“ARCHIPELAGO PART 1” by ERIK STINSON

That beach was north. So far north, the ocean was cool all year. In Orion’s first memory, he’s on that cut of coast in eastern Canada, maybe ten years old. He’s trying to walk the sand. It’s so wet and heavy, every direction feels impossible.

Others cross the beach. He remembers the collective mood of terror. Exhausted bodies washed up from a missing wreck miles offshore. The coast guards were gone, busy fighting Chinese pirates fishing farm cod.

The wind of a passing storm had blown them to land. Orion’s foster parents explained later that he was part of a group of migrants, people from far away looking for a new home. Continue reading

“BLUE-SHIFT” by RYAN SILVA

The torsos of two tangled teenagers tangoed with torn titanium. The sweaty smacking of skin and sultry sighs of satiation only ended after the rent-asunder husk of the Alfa-Romeo Giulia stopped spinning. Bringing down my shaking hands from the steering wheel, I unclasped the metal flask velcro’d to the inside of my satin jacket and took several long gulps of the elixir inside. It’s gin, tonic, a dash of lime juice and the dissolved remains of 11mg of Xanax. I took a deep breath and turned back to my clients, spread out in the back seat — still stark naked. The girl was slumped up against the rear passenger door, completely spaced out, looking outside the tinted window above her. Something had cut her and she was bleeding from the shoulder — not profusely. The boy was sprawled out across the middle of the car, fondling his minimizing member and grinning greedily.

“I love this.” He said, his chest heaving. He ran a hand through his red hair, twisting his curls and then letting his whole arm sink across his wiry frame.

“I love you.” The girl said to no one in particular, her eyes glassed. The stream of blood from her shoulder had already managed to slip down her minute frame, and it was now mixing it up with the jet black hair that covered her small, round, breasts in a biblical fashion.

“Did something in the car hit her?” I asked the boy, curious about how far I’d get with these two drug-addled drive-by-death-seekers. I’d have to leave a call to Tom Anderson, the fellow who procured these cars for the company. The interiors were supposed to be properly reinforced to withstand 124mph head-on collisions. The front-end fianchettoing was purely cosmetic.

“Nah, I fuckin’ bit her, man.” He said with a sickly self-satisfied smirk. Continue reading

“DASH CAMS 15, 13, 8, 10” by JOHN TREFRY

A woman is running across the reflection of a white coupe in a substantial puddle on the sidewalk, raindrops are falling on the windscreen before the buildingscape bloomingly befogging the radishthrottler pyrrhostucco charcoal and onionjuice facade diminutions into a pseudopartywalleous megastructure beyond a white coupe creeping toward a green trafficsignal, flashflame and a flake of fire is erupting is seconding from the ventilation slots on the bonnet, a hatchback is approaching the far left crossstreet inlet toward black debris across the skyglare on the asphalt neath the silhouette of the hood ornament in a linear scattertrail behind a woman running toward the white coupe, a crowd of people is crossing the street downrange upon their griseous reflections in the asphalt, a hatchback is approaching the far left crossstreet inlet of the broad intersection is pulling into the wide open space colliding corner to corner with hoodcrumples into a celeritous sedan, the asphalt is free of markings under two women in black hip length coats are stepping out together from a corner in double atop their soft reflections in rainslick asphalt across the blackmute desaturation inverse of buildingscape into the sky, a red glow local just above the crossing pedestrians, aerihumectant focus is blooming forth a white atom of the rosy and beige apartment mass with parapet of sparse merlons, the silver hatchback with its front bumper askew is inextricable from the careening silver sedan across the vacant and blank asphalt stretch of several lanes, a red trafficsignal in rhythmflickers halting downrange and approaching traffic above the slow disengagement of the silver sedan is rolling loose onto the curb in front of the joltstop of the silver hatchback and both threading reinless racingly around two women running out of the street clutching the hoods of the black coats, Continue reading

“RED-SHIFT” by RYAN SILVA

Down It went — direct, sans demur — descending as if determined by doubtless deities. On the palace’s poolside patio, a picked selection of patrons puckering lips on Perrier spritzers perused the parabola of the projectile dematerialize into the pink horizon point.  Murmurs manifested throughout the mansion as the missile disappeared from view. The reaction of the soiree’s host, M. de Kuhn, was a simple stretch of his supremely ambivalent expression into a subtle smirk.

