to get the mast and sail ready, and then dressed myself in my best attire, (Viz) first my Sambraro on my head with two fine Maccaw feathers stuck in it, my Tigers skin then made into a jackket the hair side out, round my waist a belt of bass rope in which hung my hatchet, at my back my bow and arrows, with a Mascheet in my hand; and in this garb I seated myself abaft, Harry and Noonawaiah as my two mates.

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Medium 9781574412529

4. Last Known Position

James Mathews University of North Texas Press PDF

last known position

2,000 Feet Above the World and Descending

I

t was while jogging the scarred mountain road above the town of San Luis, Argentina, that I came upon a boy and his horse. Judging by the skid marks and stench of burnt rubber, the two had had a very close encounter with a very large truck. Such encounters were common in the desolate region—about the only thing Argentines did fast was drive—and rarely ended happily. I saw no promise that this case would be the exception.

The boy stood at the extreme bend in the road, peering out over a sheer drop of some 500 feet. His foot rested on a guardrail that appeared to be made of greasy tin foil. I put his age at no more than a decade, despite the fact that the setting sun cast a streak of severe maturity across his features. He wore a crumpled cowboy hat pulled snug across the line of his brow. His jeans were torn open at one knee and a small crosshatch of blood glistened within. As far as I could tell, this was his only injury.

The horse’s wounds were not so easy to identify since it occupied a space of air several feet beyond the guardrail. It had apparently chosen to leap off the cliff rather than face the onrushing truck. But instead of plunging to its death, the beast had landed atop a lone alamo tree that grew crookedly from the cliff face and extended out over the bluff. The massive body of the

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Medium 9781574412789

Chapter Seven

Jane Roberts Wood University of North Texas Press PDF

Summer 1944

Chapter Seven

• 1

G

race and Amelia have decided to spend the day together because

Grace will leave for New York the following day. After lunch they go to an early movie. Grace wants to see Mr. Skeffing­ton with Bette

Davis, but Amelia has seen it. They decide to see Snow White, smiling at the idea of grown women choosing a children’s movie.

And then, strangely (Grace can’t imagine why), as she watches the beguiling little dwarfs and Snow White’s mothering of them, she imagines Bucy—tall, very tall, lean, handsome—wearing his periwinkle blue shirt (the one she has most recently given to her washwoman), his eyes squinched up with laughter, his Adam’s apple going up and down. She is not sure John would like the movie. But Bucy would love the funny dwarfs, the music, the color, the artistry of it. Perhaps they can see a movie in New York after she has said, “Tell me why you left.” Had he known she couldn’t love him enough and been too kind to say it? Was that why he had painted those words over their bed and left?

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Medium 9781574412017

everything valuable and portable

Michael Hyde University of North Texas Press PDF

118

what are you afraid of ?

listened as Joan read to them, turning the pages. The book began with a brief biography of the Virgin Mary and ended, on page thirty-four, with that of St. Boniface. Each page was devoted to an individual saint, some the children already knew of and others with histories more obscure. Each saint’s description was accompanied by a picture, drawn large and painted in brilliant colors.

After each morning’s reading, the children decided which saint they’d choose to play that day.

All the children wanted to be St. Dorothy of Montau, a peasant who’d given birth to nine children and was the patron saint of young brides, difficult marriages, widows, those who’d lost infants to death. She prayed with her arms spread wide, in imitation of

Christ on the cross, and died when her heart burst, unable to contain all of God’s wondrous love. The accompanying artwork depicted St. Dorothy as a young, beautiful woman with golden hair. At the center of her green tunic was a red heart, from which streamed light, stars, and small swirls of rainbows, beaming out all around her. Joan and William argued over who got to be St.

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Medium 9781574412710

Up There

Tim Johnston University of North Texas Press PDF

Up There

“Wake up, princess,” she whispered, and her face surfaced white, spectral, from out of the dark, eyes dark and glittering.

He looked away, beyond her, into the strangeness of the room: the outline of a little desk, the black gleam of a TV. His blood was pumping hard from a dream. When he spoke, his troubled face seemed to be saying, Where am I? What is this place? but what he said was: “Timezit?”

