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American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
01-01-2015
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
01-11-2014
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
01-04-2014
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2014
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
10-01-2013
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
07-01-2013
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
04-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
01-01-2013
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
10-01-2012
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-07-2012
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
01-04-2012
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
01-01-2012
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
01-10-2011
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
01-07-2011
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
01-04-2011
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
01-01-2011
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
10-01-2010
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
07-01-2010
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
04-01-2010
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
01-01-2010
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
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How to Make a Baby

By Robert Levin

Cematery by Jerry Craven

I was, I suppose you could say, in a PREpartum depression.

It started when my wife, Connie, decided it was time to have a baby. I was thirty-one and she was twenty-eight, a circumstance which I reminded her in my argument against the idea, was no cause for alarm. But after she'd voiced her ambition - and thereby made it real to herself - the achievement of motherhood became an obsession for her and she would not leave me alone about it. Finally, after several months, my reluctance to enlist in her project compelled her to resort to a not so veiled threat: "Steven," she said. "Either we have a baby now or I'm going to leave you."

All right, I told her, get off the fucking Ovril then.

Now it wasn't that I never wanted a baby, and not that when I had one I didn't want it to be with Connie. Strong of character and will, nurturing, quick-witted and sometimes astonishingly perceptive (not to mention pretty), Connie was a terrific wife and more than qualified to be an exceptional mother. The notion of one day having a family with her was hardly repugnant to me.

No. What troubled me when the prospect became imminent - what troubled me immensely - was a consequence inherent in the making of a baby, a consequence that I could not stop recognizing. Fathering a child would tie me into the hideous plan that Creation has devised for everything corporeal. I would be, and by my own hand, replacing myself. Once the deed was done, once I had accomplished the only thing we know with any certainty Creation wants of us, I would be, in Creation's estimation, expendable.

If Connie, born Catholic but now earnestly New Age in her faiths and sentiments, mollified her fear of death by believing in reincarnation, I was a secular Jew and so had only the void to anticipate. And if I'd always been keenly tuned to the price of existence, and lived in a perpetual state of medium-grade anxiety as a result, my heightened appreciation of my mortality destroyed any semblance of internal equilibrium I could claim. With Connie's demand the sinister underside of nature had turned itself toward me and it wouldn't turn away. Indeed, my now hyper-consciousness of what it ultimately meant to be alive made any vista of extravagant pullulation, albeit as manicured as Central Park, grotesque to me. On the most festive of occasions I would see what William James saw - "the skull grinning in at the banquet." And I understood as well what Burroughs meant by "Naked Lunch." When I ate I saw exactly what it was - the flesh - on the end of my fork.

I was also, much of the time, in a small rage about the new burden I'd be taking on. I'm referring not to the responsibility of child raising per se, but to the fact that no matter how large was the contempt I'd developed for humanity over the years, having a child would force me to care about what the world might be like after I died.

Thoroughly upended, I even began to think about homosexuality; about, that is, the solution it afforded to the problem of getting your rocks off without spinning what Kerouac called the "wheel of the quivering meat conception." Though a less than appealing option for me, there were hours when, oddly and perversely, I could not help but feel . . . well . . . TITILATED by the concept of having sex that was unencumbered by procreative implications.

In the petrifying absence of contraception I found myself avoiding sex with Connie. And when I could not avoid it my performance was impeded by occlusions in my circuits that would leave the both of us in a condition of considerable frustration. Worse, my very biology joined in the protest forcing me to suffer the embarrassment of a sperm count that a lab I visited at Connie's insistence twice reported was "virtually negligible."

Compounding these miseries, locking me deeper into paralysis as it increased my sense of urgency, was Connie's evident disappointment in me; a disappointment that was evolving into disdain. Terms of endearment like "honey" and "sugar," for example, were routinely being replaced by "washout" and "loser." In my timorousness I'd become, in her eyes, something less than a man. Recalling her admission to me once that she'd believed that all Jewish men were extraordinary providers and natural born fathers - and having long before disabused her of the former assumption - I knew that I had no choice now but to keep the latter one alive.

Gone but not forgotten by Jerry Craven