Ian Townsend 日 07/04/2023 · admin No comments

SUPER BOWL

It feels like it’s been snowing since December. Like this winter took place in a sealed environment. Katya doesn’t care. She tells me that the snow in Moscow starts in November and doesn’t finish till April. She says that no one acknowledges the snow. Like if they ignore it, it will go away. Katya tells me that Saint Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world. That you can go for caviar and champagne, go to the opera, and finish the night doing quality blow in a club on a decommissioned warship. She’s so jazzed up tonight. I can see the blood pumping through her at high speed. She’s wound up.

We go to a blues bar and eat stale candy. We do shots with the bartender. Katya tells me that in the mountains to the south there is a clan who became obsessed with American blues during the cold war. She says that to this day their village is the Eurasian center of blues music. It’s also a town that’s seen its fair share of cleansing. Katya seems preoccupied tonight. Almost homesick. I’ve never heard her speak this much about Russia, or herself. I pay our tab and take Katya to a Russian tearoom a few blocks south. We order caviar. We drink Moscow Mules and eat oysters. The oysters are thick and creamy, West Coast oysters. We dip into the club attached to the tearoom and dance with some kids. I find a dude and trade money for drugs.

Coleman Bomar 日 04/04/2023 · admin No comments

JOBS, PORCUPINE, AND CAT

I picture you kneading bread
for cat head biscuits, each
roughly the size of a cat’s head,
with sweat in your eyes.
I write an article
about steel pedestrian fences
installed on a nearby bridge
to prevent suicide.
I write 65 people committed
suicide jumping off the bridge
last year and remember
I will be fired.
The politically correct phrase
is died by suicide.
I write 65 people died by
suicide jumping off the bridge
last year and remember
our cat needs feeding.
I picture you stumbling through
the door with biscuits
under your arms.
I write an article
about politicians who believe
people live or die
according to God’s will.
Their God couldn’t prevent 65
people dying by suicide,
jumping off the bridge last year.
Six hours later
you do not stumble through
the door with biscuits, you just
stumble through the door,
which is enough.
Then, we fuck like teenagers
as our cat cries,
the sun goes down
and I don’t want to die anymore.

Tade Davis 日 27/03/2023 · admin No comments

THE ORPHAN

There was a sort of contagion, a sort of mass hysteria event that rippled through the village after the war. A group of women, all aligned neatly in a row, hanged themselves at the same time. The son of another and I — both orphaned and banished to live with our grandparents — were inseparable ever since. We watched the police from the dusty cracked windows, methodically and with sterile precision, cut the ropes from left to right like you read a book. Each woman’s body splatted on the ground like fish, heavy and wet.

I lived between the land and sea, among the cliffs, on the edge, in my own contrived corner of this perfectly rounded earth. I always tried to congeal my memories as they were happening, always immanently resting in the past, present, and future. I felt my future self glaring into the muck of the now-existing present, indignantly and exhaustively squishing the once-hardened clay, soaked by tears and sweat and spit in between my fingers. I believed I would live forever if I just learned to remember better; I could live forever if I just hardened the miracle of sensation and held it tightly in my fist so as to never lose it. I loved my mother so much that I mostly forgot her; the sound of her voice and her smell weakened with each reiteration of memory. My grandmother, boasting one glass eye and another with miraculously clear vision, was gradually slipping into the murky waters of dementia. She always reassured me that my parents “went away so I could be,” serving as cow shit or dead fish to plants, or Jesus Christ to the entire world, but I liked to imagine them as Jesus rather than shit.

Ian Townsend 日 04/05/2022 · admin No comments

PURGATORY (EXCERPT)

The sun was moving west, and its rays fought through the clouds to cast long, skinny shadows over the dilapidated tenements of East Purgatory. The elevated highway concealed the surface streets surrounding the Johnny’s Pizza that rubbed up against the Port Authority. In a parking lot decorated with soda cans, used prophylactics, and glass vials, the skeleton man sat on a concrete division, flipping through the photography book that he’d lifted from Laz. Waiting for junk was a major part of junk. Throughout his decade-long journey to dependence, he had logged hours upon hours sitting in parking lots identical to this one, waiting for some unnamed savior to relieve him from his personal hell. The waiting was part of the game. Junk is not a kick. Junk is a way of life. He could remember reading this sometime during his formative years before the habit had impregnated him with the sickness. When he was on the fix, his loneliness was kept at bay. Junk was an ever-present shadow that acted as a sort of companion, albeit not a compassionate one. A shadow for his shadow that could be seen in the dark.

The last week without junk had been a strange and suffocating experience. He could not understand why anyone—himself included—chose to give up junk when they had funds and access to it. This last time, the separation was brought on by a feeling of impending doom that he could not shake. Even Dr. Cooper’s treatment had stopped being effective. A body can only sustain itself for so long when it fears sleep and waking. So, as to why he decided to punish himself by withholding junk, it may have been just that: a self-administered punishment, a cleansing of the soul. An allotted period of time for his body to regenerate and replace the junk-sick cells. It was also an attempt to rid himself of the horrific nightmares and paranoid delusions that sullied his existence.

David C. Porter 日 21/03/2022 · admin No comments

STILL LIFE WITH ROTATING ELEMENTS

The situation right now is I’m sinking into wet concrete and no one is going to help me. I somehow got put into the middle of a stupid little patch of it somewhere in the middle of an infinite flatmap while I was busy trying to drink an energy drink. It’s just barely too big for me to grab the edge falling forward. I’m totally stuck.

There’s four Bonemasons standing around me and that’s it. If I freecam out it’s nothing but wandering tire tracks and patches of dead grass as far as I can see. The sky is dark red and never gets any closer, of course. I’m sinking incredibly slowly, about one inch every 65 hours, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am sinking and that no one is going to help me. The Bonemasons are wearing their long black cloaks that flap around even when there’s no wind and are poking at me with thorny sticks. I keep trying to grab them but my hand just passes right through with a fizzy green flicker and somehow gets scratched anyway. Both my palms are covered in cuts now and leaking shiny red.

Time speeds up and in a few minutes I’m up to my knees in the concrete. I can feel microfractures starting to happen in my feet from the weight. Pretty soon they’ll be as flat as two sheets of cardboard. It’s going to be morning soon. My family will be waking up and wondering what happened to me. They’ll yawn and squint at the sun and pour milk and cereal all over the counter because I wasn’t there to get the bowls out. And then while our dog Gargoyle of Perdition is making herself sick trying to lick it all up a man in a green military uniform is going to knock at the door. He’ll have a square jaw and an alcoholic’s eyes and he’ll tell my family that I’m sinking into wet concrete and no one is going to help me. The sun will be behind him and it will cast his shadow across my family and onto the wall behind them, onto the picture of the President that we hung there when we first moved in, so it would be the first thing visitors would see when they entered our beautiful home. My family will cry, quietly at first, and then loudly, and then they’ll all fall over and shining roots will come up out of the wall-to-wall carpeting and pull them into the earth and Gargoyle of Perdition will starve to death because they won’t be there to feed her anymore. The man in the green military uniform will carefully close the front door and put a big yellow “CONDEMNED” sticker on it and get in his car and drive away. The sun will drive off with him and never come back. Meanwhile, I’ll keep sinking into this wet concrete until it blocks all my airways and asphyxiates me.