The air was very dry. His tongue was a lizard in the dry socket of his mouth. Above him, the smile broke slowly, sweetly, in the white face as it retreated, as it withdrew into darkness again and the darkness healed over it like water.

“Time to run,” said her voice.

R

Outside, the sun was still climbing the far side of the mountains, and the valley waited in cold blue shadow. Clouds shredding pink in the toothy peaks, the moon still luminous in the west. No one was around, no one to see the two of them passing under a blinking yellow traffic light going d-dink, d-dink, d-dink just for them. They drew the air in and coughed up white clouds. The smell of pine was like Christmas. The girl was not yet running but high-stepping in a soundless pantomime of it, like a horse, or a drum majorette for a parade that consisted of the boy alone,

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Medium 9780253010476

Chapter 32

William Williams Indiana University Press ePub

About the 10 day of August Mrs. Harry brought forth a Girl and they gave her the name of Betty as a compliment to my Wife. And Harry observed on the Occasion that Soroteet had not hithertoo been renamed as was customary with us when any Indian joyn’d our family. I then turned to my friend Norman and told him to stand Godfather, and he thought proper to Call him Rory or Roderick. And from this time we heard no other Sound for two or three days from Harry, Owen and the other Children than “Rory, Rory, Rory,”—so much would any simple novelty play on their innocent minds, arising from their contracted mode of life and never being enlarged by a sight of this great worlds Hurry and Varieties.

At times Mr. Harry would amuse himself with learning the Boys to Swim by taking them on his back in the lagoon. Now it so fell out that as He and Mr. Rory were down at the Water with the Children at this sport, Norman, Nunez and my self looking on with our pipes smoking, Daddy Nunez cried out, “Un tiberoon!” or a Shark. This soon made them all quit the water with surprize as we never had seen one so far up before. But the Indians got bait and soon caught her.

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Medium 9780253019608

7 The Trumpet Sounds

Gronemann, Sammy Indiana University Press PDF

seven

The Trumpet Sounds

I

With a beating heart, Candidate Ostermann mounted the narrow, dirty steps of the house to the rear of the Lindenstrasse. The stairwell was already dark by midmorning and barely lit by a low gas flame throwing a flickering light on the filthy plaque with the inscription:

To the Editorial Offices of The Trumpet

2. Étage

The word “Étage,” however, had been vigorously crossed out with a red pencil several times and replaced in large letters with the word “Floor.” It could not be more plainly expressed that this was the way to a stronghold of remorseless advocates of Germanic pride and unswerving slayers of everything un-German. The

“Floor” over the second story indeed told the story of William Tell.

Slowly mounting the stairs, Candidate Ostermann timidly clutched his black overcoat to keep it from brushing against the cracked whitewashed walls. He certainly was not in the frame of mind to appreciate such subtleties of presentation.

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Medium 9780253006837

Bashir

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

BASHIR

I'M IN PARIS, warya*—pretty good, huh? OK it's not really Paris yet but Roissy. That the name of the airoport. This airoport got two names, Roissy and Charles de Gaulle. In Djibouti it got just one name, Ambouli, an I swear on the head of my departed family, it's much-much tinier. OK, this trip here, everything went all right. I gobbled the good food of Air France. Went direct to the war film before I fell into heavy sleep. I was stocked, no I mean scotched—taped—in the last row of the Boeing 747 where the cops tie the deportees up tight when the plane goes back to Africa. That's true, that the way they do it. Moussa he told me that a little while ago. Moussa, you know he can pray the good Lord sitting down without lifting his behind from the seat of the plane, believe me faithfully. He travel a lot, Moussa, helps guys discovering travel like me. He calm all the time. He talk so soft-soft you'd think he got sore tonsils. Wait, I'm gonna follow Moussa, pick up baggage. My bag blocked between two big boxes of French military, label says it: “AD 188,” I know what that is, it Air Detachment 188, navigation base right next to airoport in Ambouli as a matter of fact. I pulled the bag hard. A white lady looked at me, you know, with her eyes in the air like white marbles. I picked the bag up hard like we did with our gear when I was mobilized in the army. I put my bag on my back. I looked right-lef. I see Moussa, I walk behind him. Act dumb with the cops, Moussa he confirm it to me. Main thing, don't show you speak French. Don't mess things up, so shut your trap. Or cry, to fish pity from French people. French in France nicer than French back there, Moussa don't say that, I know by myself. I stocked the esperience. OK I don't say nothing cause Roissy's danger, they might say Africans, pains in the ass. I look right-lef again, I walk behind big Moussa. Shut up. Nod head yes, shake head no, and that's it, OK? Shut trap, waggle head, or cry a lot to fish pity. That's it. Period. I walk forward a little, follow Moussa.

