Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: Thursdaze

“Herbal Tea” by Steven Jay Flam

Harry was a twenty-two-year-old junkie who made his living pedaling marijuana to sailors on Telegraph Avenue. He would buy lid bags of Mexican for ten dollars apiece and resell them for twenty. Some nights he would sell five . . .

“Class Two” by Virginia Aronson

We’re in the elevator and Jancy is climbing up the metal wall, using my knee as a stepladder. “Look Mom, I’m rappelling,” she says, bouncing up and down on my thigh.

I want to yell at her but I need her like this . . .

“The Dolphin” by Vickie Fernandez

The Dolphin Tavern used to be a topless bar where junkies shook their loose limbs for dollars to feed their sickness. A hideout for regulars to marinate in Yuengling while their wives did loads at the Laundromat next door . . .

“Omphaloskepsis” by Nina Puro

Leaving you was like the way some doors have to be open a bit to lock. Meeting you was an accidental brush at the nape of the neck in a crowd: that thrum coupled with fear. To know each other, we need to take something in together; to trust, we must pass dangerous objects, sharp or burning, palm to cupped palm. We talk this way . . .

“first datE” by Robin Som

Are you ready? Here’s a bottle of water, just a sip will do. What’s that? Oh yes, my name of course, how rude of me. Well, that’s actually an interesting question, I have a few. There’s Edward, or Molly. Or Mandy. Me, I like Mandy—because I came and I gave without taking! Sorry, bad joke. Though somewhat true. It’s nice to finally meet you. Of course, you want to know more about me . . .

“Like Unlike” by Kristen Valentine

You haven’t seen her in over a year, not since that Labor Day weekend you took her up to your family’s lake house and she got so pissed at you for shooting up right away. “Danny, I was serious,” she said, like you were supposed to know that. But how the hell could you tell she was serious this time when she’d never been serious before . . . ?