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New Fiction: Natural American Spirit! by Tyler Chukwu 

  Art by James Gallagher
Part I
I was sad about him for like, a week. Two weeks. But I also had mild bronchitis, so…some of the sadness was for that, too….
(For some, knowing the tree nut foods is important to avoid a potentially fatal reaction. For others, tree nut foods serve as a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.)
Part II
Shit with impossible amounts of undigested kernels.
(He judged her armpit fat.)
If you’re trying to start a debate why don’t you bring up something a little more touchy than breastfeeding, like gays, or Chinese gays, or the systemic socio-cultural obscurity of various native peoples throughout the world, or human trafficking, or sex crime? Why don’t you bring up sex crime?
Part III
Colostrum.
(The core of it doesn’t change. Everything just cycles around it.)
He said we should pretend my boyfriend was there watching…sitting there all tied up…tied up to a chair. He was fucking me from behind, he was laughing. He was laughing… he was hitting me and he was saying, Do you like that, Do you? Your boyfriend doesn’t like me fucking his bitch, Does he?
(Sorry this bra makes my nipples itch. Do you think I’m original?)


Read it: http://theneweryork.com/natural-american-spirit-tyler-chukwu/ High-res

New Fiction: Natural American Spirit! by Tyler Chukwu

nicotinecarryon Art by James Gallagher

Part I

I was sad about him for like, a week. Two weeks. But I also had mild bronchitis, so…some of the sadness was for that, too….

(For some, knowing the tree nut foods is important to avoid a potentially fatal reaction. For others, tree nut foods serve as a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.)

Part II

Shit with impossible amounts of undigested kernels.

(He judged her armpit fat.)

If you’re trying to start a debate why don’t you bring up something a little more touchy than breastfeeding, like gays, or Chinese gays, or the systemic socio-cultural obscurity of various native peoples throughout the world, or human trafficking, or sex crime? Why don’t you bring up sex crime?

Part III

Colostrum.

(The core of it doesn’t change. Everything just cycles around it.)

He said we should pretend my boyfriend was there watching…sitting there all tied up…tied up to a chair. He was fucking me from behind, he was laughing. He was laughing… he was hitting me and he was saying, Do you like that, Do you? Your boyfriend doesn’t like me fucking his bitch, Does he?

(Sorry this bra makes my nipples itch. Do you think I’m original?)

Read it: http://theneweryork.com/natural-american-spirit-tyler-chukwu/
New Fiction: Manifesto for Ambient Film by Gray Tolhurst 

The exterior world and the interior world are of the same essential substance. What the eye sees is implied by shadow and light. The essence of filmmaking is light, the light of the Sun. All that can be captured is light itself or light reflecting against objects. The goal of ambient filmmaking is to isolate the essential light of being and capture this visual phenomenon onto film. Light is the actor in ambient film, color is the dialogue. Shots are connected by dream-logic, rationality exposed as an artifice of death. The higher purpose of cinema and art in general is to trigger a waking dream to relieve us from the great pressure of the body, of being within a being. So with this I offer you light and vision, a new cinema, the cinema of death and rebirth. A hypnagogic cinema of consciousness.
Tenets
Cinema is inherently personal and films should be constructed and viewed as such. One film, one vision. Extraneous interpretations become pure conjecture.
Cinema is subjective, there is no objective standard in filmmaking.
The use of film (8mm, Super8, 16mm, 35mm, etc.) is highly encouraged. Film stock preserves the motion of emotion through the physical act of projection. Light becomes tattooed on the stock rather than housed in an impenetrable circuit board. Film as a physical, tangible object becomes a work of art in itself, translating poetry through light and motion.
Narrative and plot are not entirely necessary. Dialogue and actors are not required, nor is the three-part storyline developed in theater. Cinema is neither theater, nor literature or painting. Thus, while cinema draws influence from all these arts, it is not bound to their conventions.
Unlike Dogme 95 or the Remodernist movement we do not hold these tenets as absolute truths nor accept/deny that any filmmaker is/is not an ambient filmmaker. The ideas presented in the preceding lines are only guidelines or jumping off points for a revised vision of cinema in the world today. Feel free to reject, modify, vilify, or deify any of the beliefs presented here or in any other filmmaking manifesto.
Make films before it’s too late.