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Medium 9781942496656

Chapter 46

Charlotte Jones Solution Tree Press ePub

As the darkness faded, Shira’s senses returned. With a sharp inhale, she sat bolt upright and then buried her face in her right arm to stop her head from pounding. Fire shot through her veins, and her hand and finger pulsed individually as she slowly healed. She dared not look at them until they were at least partially repaired; she was certain they were mutilated, judging by the searing pain it took to repair them. Slowly, as her head and hand stopped throbbing, she opened her eyes.

Conrad was completely still. No breath rose in his chest, no eyelid twitched. His face was perfectly calm. Worried, Shira pressed her fingers against the pulse in his throat. There was nothing. She had been too late.

A single tear slipped down her face. Slowly, she leaned forward and cupped his face in her hands. “I love you too, Conrad,” she whispered. “I am so sorry.”

Tenderly, she kissed his forehead, trying to force in the grief rushing through her. Their memories filled her with each breath, faster and faster—sword-fighting with her when they were children; smiling at her when he awoke from the injuries he sustained in the Evron; making sure she was not ignored during those first few months as queen; lying beside her on a blanket in her father’s garden as they watched the stars when they were little and still whole, not yet damaged by anguish and worry and heartbreak. Why now? Why, after everything that had happened?

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Medium 9781574413199

The Real Mother's Song

Geoff Schmidt University of North Texas Press PDF

The Real Mother’s Song

“W

in, win, win, win, win, win, win!!” was the incessant cry of our stepmother Sophie. It was the command that drove our household. She was a slight woman with a turned-up nose and a perky hairdo and the figure of a former Miss Alabama, which she was. She smoked Salems from dawn to dusk. We thought we could outlast her because of that, we thought that cancer would take her before she could claim our hearts. In this we were only partially correct. In the meantime, the ferocious bellow that issued forth from that perfect suburban figure was itself enough to sting us all into immediate and unconsidered action, no matter what our chosen field. It did not matter to Sophie whether our pursuits were intellectual or physical. Achievement was the bottom line.

There were seven of us. The tail-end of the family was dominated by two sets of twins, born just twelve months apart.

The Quinns, the three of us called them. We did not think of the nickname as reductive. They were all boys, dark-haired and thin and grubby. They ran through the neighborhood like looters.

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Medium 9781574415650

The Year of Perfect Happiness

Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press PDF

The Year of Perfect Happiness

A year of perfect happiness, just the sound of it, a single year locked away from the years before it and the years after it, happiness unburdened by nostalgia, perfect. . . .

—Kevin Moffett, “The Volunteer’s Friend”

Januar y

Winter in the city depresses Davis, the grimy slushiness of it, the graduated shades of gray that make up the street, the sky, the dirty snow banks. It is as if the gray trumps all else, Technicolor dragged through dishwater, drained of its brilliance. He can feel it seeping into him, the slow trickle getting into his brain, freezing him like an icicle.

“I’m moving,” he tells Angie over dinner—Angie, who is more than a roommate and less than a girlfriend—and she wrinkles her nose.

“No, you aren’t,” she says and stabs at her food with her fork.

He’s prepared tofu parmigiana for dinner; he and Angie have worked together to perfect his method of cooking tofu, pressing it before dry-frying it and then dipping in egg and breadcrumbs and sautéing. Tomato sauce and mozzarella are cooked on top, browned under the broiler.

