Find us at 7pm on October 22nd at Ha Ha Cafe Comedy Club in #LA for LitCrawl. Will you be there? #literature #readings #literary #events
New Fiction: Immunity Test. by Julia Long
Your whole body is asleep and it is chronic.
Like always by a muscle cramp you are being slowly, wrestled.
Like always by an alive root, you are being gripped and restricted at the ankle and the asleep feeling is mockingly ‘massaged’ by this teasy vague omnipresence from ankle to calf, a god sized ache. Somewhere it feels good, because you know you deserve a hellish punishment. Here this is, whatever it is. You’ll never be what you could.
When you feel next to yourself in your bed at night there are people.
There are people.
There are people there in the bed next to you and you don’t feel safe. But you don’t feel alone.
It’s the same people over again, rotating nights.
You forget exactly who they are to you, how they got into your life.
There is a woman (single). Middle aged. Sinewy. She will usually read there next to you with a flashlight until really late. That’s actually how you usually first sense her, not by feeling next to yourself with your numb hand but by getting woken up by light. It’s really hard to go back to sleep once you notice it. Sometimes if she really goes long you ask as politely as possible (after putting it off for a while) if she can shut off the light. She does if she ‘was going to anyway’ and when she doesn’t want to she says people should ‘rest their eyes’ for hours before sleep. She likes her personal space and will grunt or something if you accidentally, in your sleep nudge her when she is finally tired too, laying down beside you, a cold unloving bitch.
There is a female ogre and her (human) husband. It starts out with just the ogre next to you and then her husband comes in and asks her to sleep with him. Then she says she’d rather sleep with you. The husband makes some joke where you know he genuinely mostly doesn’t mind and leaves. Then you sleep very close to the ogre to do what you’re supposed to do in life. Every time you wish it was the husband instead.
There is a man. He looks chronically concerned. He looks younger than the age you sense he is. He’s your favorite. He’s sane. He’s not doomed. You empathize with him. On Christmas morning he was actually downstairs, doing some chore (dishes?) in the kitchen sink. It was the only time you saw any of the people outside bed. You just saw the back of him, focusing on his long hair. You were in your house but it really didn’t feel like it, somewhere it felt like the remote outback. He made a joke about how you ‘better get the snow shovel’ and you knew he was at least somewhat serious but didn’t sense it was winter so asked why. He said it was Christmas morning. Sure enough there were presents all over the couch, you didn’t know from whom. “What the fuck,” you said. He was like “I know. I know. I thought October 31st was one day ago.” “It was one day ago, it was,” you said. You were shell-shocked, crying in frustration. You sat on his lap, cried into his shirt and said “We have the same anxieties.” He called you a good person. Being called a good person is the best compliment you can think of.
There is an elderly couple. With them sometimes it is ‘a problem,’ sometimes not. There was one instance you had a nocturnal seizure where you accidentally bumped them a lot and screamed in your sleep. The elderly man said “What-the-fuck, people are sleeping” and it was enough to provoke them to attack. You could sense they didn’t just want to rough you up, they wanted to kill you. As you tried to escape the old killers the massagey muscle pain of chronic asleep body got really bad and really cruel, making your movements slow where the couple’s were slow already and it was just a long, drawn out, sad, slow, one sided fight, with the elderly people beating you with their fists. It turned out the ugly massaging force from the thing ache was enough you couldn’t escape the bed and you really panicked inside. The elderly man finally pulled out a knife and, throbbing with numb muscle cramps, you told him “No okay I’m good I’m silent I’m silent I’m silent.”
Did not die.
There is a hole.
A hole in my face.
A hole between my legs.
A cancer monster hole in the vague world. Everyone senses and no one will say there’s a hole, but oh, but God, we know.
Unspoken, invisible gaping god sized void, a god sized hungry spider, scritchy scratchy like a hairball, scribble.
A hole in my bed that once sucked me up.
At that moment in time I was so solipsistic-restless the world revolved around my throbbing mouth and pussy.
Such awareness of my physical holes because I’ll never be solid in theory either, I’ll never be total inside.
I’ll never, be what I could.Read it: http://theneweryork.com/immunity-test-julia-long/
New fiction: Selfie Glamour Appendix A by TIna Hyland
In Hellenistic Greece, initiates to the temples of Aphrodite practiced glamour spells for hours each day. This is how they became adept in the magicks of sex and desire. Their first and simplest glamour was altering their own reflections in pools of water. The effects were subtle; brighter eyes, fuller lips, smoother skin. In those days, it lasted only as long as the initiate stared into her gaze. Today, we can use our phones not only to fall in love with our reflections, as Narcissus once did, but to capture our idealized form in a selfie.
Fig. 1 Unglamoured and glamoured selfie
To perform this spell, you will need incense and a smartphone.
The incense should carry the magical properties you wish to alter in your reflection. For example, I often look tired in pictures, so I choose a fragrance with the power to rejuvenate, like grapefruit or green apple. If you want more sensuality, you might try jasmine or gardenia. Trust your instinct or Appendix A.
Sit comfortably in a room with soft or dim light. Place the incense near you. Its smoke should reach your nose, but it should not overwhelm you. Open the camera of your phone and settle into your reflection. Gaze into your eyes. Breathe. Slowly. Take the incense into your body. Let its magic reach into your nostrils and under your skin. Let it smooth you from the inside. It is lifting your eyebrows, gently. It is rubbing away your blemishes and smoothing your wrinkles. Gaze into your eyes. They are brighter now, brighter than they have ever been.