Read it: http://theneweryork.com/manifesto-for-ambient-film-gray-tolhurst/ High-res

New Fiction: Manifesto for Ambient Film by Gray Tolhurst

The exterior world and the interior world are of the same essential substance. What the eye sees is implied by shadow and light. The essence of filmmaking is light, the light of the Sun. All that can be captured is light itself or light reflecting against objects. The goal of ambient filmmaking is to isolate the essential light of being and capture this visual phenomenon onto film. Light is the actor in ambient film, color is the dialogue. Shots are connected by dream-logic, rationality exposed as an artifice of death. The higher purpose of cinema and art in general is to trigger a waking dream to relieve us from the great pressure of the body, of being within a being. So with this I offer you light and vision, a new cinema, the cinema of death and rebirth. A hypnagogic cinema of consciousness.

Tenets

  1. Cinema is inherently personal and films should be constructed and viewed as such. One film, one vision. Extraneous interpretations become pure conjecture.
  2. Cinema is subjective, there is no objective standard in filmmaking.
  3. The use of film (8mm, Super8, 16mm, 35mm, etc.) is highly encouraged. Film stock preserves the motion of emotion through the physical act of projection. Light becomes tattooed on the stock rather than housed in an impenetrable circuit board. Film as a physical, tangible object becomes a work of art in itself, translating poetry through light and motion.
  4. Narrative and plot are not entirely necessary. Dialogue and actors are not required, nor is the three-part storyline developed in theater. Cinema is neither theater, nor literature or painting. Thus, while cinema draws influence from all these arts, it is not bound to their conventions.
  5. Unlike Dogme 95 or the Remodernist movement we do not hold these tenets as absolute truths nor accept/deny that any filmmaker is/is not an ambient filmmaker. The ideas presented in the preceding lines are only guidelines or jumping off points for a revised vision of cinema in the world today. Feel free to reject, modify, vilify, or deify any of the beliefs presented here or in any other filmmaking manifesto.
  6. Make films before it’s too late.
Read it: http://theneweryork.com/manifesto-for-ambient-film-gray-tolhurst/
New Fiction: Some Stereotypes by Richard Hartshorn 

After I accidentally crush the spider that may or may not be responsible for the twin red specks on my little brother’s neck while I’m trying to transport it to the marsh across the street, Aunt Ieneke tells me it’s okay, I have fulfilled the judgement of the wicked. I try to laugh. Her face, granite, never so much as quivers.
The girl, in a sea-green halterneck and thigh-high boots, walks past me into the corridor where the computer labs are. A boy seated in the lobby, decked out in purple basketball gear and a sideways trucker hat, calls after her. “Psst. You. You. You!” His friend laughs. “She knows I’m here,” the boy says. “She ain’t looking at me on purpose. But I’mma see her later.” I stop, as if my briefcase is an anchor that’s snagged a big rock. The boy locks eyes with me as if wondering what my problem is. I imagine a conversation. Maybe I ask if he knows her, and relish his incredulity when I tell him this girl is under no obligation to turn and look at him, and that if I see him near her again, he’ll be out on his ass.Maybe she’ll say those things herself.I push the door open. The sun is high, and I’m already sweating.When I meet my Department Chair for lunch, she asks how my day is going. I quickly complain about the heat.
Emma, in full costume, is surrounded by anime fans. Some of them want to talk to her. In her hotel room before the cosplay masquerade, I helped flatten her breasts with electrical tape so that she could pass for a Japanese male. Last year, at this very convention, some dude told us he masturbated to her internet photos.A girl dressed like StarFox squeezes through to our table, flips through my art prints, then tells Emma, “I don’t usually admit things like this, but I have been checking you out all day.”“Uh, I’m a girl,” says Emma.The fox-girl grins as if she’s gotten away with thievery. “Oh, I know.”
My grandfather, the Boss Of Bocce, misses the Old Country. He gives me another detail about Genoa every time I’m about to bowl, and somehow, the jack, lumped in the sand like a loosed nub of gold, ends up farther away from my balls after every turn.He grips a black ball to take what should be, if he has any mercy in his heart, his final roll. He stands taller than I thought a sufferer of three strokes could, squinting down the street as if the cluster of bocce balls is a fleet sliding over wind-driven swells into the Port of Genoa, ready to take him to America. He was a toddler. I don’t know what he was like back then. He was less wrinkly, I guess.My cousin Dominic strides over from the porch, removes the toothpick from his teeth, and stabs a chunk of braciole from the plate on the picnic table. “Gramps,” he says with a meat-stuffed cheek, “mind if my boy and his wife have dinner with us? Considering it’s the one night you didn’t cheap out on the wine and all.”My grandfather makes a noise that means he doesn’t mind, but also that Dominic is bugging him by simply existing. My cousin rambles into his mobile phone as he walks off to relay the message, absentmindedly fingering the tips of his gelled hair as he does.“Nice Italian boy,” my grandfather says. I nod and snicker, pretending he’s not inscrutable. “Does your friend want to have dinner too?”
I head inside and call my partner, whom I’ve been with for two years, and ask if he wants to come see us. He says yes without asking what we’re having.


