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Your Source for Literature and Criticism Centering America’s Heartland

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Hot Breakfast

By Anthony Neil Smith Too tired to keep driving. Too dark to see anything but headlights spiking our eyes like fuck. My wife had driven most of the way from Minnesota to Colorado. I can’t drive so far anymore, lulled to sleep like a baby. That left Priceline duty to me. Small print on my phone, shitty reception. But hey, it was a VIP deal. Those never steered us wrong, did they? Once part of a popular brand, a tarp covered the original sign, with its new name sloppily painted across – Day’s Rest or Sleepy […]

Roots

By Bethany Jarmul I’d left it all behind—the sun-faded trailer and asbestos-filled house with broken-teeth windows at the entrance of the dead-end street; the man with pit-stained tank top, cigarette hanging from the corner of his lips, cat purring around his legs; the dogs, one or two in each yard—barking, howling, whining; the rusted cars—some in spots, others all over; the smell of burning wood and the distant gunshots in the woods; touching our neighbor’s house with my fingertips and ours with my toes; hills so steep you can scrape the bottom […]

Real Life

By John F Duffy The buzzing was overwhelming.  An avalanche of noise that muted the usual din of cars and air conditioners.  The seventeen-year cicada brood was big news in a very midwestern way.  Journalists interviewed entomologists to talk about cicada life cycles and to offer interesting trivia about the orange legged, red eyed creatures that felt like a rubber ball when they bounced off the side of your head.  Cicadas, according to the papers, spend most of their short lives underground, and when they finally surface, they mate, lay eggs, and then die, all within […]

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