SMOKE, LILIES AND JADE by Richard Bruce Nugent

HE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING…TO WRITE OR DRAW…OR something…but it was so comfortable just to lay there on the bed…his shoes off…and think…think of everything…short disconnected thoughts…to wonder…to remember…to think and smoke…why wasn’t he worried that he had no money…he had had five cents…but he had been hungry…he was hungry and still…all he wanted to do was…lay there comfortably smoking…think…wishing he were writing…or drawing…or something…something about the things he felt and thought…but what did he think…he remembered how his mother had awakened him one night…ages ago…six years ago…Alex…he had always wondered at the strangeness of it…she had seemed so…so…so just the same…Alex…I think your father is dead…and it hadn’t seemed so strange…yet…one’s mother didn’t say that…didn’t wake one at midnight every night to say…feel him…put your hand on his head…then whisper with a catch in her voice…I’m afraid…ssh don’t wake Lam…yet it hadn’t seemed as it should have seemed…even when he had felt his father’s cool wet forehead…it hadn’t been tragic…the light had been turned very low…and flickered…yet it hadn’t been tragic…or weird…not at all as one should feel when one’s father died…even his reply of…yes he is dead…had been commonplace…hadn’t been dramatic…there had been no tears…no sobs…not even a sorrow…and yet he must have realized that one’s father couldn’t smile…or sing anymore…after he had died…everyone remembered his father’s voice…it had been a lush voice…a promise… Continue Reading

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THE CROOKED MAN by Charles Beaumont

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools… who changed the truth of God into a lie. . . for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly . . .”
–St. Paul: Romans, I

HE SLIPPED INTO A CORNER BOOTH AWAY FROM THE dancing men, where it was quietest, where the odors of musk and frangipani hung less heavy on the air. A slender lamp glowed softly in the booth. He turned it down: down to where only the club’s blue overheads filtered through the beaded curtain, diffusing, blurring the image thrown back by the mirrored walls of his light, thin-boned handsomeness.

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