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Two Short Works

Joshua Lovins

At the gym and after


lift it right up thar brugh

man gargles


am choking

oh lord let me help you

man lends man a spot

man squiggles out from under bar and the job now done the other man drops the bar and its bells fall and crack the floor

oh lord!

oh lord i am no architect i cannot really be held accountable for these damages

oh lord no!

they both walk off syruptitiously

then that man rescued from beneath the bar stops abruptly and turns and lunges to shakes hand of man who had done the rescuing

but kind of misses its object and the other man thinks the man is going for a thigh which is the sort of thing one hops away from and he does but in the end realizes what the other man was going for and shakes his hand and everything goes smoothly

you might simply have not noticed my gargling from beneath that bar and all its bells weighing lots

i almost didn't i thought maybe the gargling symptomatic of some aught worse than your weakness beneath that weighty bar

if i were dead who would feed my sonnandfather

probably it could apply to some sort of civic program or move to denmark but it’s a good question i am not verst in foreign policy i have a friend who tells me that there is a particular abdkknnbvd

the man continues to babblebags the other man shakes his head and interrupts the other man

that’s babblegbags quit yer modesty ya cont (hes irishg) and so i am going to give you my house in nantucket you are the beneficiary now

no, my dear sir, hell no

i insist

the man insists and the other man continues to abnegate that which has been given him

they go out for snacks and return licking their chops and resolve that they were both acting rashly before with all the endorphins flowing

one of them men gets a call and shouts something into the phone

they smoke a cigarette

two separate cigarettes they do not smoke the same cigarette

oh lord!

Pasta Salad

And of course he tried everything. First left, then right, then first right then left, then left twice for each right, then a whole stack of lefts then a whole stack of rights, then the inverse, then a binary search tree of the remaining inversions, then a shrimp cocktail, then a degree in biochemical engineering, then an iron cross, then a countersuit, then a dead letter queue, then a cascade of compliments. Boredom began gradually to signify nothing more than an imminent bad decision. Warmer, colder, hot as a clock, he said, and it seemed to make little difference that he did say it.

Josh lives in New York. Email him at