Read it: http://theneweryork.com/some-stereotypes-richard-hartshorn/ High-res

New Fiction: Some Stereotypes by Richard Hartshorn

  1. After I accidentally crush the spider that may or may not be responsible for the twin red specks on my little brother’s neck while I’m trying to transport it to the marsh across the street, Aunt Ieneke tells me it’s okay, I have fulfilled the judgement of the wicked. I try to laugh. Her face, granite, never so much as quivers.
  2. The girl, in a sea-green halterneck and thigh-high boots, walks past me into the corridor where the computer labs are. A boy seated in the lobby, decked out in purple basketball gear and a sideways trucker hat, calls after her. “Psst. You. You. You!” His friend laughs. “She knows I’m here,” the boy says. “She ain’t looking at me on purpose. But I’mma see her later.” I stop, as if my briefcase is an anchor that’s snagged a big rock. The boy locks eyes with me as if wondering what my problem is. I imagine a conversation. Maybe I ask if he knows her, and relish his incredulity when I tell him this girl is under no obligation to turn and look at him, and that if I see him near her again, he’ll be out on his ass.Maybe she’ll say those things herself.I push the door open. The sun is high, and I’m already sweating.

    When I meet my Department Chair for lunch, she asks how my day is going. I quickly complain about the heat.
  3. Emma, in full costume, is surrounded by anime fans. Some of them want to talk to her. In her hotel room before the cosplay masquerade, I helped flatten her breasts with electrical tape so that she could pass for a Japanese male. Last year, at this very convention, some dude told us he masturbated to her internet photos.A girl dressed like StarFox squeezes through to our table, flips through my art prints, then tells Emma, “I don’t usually admit things like this, but I have been checking you out all day.”“Uh, I’m a girl,” says Emma.

    The fox-girl grins as if she’s gotten away with thievery. “Oh, I know.”
  4. My grandfather, the Boss Of Bocce, misses the Old Country. He gives me another detail about Genoa every time I’m about to bowl, and somehow, the jack, lumped in the sand like a loosed nub of gold, ends up farther away from my balls after every turn.He grips a black ball to take what should be, if he has any mercy in his heart, his final roll. He stands taller than I thought a sufferer of three strokes could, squinting down the street as if the cluster of bocce balls is a fleet sliding over wind-driven swells into the Port of Genoa, ready to take him to America. He was a toddler. I don’t know what he was like back then. He was less wrinkly, I guess.My cousin Dominic strides over from the porch, removes the toothpick from his teeth, and stabs a chunk of braciole from the plate on the picnic table. “Gramps,” he says with a meat-stuffed cheek, “mind if my boy and his wife have dinner with us? Considering it’s the one night you didn’t cheap out on the wine and all.”

    My grandfather makes a noise that means he doesn’t mind, but also that Dominic is bugging him by simply existing. My cousin rambles into his mobile phone as he walks off to relay the message, absentmindedly fingering the tips of his gelled hair as he does.
    “Nice Italian boy,” my grandfather says. I nod and snicker, pretending he’s not inscrutable. “Does your friend want to have dinner too?”


    I head inside and call my partner, whom I’ve been with for two years, and ask if he wants to come see us. He says yes without asking what we’re having.

Read it: http://theneweryork.com/some-stereotypes-richard-hartshorn/
New Fiction: Asheville by Brenna Kischuk 

