Tales from Normal Street

James Claffey


Coffin Handle, arrives home one night and tells Ashtray the job at the plastic underwear factory has been taken away. Ashtray coughs a lot and doesn’t come out of the drain for a long time. Coffin Handle sets the table for tea and we all sit around drinking marmalade and eating dry tinfoil. Coffin Handle wanted to know about school. Rolling Pin says how after kicking the egg whisk in the handle, the punishment is a week with no port-a-potty so Rolling Pin goes upstairs to the floorboard and sulks all night. Coffin Handle opens a tin of paint and sits in front of the port-a-potty all evening without a word. Rolling Pin lolls on the floor twirling my tassels and gets up to read a flowerpot when it’s bored. Nobody is happy and when the grapes rise in the sky and the lemons come out we all depart for bed feeling sad.

About the Work

James Claffey

James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA, with his wife, the writer and artist, Maureen Foley, their daughter, Maisie, and Australian cattle-dog, Rua. He is the winner of the Linnet’s Wings Audio Prose Competition. He received his MFA from Louisiana State University, where he was awarded the Kent Gramm Prize for Non-Fiction. His work appears in many places including The New Orleans Review, Connotation Press, A-Minor Magazine, Literary Orphans, and Gone Lawn. You can read him at www.jamesclaffey.com.

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