The balloon head boy hung out with the tire head boy one afternoon at the cliffs. The tire head boy had brought a box of 1,000 matches, and he was already burning ants when the balloon head boy showed his scrawled face.
“They wrinkle,” said the tire head boy. He felt his tread. “Watch.”
And he showed the balloon head boy, who wasn’t sure he wanted to watch, but he did, never blinking because his eyes had been drawn without lids.
Later, the girl with one axe hand and one normal hand showed up. She wore a short skirt, and the balloon head boy liked the smiley faces she had drawn on her knees. She waved a magnifying glass at them.
“What the hell are you doing here?” she asked.
The tire head boy blinked his eyes, and the balloon head boy wished he could blink his eyes because the axe hand girl was taken aback, he could tell, by his stare.
“I was going to kill these ants,” she said. “This is my hill.”
The balloon head boy watched the ants spilling out the top of the ant hill, and he wondered whose hill it really was.
“What happened to you?” asked the girl with one axe hand and one normal hand.
Continue reading ~ The View From Above by M. W. Fowler →
The clock said 5:32 p.m. It was Thursday, and I sat in a chair with my legs up in another chair, and my book was open in my lap, and I was writing. The doors to the gallery were propped open, and the sky was turning from blue/white to pink/yellow/red as the sun got closer to sleeping. The sky was a color that only Miami knows. Electronic music bounced off the walls in the background even though I was supposed to play jazz always, no matter what.
When she walked in I barely looked up, I barked out a hello and went back to my business. She moved around the gallery like a wound-up toy, spinning in no real direction, her teal top burning against her dark brown skin. I put my eyes back down to the paper. My body language said don’t bother me, and I concentrated my eyes while imagining laser beams. From the peripheral I could see her coming, shining, on fire—
(Comes up to Maggie, stands directly in front of her. Bends down and touches Maggie’s leg.)
Excuse me, I want someone to paint me. I want to be painted and I want it to be sexy, you know. I want women to see it and feel good about their own bodies.
Continue reading ~ Breasts Like Death-Sacks by Jessica Bates →
I waited to put my shoes on until after I jumped out of the window, by which time my socks were soaking. I sprinted down the unlit driveway to the bottom of the hill where Randy and Hector were waiting. Even at eighteen, as a legal adult, I was sneaking out of my dad’s house every night. My bedroom window frame was concave where I rested my knees as I lowered myself to the ground outside. Randy honked the horn a couple of times as I ran up to the car. He knew it pissed me off.
It was mid-January, a Tuesday night. A Petaluma night, so moist and dewy you could smell the cow shit for miles around. There were no parties, no girls out–at least none that I’d been informed of–so we had to be creative to entertain ourselves. “What are the plans, gentlemen?”
“Oh, dude, we’ve got something in mind,” Randy said.
“What the fuck, you gonna make me guess?”
“You know the Christmas tree dump in the parking lot on Washington Street?” Randy asked me.
“The one by the Library? Yeah, so?”
“We’re gonna light those fuckers on fire.”
I could imagine the workings of Randy’s imagination each time he drove passed that ton or so of dry kindling. It was the mechanistic processing of an angry kid, a kid who, despite his best efforts and intentions, would always look, feel, and act differently, a kid who wanted to set the world aflame. He’d been waiting for this night to come. Possibly, he’d waited for the pile of trees to grow immense enough to justify the risk. Or, possibly, we just hadn’t been quite bored enough in the past.
Continue reading ~ Pyromaniacs, Bored and Young By Ben Leib →
‘Magic is afoot/God is alive’ (Leonard Cohen)
Very strange things were happening in 1967, in my life anyway. People I knew were experimenting with substances, psychedelic art and magical thinking. A new spiritual dimension was manifesting, and it wasn’t based on established religion. What came out of this was the New Age philosophy, but this movement didn’t exist yet. Also, concern for the environment, the spread of the feminist movement and the rise of black power marked the age.
Like many teenagers – I was 18 that year – I wasn’t all that aware of what I was getting into, and I can’t say I was really politicized. I knew there was an evil war going on in Vietnam, but I was naive about it, as well as about everything else.
For instance, one night a bunch of us ended up at Dennis’s house, in Westhaven Village, in NDG, and we had been smoking a lot of pot. I was lying on the floor, in a bag, next to a lady called Joan, who I thought was Dave W.’s girl. Then suddenly, out of the blue, she and I started necking furiously, madly, in total oblivion of circumstances or convention. This went on for an eternity or two, and then I fell asleep. I crashed.
Continue reading ~ ST. THOMAS by Robert Markland Smith →
I lay in my living room, all the book shelves gleaming with fresh wax, listening to Beethovan, resting from assisting in the gory feline surgery at animal rescue. My long black hair was entertainingly sharp against the soft orange carpet, but the intensely colored paintings on the red wall were more captivating. . . . → Read More: The Inhabitants of Mercy by Tantra Bensko