The man next to me takes a pill. He doesn’t want me to notice but it’s hard plastic and bendable metal into his mouth. I notice.
An astronomer, among other things. He talks too much about jet propulsion but doesn’t have a navy sweater draped over the shoulders of a salmon polo, so I am grateful. I wait a second too long before closing my eyes.
He’s a corduroy jacket. Muted mustard brown and they don’t make that color anymore. If they did you’d have one. You’d have bought it with me at the thrift shop in Asheville. You’d wear it to bed with your wedding ring and you’d wear it when you met my father.
My father said something like, Corduroy is nothing like leather. Something like, A man who wears leather means something. You took insult as compliment and reason to wear the jacket to all of my family affairs and none of yours.
TruckStop BloodyMarys and Nebraska Tacos. It was all we could afford along the way. The rental’s leather stuck to my thighs so I thought about the best lighting for road head. About whether there’d be potholes or a strong westerly wind. I was naked when I opened my door to you in your corduroy jacket. You said We need to move to Asheville.
You never knew I’d been there because I never told you. I hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains, the same ones we’d have traveled over if we flew into town. A five-hour layover in charlotte and you wanted to rent a car. I’m more comfortable without traction.
Asheville is the end. I let you slip those pills for months.
Saw them in your back pocket, your bedside drawer, and your mouth.
I don’t know if you wanted me to see or if I wasn’t supposed to look.


Read it: http://theneweryork.com/asheville-brenna-kischuk/ High-res

New Fiction: Asheville by Brenna Kischuk

The man next to me takes a pill. He doesn’t want me to notice but it’s hard plastic and bendable metal into his mouth. I notice.

An astronomer, among other things. He talks too much about jet propulsion but doesn’t have a navy sweater draped over the shoulders of a salmon polo, so I am grateful. I wait a second too long before closing my eyes.

He’s a corduroy jacket. Muted mustard brown and they don’t make that color anymore. If they did you’d have one. You’d have bought it with me at the thrift shop in Asheville. You’d wear it to bed with your wedding ring and you’d wear it when you met my father.

My father said something like, Corduroy is nothing like leather. Something like, A man who wears leather means something. You took insult as compliment and reason to wear the jacket to all of my family affairs and none of yours.

TruckStop BloodyMarys and Nebraska Tacos. It was all we could afford along the way. The rental’s leather stuck to my thighs so I thought about the best lighting for road head. About whether there’d be potholes or a strong westerly wind. I was naked when I opened my door to you in your corduroy jacket. You said We need to move to Asheville.

You never knew I’d been there because I never told you. I hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains, the same ones we’d have traveled over if we flew into town. A five-hour layover in charlotte and you wanted to rent a car. I’m more comfortable without traction.

Asheville is the end. I let you slip those pills for months.

Saw them in your back pocket, your bedside drawer, and your mouth.

I don’t know if you wanted me to see or if I wasn’t supposed to look.

Read it: http://theneweryork.com/asheville-brenna-kischuk/
New Fiction: I Lack the Forgiveness of Gary Oldman by Forrest Roth 

