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Jason DeBoer

Edward G. Robinson

Soylent Green made me a vegetarian, but not for the obvious reasons, not because of those crazy fucking wafers. No, it was the scene when Sol Roth––desiccated, frail, liverspotted––cooks Heston a steak dinner. Sweet little Sol Roth (Edward G. minus his menace, his mad strut) smacking his bloated lips at the sight of meat. That mouth, parched of blood, that enormous aching hole, dry from the heat and the many fleshless years, straining to work up a slaver, a perverted sound of moving lips longing to kiss something dead. Edward G. and Heston share the horrors of the table and laugh and the giant mouth chews on, like its own Hollywood monster, when suddenly Sol Roth catches himself, his gluttony before him, and he feels… ashamed. His eyes close to catch the tears and he turns to Heston to say, tenderly, "How did we come to this?"

Rod Steiger

Not to be disrespectful, but I think there’s a pair of religious figures in On the Waterfront. Two simple brothers in the back of a taxi going to 437 River Street, where the goons wait to make one a new martyr. Uneasy in his fedora, Rod Steiger, desperate, voice cracking, torn between love and criminal duty, pushes his pistol into Marlon Brando’s ribs, just the way Cain did before gunning down Abel, as their sacrifices smolder on the distant docks, unwanted, like the stubs of God’s cigars. The idea of fratricide seems so absurd that Brando turns the gun away with pity. Steiger’s face a moon of sweat, he collapses back into the seat, dizzied by his failed crime. But the betrayal lingers in the air and moves across the city streets until even Eden has the stink of Palookaville, and the denizens of the world sleep restlessly in their beds, a world full of bums and not a single contender.

Jason DeBoer’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in many magazines worldwide, including The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Stand, Other Voices, The Barcelona Review, The Wisconsin Review, The Clackamas Literary Review, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Pindeldyboz, The American Journal of Print, and CrossConnect. He is currently working on Stupor, his debut novel

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