According to Blue Pearl Investment Management’s vastly interconnected computations, Kenny sovereign – self-proclaimed mayor of Mockerton, landlord of the Sovereigns pub, proprietor of Sovereign’s cars a’bargain and lead singer of Kenny Sovereign and the Go Hards – was a grade A, titanium coated, two spits to the wind, asshole.

It hadn’t always been so – when the markets dove deeper than a beaked whale, Kenny’s money had popped and bobbed Blue Pearl to safety. Kenny was square on the donut list.

Then came the call. I’m moving my money he’d said, I’m doing something down here, for the community.

Fucking community snarled Gerald – VP, son of MD, and the tantrum rippled out, accruing significance until it reached Duggan – the best asshole wrangler in the business. ​ (more…)

              to Ms. Smith

I got my Vitamin D this morning from that lovable vacuum cleaner in the sky. It was so pretty my prayer beads sang. I met Jesus the Feminist and staffed UNICEF all in an instant. The moment was medical engineering. It was the anaphora I feed myself in the dark. It was an arrowhead carved from the granite in my belly. It stunk and spat and danced and sparkled. And then it rotted in my hand. But that’s how I knew it was real. By noon it was dust. So I kept walking. Smiles ranging a quarter-mile. (more…)

“He snickered disagreeably. ‘Me, no,’ he said, ‘me, I don’t hang around here after dark.’ Grinning, satisfied with himself, he stood away from the car … perhaps he will keep popping out at me all along the drive, she thought, a sneering Cheshire Cat, yelling each time that I should be happy to find anyone willing to hang around this place, until dark, anyway.”
                                                                                    Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

 

     There will always be a Dudley the caretaker dispensing unwanted advice, undermining your resolve to go on that year-long safari, or ignore those travel advisories from the State Department, or explore that haunted house—give up your job, your apartment, and just take off without telling any friends. Maybe you consider your friends much too cautious, or have no friends you care about. You’re drawn to the dark. You crave the unknown, the thrill of finally leaving the ordinary behind.

     You’ve been invited to Hill House by some paranormal researcher you don’t know, your monstrous mother’s finally dead, you’re free to go. You’re haunted too. You’ve been having dreams where you run up and down stairways, out of breath, corridors twist and turn and you’re completely lost, no way to retrace your steps. You quicken your pace and your heart begins to pound. Whispers from the empty elevator shaft are getting louder. Is it your mother, come back from the dead? You peer down into the darkness, swaying on your feet.

     When you accepted the invitation to spend a week with strangers, you were thinking a real haunted house might dispel those dreams and memories. Or maybe you weren’t really thinking, just obeying your instinct to escape now that the door to your cage was open.
(more…)

ALKA-SELTZER

wormhole to the floor, witch-lifted.
split inchoate rum & coke

pressed to throat enough
finds me glorious.

feed him my body little pieced,
washed & wrapped in gilt eye

               -liner & alka-seltzer. sweet
                twitch of pansy petals from my
                hair our mouths the only un-
                pronounced hulk in the room (more…)

                                                                                        1.

It was red through and through. I reached my hand deep in the inner leaves. An ant crawled across my knuckles dragging a broken leg. I tried to help by pulling the leg off, but I broke the ant in half and its two pieces went round and round trying to find each other. Red ones are the sweetest. This one was a little soft in the middle and the sweet was almost rot. I fed a piece to the dead ant.

 

                                                                                         2.

White at the top below the green. A few hard green growths. I asked Mother to slice them off because I didn’t like their look. She slid the thin knife quick and quick and quick again. She didn’t cut her fingers like the time she peeled the squash and shook spots of blood on the wall. The hard green growths stared at me like poked-out eyes. They tasted sour at first, then ice or cucumber, then sour again. A sour end.

(more…)

The Avalanche Effect

The story of the suitcase was true, but the painting wasn’t in it. Oh, well. Things progress when there’s a mistake. The next 48 hours are going to be crucial. Don’t mess with women who are into gore. I haven’t the slightest doubt that my own relatives planned to kill me. It’s too awful here. Yesterday we heard something that sounded like rocks being unloaded from a dump truck. Those were gunshots. I stepped outside to take a look and saw descendants of Marcel Duchamp selling snowballs on the street. (more…)

     Teresa, you have one new match on Tinder.

     For all the fucking good that’ll do, says you. You’ve one new match on Tinder, your screen blinking under the glare of too-bright sunlight as you expire alone in the foothills of the San Jacinto, midsummer Californian heat haze melting you into nothing. What a world, indeed. Dying of dehydration is among the worst ways to go out, up there with drowning, (which’s ironic, really). When they find you, you’ll still be yourself, just without the water weight. Skin clinging to the bone underneath it, thin, almost transparent. “Withered”, Teresa, is the word you’re looking for.

     Teresa who cares what word you’re looking for when you’re as good as dead. And worse, unable to meet your new Tinder match. She’s an Irish ex-pat, too, you two would have so much in common already. Well, maybe she’ll come to your funeral. She can spend the rest of her J1 holiday mentioning how she matched on Tinder with the girl who got lost in the desert, and sure Jesus isn’t it awful altogether. That’s how you’ll be remembered, Teresa.
(more…)