Modernity is a Policy

Practice makes perfect, says a nun slapping knuckles with a ruler. Practice makes repetition says my father. Practice makes you stronger, maybe, but practice also breeds continuation and from there, we begin the slow degradation.

Words mince and muddle, drip down from open lips and pool in indiscernible little puddles. Rules eek like drool from slack drooping jaws, reeking of yesterday’s rotting lunch and a touch of tummy acid that, moments ago, came back up.

Pronouns add depth to a sentence. I’m sure.
But if you see through the film they’re painted on, you can discover so much more.

This rainbow paintbrush hasn’t been in my hand long, but I’ve painted all my own walls. Can I get started on your’s now? Will you let me rearrange and decorate? I’d love to dress you up and take you out.

A party. Downtown.
There’s going to be music, booze, and sexy noobs. But here’s the kicker — both male and female boobs. Half-naked. Genitals casually exposed.
You in?

Oh no, you’ve got this headache, aching in your head, eyeballs throbbing and temples tender to the touch. Well, sit back and play a video game and keep on drooling. It’s appealing, not appalling. I’m not angry. I’m just disillusioned with the magic of your spells and the drossy fraying drawstring of your fading smile.

Pick you up with tongs and tweezers from the ground just so I wouldn’t have to touch you.
C’mon now. Lock your knees if the muscles can’t take your weight. Lean against the wall with both your hands if you can’t stand. I’m not here to hold your see-through little hand.
I’m here to knock you down.

Teeter totter, up and down, back and forth like a little toddler. But your mentality’s no older. Got a god snacking on Chik’n snacks just hanging out up in your brain? Got a big beer bellied dad smoking some old pipe knocking around in your mental attic space? Does he have a white beard? Does he love Jesus? Are his eyes blue and is he gazing happily, drunk stinking skunk, like a frat-bro at you?

Oop. Did I offend you?
Cup my hands over my mouth and I’ll be quiet now.
Did I care?

This is the final step I take before the fire burns the door down. Backdraft blowing torches against my naked body, taking hair before it blisters skin. Burning skin before it gets deeper in. Muscle, sinew, blood aboil and I’ll be dead before the saviours ever come.

Crosses crossed like fingers over hearts. Pressed like relics to pouting lips. Someone wrapped in a headscarf outside breathing in the smoke. Screams waft like pollen on the wind.
Mercy, mercy, god have mercy — but no-one comes.

Church bells clang in electronic candor, and funeral engines roar as the motorcade rolls by. Lights blink red, red, red — stop this madness, stop the death. But, it’s only temporary as we slip, sleeping, by.

Maybe in another life, another time. Stop, get out, smell the wild mushrooms growing like white beards on dead alders. Brush fingers against tender flush-white skin. Dip a foot into a pond and hop, hop, scamper until you’re up the slope.

Is this what life used to feel like?
Well, well. Not tonight.

Un(en)titled progress

The cover design is being set. I will give you all a sneak peak once I and the cover artist have come to some settled decisions. For now, I’ve seen the design and I’m sitting on it for a few days.

Pushing forward, about to jump into the publishing/printing deep end and reapproach my options. Onward, what!

How houses haunt

The game had no rules, but cheating was an inevitable conclusion. Everyone knew it.

Draw six cards, cheat. Lay down, cheat. Win the game, cheat.

It was funny since it was so obvious. Everyone laughing, saying, “Oh I’m playing underhanded, aren’t you?” Giggling and smoking and drinking and just getting fucked up. Dipping fingers in each other’s pots. In each other’s pants. In each other’s hearts.

No-one knew the exact moment it went too far, but it was more obvious than the cheating. Crack like a bone snapping under pressure. And seconds afterward, the whole room collectively got this wave of nausea in guts or ears or heads. “That’s your body telling you something irrepariably wrong.” Someone sprawled on the back couch said. It was curldled yellow and torn to shreds, stuffing at angles that felt like rot. “Or,” someone across the room called, “like it’s sayin’ we can fix this — but hey, well, it’s gonna be a while my friend.”

Someone half-undressed on the rug laughed. The pole dancer kept drinking straight from a bottle of gin. The two cross-dressed strippers, still fully dressed, just stared.