I had the opportunity to watch the whole affair from the patio’s private mezzanine. The gasps, the booster’s disappearance into the desert scrub, and the angular, severe face belonging to the angular, severe body of M. Martin de Kuhn, whose eyes were squarely laid upon me in his dashing dinner suit.

“Did you want to visit Cyrene tomorrow?” He asked, lifting an eyebrow.

I reeled at the suggestion rather reflexively, but I did my best to remember the advice of my editor, Tony Bactria of Wire — “go anywhere he wants to go, agree to anything he wants you to agree to.”

Wire is Silicon Valley’s premiere tech magazine. Prior to this, I was a one-time contributor. Now I’ve got the fancy title of “Guest Editor”. A month ago, I had written an article of sorts on my own personal blog called “40 Years of Vaporwave 2009-2049” that one of Bactria’s associate editors, Mara Wesley, enjoyed and syndicated on their entertainment sub-vertical, ArtWire. The site traffic app recorded 3516 hits. ArtWire averages 750,000 hits a day. It appeared on Election Day, when no one on the country is reading musical sub-genre retrospectives. I had been jobless that month. Continue reading

FROM ANALECTS: ABYSS SEQUENCE by R

Actus Impurus

The Abyss was a map of its digressions from its essence, an infinitely broken chain of its being, a labyrinthine passage from its right path, a misshapen and impossible sphere that contained itself within its all-embracing circumference, alongside a dim image of its centre in the distance.

 

Cosmological Argument for the Existence of the Abyss

The Abyss, a thing of seemingly absolute complexity and infinite contradiction, was that of which nothing more confusing could be imagined, and from which our slightly less confusing and contradictory existence must thus have descended.

 

Contraphatic

Analogies of the Abyss are true only in their imperfection in illustrating the Abyss, for only that which is false to coherence is true to Abyss, and thus it is only by misleading and deceiving that this sentence can be true to the Abyss.

 

Tunc motu vitae suae intellectivae in se descriptum reperit quod quaerit

The Abyss, which was absolute imprecision itself (or at least so in language, in which it was almost always described imprecisely), baptised the mind in immeasurability itself when the mind delved into measuring Abyssal things, and then emerged from itself somewhere in the imprecise distance.

 

Abyssinia

A peculiar feature of Abyssinia is its tendency to make minds marginal in their imagination of its landscapes: to make the mind an incongruous caravan in its visualizations of Abyssinia. Continue reading

“A MATTER OF TASTE” by MATT LEE

Through the bulletproof glass, I gave the man my order: two-piece fried chicken with a biscuit, the cheapest item on the menu.

I pushed a few wrinkled dollars into the tiny slit at the bottom of the window and the cashier took it without saying a word.  He rang the order into a beaten register then disappeared to the back.

Stepping aside, I leaned against the wall, which was sticky with grease.  I scanned the adjacent wall, studying the various framed photographs and certificates, old write-ups from long defunct magazines, advertisements promoting the latest and greatest chicken-based consumables.  I had not eaten all day.

One photo in particular caught my attention:  A famous rapper wearing the same emblazoned uniform as the man who had just taken my order.

It seemed the famous rapper had grown up in the surrounding projects, grim and ancient hi-rise block apartments, row after row of cheap brown buildings where the dealers sheltered from the hawkish gaze of the mobile police watchtowers that were posted on every street corner. Continue reading

“TROPISMES” by MIKE KLEINE

The anthropologist appeared in late July, when the sky was still a cornflower blue & the earth rumblings had stopped. He ate escargots & spoke of published books & of academic lyfe & provided instruction on how to become a better person.

The anthropologist also did this thing with his h&s.

He drank whiskey & smoked Djarum Blacks & said things like, “White Cube is something new & wondrous that will never happen again.” The anthropologist would pause & then continue, “Because we are in an important moment in time right now, where limitations & regulations cannot affect the kind of world-changing work we are doing, literally, the sky is the limit.”

After that, the earth rumblings would come back for a little bit, but with less frequency. At night, the anthropologist would recite poetry & sleep by the pond & play guitar & spend the better part of his days photographing plant lyfe & investigating rock formations near & around the White Cube construxion site.