Once you have entered a meditative state of selflove and beauty, take the picture. This may require practice. You must take the picture while maintaining absolute concentration on your gaze.
the smells of sex are
pulpy fruit, chewed and seed gathered
rose hips, boiled
sea foam, pooling over boulder, under cliff
groin sweat, glistened
bad lettuce, limp and black edged
red wine, poured
cinnamon, tossed in corners
cut wood, slicked in sap
cookie dough, spoonfuls
goat weed, grated by tooth
licorice root, rubbed in palm
cucumber, floating on water
new dollar, crisp
sandalwood, splashed across armpit and groin
cigarette smoke, exhaled
vanilla, dabbed in a joint of elbow
New Fiction: I Found Out How and When I’m Going to Die via Tinder by Doug Koziol
Everyone remembers their first Tinder match. It’s a glowing evocation that someone out there in the vast universe (or at least in a <100 mi. radius) has seen carefully curated photos of you and deemed you worthy of their attraction. Or maybe they just accidentally swiped right; who knows.
Well, my first was:
Hellen, 99, 22 miles away, active 25,000 years ago.
Her sole picture: She sits cross-legged in a flowing black dress with blue stripes running diagonally down it, and a white, spider-like broach stretches across her chest. Her hair is red, twirling, and falls about midway down her back. Her pupils are black with glints of yellow at the bottom, like crescent moons sinking in the night sky. Her nose is straight and slight, and her lips perfectly match the color of her hair. An intricate, white necklace (appearing to be of the same material as the broach) rests above her pronounced clavicle. She is in the process of weaving red yarn into a web-like pattern.
Her About: ‘master architect of metaphysical materials-enlightened navigator of the infinite hall of mirrors-scribe of the venus tablet of ammisaduqa’
Shared Interests (1): Texas hold ‘em
She messaged first:
Hellen: whats ur sign
Me: I thought people only asked that in movies ha. Mine’s Leo. What’s yours?
H: i witnessed the nemean lion wrestled to its death & skinned with own claws
M: I’m afraid I’m not too well-versed in astrology, so I’m not entirely sure what that means ha.
H: ur ignorance betrays u in other realms 2
M: True, I don’t know much about hockey either.
H: the ruling planet jupiter clouds u this is grave matter
M: Oh, I’m sorry I’m not taking this more seriously. What’s the situation?
H: ive foreseen ur death
M: Oh, really? Care to share how I’m going to bite the dust?
H: u dont take me seriously st augustine lives in u ill obliterate ur skepticism ask me anything
M: Sure. What was the first R-rated movie I ever saw?
H: roland emmerichs the patriot
M: Holy shit. That’s a lucky guess. Let me actually try and stump you.
M: When I was seven, I buried something in my backyard to dig up later when I was grown up. What was it?
H: spiderman action figure & a quarter
M: Do I know you? Is this Jake? Did you make a fake profile to mess with me?
H: u will die on jan 20 i cant say the year but u will die when ur airplane crashes in2 the ocean u will survive impact but drown
M: I didn’t ask you to tell me! What the hell?!
H: i had no choice
M: You’re full of shit. Even if it were true, I’d just never go on an airplane for the rest of my life, then you’d be wrong, so who cares.
H: u have no choice
M: You’re a lunatic. This is what you use Tinder for?!
Now, I’ll have to live in fear of the third week in January and avoid air travel for the rest of my life. But the week after that mortifying conversation, I was matched with a woman who loved SCTV and leased a jet ski. So, overall, I’d give the app: 3.5/5 stars.Read it: http://theneweryork.com/i-found-out-how-and-when-im-going-to-die-via-tinder-doug-koziol/
In case you missed my rant about nonprofit book publishing.
New Fiction: Here’s a Hammer by Bud Smith
Smash me a message in the pin points of all those glimmering far off lights.
Got my binoculars, I’m looking.
Keeping busy. Taking apart a lamp so we can get light again. Taking the stairs two three, four at a time. Talking to you on the phone across the world. You say it’s dusty there. You crunch a chip. I’m eating frozen blueberries with bare hands.
August is oblong August is a swamp. I’m showering with your soap. I smell like you morning noon night/afternoon daybreak evening—lying diagonal, crushing your pillow so hard it’d be a dead person if we’re alive. We’re leaving the TV off, if I’m gonna survive I’ll be tossing crusty dishes at the street. The squeaky drawer will be fixed, seconds before your jet skids in.
Missing person: Last dusk, talking to our neighbor on the sidewalk her dog died three weeks ago. I shake her hand and she looks startled. Tell your wife I said hello
yes tell your wife I dream in green and blue. Tell your wife I eat clouds out. Tell your wife it’s leprechauns or a mouse. Tell your wife get back jo jo get back. Tell her tell her—when she’s back, oh my, give this pinch of gold dust a shot. And when she’s back suck every tooth in her mouth. And when she’s back put her on your shoulders scale the skyline—climb beyond our vision.
Yes yes, I’m sorry about your dog.
Yes, yes, you should get a new dog.
Oh no, I never could.
I’m faithful to the dead.
New Fiction: Heartbreak #80 by Alex Sobel
A list of possible child names that I’ve gathered over the years:
A list of ex-girlfriends who have since used one of my names for one of their children:
The names that I now need to cross off of my list:
A list of other places that the remaining names could be repurposed:
A list of the names that have actually been repurposed since finding out:
A list of people who know:
Titles I’ve given to arguments my wife and I have had about it since:
A list of people I’ve told about my situation with the names:
A list of coping mechanisms (that have come up during therapy sessions):
A list of things I do instead:
New Fiction: Not All Men by Kayla E.
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/not-all-men-kayla-e/