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The Poetry Audition

[Fiction] Two brothers coming of age:

"Bahram and Jamshed were dressed alike as children because their father believed it to be the best way of preventing sibling rivalry. Rather than make them better friends though, their identical wardrobes led to some petty confusion. The brothers often wore each other's clothes by mistake. In family photographs of the time Bahram appeared scowling in shorts that hung down to his knees, while Jamshed smiled bravely in collars that nearly choked him.

"Their sartorial semblance did not however extend to their character. Jamshed was a brash, bold, willful young boy. Bahram possessed the timidity of a provincial boy, a flaw that his mother could hardly tolerate. Jamshed was sent to a Cadet College, where he thrived, whereas it was a struggle to send Bahram to the posh day school a few streets from their home."
PUBLISHED: Dec. 12, 2012
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8065 words)

Break All the Way Down

[Fiction] A baby's arrival stirs up difficult memories:

"I sat with the baby in the living room, setting her on a clean blanket. When I tired of watching her, I stretched out, resting my hand on her stomach. I fell asleep with the baby staring at me, her eyes wide open.

"In the morning, my boyfriend kicked my foot with his heavy work boot. 'What the fuck is this?'

"I sat up quickly, holding a finger to my lips. I stood and pulled him into the bedroom. 'Anna Lisa brought the baby last night. She can’t take care of her anymore.'"
AUTHOR:Roxane Gay
PUBLISHED: May 26, 2012
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6184 words)

I Was a Teenage Minotaur

[Fiction] A home-schooled minotaur enters high school and learns to adjust:

"At the mall a lady offers me a free sample of zit cream and I’m about to be all sarcastic, like “Look, lady— I’ve got a giant bull’s head. No one’s going to notice a few zits.”

"But there’s something about the way she’s smiling at me, not a plastic fantastic artificial airbrushed smile like all the ladies on the magazines, that draws me up short and makes me smile back at her (have you ever seen a bull smile? It took me years of practice to get my lips to curl just right) and yeah, I know she’s been trained in the fine art of zit cream sales but either she’s the best actress in the world or she’s the nicest person in the world and either way my heart just melts. Zits or no zits, suddenly I know this year is going to be different."
PUBLISHED: May 16, 2012
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3142 words)

The Untitled Lincoln Love Story Project

[Fiction] The making of an Abraham Lincoln movie:

"'Lincoln has a lot on his plate here. There’s the war, obviously. His son just died, his wife is a compulsive shopper with deep ties to the South—I mean that doesn’t look good for him—and to boot, he’s found himself unable to get his mind off this man. Amid all this chaos and horseshit, there’s a pony. And that pony is love.'

"Pony=Love, Mel scribbled.

"'And, you know, your postures should change more when you’re together, should melt a little.” He stopped and looked at Miles. 'Think about how your body responds when you’re with the people you love.'"
PUBLISHED: April 5, 2012
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6046 words)