Second thing she does is slide into heels so high she doesn’t have to stand on tiptoe for shit.

Third thing the bitch does is throw every appliance into a snow bank. They’ll still be good in the spring.

Unsure what makes her stupid? Take this five question quiz to determine if you yourself are also a stupid bitch. Alas, if you are, there’s no way any of these words strung together in the manner I’ve strung and tuned them will resolve themselves into meaning. Dude. I mean, there’s just no way. I’m not a magician.


The first line should be exciting, intriguing, baffling. It should fully engage the readers straight-away, drawing them inextricably in both by the artistry of its construction and by some inward, elemental need to explore the questionable (at best) connection to experienceable reality it suggests. It should provide in the reader an impulse to defend the nature and structure of the empirical universe, an impulse only satisfied through further ravenous reading.

It would be problematic to call this first line an introduction, though. Whereas it should introduce the style and tone of the story and the feelings of hollowness and emptiness at its heart, it should not necessarily introduce the content of the plot.

After reading the first line, the readers should exclaim, “Oh, another sad/tragic/hilarious story about existential despair and cognitive dissonance!’ They should not exclaim, “Oh, a story about a thin apartment wall!”

This will be a very difficult sentence to write. It should be followed quickly by the sound of a train screaming in the distance, which will mean very little to the readers.

First Lines Not To Use:

“The wall separating me from my neighbor is very thin.”

“I can hear everything my neighbor does through this thin wall.”

“The wall between us is so thin that the light passes right through, casting my neighbor’s shadow up on my wall, which I watch lustfully, playacting a life for us together.”

Skeletal System

When Mr. Rappaport opens the box of dead minks in trash bags, you know it’s going to be a bad day. Then you learn that the minks aren’t just for today; you’ll dissect the minks slowly, exposing each organ system, from now through next week. Each pair of lab partners is assigned a mink. The minks must be treated with respect. Students will be responsible for their minks. No flinging of mink guts will be tolerated. Jokes involving fur coats are discouraged. You and your lab partner must construct a Mink Manual. This manual will count for twenty percent of your grade.

Endocrine System

Brad, your lab partner, wants to name the mink. You don’t think an animal you’re about to cut open should be named, but don’t say anything. He might get mad and make you do all the work. As you make the initial cut, from the throat through the abdominal cavity, Brad asks whether you like Nicholas. As a name for the mink? No, dummy. Brad points at Nicholas, who’s across the room, busy with his own mink. You do, but don’t want him to overhear and besides, Brad might tell everyone. Pretend you didn’t hear the question.

Digestive System

Stick a flag pin into the mink’s abdomen to indicate its stomach. Photograph the mink. Brad asks, again, whether you like Nicholas. Write an accompanying paragraph for your Mink Manual. Take an extra-long time spelling out thoracic cavity. Make sure that Nicholas is still across the room and busy with his own mink when you tell Brad that Nicholas is a nice guy,whydoyouask?

I want to take a ride on your Rubbermaid Tupperware bride, slobber her plastic lids. Slide me down casserole counter. I want to eat deviled eggs and wear her wedding dress, stain it with mayonnaise. She doodles your name and counts Egyptian cotton. She cooks and cleans. She has cocktails after work with the girls. She doesn’t know you call me looking for reality. But my soul sits sour on your bedside table when you’re gone, beside your glass bong and your orange Texas sweatpants I’ve stained with tears. Your smell sticks and mixes with my perfume, telling me I’m doomed. I’m too in love with you. Telling me to leave you. Now you’re up to your neck in Tupperware underwear trying to peel back the plastic to taste genuine banana republic socks splintering your backside. My poems are only haunting memories recollecting faded smells and laughs. You dream in color through the murders we plotted. Killing each George Bush supporter. I thought that nothing could be as intoxicating as the taste we heaved back and forth after the whisky stopped working. I suffocated myself. I blew sober kisses through autumn air. Nobody heard. I recall splashing around the champagne fountain then slipping out the tent seam. Before I made a ruckus. Before I told the priest you were an atheist. My breath makes frost at the city. I see exhaust in idle slow motion through rice confetti.

Just married roars out the tailpipes.