“Six weeks to feel not so broken. Ten weeks stuck in one position. A couple of months crying over lost projects and lost moments and lost picturesque scenes in lovely dresses fanning in the wind.”
That was the room’s poet. Blue-grey feather in a black wide-brimmed hat, collar so close it looked like it was chocking. A dry cough after this line said it probably was.

The rest of the party sort of went on. Everyone got out sun hats and sunglasses. Everyone put them on to hide, took them off, and traded hands. When it all ended in another couple hours, everyone would lie about which ones were theirs. But why? Only to make each other feel bad. Only to make it sting when a friend slowly slipped away with your belongings. Only to make it burn when twos and threes drifted off, connected in triangles and tangents no-one had suspected.

Whoever was last in the room in the early morning bluing light had the best view of the trappinngs left behind. Mostly, it was discarded clothes and trash that no-one wanted. Mostly, it was things no-one would miss. Hysterical mmoments and hyperbolic mistakes that look better in shadows than in light. Like bruises and scrapes.

And every once in a while, something of value. Like a heart or a cast someone removed in the night, stripping someone else naked for the first time in years.

Those snapshots never yellow and those ghosts never fade. And about once a year, an exorcist comes through to blow faith around the room and make like the place is better. It’s not true, but religion has bad receptors for this kind of thing.

Seven Carbon. Four Hydrogen. And, oh.

I did the one thing you’re not supposed to do. I know, but it worked. I let you go, just tossed you out like the night’s trash. Released you into space without a tether. And you know what I found out?

You come back to me like rubberbands against my wrist. Like a whip agaisnt my bare back. You’re spring loaded and you don’t disperse regardless if I push you down and try with fire and might to stamp you out.

Like an elctromagnetic storm, you collect energy and increase the negative charges between a hollow space, you, and me.

I can try to disregard your nails in my flesh, your teeth in my neck, your clamps on my skin. But you burn so hot and heavy that even as I’m stepping backward, I’m not giving in.

You do not disappear like fog or a storm pulled by wind. You are not a brush of spring rain that dusts the surface of my mud then drifts away. You are not some seed loafing, caught up by parasols and parachutes by the lightest of breezes.

Oh, no. You are sick sticky slick and you’ve stuck to me. I more than half-remember your drugged out, dragged down moments of desperation as I lay spinning drunk and passing out. Waking up to reaffirm with myself that you aren’t there, can’t be there, wouldn’t come back through here if you dared.

But in the window there’s this morning blaze of springtime sun and here you are — the blaze of my heart and the bane of my mercy, and why oh why do I forget that I created you in moments of stark reality? That your insanity is not the individual flash-in-a-nonstick-pan of your counterparts.

No. Your’s is a destruction bedeckled and sparkling like club lights and pop dance tunes. Your’s is a demise that’s easily danced and hummed to. Your’s is a beautiful decay and my heart is still sputtering to remember why I’d want to be let go.

Is this the other side of misery and suffering you talked about in my dreams? When I dreamed you up, did I think it’d end like this? Didn’t I know it had to?

I’m terrified, absolutely scared white blind to finish writing you.
Because only in those final notes will you really die down and quiet out and sink like stones through my thoughts. There, in the last sentence of the last page of you — you’ll really sputter, gutter, and flutter out to nothing but backgroud white noise. And I’ll feel nothing but my receptors tingling, waiting for a new wave to catch.

Yes, yes, Brandon told me that someone else would replace -that- love once it was gone.
But how the hell was I supposed to know it’d be you? And who, oh fucked up ember of my wavering heart, will/can/should or could replace you?

I’ll never know but your insides whisper just like Asher did that I won’t think twice to love them more. You’re right, of course. But I’m not ready yet to leave you, lose you, miss you.

So, don’t Ama-sa. Don’t remind me that one day you’ll be dead and we’ll be through. It is hard enough handling the truth without these moments going dim from knowing the future, too.

Just hold my hand and kiss my neck and tell me in your fucked up ways how you love me. And I’ll show you through the end of your life that I love you in return.

No breaks and no bends and no alterations from the course we’ve already, pre-destined, set.
So this is what being fate feels like. Miserable, after all.