Once I wanted—
I couldn’t begin so I wanted. I never once said, you say. Tell me. I have no stories. Never once. I went home once. I found you there. Sleeping. On our sofa. Windows open. Lights off. Reading me. A letter. A manuscript. A bloody thumbprint. This is what happened. You said you were sleeping. I don’t know. Once I read you. I wasn’t sleeping. I went out for a walk. A reading, some would say. A sleeping, others. Every face a story. Every story a bloody you. I stopped to look. Or stooped, some would say. I wasn’t talking. I wasn’t listening. Your narrator, I didn’t say. Tell me not. Did you sleep for me. Gary Oldman doesn’t sleep. His hairless agent won’t let him. You won’t let me. I stopped to say. I stooped to listen. I won’t let you. I won’t tell you. I was talking. I was listening. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t sleeping. All said. You said. Your narrator. Our sofa. Windows open. Lights off. A reading, some would say. A sleeping, others. I couldn’t sleep. Once I said I slept to you and you replied, Never. You went out. Took a walk. A constitution, some have said. A jaunt, others. I was with you once, I say. Not looking. No famous sister. An aberrant, self-loathing city. The lowest level before our feet touch the ice. A story where none are told. Only anecdotes. Suffering. You took my joy, you said. Only once. It was enough. It wasn’t forever. Once you wanted me. Only you never said this. Gary Oldman, you said. What was the trick, I say. You know. An aberrant, self-loathing happiness. An eternal curse. Everyone said. You weren’t looking. You were with me once, you say. You couldn’t begin so I told you a story. About Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious. As your famous sister. As everyone. Take a walk. I can’t sleep. I can’t say. Suffering, has been said. Joy, others. What am I to you. An anecdote. An autograph. An aberration. Some trick of a word. Some geedee. I know a few. Least of all you. Another trick. Another day. I went out looking for a story. Gary Oldman, has been said. Your famous sister, others. What has been all said. I don’t know. I don’t say. I, your narrator. All said, I’ve said something. About Gary Oldman. About your famous sister. About you. About gentle men no longer gentle. Did I say something about geedee. I don’t know. I don’t say geedee to others. Least of all geedee. What am I to you. A building. I went through one looking for a story. All I found was Gary Oldman. But I am not Gary Oldman, you say. Are you a narrator. Suffering, has been said. Joy, others. You don’t know. You don’t say. Another trick. Another day. You went out looking for your famous sister. You found a building. I was there. Not Gary Oldman. Your narrator, all said. I say I, not you. You put your hand on my chest. You say, Not you. And others more. I don’t know, I say. I was here. Still. But I am not your famous sister. I am not a story. What am I to you, I say. A narrator. An ur-friend. You don’t say. All said, you have a few anecdotes. And Gary Oldman. Forgive me, you say. You found a hallway. You found a door. I was not there. You say me, not I. You went out looking for me. You found geedee. Another trick. Another day. I don’t know. I don’t say. All said. Still. I know a story. Not forgiveness. Least of all you. You said. And I said you. Not Gary Oldman. Not your famous sister. That’s not a day, I know. You say you don’t. And others more. Suffering. Joy. I was not here. I was in Los Angeles. I found a building, I say. Not your famous sister. I don’t say Gary Oldman. Not now. Not ever. But I should say Gary Oldman, I. Know your narrator. Not me, you know. Don’t say I to me. Least of all you. You aren’t here. A building says here, all said. Not I. your narrator should say something gentle—a building, for instance. You in it. Not Gary Oldman. Not a story. Not me, no. I am here, I say. In a building. In a room. In a bed. Not on a sofa. Ours. Voices. Suffering. Joy. Perhaps I don’t say. You should say something here. Your hand on my chest. No. What am I to you, you say, I. Another trick. Another day. A voice in the hallway said. An opening door doesn’t. Only I. Only your gentle hand. You are not here, I say. But I should say Gary Oldman. In a building. In a room. In your bed. Don’t say your to me. Least of all you. I am not there. I went out looking for you. I didn’t find geedee. What is all said to I, your narrator, you know. I know people, some have said. You, others. I don’t know. Gary Oldman, I say. He is here. He is forever. A sleeping. A reading. A stooping. The design of a building. He went inside. He found himself, he didn’t say. He didn’t know. I, for instance. The plate-glass door. The stairs up up up. The rooftop—the view to an aberrant, self-loathing city. And below the hallways and doors of every dream to be. He knows them. He knows them all. He forgives them all. He would forgive Sid Vicious if Sid Vicious would let him. Violent alcoholic personalities seldom acquiesce. See, here’s a rooftop, Sid, he would say. You own it. You forgive yourself. Nancy, too. Stooping. Would I. I don’t know. I only know people. Is it enough. Every door we enter could forgive. Gentle