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SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XIX

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your first painting of Kansas a kerchiefed babushka screaming at the approaching storm, defianther heavy black shoes planted firmly in the wheatyou called it The Woman Challenges God this was the first week, others would followa simple routine of food from underneath gas station warming lampspicked through on back country drivesa bottle of Coke between the two of uswhat you found in the adventure...

Professional Update – Brief

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I’ve dipped a toe back into publishing waters. I am now a Senior Acquisitions Editor for Crooked Lane Books. If you’re somebody who wants to query me or ask questions about what I’m looking for, you can do so using this email address — ben.leroy@crookedlanebooks.com I’m looking for things not unlike what I published at Bleak House Books and Tyrus Books which, for...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XVIII

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You couldn’t know that I would find my salvation in the form of a lobster boatthat a man and his son would pull meaboard, rough handed and startled at the detritus they’d scooped from cold Atlantic wateryou couldn’t knowand I, I believed I had diedfound the light I invented to pass the time that light had whisked me higher I begged them to leave the rowboat behindsurrender it to the watera...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XVII

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in the morning I’d listen to you pace the kitchen floor, could imagine youyour coffee mug in hands cradled to cheekstaring out that big picture window overlooking the Atlanticthinking and considering the oblivion that awaited the nuclear materials for the type of bomb to displacelives like ourswaiting for fissure and assemblagehow heavy all that water must have been in your cup but I knew, had...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XVI

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I am afloat, my love. When I grow tired of the water beneath me, I roll over to count the stars. On a good night I will get to a thousand before I fall asleep. I see you among them, a manic blur of paint and smoke. I know, in the swirl of the clouds and the glowthat you’v taken up your vision and given it life. The day a plane flew overhead, the closest thing I’d had to human interaction in a...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XV

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broke the routine, packed a bag we left the Atlantic in our wake so I could show youa Kansascoal mining townthe dead grass out past the city limits such a prettypair to gray and with each breath you took, the despair took home in your lungstold your blood the stories buried in the earthwith the boys who went down one dayand kept walking all the way to the centerlike Portuguese whalers,their loved...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE- XIV

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do you remember the day you picked me up in your dying Nissan truckFela Kuti’s Question Jam Answer playing three quarter speed in the tape deckand I told you I didn’t think I’d ever be able to write again and that even if I could, nobody would buy it you held my hand and told me it would be alrightI asked—”you mean I’ll write again?”even if you don’t we’ll be okay for a month I couldn’t...

Scenes from an Alternate Life – XIII

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we went through the double doors, told the woman at the cash register who we wereas though our names themselves were badgesmaybe she believed it because we believed it, too. Conroy counted the empty chairsThere’s a balcony, too. I smoked grass up there the night Bob Seger came to townand so I went, the Exit sign the only thing giving light to stairswhile I hummed Against the Wind  in the echoes...

SCENES FROM AN ALTERNATE LIFE – XII

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it was then, holding my book for you to see, the crumbs of a club sandwich on my shirt—a vague familiarity I couldn’t place radiated out from my heartor maybe I’d stood up too fast, butdidn’t I know you from somewhere?Is this your first? you asked, taking 324 pages of my life in your hands when you told me you were an artist I became self-conscious of the covertried to see the colors and the...

Scenes from an alternate Life – XI

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you took Conroy all the way south to Boston showed him your art on museum walls until the life left your lungs taking deep breaths in search of ancient Parliaments stuck to canvasdesperate for inspiration from an old parlor trick we met, for the first time, next door in a deserted diner built for 70three of us, tucked into the back corner, the two of you at a tableand me, shrunk over a weathered...

Ben

Ben LeRoy is spirit trapped in the 21st century on Earth. Someday he will be somewhere else. Until then, he's glad to know you're out there, too. And later elsewhere he will be glad to know you're out there, too.