Coherent thoughts click and clatter like heels against gravel

Haunted by the ghosts of things funny, things I did, things I can’t believe, things I can’t look back on yet. Can’t laugh or muster up a smile from the mire of the muck I’m feeling settled in. The rain keeps on coming despite the spring, to spite the wind, to rise up the shifting shit from the decaying cellars at my feet. Can’t sweep these back rooms for the broken brooms. Can’t clean the walls for these dirty hands. Can’t get through the storm for its howling scream. Can’t cut through the wires. Through the hatred and the ghosts of you. Can’t shake you.

Don’t want to. Rather hold the ghosts by their dark sides and claim love of you. Jokes and all. Laughing hard.

Oh stupidly, I miss the things I’ve years and years and years ago lost. Every silky curve of your body, every judging angle of you eyes, every brash touch and cool lick and flick of lies off your thick oiled tongue. Those compromises made me dumber and numb, and I think at the end of those long summers underneath the humid eastern sun, I was having too much fun and it was hard to get a grip on the reality I’d, we’d, they’d let slip.

Slip and fall and we skidded our knees on train tracks back from town centers and small winters and places where hands tried to grab at us. But we necked and laughed and made a rouse of love, if anything at all.

Drinking drinks by the guzzle, by the gallon, by the mouthful of alcohol to get our blood levels up. And, oh before I know it, I’m covered in my own blood.

Have a rag, a towel, some shirt you won’t miss that I can bleed myself out on? Will you be offended if I look. Look at me. Look blue-grey in the sockets of these sunken eyes. Press and prod and finger these soft spots for moments where the fluids push back or sink into creamy crevises inside me.

Down deep, at my core, I’m a river of remorse.
But who knows how far these morsels will go?
How far these compromised made-up memories will carry me?
Trod the path up a long hill, a long range, a long shot. Come with tents and sleeping bags and pillows stuffed with hulls and husks. And hulls or husks of ourselves. And shells from guns you fired off and shells from older forms you’ve already shed.

We’ll cover all the beaches and the shores with shrapnel and a long low whine like a whisper through the wind.

“Help me, help me, help me,” it’s funny to be calling now.
It’s raining. And I’m wet.
And you’re a water ghost, aren’t you now?
Oh, foolish attempts to escape the traps I’ve laid for myself.
And now, what did I think?

It’d be easy and we’d come out clean.
Like babies out of bossoms come without blood and guts, gore and gruesome wrinkled skin.
That’s the reality we’re living in…

Just sayin’

Trusting someone you don’t know is like staring into the abyss.
Casual sex is pretty fucked up.

1)”Cooking with semen is no big deal.”
2) “The tools in the rusted shed are boy scouts.”
3) “Helen Keller is hard to justify now…”
4) “Astrophysics is mutable” (Bicycle rading is blind. Hang gliding is disastrous)
5) “The poison is treadless.”
6) “Playing board games is anything…”
7) “Love is sublime.”

Trampoline jumping is full of shennanigans!
Natural child birth is… partly cloudy.
Children aren’t soul fulfilling:

Santa’s workshop is staring you in the face.
Soap bubbles are full of family fun.
Mr. Potato Head is finally awake!
Strength is full of butterflies and rainbows…

Conservative talk radio is not unique.
Being apologetic is the best thing ever…

Mom’s secret recipe is not working for you.
Hand knit hats are going out today.
The steeping tea is hopeless.
Creepy staircases are hard to put up with.

The whisper pathway is driving us collectively insane,
I swear.
Childhood is mostly broken.

The broken mirror is hard to imagine.
Powdered alcohol is serendipitous.
The way out of here is worth its weight in gold.

The time I’ve spent is not what you actually wanted.
The last word in a bad fight is now what you think it is.
Silence is gone


“Holy moly! Me oh my! You’re the apple of my eye. Ain’t nobody please me more than you.”
Edward Sharp looked at the apple of his eye and wished he didn’t have problems with digesting fructose. He was torn; he didn’t know what to do. He wished she was a carrot. So he could eat her…eat her out…take her down and…aw fuck.

Embarrased, he tried to hide the small wet stain. But, the flow gre ever stronger and impossible to hide. The flow. The unity of life overcame them. Surrendered and soft.

Tensile sat up from sleeping, arleady screaming. But despite completely emptying their lungs, not a sound escaped their lips. Fear gripped their innards like a fist as they stood in terror. They were frozen — they couldn’t even scream.

“My healthy insurance will never cover this!”

