Category Archives: Nonfiction

What Turned You Around?

by John Ballantine

“The shah of Iran is our friend. He sells oil at a price that we can pay so we can refine the products that grease your chassis, put gas in your tank, and provide chemical feedstocks that make our lives more comfortable. Here at Ashland Oil we do business with those that honor commitments and promote competition. John D. Rockefeller’s offspring—Texaco, Mobil, Exxon, Chevron, and Standard Oil of Ohio—want to play by the rules of their capitalist game, not the market. The major oil companies want to starve us of our life blood. They sell to each other and not us independent oil companies.”

My first press release in 1974. The perils of capitalism. Continue reading

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How to Fly with One Wing

by Stephani Nur Colby

From the memoir Walking with the Ineffable by Green Writers Press

Sometimes the clinical unit felt as if, rather than being rooted on mothership earth, it was idly circling in the meteor belt deep in space. The twelve severely and profoundly cognitively impaired children who lived in its cinderblock and linoleum capsule seemed to ramble – those who could ramble – in a kind of Brownian movement, unfocussed, drifting by walls and chairs as if impelled by eccentric, unseen gravitational forces that sent them hither and thither, reasonless. The children themselves often seemed like lonely asteroids, shot out of the shattered core of some larger planet where parts of them – the parts that gave speech, sight, hearing, linear reason, functional ability, even varying degrees of physical motion – had been left behind. And here they were, still trying to live out their lives – butterflies with only one wing. Continue reading

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Two Books

by Kate McCorkle

Sitting at a one-chair table—the one shoved into a dusty nook between decorative pillars—at the Borders’ café, I hoped I might not cry in public. At least not the snot-bubble sobbing that erupts when I’m alone. Walking the dog. Cleaning. In the car. At my desk. Maybe it would just be the repressive, misty-eyed weeping I manage for work or church or the grocery store. The fluttering dabs around the eye with a balled-up tissue, like my body is merely leaking.

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Holding the Pose

by Tamara Moan

My neighbor calls it my “stripper job.” I drop my clothes to pose nude for figure drawing classes. It’s not as titillating as it sounds. I sit as still as possible on a hard stool in a drafty room, eyes focused on a grimy spot on the paint-spattered wall, trying my best to ignore the itch on my nose or the cramp in my right calf.

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The Theory of Everything

by Matthew Fairchild

The Standard Model and M-Theory

No matter how big the object, everything can be broken down into the same elements, the ones on the periodic table we had to memorize in chemistry class. Those elements are in turn created by protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are made up of quarks (up, down, strange, charm, top, bottom), leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, tau neutrino), and bosons (photon, w, z, gluon, higgs, graviton). Quarks, leptons, and bosons are made up of vibrating strings attached to membranes. We know these as the most basic elements that create all matter and life in the universe. Continue reading

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