The Artstars: Stories, Indiana University Press / Blue Light Books, October 2019
Enticing, heart wrenching, and darkly funny, the interconnected stories in The Artstars are set in creative communities—an art school, an illegal loft studio, a guerrilla street performance troupe—where teamwork and professional jealousy mix, and the artists grapple with economic realities and evolving expectations.
"Light Streaming from a Horse's Ass," Fifth Wednesday Journal #22, Spring 2018
"You pet his cold neck, look into his enormous chestnut-glass eye, then work your way toward his tail. Strange. The tail is gone--only a hole where it used to be, a hole into a dark void."
"Strays," Among Animals 2: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction, Ashland Creek Press, 2016
"They made wild little babies with dripping eyes and bellies bloated with worms. Many were not even cute. Some dropped hefty, inbred litters, with markings so alike they looked like a single being, a furry amoeba throbbing around the water bowl."
The Beginning of the End of the Beginning, Ploughshares Solos #34, Fall 2014
"And the doctor—or nurse, I didn’t ask—who must have been a dozen years younger than me, tied off her last suture and looked up at me with the concern one reserves for crackpots."
"The Pacific Madrona" in Crab Orchard Review Vol 19 No 2, West Coast & Beyond issue, Summer/Fall 2014
"He kept a pick in his back pocket, the kind with the clenched plastic fist. Hair was everyone’s business but mine."
"Their Town" in Fugue, Issue 46, Spring 2014
"The laugh was unstoppable, and awful, and endless. . . It spread through the graves onstage, body by body, over the footlights, and—worst of all—to the rows of audience, until it reached the last tier of Little Theater seats."
"The Anatolian Girl" in The Bridport Prize Anthology, 2014
"There is a minaret outside our hotel window. It startles me out of my dream each dawn. The loudspeaker crackles. The muezzin wails. My heart flips. I don’t go back to sleep, I never go back to sleep."
"The Flipside of Mercy" in The Normal School, Issue 9, Fall 2012
"To be held. To be held like a treasure. Mother-arms: muscled, bones not yet brittle, fat still bewailed in moments of vanity. Skin not yet turned to rice paper, mind not yet stuck in a bitter circle. Lou missed this. She missed it, then wondered if she was imagining or remembering it. Can you miss the nonexistent? The never-was?"
"Pink" in Witness Vol. XXV No. 3, Fall 2012
"The kitten looked scared. Helen had never noticed that before. Mortally terrified, like the fall from the tree was many stories, would be his last. It wasn’t funny at all. Friday’s coming. The kitten knew better than to count on that. "
"Periscope" in Bellevue Literary Review,
"Tonight, her head was full of bees. Inside the steel tank, her feet were cramped and curled. Her legs were sandstone. She could feel her hands clutch each other, heavy on her belly, where the nurse had left them. The cool compress on her forehead had slipped. If she looked down her nose, she saw only the rubber cowl, tight around her sweaty neck, puffing the machine’s meter, relief in metronome. "
"A Picture Made of Sound" in Body & Soul: Narratives of Healing from Ars Medica, 2011
"The violinist stopped. I heard a man ask him why he played in the columbarium. Wasn't it obvious?"
"The Lemon Method" in r.kv.r.y quarterly, Spring 2011
"The lemon sits on the table for weeks, while the fife plays on. He doesn’t know we are in here, that we hear him all day, that his song penetrates our jumpy bodies like ash: particles of asphalt, computers, bones."
"Three Views of My Mother" in JMWW, Fall 2007
"An explosion onto the dishes and placemats, yellow and red vomit, volcanic, acrid, sprays onto my shirt, pools under my chair. The smell overwhelms. I can't help it, I erupt too. Onto the beige vinyl floor, its barfy pattern I have crawled on and memorized."
"Read the Goddamn Poem" in One on One: The Best Women's Monologues for the 21st Century, 2007
"And Marla, she just wiped her cheese glob chin off and told me I was full of it: we are all bearded ladies at one time or another, she said, and we're not paying the freak show people to be different, we're paying them to be the same, like the wavy-ass mirror in the funhouse, where you get to see what you would look like if things had gone very, very differently."
"Three Lessons in Firesurfing" in Hobart #6, Summer 2006
"O'Malley, we call him Boss. It fits him. He's a big ruddy guy with big arms and a big truck. I think he has a big brain too, but I'm not sure yet. Mostly I just see him collecting money for beer. Today is our first crit of the year. My first year. My first chance to hear him for real."