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Illustration by Jeremy Luther.

Magazine | Imaginary Oklahoma

Texaco Sign

• By

Posted 03.10.12

Imaginary Oklahoma is an ongoing project in which some of today’s most important and influential writers combine with artists to provide a fictional take on this place we call home. Through a wide variety of voices, styles, and literary devices, these works prove that “Oklahoma” is much more than a place, it’s an idea.


Travelers say that all of Oklahoma is covered in a white fog. The only thing visible is a tall Texaco sign, and beneath it three enormous white plastic tiles with red letters that spell out EAT.

Maybe when you get there it’s a plate of chicken, or maybe the sign keeps receding and receding and you never find out what there is to eat.

One report has come back about a coyote chasing a little white dog, but the sighting cannot be confirmed seeing that it may have been an illusion brought on by the fog.


Jack Pendarvis is the author of one novel and two collections of short stories. He teaches in the MFA program at Ole Miss and is a columnist for Oxford American, and The Believer. His work has appeared in many other publications, including McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology.

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