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Morning after

In by Wyatt on February 28, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Steve lay in bed staring at the pattern created by sunlight sifting through the sheets over his eyes. Little honeycombs of unfocused refraction bounced into his retinas. He wondered what caused these funny patterns; maybe it was the light beams themselves bending, or maybe it was his eyes bending around them.

Steve lay in bed staring at the ceiling. There was nothing particularly interesting on the ceiling, so he got bored quickly. He kept looking at the ceiling though because it was a little less difficult than thinking about light refractions, and besides he was bored with those too now.

Steve lay in bed staring at the window. It was made of glass rectangles the size of his head, stuck together with white wooden fixings. The painters had slopped paint from the fixings onto the panes, which daubed lightness on the view beyond the window.

Steve coughed gently.

Steve stared at his desk lamp. It was a good desk lamp that had served him well. He wasn’t sure if it were halogen or compact fluorescent, but he knew it produced light when it was dark, and that was pretty impressive in and of itself. Steve wondered how many hours that lamp had been turned on, and how many more it would be used before the bulb would die. He also wondered whether it actually produced light, or if it just sucked in darkness like a photonic vacuum cleaner.

Steve’s mouth was dry and his head felt numb.

Steve thought about taking a shower. He pictured the steamy water scalding his skin, opening the shower window to let fresh, frigid air in, and staring at the giant tree outside, with happy sun rays wafting in on his wet face. He rolled over and covered his back with the sheet. The sheet felt a little scummy, but he’d wash it tomorrow. Maybe.

Steve thought about his plans for the day. First he would eat something, he supposed. Maybe a frozen burrito or ramen cup. And then he would ride his bike somewhere, perhaps, like the post office, because he hadn’t checked his mailbox for a long while. And maybe he would see someone he knew and start chatting to them, and be invited to another party tonight. He thought he’d politely refuse, and then ride his bike back.

Steve reached down to his waist to see why it was sore and saw that he was still wearing the belt with the giant buckle his dad had bought him in Miami three years ago. The bull-horn shaped had been branded above his crotch because he’d been sleeping on his stomach.

Steve thought about getting out of bed, getting a glass of water, or seven, downing a couple Advil, taking a shower, getting some food, going outside, running some errands, maybe even starting a little work if he felt so inclined, and generally participating in vertically oriented activities. But all he did was think about them. He rolled over and closed his eyes.

Good Morning (500 Friday)

In by Chris on February 27, 2009 at 11:35 pm

            One day Jeremiah was driving to work and he got stuck behind a street sweeper. It was loud and he could see the dark grey exhaust pouring out of its backside. He drove along on the very clean street at five miles an hour, cursing the whole way.

            “Goddamn traffic sweeper thing in my way!”

            It turned down a different residential street, and his way was clear. He floored it. Soon he was at 7-11, picking up Shawn and purchasing their customary morning slushies. He got blue raspberry, like he sometimes liked to. Shawn was also mad because apparently on the way to the 7-11 a biker had run through a puddle right next to him, splashing all kinds of mud ovals on his pants. He had run back home to change, and luckily Jeremiah was late because of the street sweeper.

            “That bike dude was a turd.”

            They got on the highway and chose to rock out to AC/DC. They were still a little mad or something, and Jeremiah got to speeding. He was going fifteen over swerving around a VW bug when a cop appeared behind them and started flashing its lights.

            “That thing was nowhere! It came from the sky!”

            The cop was nice because Jeremiah gave him his half-empty slushie. As they drove away he pounded fists with Shawn in an exasperated and relieved way.

            “We sure are lucky sometimes.”

            Off the freeway again, they saw some abandoned sofas on the exit ramp. The foam was showing through most of the cushions and it was black.

            “Yo remember that, I want that flowery one.”

            The light, like normal, went green twice for the other two directions before finally letting them through. A BMW with a clear case of young professional road rage was right behind them, flashing her brights the instant the light changed. She honked several times over the next two blocks and changed lanes four times, but still she was behind them.

            “OK lady! Take some of this!”

            He braked hard then accelerated, then repeated that for several minutes. She finally took a side street. They were grinning because it was fun. Until they noticed what time it was, because the little glowing digits read 9:11.

            “Work starts at nine!”

            “No crap!”

            “Plus 9:11 is unlucky!”

            They were only three blocks away and had to sit at each red light and watch mattress and sandwich salesmen walk out onto the street corners and adjust their body signs. One held his up for a few minutes before he crawled into it so that he could know exactly what he was selling with his body. It was a five dollar foot long. They pulled into the parking lot and somehow both managed to slam the edge of the sport jacket into the car door.

            “Damn!”

            “Damnit!”

            “Shut up!”

            And right when they were getting out of the car the clouds decided to let loose a brief fluster of rain.