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Medium 9780253006837

10: Abdo-Julien

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

10

ABDO-JULIEN

THERE! We're all together again now, by the grace of the Most Lofty. Let's chat for a few moments. I'll go back to what I was telling you yesterday, my boy. So, where was I? Oh yes, did you know that the nomads are late converts, that Islam is an urban religion, born among merchants from Mecca? It is true that Mohammed, may his soul rest in peace, succeeded in conquering the nomads, regimenting them in his troops and sending them forth to conquer the world. And do you know that our beloved religion never really took to the sea, which is why Muslim societies have lagged behind in the development of capitalism? Islam has always viewed sailors as people on the fringe of society, outcasts, or rebels. Now, you little rascal, you're going to ask me how I can explain the power of Oman, if only in our region, and the advent of Swahili civilization from the Red Sea to the Mozambique Channel. It's due to prehistoric maritime cultures. The Omanese and a few Turkified populations on the banks of the Black Sea were able to preserve this knowledge of the sea, and so those remarkable sailors and fishermen gave birth to a veritable maritime power in the Indian Ocean. You didn't know that either, did you? Beware of appearances: an imposture may even lie between the pages of a history book made in Paris. Now listen to me. No, it's not hard to reach out to people. On the contrary, people are dying to find an attentive ear willing to listen to them and a mind inclined to stir up the mulch of their understanding. From time immemorial, Grandfather gave every conversation a certain depth, a duly calculated slowness that had absolutely nothing to do with laziness. There was in his gestures, and especially in his voice, an economy that captivated and galvanized me by its gentleness, its rhythm, and by the way he would stretch out a vowel like o or u, depending on his argumentation. And every one of his actions was marked by the same relaxed intensity. He did not hesitate to ask my grandmother Timiro for his thermos of tea three times in a row without raising or lowering his voice. And in the same courteous, firm tone, he could also insist that Grandmother make the tea over again if he didn't like the way it was brewed. All this not for the pleasure of indisposing others and showing his authority like the old quibblers of his age, nor to bother anyone, just to make sure that his interlocutors fully understood all his rights, even in the state of physical helplessness he was in before he passed from life to death. For him, life was a constant flow of exchanges in words or deeds, and because of this, he took all the time he needed to pose his voice, give his opinions, and move his old bones. Without haste, he tasted the sap of every minute: life is a banquet to be savored together, no need to lap it up in two strokes of a spoon. Not everyone shared his point of view. Timiro, gripped by the feeling of his precariousness, often let a few tears escape: they flowed down the ridge of her nose and flooded the hills of her cheekbones.

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Medium 9780253012098

41

S. A. An-sky Indiana University Press ePub

THE GUESTS DISPERSED. Only Eizerman remained, sitting at the table with a book. Mirkin paced the room and in a low voice, pensively and dreamily, sang his favorite song, “Hakitsah ‘ami”:1

“How long will you sleep, oh, my people? Awake!

The sun’s rays have already replaced night’s darkness.

Awake and look around boldly,

Choose your time and place!”

Thus Mirkin sang, still sunk in his pensive state. He thought about Beryasheva. Her triumphant escape and the news delivered by Tsiporin about her successful departure greatly improved Mirkin’s mood. She’s gone! Now no one can overtake her or stop her! The train is rushing along, bearing this ideal young woman further and further away from the darkness and oppression of the old life, away from this useless life of vegetation. The train is speeding ahead, carrying her to a new life, bright and beautiful, free and rational!

In Mirkin’s eyes, Beryasheva’s escape gradually lost the character of a unique fact and emerged before him in the form of a great victory of light over darkness, enlightenment over stagnation, freedom over force. Yes! The old world was coming to an end! Strong, critical, mortal blows were being inflicted on it. Yesterday the seemingly invincible, obscure “barrier” that, over the course of centuries, had divided the age-old Jewish people from the rest of the world—from life, light, and knowledge—was now finally teetering; large breaches had been made in it,2 and it was nearing collapse once and for all! That time wasn’t far off! People, all people, would begin to think clearly and rationally, cast aside prejudice, both religious and secular; they would begin to engage in healthy, productive labor; and they would establish comradely relations among themselves, imbued with mutual respect and understanding. Then there would be no difference between Jews and other people, between the wealthy and the lowly, between the strong and the weak. Everyone would be equal, and all men would be brothers. Everyone would study and work. The yeshivas, the kheyders, and other propagators of ignorance would disappear. Gymnasiums and universities would be filled with students. Young people would devote their leisure to serious reading and learned pursuits; they would forget their vulgar, amorous quests and stop wasting valuable time on the useless delights of poetry. . . .

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