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    Rapture and Terror and Awe

    By Nick Marland

    The farm was huge and he was the only kid there. He wandered paddocks and watched spooked browns writhe off into the long grass. He climbed trees and picked up beetles, and he stared into the eternal eyes of the Herefords as their mouths worked the grass. But the image which had not left him in twenty years was the night sky on those nights: stars like the powder of crushed Greek marbles tossed into the infinite; scattered everywhere, clumping in places, older than everything. The lazy tentacle of the Milky Way reaching out from the eastern horizon; meteorites breaking up low in the sky. You never got to see it like that in the city, where orphaned stars floated in illuminated filth. He remembered asking his mother, Can you see an aurora from here?

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    Tailgate Fume

    By Sean Williams

    Tailgating, my dad said it’s called. He used to do it in the old days, back before cars and trucks became obsolete. He and his friends would hang on and let the wake carry them, high on exhaust fumes, whooping and hollering like loons.

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    Eva the Stenographer

    By Alison Martin

    For a brief moment in world history, Sylvia’s mother, Eva McEvoy, was a stenographer for the United Nations . . .

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    Invisible sentences: labour, words and women

    By Elena Gomez

    When has editing not been my worst nightmare? In my dreams the hands of a clock are tiny daggers falling onto my hunched shoulders as I flick rapidly though a finished copy of one of my current projects, encountering error after error. There is an implied and inevitable death that looms, and then I wake up all sweaty, wondering whether the dream is likely to come true later that day. Being awake is not much better.

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    The GraduateEpistles at Dawn

    By Mark Riboldi

    Firing in response to Elizabeth Allen, Mark Riboldi writes about a bad date for Epistles at Dawn

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    Comfort

    By Eleanor Garran

    You pissed yourself. Really? Is this really where you want this to go? Well, keep going then. Warm up your legs; you’ll regret it in a few hours, you know. They’ll be rank and cold and they’ll freeze when you get out of the sleeping bag. But that’s what you were aiming for, wasn’t it? Make yourself more disgusting. Fine.

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    New Grub Street – Part II, Chapter 9'Invita Minerva'

    By George Gissing

    After all, there came a day when Edwin Reardon found himself regularly at work once more, ticking off his stipulated quantum of manuscript each four-and-twenty hours. He wrote a very small hand; sixty written slips of the kind of paper he habitually used would represent – thanks to the astonishing system which prevails in such matters: large type, wide spacing, frequency of blank pages – a passable three-hundred-page volume. On an average he could write four such slips a day; so here we have fifteen days for the volume, and forty-five for the completed book.

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    Tags: Round-Up

    Agile Tit-Tyrant is not just the name of your landladyRound-up, 17th October, 2015

    By Lucy Faerber

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    How to Grieve Believably

    By Lech Blaine

    The doctor said his heart was defective. I didn’t know hearts could defect. Wikipedia said it was a death wish. The doctor called it a genetic recurrence. Someone sent a fruit dish. I chose the least ripe looking peach, some kind of exercise in self-denial.

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    My love was like a newbornEpistles at Dawn

    By Elizabeth Allen

    In our second round of poetic correspondence, Elizabeth Allen writes pet-names to a new love…

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    My Blue Rock Pool

    By Barry Cooper

    After we got our fishing gear from the laundry, me and Dad walked down the pebbly track behind our house to the beach.

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    Tags: Round-Up

    Round UpThey’ll never take our free things!

    By Lucy Faerber

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    Love LetterEpistles at Dawn

    By Stuart Barnes

    Stuart Barnes responds to Michele Seminara with a free-form remix of Sylvia Plath.

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    Facebook Redux

    By Nic Low

    Michael showers and shaves, then snaps a few self-portraits in the mirror. He lifts his phone high, tilts his head and pouts. Click.

    He’s a substantial man, with ruddy jowls, a small, pleasant mouth and cheerful eyes. At sixty-seven his head is a gleaming dome. Most of his male friends are doing that ridiculous neo-combover thing: a few last pathetic hairs brushed down over one eye, emo-style. He prefers total baldness—chemo-style. Click.

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    Burning Imprint

    By Daniel Young

    I could still feel the burning imprint of his hand across my eleven-year-old cheek. ‘What did you do wrong?’ my sister asked after I ran up the stairs and into her room, where she had her nose stuck in a book as always.

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