people only hold it open. That can’t be I, all said. That can’t be forever. Fuckin ell. Below he knows them all. See, here’s a wanker. Oi. Up up up. He doesn’t hear him. He had gone for a walk. Now this. It is never enough. They all know. Least of all him. A sleeping. A reading. A slouching. He owns it. It doesn’t forgive him. Perhaps I should leave. He wants to look for a story. There are enough already, all say. Gary Oldman knows. He leaves himself. He sleeps. He can’t hear them. I won’t let him. I won’t. I walk. I leave. All these faces. Too many dreams. Don’t say. It will be enough. It won’t be forgiveness, I know. That much. You can’t hear me. You aren’t here. You are your famous sister. Before or after. I don’t know. I don’t know your famous sister. I don’t know Nancy Spungen. Only the building. Only the resemblance. Too many floors. Too many rooms. A voice for every reading. When is check-out. What is forever. I remember your hand on my chest. I don’t know if I deserved it. You agreed once. You went for a walk. You hated the neighborhood. Your famous sister hated me. Despite me. I knew Gary Oldman. It wasn’t enough. For her I had your hand. A sofa for every touching. The windows kept open. Never a breeze. Not here. It came on the sirens. It took its time. I remember knowing. Your voice was her only resemblance. Aren’t you ashamed. I agreed once. You hated me for it. Before there was a building here. It wasn’t Gary Oldman after. Not enough floors. Not enough rooms. A voice for every sofa. Resembling a siren. Deserving a breeze. Taking its time. Forever. You and I went for a walk once. Gary Oldman said it was enough. The people who work in this building. Another trick. Another day. Blinds are drawn. Beds are made. You say. I don’t know. There’s only the sofa. It’s enough to talk. To be this gentle. With you. Perhaps. You went out looking for your famous sister. You came back with me. No one knew anything. No one was a day. Gary Oldman says its not enough. Goes against his training. He knows your famous sister. Everyone does. With you. With a walk. In a city. In a building. Ten thousand gentle people for every sofa. No one knows anyone, all said. But you know Gary Oldman, you say. Isn’t that enough. With your famous sister. Perhaps. If I talk long enough. If I put them in a taxi cab at the end. Blinds are drawn. Beds are made. I came back with a pizza. I said it was enough. You didn’t talk. There was only the sofa. There was only you and I. You say. You read. You leave. What of it. I am here. Stooping, your hand doesn’t reach my chest. Gary Oldman, I say. He knows us. You know. He is forever. Not I. It is best if you say, Enough. Not for me. Your famous sister went for a walk. Gary Oldman held the door open. I am gentle, he says. I forgive. It is best if I say, Forever. You don’t know. It hasn’t been a problem. It hasn’t been a day. Did you know my story. A walk too long. A bath too hot. A sofa too gentle. And all the buildings I can enter. It is best if he says, Bollocks. He doesn’t know. What is a story. It is best if we say nothing. All said. You came back. A door is forever open, some have said. It is never enough, I say. It is never gentle. Your hand in the water. Enough for saying, Story. It forgives best. It isn’t a problem. It is best if you come back later. Did you know my problem, he says. it hasn’t been a day. Yet he knows a story. I am gentle, he says. I forgive. It is best if I say nothing. A story is not anyone. Does not hold a door open. Does not walk through a building. Yet you came back, he says. How gentle of you. It is best if you say, Enough. You leave to see me. The building. The door. The stairs. The rooftop. Up up up. It is enough. That much. Some have said. Too much, others. People know the story. Going for a walk. Leaving. I have to let you, all said. I am not there. I am in a building with no doors. So to say. An instance. An anecdote. A gentle man who is no longer gentle. Not him, he knows. He should know you. I should hate you. The way Gary Oldman hates your famous sister. I don’t, I say. If not forgiveness. Arm in arm. I shouldn’t hate you. The heat, the steam. Gary Oldman has never done a naked bath scene. He has been seen in bikini underwear. I saw you in a bikini once. Only once. Only a beach too cold that day. Of so many which didn’t. Hand in hand. That’s not a day. Some evening when we’re alone. Through the steam. Gary Oldman hates me. I know. I forgive him. He shouldn’t forgive me. The Gehry Museum. Mann’s Chinese Theater. Everywhere Los Angeles forever. Famous underwear. Worn. Only once. Too cold to sleeping together on the sofa. Pressing hands into concrete. Good place to stoop. Good place to drown in a bathtub. This happens often. People forget where they are. Situational awareness. The steam, the mirror. Your stare. You shouldn’t hate me. I should drown in the forgiveness of Gary Oldman. Only once. She saw Gary Oldman but he wasn’t there. If not at the Gehry Museum. He has been seen there. I know. A bath too cold. Heatless. Steamless. I know. Some hate only drowns in the skin. The rest forgives. That’s not a trick. That’s not a day. That’s not forever
I wanted.


