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In photos of my daughter’s wedding, I look thinner than I was and not at all as if I wanted to strangle the groom. There stands Sheila, radiant as always against a bank of pallbearer suits. Read the rest of this entry »

I stole a brick from my neighbor’s house. With ease he had me convicted of stealing the whole thing, all three stories and the land it gouged, and rightly. We understand there is no difference. Read the rest of this entry »

He’s never done me any good, as far as I can tell, nor any harm. I hope He’s as ambivalent about me. We’re at Halloween mass and the children have come as animals from the ark. Read the rest of this entry »

He had leveled eleven trees to unobstruct his view of the gulf, trees he had planted in a neat row every six paces along his waterfront at a time when the gulf was the last thing he wanted to see. Read the rest of this entry »

I feel as if I’d met you yesterday though it’s been thirty years and at my age that means I die tomorrow or at best the day after. So what shall we do this blue evening streaked with gray? Read the rest of this entry »

Ron and Don are in the same class. Jesus wept. Lovely, youthful, naive boy-god Jesus didn’t know the half of it. I go behind the burning bush outside the cafeteria and puke. They could so easily be separated, I tell the principal Read the rest of this entry »

—What if she dies while I’m away?
—You can’t stay home until she dies.
—I can’t leave either, while she’s alive.
—I don’t like where this is going. Read the rest of this entry »

With every swing she ages—sometimes younger by a minute, sometimes older by a generation—away she swings, back she falls, away. I stand on widespread feet, in sneakers on sand, in one spot for hours, pushing, waiting, pushing, Read the rest of this entry »

More crosstown than up or down, they blew through the city like leaves. At the river, they skidded into a headwind off the water and eddied through islands of trash that fronted the docks, swirling beneath the bridge they had never crossed, and went with the flow until one of them snagged on something. Read the rest of this entry »

The sign at the border with firm politeness welcomes me in my own language. I take it on faith it doesn’t play favorites but welcomes readers of other languages with equal grace, though why it thinks the Chinese will follow this road here I can’t imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.

Behind the Pseudonym

The pen name David B Dale honors my parents Beatrice and Dale. David+B+Dale = davidbdale

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