All the dcotors they visited aabout it agreed within moments. So, they sold everything, bought train tickets and went to Oregon — where assisted suicide was just legalized.

Fable said “goodnight” and through to head to bed, but was interrupted.

“Wait, Fable, beore you sleep…I need to tell you something,” Crimson whispered.

In the distance, under the stars and street lights, a dog barked and a plastic bag rattled in the breeze. We found our peace, our paradise. So we decided to stick a flag in it and call it “ours” and scare anyone away who said otherwise. But a lot of people said “otherwise” and they said it didn’t make any sense. That didn’t stop the plan though, so the bombs were loaded up. It was going to be the longest drive.

“Today is THE day I turn over a new leaf,” said Bitter.

So Bitter flipped through their collection, picked the shiniest, the greenest, and turned it over.

A new orld? Yes, Bitter had stumbled into a magical new world. Bitter felt that this new world had given them a new fantastic point of view, one where capitalism was but a figment of a dream.

Stunned, Bitter said, “How can we make this on Earth?”

“With chemicals and mass deception of the public, you shit,” Blue barked.

This job was probably not going to work out.

In a galaxy far, far away, a badass black woman kicked in the door. Boom! SPLOSION!!!

It was such an amazing explosion that all of the people watching the film stood up and cheered! The theater, naturally, had planned for this and unloaded twenty gallons of confetti on the people.

Andrew, who is, as everyone knows, allergic to paper and paper products immediately broke out in hives.

I shouted, “I have my WFR, I’ll get the benydril! Does anyone have an eppi pen?”

I have my eppi pen! What should I do with it? It echoed into the silence. And so it goes. So it goes.

The ship was sailing in gail force winds…when Pirate Pete grit his teeth and grabbed his blade. Teeth aside, the blade whipped through the air, slicing and dicing.

The blood flow from that alone was uncomfortably thick, but Gate didn’t stop. They just had to know how many licks it takes to get to the middle of the hemoglobin jaw breaker. They took a deep breath and glared at the bloody thing and stuck out their tongue! It was going to be a long day.

And it was a long day.

HUrtling through space, the spaceship began to catch fire. The stores were out of water from drinking too much and not pissing enough, so the crew decided to open the juice packs.

“I can’t stand this juice,” the first mate bellowed.

“I only have lemons and when a person has lemons, what do they do?” asked the captain.

And God, Lord of Lords, Kind of Kings thundered back, “Suck them dry.”

And so we did, and it was disturbingly gross. Why did we do that?

Sally walked slowly home one clear evening. While she was walking, she stopped and stared.

“Why am I here? Why is anything here?” she wondered.

“These are hard questions to be pondering,” said the Raven.

And the massive black bird would have flown away at that, but a gun shot sounded and its head blew off. All that remained was a cloud of smoke and feathers and a meal for one. The skin was crunchy and delish; a worthwhile decision.

Pondering the depths of a murky pond, the frog quietly swam under a lilly pad. What he found there was astonishing. When he saw it, he said, “Welp, I’m out on this round…no, like for real.”

“We can’t just lose a teammate this far in! You’ve got to stay!”

But she had made up her mind; this threesome wasn’t working out. So, she resolved to try again Tuesday and fake it til you make it. Or not.

Tuesday rolled around…she still hadn’t made it. Faking wasn’t working. She needed a new stragegy.

From the dark wood emerged the last of its kind. Lonely, they stared at the edge of the forest and watched for compatible creatures. When they saw one, they went up to it and said, “Is this my house? Is this my beautiful wife?”

Watching the days go by.

‘Yeah, Talking Heads was such a great band,’ the passerby thought. ‘Sarcasm, you jack ass,’ the passerby wanted to stop and clarify — but it had only been a thought, so. You know how it goes.

Closing the door, the bartender was finally able to head home and get some sleep. That would have been true, but the door kicked back open with a crash. In the doorway stood his worst nightmare — the one, the only: Big Bird.

Standing tall and brilliantly yellow, the large bird began to speak. “Today’s letter is N, for NIGHTMARE.”

Suddenly, everything went black and the bird let out a scream!

“Don’t act like you know me. You *don’t* know me.”

Everyone around got really quiet at that.
Five, four, three, two, one, zero.

Flash fiction written sentence-by-sentence by the Gingerbread House and friends.