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Forthcoming in Electric Literature’s Required Reading

My short story “A Cat Called Grievous” will appear in Electric Literature’s Required Reading. Stay tuned for details.

 

NPR Broadcast

My short story “The Infidelity of Judah Maccabee” aired in December on NPR’s Hanukkah Lights special, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. Click here to listen.

 


Excerpt from short story “Tattoo” in the Fall 2016 issue of Bellevue Literary Review

Trey knocked hard, and a slim woman wearing a Mountain Ink baseball cap came to the locked door of the tattoo shop. She gazed at him through the glass, keeping her expression blank, as polite strangers did. He knew what people saw: bulbous eyes, neck as thick as a bucket, and black moles as large as quarters splattered across his face, climbing into his nostrils and over his eyelids. Only his wife, Nava, didn’t seem to mind.

The woman pointed to the hours stenciled on the glass and called out: “Not till noon.” Images covered her arm—a red fox, wilting roses, a flaming skull, and the words “Mountain Ink” spilling from a jar of black ink and forming a silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. Butterflies froze midflight on her neck.

“Apprentice job,” he called back. He scratched his forearm though it didn’t itch and tugged at the sleeve of his black T-shirt. It had been two decades since he’d applied for a job.

She opened the door.  “I’m Alisande. This is my shop,” she said, as she led him over a gray, polished concrete floor to a barber chair. She eyed his hairy arms and pale neck. “You don’t have any, do you?”

“No.”

“You don’t have any ink, but you want to ink other people. Whatever. Have a seat, I guess.”

He wanted to say if it was a requirement, he’d get a dozen, but he didn’t want to sound desperate, so he kept quiet.

Order the issue here.


Excerpt from short story “Collections” in the Summer 2016 issue of Witness

She had forgotten how to live without money, forgotten the racks of expired bread and overripe bananas in the back of the supermarket and government programs that could pay for her eyeglasses. It seemed unfair to have to learn all that again when learning no longer came easily.

Her time of eating filet mignon and drinking vintage Tuscan wines with Peter was over. She thought often of his airy apartment, his startling art—giant frogs leaping about in one painting, a fat man and woman dancing in another. She had pushed his wheelchair into galleries where he was greeted by name—Mr. Drayson. He pointed to what he liked. The staff overlooked Maya, until Peter asked her opinion. Then they rushed to get her a glass of water to match his and she observed their confusion over who and what she was. She drank, though she wasn’t thirsty, hiding her face behind the glass until her anger passed.

His three daughters never visited, not until he was dying. Then they came and cried and read the will and stopped crying.

Read the full story here.