Reading Comprehension

  1. In the words of Thomas DeQuincey, "It is notorious that the memory strengthens as you lay burdens upon it." If, like most people, you have trouble recalling the names of those you have just met, try this: The next time you are introduced, plan to remember the names. Say to yourself, "I'll listen carefully; I'll repeat each person's name to be sure I've got it, and I will remember." You'll discover how effective this technique is and probably recall those names for the rest of your life.

The main idea of the paragraph maintains that the memory

a) is Dad wants to leave us. He thinks it'd be the best & only option. Can we fake Dad's death & hide him somewhere nice? 

b) is a plastic dinosaur left at the bottom of a paper bag.

c) is a hearse driving itself.

d) is saying "something's missing" to no end.

  1. All water molecules form six-sided structures as they freeze and become snow crystals. The shape of the crystal is determined by temperature, vapor, and wind conditions in the upper atmosphere. Snow crystals are always symmetrical because these conditions affect all six sides simultaneously.

The purpose of the passage is to present

a) how the knock at the door is apologetic & aware of its own intrusiveness.

b) your eyelashes as fiddle strings.

c) when "wonderful" & "devastating" are the only options.

d) how we can each have a miniature horse & live on a farm & eat fresh eggs & build a house that we'd be proud to give to our children.

  1. It is said that a smile is universally understood. And nothing triggers a smile more universally that the taste of sugar. Nearly everyone loves sugar. Infant studies indicate that humans are born with an innate love of sweets. Based on statistics, a lot of people in Great Britain must be smiling because on average, every man, woman and child in that country consumes 95 pounds of sugar each year.

This passage implies that the writer thinks that 95 pounds of sugar per person per year is

a) a machine dispensing riddles that take a lifetime to answer.

b) nothing abnormal because everything is abnormal.

c) to know grieving for one person doesn't make someone an expert on grieving.

d) to be less of a frequency & more of a pulse.

  1. Leonardo DaVinci is not only one of the most famous artists in history, he was also a botanist, a writer and an inventor. Even though most of his inventions were not actually built in his lifetime, many of today's modern machines can be traced back to some of his original designs. The parachute, the military tank, the bicycle and even the airplane were foretold in the imaginative drawings that can still be seen in the fragments of Leonardo's notebooks. Over 500 years ago, this man conceived ideas that were far ahead of his time.

The author of this passage is praising Leonardo DaVinci for his

a) mattress filled with money.

b) crossword puzzles completed by a lonely man at a café who shouldn't spend his money on coffee but buys a cup.

c) insecurity that constipated his blossoms.

d) clarity in sleep.

  1. In 1848, Charles Burton of New York City made the first baby carriage, but people strongly objected to the vehicles because they said the carriage operators hit too many pedestrians. Still convinced that he had a good idea, Burton opened a factory in England. He obtained orders for the baby carriages from Queen Isabella II of Spain, Queen Victoria of England, and the Pasha of Egypt. The United States had to wait another 10 years before it got a carriage factory, and only 75 carriages were sold in the first year.

Even after the success of baby carriages in England,

a) it stormed. I was hurled across the room & cracked my head on a cinderblock.

b) she left & she left the door unlocked & when she returned home all of her shoes were stacked into a tower. She called the police. The police turned into a group of strippers. Her girlfriends came out of the closet, the pantry, & from behind the basement door. It was a party celebrating her divorce. She was never married.

c) we're not responsible for your pathos.

d) of course nothing, even Nature, is random.

Hazard Communication

The program tells me I was born as an asterisk. An asterisk to what I ask. The program ignores me because anything made machine by a human can measure confusion but cannot resolve it. The program tells me to match the HCS pictogram to its correct hazard & I think the first thing we communicate when we’re born whether we come out laughing or screaming or silent is “I wish someone warned me.”

Column A  Column B


1. ____ It's OK to be malicious, I tell myself each morning I wake up. Blackbirds don't envy doves.



2. ____ I think it's really cool that a 17-month-old girl can snowboard. When this baby pops out, she's gonna pop out onto a snowboard. But where will we get a tiny board? Honey?


c. 3. ____ The client never ate fruit. He had a strange thing against them. I don't know. We all have our anxieties, but to be manifested in fruit?


d. 4. ____ A park is emptied & turned into a small mall. In the mall are 13 stores. In these 13 stores are 152 patrons. These patrons don't know this mall was a park & before that a church & before that a cemetery.


e. 5. ____ To be sensitive is to see the wastelands in all.


f. 6. ____ An axe hangs next to a kitchen knife.


g. 7. ____ The study of the thing studied is actually a study of the self.


h. 8. ____ We don't use it the way you think it'd be used.


i. 9. ____ Most Holocaust literature is reframed with a younger protagonist because people care more about the young.


& Yes, Of Course, I Lied

Joseph Joubert once said "Clearness is so eminently one of the characteristics of truth that often it even passes for truth itself." So a truth comes as a clear coating or this clear coating comes as a truth & I was seeking a transparency that made me invisible to my lie or for my lie or with my lie & no there's no guilt because I still can't see clearly. So

  1. __ Dirt always travels further than you think.
  2. __ The horses mean something if dead.
  3. __ How you feel in this room is temporary. How you feel, even today, has its expiration date.
  4. __ I was about to cry. They saw this & said "Good job."
  5. __ I meant every syllable.
  6. __ All the books mock me & I'm the worst crayon in the box.
  7.  __ Even though you didn't inform me of your plans to run me over, I forgive you. I'm not your purple bottle.
  8. __ A folder filled with nothing is still a folder.
  9. __ I admit I'm addicted to a stick.
  10. __ Two Arby's fish filet sandwiches for $5 is a fair deal.

Jenifer Park is from Denver (T/F). She lives in Tuscaloosa where she's completing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Alabama (T/F). Her work can be seen in Copper Nickel, Evening Will Come (The Volta), Mid-American Review, Word Riot, Handsome, storySouth, and elsewhere (T/F).