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The Girl with Two Left Breasts

Short Stories by Daryl Glenn

Publication Year: 2010

The stories in The Girl with Two Left Breasts focus on a new generation of African-Americans, who, having had access to the education their parents could only dream of, now face the challenges of living in an insane postmodern world. Readers will encounter stories shaped and styled for the new millennium as image and metaphor are taffy-stretched and virtually collapsed in order to depict how, at this unique juncture barely beyond our century’s turn, cultures, genders, and points of view collide as characters struggle with issues of race, identity, sex and addiction in an unforgiving urban milieu. Publisher Fiction Collective 2 calls Glenn’s work “An important new voice speaking to us throughout the stories in an array of vivid, unusual tongues, all of them full of intellect, passion and poetry. Moreover, the collection strikes one as having been written by someone whose literary sensibility is already fully formed.” This is fiction that is sometimes darkly humorous or humorously dark, deftly sidestepping facile categorization and often, like a koan, unfolding with a lyrical sort of dissonance.

Published by: Red Hen Press

Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments

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pp. vii

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The Hypothetical Nigger

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pp. 1-4

His mother named him Wave because she had never seen the ocean. After he was born, she looked into his eyes and was startled by how the pupils, black as keyholes and wreathed in gray, seemed to draw her down to the floor of his being. She imagined that...

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Metal Dogs

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pp. 5-31

The golden knitting needles are gripped in Crystal’s fists, the points up-tilted like slender musketry angled from brows of trenches. Both fists are wedged into the flesh below her stomach where thighs socket into pelvis,1 fixed there, braced, immovable; the effort, her...

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There Are Signs Everywhere

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pp. 32-58

1. What is not detailed by the myriad sources of information about Kalil Franklin is easy enough to deduce, extrapolate, or imagine. The information is in part a matter of public record and includes data culled from testimonies, interviews, psychiatric evaluations, tabloid articles, internet bulletin boards and news groups...

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pp. 59-76

Wave decides to kidnap the man. Out of nowhere, the idea seizes him, coils around his throat, so that there is a slithering pressure at the jugular vein. Coils, a noose of constriction. He actually feels the vein bulging. It bulges as though about to burst open with a great hiss and dapple the air with scarlet confetti. Of course...

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My Father’s Penis

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pp. 77-93

Unsettling exclamations spill from lips of neighbors, their mouths welling with rancor and affection as they reminisce over my father and his penis: What an angel of rapacity, what a demon of purity that...

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The Serial Killer Museum

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pp. 94-105

The Serial Killer’s right foot measures, from rough heel to spatulate tip of big toe, ten inches. If the protrusion of a bunion is included in the measurement, the length of the foot may be recorded as ten and one-eighth inches. The bunion had...

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Reverse Gender

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pp. 106-118

Yell her name and thoughtlessly toss the duffle bag on the coffee table where junk mail and overdue bills are steepled and strewn across the surface. She will complain about the mess as she has done almost every day of this three-year marriage that relentlessly...

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Shot in the Head

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pp. 119-133

You are here again, Jarrid, in this déjà vu of darkness, the ambient diapason of voices snarling with testosterone and booming through powerful high-tech speakers. Your ears throb with a chorus of tires shrieking like a bow sliding sideways over violin strings, your eyes riveted to geysers of metal and flame as cars collide and their...

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The Relationship Handbook

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pp. 134-160

Friendship may yet be possible if individuals formerly a couple have been prescient enough not to ruin one another, steering the troubled relationship off its rutted track, allowing it to safely coast to a complete halt, and decisively abandoning it before it bursts into flame. It stands to reason that friendship will be impossible...

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Chantelle’s Braces

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pp. 161-178

You say that, instead, we could look out that window. That the Hollywood sky, clouds whipped by Santa Ana winds into a frothy parfait, is nothing like the ashen sky you left behind in Bedford, Ohio. You say that we could stay inside and listen to the romantic murmur of nearby...

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Kewl Kryptonian

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pp. 179-198

It seems that Superman has fallen on hard times. His former fastidious appearance—the sleek tubular gloss of the blue and red uniform, the optical insurgency of pumpkin yellow as cubic backdrop for the bold insignia, the calf-high boots benignly suggestive of Schutzstaffel...

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The English Teacher’s Pupil

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pp. 199-215

Cory needs the pills. His face is painted in sweat; thick brush strokes of anxiety leave runnels over his cheeks like a Picasso of tears. He needs them to steady the hand that grips the riding crop he has removed from his back pocket. He needs the pills to silence...

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That Will Be Then and This Is Now

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pp. 216-221

Dreams are boring, Daryl, and you know it. How many times have you smiled absently at your girlfriend as she narrates whatever details from the previous night’s dream she’s able to summon into memory and coherence, the two of you eating breakfast here on the patio, the cheap all-weather furniture purchased on sale...

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The Girl with Two Left Breasts

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pp. 222-242

AA’ers, start the clock. That little clock there on the card table in the back with the urn of melted-tar coffee and stale donuts and the donation basket and the chip basket filled with cheapass plastic coins that are meant to be the souvenirs of this, our celebration of however...

E-ISBN-13: 9781597091831
E-ISBN-10: 1597091839
Print-ISBN-13: 9781597091398
Print-ISBN-10: 1597091391

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: First