Unless you work in Hollywood, it’s unlikely you give much thought to which production studio produces the movies you most enjoy, and if I asked you to name a handful of them, chances are your answers would be limited to the big guys: Universal, Paramount, Sony, et al. If I asked you to name an independent studio, however, things get a little more difficult.
(Originally published in What Fates Impose.)
The first thing you need to know is this: She lies. They're pretty lies, tasting of raspberries and kaleidoscopes and promise, and she smiles when she spins her tales as if that makes it more acceptable. Others will tell you you're a fool for paying, for listening, for daring to believe a fortune teller, but you know in your heart of hearts that they're the fools because lies are often just another variation of the truth.
The truth is, her lies have nothing to do with you.
My day starts at 5:14 am.
My body’s clock is synced with my six-month-old daughter’s, so I know I have around forty-five minutes before she’s awake and sitting up in her crib babbling. In those forty-five minutes of freedom, I do the usual just awake shuffle: piss, turn on the coffee pot, take out the dog, smoke, take my middle-aged man medicine, pour coffee, and sit down and read.
1. an establishment that provides lodging and usually meals, entertainment, and various personal services for the public
1. a person appointed and authorized to examine accounts and accounting records
2. a hearer; listener
While in the middle of haggling prices, the potential guest steps forward and says, “Look, do you know who I am?”
potty training a white male is pretty much an endless stream of urine into my face because men are useless, especially smol bb birb ones. my young blood, Iggy, is about to turn three. everyday my brain explodes with amazement at how much he is learning and the things he says are much wow and I marvel at his existence but he still cannot wipe his own ass. he isn't even close to wiping his own ass. not even once in his life has he attempted to wipe his own ass.
here's the scene:
The tip of the quill scratches its way across the parchment, a sound that sets my teeth on edge.
One might think I’d be used to it by now. The black marks it leaves in its wake make no sense to me—indeed the entire book makes no sense—then again, I am a mere copyist and mine’s not to question why. Although I do.
Much to my father’s despair.
(Originally published in After the People Lights Have Gone Off.)
The lab director called Maddy in right before lunch.
“It’s too soon,” he told her. “You need time to grieve.”
“Maddy blinked and studied a statuette on the second shelf behind him. It was a bowling trophy. She had never suspected Dr. Corinth of bowling. This meeting was a revelation.
(Originally published in Orange Crush.)
Trouble came and trouble
brought greasy, ungenerous things:
poke root and bladderwrack,
chalklines in bloody bedrooms
and black reptilian bags
smelling of acetylene.
Trouble came and trouble sang
shush-shush or tell-tell
for I alone will break your bones
as he bedded down for winter
in a small small town,
smelling of cabbage and tripe
where eight black chickens
wandered the street.
(Originally published in PANK.)
There's a certain kind of man who goes for damaged girls. He does the double take when he spots me from across the room. He spies the filtered grey that clouds my gaze and he doesn't look away. A man like that is a travel magazine in a hospital waiting room. You could go anywhere, see anything, but you'd never want to waste the money. Still, he stares. He smiles lightly. My chest tingles and I want to breathe in deep.
The things I'd do if I could, but I know better.
I always run.
(Originally published in Attic Toys.)