Archive for September, 2012


September 30, 2012

His dripping eyes reflected his corpulences. His councilors were not able to dissuade him from taking the census. He bit through the fiery points the respondents sent down before finally succumbing.

anguish bag

September 29, 2012

after swallowing the barium for the radiation scan of his throat, he desperately wanted to kiss the radiologist. he was attracted to her of course, but he also wanted the contact to assure him that what he just put in his mouth wasn’t so dangerous that another person would be afraid to touch her lips to his. maybe, he thought, if i recite to her some of the psalms i have written. “you know, i write psalms.” he could not see her. there was no response. “it’s helped me deal with the illness. would you like to hear one?”

“please don’t talk,” she said from behind him. “it interferes with the test.”



September 28, 2012

My first day in the foundry I was un-nerved by the screams. I scrambled up to the foreman desperate for him to organize help. No, it was the metal screaming. He was sorry that I hadn’t been warned. It was a surprise my new co-workers enjoyed seeing sprung on newbies, but it was dangerous. he put all the cleaning bots in maintenance and made the team do the scrubbing manually. I was afraid I would get blamed, but though my fellows grumbled they knew they only had themselves to blame.

The bots stayed in maintenance and soon some of the scrubbers got sick. The ore coming in to us was contaminated with something new. The smell that prompted the inspectors to shut down the foundry was sweet, like the incense at the funerals that followed.

varying shades

September 27, 2012

he sought asylum on a cargo ship carrying cotton. he picked it because of the smell, or rather the lack of one. the other ships carried livestock and coal. the cotton shop was operating under a mandate however that required them to give him back to the authorities. 
using the polyurethane which wrapped the bales of cotton he lashed himself to one of the joists in the ceiling of the hold. a justice came on board to negotiate with him, and to see whether he could be construed as a nationality that would be dealt with neutrally once on shore. the justice that was sent happened to be one of his former rivals at school. 

tucked away

September 26, 2012

Bobby was upset when he came home from school and saw a new aquamarine refrigerator, because in a hollow in the back of it he had stored the latest product of his secret hobby constructing bombs. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to solder the little compartment shut. Maybe that caused a malfunction that made his mom want to replace it. He was nervous about it being discovered. Had the old fridge been hauled away  as junk, or was it sold second hand and standing in someone else’s home? Was it being tinkered with in a repair shop at that very moment?

take off

September 25, 2012

He chased the pigeons out of the office. They were poking through the ashes in the open file drawers. The hard drives and tape shad been demagnetized. the microfilm was partially burned, and washed with chemicals to make it plain. the discs were covered in glue. why would a small private college need to destroy their records so thoroughly?


September 24, 2012

Only those who had received an inheritance were eligible for the lottery, which was held for every graduating class. Every fourth one of these, once they were lined up or at least enumerated in an arbitrary order, was selected. Their inheritances were all taken and distributed among all those selected, equally. Ramses was an orphan, but was determined to get a share of Alex’s great-grandfather’s estate. He contrived to convince a poor baker in town to put him in his will. Then he had to get the both of them selected. Meanwhile his friend Darius from the orphanage was mustering esoteric legal arguments to get himself included.


September 23, 2012

Only with support now and with great pain can I rotate my arm around in its shoulder socket. A loss of mobility. A loss of capability. Some things that I could do before, I can no longer do. I know they are possible, possible to other people, once possible to me, but no longer. I can see them but not have them. This is not like seeing a superb athlete perform feats I know I could never do. That is just fantasy. This is loss. I remember the taste of doing these things, and now I can never taste them again. Do I live in the memory of the taste, or do I find other places to live in? Which is the wisdom of age? 

This is what I discussed with my career counselor, but he didn’t have any clear advice. He recommended I talk to a financial advisor as well as a market analyst. Then he offered to bring two that he knew well to our next session. Aren’t those two things part of his job? Why should I have to pay extra? I decided then to fire him and find a new one.


September 22, 2012

Once the sheep was afflicted with what was known as the “holy disease” any attempts to liven it up just caused it to atrophy. That seemed counterproductive to many of us. It delighted the mobs, however. Once the it was rendered in the factory it could be deified in a kind of transcription from the living to the …not the dead, or even the non-living, but rather the super-living. Its bones tipped arrows. It was added to many family trees, so that they all seemed to run together and everyone was related. That was one way the community was bound together.


September 21, 2012

The curved wood of the dromedary harnesses made the front of the animals resemble wooden sailing ships. Their leader was stuttering, mad as a fish. He buried their bronze. But all the riders pumped their fists for him. The captain of the harpooners planned a reconfiguration, but first he had to refine their cosmology to center on the south.