Read it: http://theneweryork.com/i-lack-the-forgiveness-of-gary-oldman-forrest-roth/ High-res

New Fiction: I Lack the Forgiveness of Gary Oldman by Forrest Roth

Once I wanted—

I couldn’t begin so I wanted. I never once said, you say. Tell me. I have no stories. Never once. I went home once. I found you there. Sleeping. On our sofa. Windows open. Lights off. Reading me. A letter. A manuscript. A bloody thumbprint. This is what happened. You said you were sleeping. I don’t know. Once I read you. I wasn’t sleeping. I went out for a walk. A reading, some would say. A sleeping, others. Every face a story. Every story a bloody you. I stopped to look. Or stooped, some would say. I wasn’t talking. I wasn’t listening. Your narrator, I didn’t say. Tell me not. Did you sleep for me. Gary Oldman doesn’t sleep. His hairless agent won’t let him. You won’t let me. I stopped to say. I stooped to listen. I won’t let you. I won’t tell you. I was talking. I was listening. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t sleeping. All said. You said. Your narrator. Our sofa. Windows open. Lights off. A reading, some would say. A sleeping, others. I couldn’t sleep. Once I said I slept to you and you replied, Never. You went out. Took a walk. A constitution, some have said. A jaunt, others. I was with you once, I say. Not looking. No famous sister. An aberrant, self-loathing city. The lowest level before our feet touch the ice. A story where none are told. Only anecdotes. Suffering. You took my joy, you said. Only once. It was enough. It wasn’t forever. Once you wanted me. Only you never said this. Gary Oldman, you said. What was the trick, I say. You know. An aberrant, self-loathing happiness. An eternal curse. Everyone said. You weren’t looking. You were with me once, you say. You couldn’t begin so I told you a story. About Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious. As your famous sister. As everyone. Take a walk. I can’t sleep. I can’t say. Suffering, has been said. Joy, others. What am I to you. An anecdote. An autograph. An aberration. Some trick of a word. Some geedee. I know a few. Least of all you. Another trick. Another day. I went out looking for a story. Gary Oldman, has been said. Your famous sister, others. What has been all said. I don’t know. I don’t say. I, your narrator. All said, I’ve said something. About Gary Oldman. About your famous sister. About you. About gentle men no longer gentle. Did I say something about geedee. I don’t know. I don’t say geedee to others. Least of all geedee. What am I to you. A building. I went through one looking for a story. All I found was Gary Oldman. But I am not Gary Oldman, you say. Are you a narrator. Suffering, has been said. Joy, others. You don’t know. You don’t say. Another trick. Another day. You went out looking for your famous sister. You found a building. I was there. Not Gary Oldman. Your narrator, all said. I say I, not you. You put your hand on my chest. You say, Not you. And others more. I don’t know, I say. I was here. Still. But I am not your famous sister. I am not a story. What am I to you, I say. A narrator. An ur-friend. You don’t say. All said, you have a few anecdotes. And Gary Oldman. Forgive me, you say. You found a hallway. You found a door. I was not there. You say me, not I. You went out looking for me. You found geedee. Another trick. Another day. I don’t know. I don’t say. All said. Still. I know a story. Not forgiveness. Least of all you. You said. And I said you. Not Gary Oldman. Not your famous sister. That’s not a day, I know. You say you don’t. And others more. Suffering. Joy. I was not here. I was in Los Angeles. I found a building, I say. Not your famous sister. I don’t say Gary Oldman. Not now. Not ever. But I should say Gary Oldman, I. Know your narrator. Not me, you know. Don’t say I to me. Least of all you. You aren’t here. A building says here, all said. Not I. your narrator should say something gentle—a building, for instance. You in it. Not Gary Oldman. Not a story. Not me, no. I am here, I say. In a building. In a room. In a bed. Not on a sofa. Ours. Voices. Suffering. Joy. Perhaps I don’t say. You should say something here. Your hand on my chest. No. What am I to you, you say, I. Another trick. Another day. A voice in the hallway said. An opening door doesn’t. Only I. Only your gentle hand. You are not here, I say. But I should say Gary Oldman. In a building. In a room. In your bed. Don’t say your to me. Least of all you. I am not there. I went out looking for you. I didn’t find geedee. What is all said to I, your narrator, you know. I know people, some have said. You, others. I don’t know. Gary Oldman, I say. He is here. He is forever. A sleeping. A reading. A stooping. The design of a building. He went inside. He found himself, he didn’t say. He didn’t know. I, for instance. The plate-glass door. The stairs up up up. The rooftop—the view to an aberrant, self-loathing city. And below the hallways and doors of every dream to be. He knows them. He knows them all. He forgives them all. He would forgive Sid Vicious if Sid Vicious would let him. Violent alcoholic personalities seldom acquiesce. See, here’s a rooftop, Sid, he would say. You own it. You forgive yourself. Nancy, too. Stooping. Would I. I don’t know. I only know people. Is it enough. Every door we enter