Your enjoyment is most likely assured if you are an acolyte of Aristophanes, Ovid, Rabelais, The Brothers Grimm ... or Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Lautréamont, Poe ... or perhaps Simic, Aira, Girondo, Gombrowicz.... A brief list, which you may expand or reduce as you choose.
Linguistically exquisite, metaphysically puzzling, poetically concise ... alternately shocking and endearing ... you will never quite know how to view this work ... but over time, you will find yourself, again and again, drawn (inexorably) back to these incendiary pieces.... A literary thrill ride for distinguished tastes.
- Pieces from this collection have been published (under different attribution) in 3rd Bed, Twelve Stories, and Anemone Sidecar, among others.
- "Two Bits," included in Barge Journal, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
- "The Pain Painter," included in Abjective, was long-listed for Wigleaf's Top Fifty [Very] Short Fictions on the Internet in 2010.
Please enjoy the following sample from Sane Asylum:
Towns took me in, but never for more than a few days. The townspeople were generous, but they did not wish to harbor a fugitive from the horseman. I did not blame them. I would have done the same, in their position.
I saw slim girls swimming in a shallow pond. Their bright eyes, their angling backs, the archery of their bodies: the scene drew my interest. Their throats emitted shrieks: I thought, Pain! But no, this was not pain. The water grew red. I thought, Save them! Help them! But they refused my assistance even before I offered it, refused without even knowing of my presence in the hedges. I stalked off, and they never saw me. The horseman was quick on my trail. I heard their screams behind me, and I thought, Joy! I did not turn to confirm this; in retrospect I regret the lapse.
I thought, Apocalypse has come! For some of the cities were in ruins. But then there were the thriving metropoli to thwart my theory. Yet--I knew Armageddon was biding,--in the despairless throngs, in the grim mouths of the streets through which throbbed the tired traffic tongues, in the rust squeals of the mayors' bones, in the satisfaction of the winos, in the writhing rainbow skies of twilight. The cities slept by day, and at night arose in hideous bodies, syphilitic, asthmatic, languid and shuddering weak, but strong enough to stroke their organs, to climax in the dawn, to fade (gratefully) into that fitful sunlit slumber. The cities did not take me in, nor expel me. But they answered the horseman's queries as to my whereabouts, to the best of their knowledge: they saw no profit in protecting me, and possibly feared the horseman's reprisal should they be less than honest. I did not blame them. I would have done the same, in their position....
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- We Must Have Faith
- Cherry Soda
- Death and Harleys
- An Instinct for Beauty
- The Final Image
- Bone Hotel
- Rapture in Stillness
- The Pain Painter
- The Cat of Unknowing
- My Birth's Revenge
- A Siege Mentality
- HQ Horizons
- Heat Life
- Two Bits
- A House in the Hills
- Humid Thesis
- Coda: Froze Life and World Aflame
- Encore: The Vain Vein
- Encore Encore: Rumor's Run