            “Wet!”

            Then the day started.

In by Lara on February 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

It was never meant to be torn. The sunbathed wearers, shorn of escapades wrought on the horizon pleaded insanity, but only the whistling bristles swayed towards infinity. The liars and cheats, the scoundrels and hags.  And to what purpose could it possibly serve while the doldrums abound in resilient anticipation of the calm? They lay dormant once, twice, and maybe the third was a fairy-tailed fluke. Gestation could only last for so long and the sepulchre of morn lingered in corners of hatching shadows. Perhaps the yearning roar could not sustain its insatiable fight. The denizen of the dreadful, palpable might. 

Focus

In by Lara on February 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

One day, she woke up and the world was out of focus. She tried to make out the clock, but it was just a blurry white and black orbs. But it wasn’t just her eyes. It wasn’t that simple. She tried speaking, and words entered her ears as if they were insulated in marshmallows. She tried moving. It was like walking in hummus. The air was dense and thick, and she felt as if she was breathing in feathers. Frustration wasn’t even an option, because her own thoughts seemed to drip away like beads of sweat on a hot day.  

Guest Post: Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

It took me a while to understand my profound grief over your new life away. I realize now that I feared you would be taking with you all eighteen years of who I have been. It turns out, you didn’t. You have not really left. You are in the hum of the kitchen and the hallways, the music from your piano, the dog-eared books you read and shared, the organized clutter of your things. You never really left. You are always here.

The proverbial umbilical cord no longer pulls nor strains. Rather, a welcome of separateness has taken over.

little things

In by Wyatt on February 27, 2009 at 2:18 am

What is seen without the eyes? What is tasted without the tongue? What is smelt through ears and heard on skin?

The little things. The refractions. Tiny ripples in perception lost in the barrage of rich information.

What if you could only taste without your tongue? Grab a chunk of prime rib in between your fingers and squeeze; listen to the echo of its long lost beating heart; feel the distant shadow of its warm and grass-stained breath.

Would you feel disabled, incomplete, distant? Or would the richness of experience drawn from ephemeral peripheral hints of meaning distill life pure?

Who

In by Wyatt on February 27, 2009 at 2:04 am

Greetings. You look nice today. Thanks. You too. Want to watch me brush my teeth again? I guess you have to.

Why do you never say anything? All you do is look! What if I don’t want you to look? DON’T LOOK. Speak! SPEAK TO ME.

Very well.

Oh God. Oh no. No. You didn’t say anything. No!

Yes. I did.

WHAT! Who are… you?

Myself.

So you can talk.

Of course.

But… why only now?

Why not.

What’s that sound?

The shower curtain.

You can hear! How?

You can hear.

You’re creepy.

Hmmm.

Please leave.

You wouldn’t want that.

Guest Author: Maggie Oran

In by New Author on February 27, 2009 at 1:44 am

Today I did not open my mouth. I didn’t say a word. I watched the planes swerve through the sky, eerie angles adorned with lights, talking to the night in a loud, low hum the same way that waves talk to the sand. On the ground, the orb-shaped street lights lit the undersides of oaks; the trees looked artificial, as though in a set for a play. In the darkroom, in the mysterious half-light, in plastic pans of not-water, black lines became windows, carousels, and fog over the beach – bookshelves, and shadows. I leaned over and watched in silence.

Guest Author: Maggie Oran

In by New Author on February 27, 2009 at 1:43 am

Don’t drink the water – read the signs. Don’t tell me your purple nail polish matches what you’re wearing (or anything you own). This is character development. I know where you’re going, and I’ll make sure you get there.

Watch your step, and put on a pair of more comfortable shoes. You have to listen to me, because I won’t go away, you can’t make me leave. Put on your sunglasses. You don’t want them to know what you might have been in a past life, or even yesterday. Sometimes I think life moves too fast, you know what I mean?

Ten Poems

In by Chris on February 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

Jewelry sold
Time’s getting old
And the crosswalks are wide
 

Blink
Stroller mom
Sidewalk thinking other things
Shopping-cart bum
Blink
 

Fresh trim to adorn
Houses been torn
Paint worn
Reborn
 

Freedom?
            Richdom
            Poordom
Freedom?
            Babydom
            Elderlydom
Freedom?
            Blackdom
            Whitedom
            Mexicandom
 

An overflowing abortion clinic
And a high horse political cynic
 

Door was open wide
Stepped through
You were not inside
 

You gave
Nice Smile
I’ll behave
Rusty knife
Placid life
 

Professor Loague has a backwards hat and asks many questions
 

Stumps
Are understandable
When I’m wandering.
Roofs and forests above
 

Where
Are
Silver toy cars?
Here
Comes
A large animal