Accountable Victim by Donald Zagardo

A black and green lamppost, tall with chipped paint, across from Bryant Park, in front of a classic brown and gold twelve storied building, the wind reeking of the park’s dead yellow grass, cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust and blood. Hanging from the lamppost is a half-skinned, large white male wearing only trousers, supported by ropes about his torso, legs and arms. In agony, still alive but barely. New York City is some kind of town these days. He will be dead in less than a day.

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The Story of My Hometown, Saugus, Massachusetts by Tom Sheehan

Ah, Saugus, the town I took to Korea many years ago, savored, brought back! Images strike here, deadly accurate in their mark. Metaphors, booted and buckled and loaded for bear, ride horseback through my town, holding forever in place. At times they ride roughshod or, taking a breath, saunter a bit, smelling new-cut hay over hill, or marsh grass caught up in light appreciation of salt about the air, all Atlantic talking.

Realization comes too. Times there were when our river was like an old man trying to get into bed, slow climb at banking, belt or pajamas astray, slight failures. Some springs, it would be caught up in flume’s rush.

Water talks, the sea, the river, the pond.

The town talks. It is heard.

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Stocks and Futures by John Visclosky

“—As you know, the program uses a combination of advanced geometry and quantum computing to respond quickly to market shifts and improve the firm’s pricing of derivatives. It’s also been enormously helpful in the area of risk analysis—”

Sitting at his desk, listening to the young programmer speak, Matt shook his head slowly. As usual, he had no idea what the lanky quant was trying to tell him.

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