could forgive. Gentle people only hold it open. That can’t be I, all said. That can’t be forever. Fuckin ell. Below he knows them all. See, here’s a wanker. Oi. Up up up. He doesn’t hear him. He had gone for a walk. Now this. It is never enough. They all know. Least of all him. A sleeping. A reading. A slouching. He owns it. It doesn’t forgive him. Perhaps I should leave. He wants to look for a story. There are enough already, all say. Gary Oldman knows. He leaves himself. He sleeps. He can’t hear them. I won’t let him. I won’t. I walk. I leave. All these faces. Too many dreams. Don’t say. It will be enough. It won’t be forgiveness, I know. That much. You can’t hear me. You aren’t here. You are your famous sister. Before or after. I don’t know. I don’t know your famous sister. I don’t know Nancy Spungen. Only the building. Only the resemblance. Too many floors. Too many rooms. A voice for every reading. When is check-out. What is forever. I remember your hand on my chest. I don’t know if I deserved it. You agreed once. You went for a walk. You hated the neighborhood. Your famous sister hated me. Despite me. I knew Gary Oldman. It wasn’t enough. For her I had your hand. A sofa for every touching. The windows kept open. Never a breeze. Not here. It came on the sirens. It took its time. I remember knowing. Your voice was her only resemblance. Aren’t you ashamed. I agreed once. You hated me for it. Before there was a building here. It wasn’t Gary Oldman after. Not enough floors. Not enough rooms. A voice for every sofa. Resembling a siren. Deserving a breeze. Taking its time. Forever. You and I went for a walk once. Gary Oldman said it was enough. The people who work in this building. Another trick. Another day. Blinds are drawn. Beds are made. You say. I don’t know. There’s only the sofa. It’s enough to talk. To be this gentle. With you. Perhaps. You went out looking for your famous sister. You came back with me. No one knew anything. No one was a day. Gary Oldman says its not enough. Goes against his training. He knows your famous sister. Everyone does. With you. With a walk. In a city. In a building. Ten thousand gentle people for every sofa. No one knows anyone, all said. But you know Gary Oldman, you say. Isn’t that enough. With your famous sister. Perhaps. If I talk long enough. If I put them in a taxi cab at the end. Blinds are drawn. Beds are made. I came back with a pizza. I said it was enough. You didn’t talk. There was only the sofa. There was only you and I. You say. You read. You leave. What of it. I am here. Stooping, your hand doesn’t reach my chest. Gary Oldman, I say. He knows us. You know. He is forever. Not I. It is best if you say, Enough. Not for me. Your famous sister went for a walk. Gary Oldman held the door open. I am gentle, he says. I forgive. It is best if I say, Forever. You don’t know. It hasn’t been a problem. It hasn’t been a day. Did you know my story. A walk too long. A bath too hot. A sofa too gentle. And all the buildings I can enter. It is best if he says, Bollocks. He doesn’t know. What is a story. It is best if we say nothing. All said. You came back. A door is forever open, some have said. It is never enough, I say. It is never gentle. Your hand in the water. Enough for saying, Story. It forgives best. It isn’t a problem. It is best if you come back later. Did you know my problem, he says. it hasn’t been a day. Yet he knows a story. I am gentle, he says. I forgive. It is best if I say nothing. A story is not anyone. Does not hold a door open. Does not walk through a building. Yet you came back, he says. How gentle of you. It is best if you say, Enough. You leave to see me. The building. The door. The stairs. The rooftop. Up up up. It is enough. That much. Some have said. Too much, others. People know the story. Going for a walk. Leaving. I have to let you, all said. I am not there. I am in a building with no doors. So to say. An instance. An anecdote. A gentle man who is no longer gentle. Not him, he knows. He should know you. I should hate you. The way Gary Oldman hates your famous sister. I don’t, I say. If not forgiveness. Arm in arm. I shouldn’t hate you. The heat, the steam. Gary Oldman has never done a naked bath scene. He has been seen in bikini underwear. I saw you in a bikini once. Only once. Only a beach too cold that day. Of so many which didn’t. Hand in hand. That’s not a day. Some evening when we’re alone. Through the steam. Gary Oldman hates me. I know. I forgive him. He shouldn’t forgive me. The Gehry Museum. Mann’s Chinese Theater. Everywhere Los Angeles forever. Famous underwear. Worn. Only once. Too cold to sleeping together on the sofa. Pressing hands into concrete. Good place to stoop. Good place to drown in a bathtub. This happens often. People forget where they are. Situational awareness. The steam, the mirror. Your stare. You shouldn’t hate me. I should drown in the forgiveness of Gary Oldman. Only once. She saw Gary Oldman but he wasn’t there. If not at the Gehry Museum. He has been seen there. I know. A bath too cold. Heatless. Steamless. I know. Some hate only drowns in the skin. The rest forgives. That’s not a trick. That’s not a day. That’s not forever

I wanted.

Read it: http://theneweryork.com/i-lack-the-forgiveness-of-gary-oldman-forrest-roth/

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