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Satan's Fingers, by Jake Buckholz

The girl wore her father’s old belt, lined with his first tools. She liked the weight of it as she walked and let her hand hover over the drill at her waist, imagining herself as an old time cowboy waiting for a duel. As she passed through the arcade, the jingle of coins in the cargo shorts of the boys all around her became the sound of her own spurs as she walked down a dusty road, lined by the wood-porched storefronts of an old western town. She could smell the mud and the horeshit, see the drunkards sprawled out in alleys, hear yelling all around, even gunshots, and she wondered to herself how the hell she’d come to sheriff such a shit show.

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When They Came for Me, by Rudy Martinez

Six months ago, I graduated with a philosophy degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. What was promised to be a day of jubilation for my family, as I am a first-generation Colombian and the first in my family to ever attend an American institute of higher education, was instead welcomed with a reluctant sigh of relief.

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They Did Not Abandon Us: How Memes Are Fulfilling the Role of Trickster Gods in Late Capitalism, by Jake Buckholz

As my friend and colleague, Rudy Martinez, wrote in his much-discussed essay, Your DNA is an Abomination, “You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all cultures, upon meeting you, die” (2017). In context, You stands for Whiteness, as in the extremely limiting, extremely violent, and extremely oppressive force that has come to dominate the world, but Whiteness is only the latest mask worn by something nameless that dates back to the agricultural revolution, that is to say, to the dawn of civilization. Behind the mask is whatever spirit drives humanity to conquer itself.

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Gordon the Deer, by Jake Buckholz

Gordon stepped through the tall grass in a shower of postdawn light. He cut into a shot of bramble where the light hung dustier and the ground was a cluster of dead leaves. His antlers had lost their fuzz and protruded from his skull in their full glory of the season. Lean deer muscle rippled along his sides, covered in a fine coat of brown fur, spotted with white dots. The underside of his pointed tail and the fur around his asshole was also colored white.

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Post-Scarcity Love, by Jake Buckholz

A sunlit, red gravel road, coarse with small stones and pitted with holes, snaked across pastureland and down into the crags of a creek before coming out on the other side amongst a forest of cedar and oak. Not but three or four feet wide, it ran for countless miles, splitting and forking as it went, spawning paths smaller and smaller yet until each petered out at some destination.

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