But not once did the anthropologist take a picture of White Cube or anything around White Cube. Continue reading

“ASCENDENCY” by __________

‘I think ill go w/ the boneless’

Brendan let out his characteristic half-ironically forced mirthful/spoiled child smile. ben was livid. Buffalo wild wings offers its wings in two forms: boneless and ‘normal’(?), the ‘boneless wings’ being basically nuggs. Ben thought the normal wings were clearly the correct choice, chicken is pretty gross in general, what with being selectively bred to be unable to walk/experience lifelong inflammatory rotator cuff agony via outsized pectoral hypertrophy, processed in rural Mississippi by a 5’1 honduran man of deep mayan peasant extraction, a mammalian maize weevil with repetitive stress injuries, but nuggs are so obviously un-’food’ like, almost deliberately nostalgic in their artificiality, their very ‘extrudedness’ harkening back to a golden age of junkfood when ‘better living through plastics’ wasnt yet a cliched dystop-ism. Ben thought about saying something like that to his friend but instead he decided to call him a fucking faggot.

Brendan’s aforementioned smile morphed into an exaggerated grimace, losing none of its strained smugness. The fine lines on his forehead became more obvious. Brendan was severely balding – nw3 with definite crown thinning. A few grey hairs sprouted conspicuously from his unkempt ‘side burns’ (if you could call them that). Nasiolabal folds were becoming noticeable in even flattering lighting, and his undereyes were baggy and weathered. Norwoodcel, facecel, telomereshorteningcel – he was 23 years old. The rest of his friends laughed. A few of them also called brendan a faggot. Another couple defended the boneless wings. Continue reading

“SIDEWALK PENTAGRAMS” by JAMES NULICK

We only leave the house late at night and wear hoodies when we do go out so none of our neighbors will notice as our numbers diminish.* The house I live in is small and dark, a four bedroom ranch, desert cookie cutter, windows aluminum foiled against the heat. A small yard with a few anonymous plants and two saguaros watered by a drip system I never see, and dying twin palms on either side of the cracked, oil stained driveway. All the windows are dark except the slivered window near the door, illuminated by a small orange light glowing through the curtains. I’m on my Free Agent Chronik, a smooth three hundred dollar ride in matte black. I follow behind Mouse, Peanut and Baby J as we push ourselves through the dark abandoned streets. The asphalt is singing under my tires, a constant low hum that reminds me of an air conditioner. Mouse pivots his butt and kicks his rear tire out and to the right, splashing gutter water on a car sitting in someone’s drive. He’s in front so he’s directing traffic. The houses on the block are all dark, save for a few frightened porch lights. I hover above the seat and work my legs, two pistons whirring above the crank as we roll toward the unknown. We cross the street, cut through a break in the median, headed for a convenience store on 23rd Avenue, on asphalt, crossing sidewalks, passing under streetlights, gliding along the smooth concrete slab, propping our bikes against the glass wall of the store, our wheels silent as Mouse opens the door on a startled clerk. Continue reading

“ARBUCKLE DREEN” by ETHAN GATHY

“But whatever might be my opinion of friendship, to mention only the pleasure that it procured me, of a quality so mediocre as to be something half-way between physical exhaustion and mental boredom, there is no brew so deadly that it cannot at certain moments become precious and invigorating by giving us just the stimulus that was necessary, the warmth that we cannot generate ourselves.”

— Marcel Proust, A la recherché du temps perdu

 

 

 

─ Thank you for cuhling Whurlld Spice this is Anu Singh speaking how may I hulp you?

─ Rrrm yes, do you take fiery curry shits when you shit?

─ Axcuse me, sir, I am naht sure what you are meaning?

─ I mean don’t it burn your asshole and all?

─ Ai do nuht  dhink you are being kind, sir. Why do you cuhll?

─ Because I’m milking a goat and all that’s come out–

─ No! I duhnt want to know.

─ And all that’s coming out is boiled eggs and thread spools and I just wanted your help.

─ Dhat is nuht possible; do nuht try to pull on my leg. I am hanging up dhe phone. Good. Day.

*click*

─ Okay you have a good one now, ya hear?

Jessie put the phone down and let out a cackle that had more consonants than vowels and more dissonance than assonance. He looked at his two accomplices with a toddler’s grin, his mangy jowls upturned and his teeth gleaming like electricity. Continue reading