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By Luke Kennard

It truly is 2031 and the must-have equipment is the Holophin: a tiny, dolphin-shaped microprocessor which remedies your worst impulses and phobias, comforts you on your grief or boredom and makes every little thing glance a lot, a lot prettier. This hallucinatory and darkly humorous sci-fi secret is the debut novella by way of acclaimed poet Luke Kennard, a refracted meditation on id, expertise and the mind's eye.

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75. I found that to be outrageous. 25. The ladies crowded around the table, calling out their orders. Frank, behind the table, couldn’t keep up. His stomach brushed up against the chocolate on the top of the éclairs and stripped some off. No one noticed but me. The edges of the éclairs were now smeared and missing chocolate. I wanted one to top off the hot dog but I saw bits of Frank’s shirt fuzz captured in the remaining chocolate and just couldn’t do it. He smiled at me and winked. He thought I didn’t notice, or maybe did and he wanted me to keep quiet about it.

She had not stopped her winning streak. Ten dollars and a Twizzler. Single stick. Not a pack. She was diabetic. I didn’t understand the Holy Virgin sometimes. All these women were diabetic. Still with the Twizzlers every week. I walked down to the concession table and saw éclairs, hot dogs, and bags of potato chips. The low rent kind. 25. 75. I found that to be outrageous. 25. The ladies crowded around the table, calling out their orders. Frank, behind the table, couldn’t keep up. His stomach brushed up against the chocolate on the top of the éclairs and stripped some off.

Those cars were speeding back and forth trying to escape the ash. I walked down Sunset toward the up-lit billboards advertising booze and women and jeans and dresses and everything I wanted and my unemployment check could not afford me. I walked past the roads leading up into the hills and the houses slanting down the hills. The Chateau – Los Angeles’s own castle, and past the fraying palm trees. They were dropping fruit and fronds all along the boulevard, down on girls holding down their dresses and plastic bags careening through the air.

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