The Voice in the Cave By Robin Wyatt Dunn

October 29, 2014 Comments Off on The Voice in the Cave By Robin Wyatt Dunn

You make me speak again, though I had forbidden it. What is it that you want? All is fallen and my rage is impotent, so what do you need me to say now? Only tell me and I will speak it to you. Your lightest word will be treasured. I promise you this.

Tell us of your suffering.

No.

We want to know about it.

Why?

That is what we do.

Liquid, my face melted like a stream over these waxed skies and I dreamt of a river that was not mine and was not yours, it was something that had no meaning at all, I screamed and there was no light, only voices. Like your own. It was then I realized that it had all come to an end, Sofina’s treachery, my own madness, and the caper I had spun over these avenues and terraces, all mine, all mine, I would have had them, I have them still . . .

Tell us more of your suffering.

Even now I dream of your death, terrifying to me but so real, the death of you who opposed me, your faction, your demonic faction, you priests . . .

Tell us where you hid the bodies.

Sofina killed herself. I found her in the ocean water and I burned her on the beach.

You lie.

Your defeat is closer than you think. All of you are weaker than me, no matter how many nights you have prayed, and how many days you have spent in obedience to your temple, I am stronger than all of that, and I listen to those voices you would have had to hear too if not for my ears to absorb them; I have been your guardian and your slave. I am still.

We know.

© 2014 Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park. He is 33 years old. You can find him at http://www.robindunn.com

Between Here and West of Nede By Ahimaaz Rajesh

August 7, 2014 Comments Off on Between Here and West of Nede By Ahimaaz Rajesh

Skint as a stray dog perched on a leafless tree, Rubin was making himself a body without organs. You ask him why he was making that and he will act puzzled and say ‘Making what?’ Tell him you know, as well as he, exactly what you’re talking about and he will say ‘Making tea’ and then say ‘Making a gear’ and finally before he shuts up for hours, say something like ‘Would a machine know?’

West of Nede, parallel to it, in the best of all plausible worlds, Rubin was unmaking himself. There was no one to tell him if he was doing it the wrong way, he wasn’t doing it right. With a certain stroke of dexterity, he intersected his uppers and opened the bust. Absence of blood did not necessitate electrocautery. Save for organs of the head, they were isolated. Hands gathered heart and lungs and sewed them up. Likewise it was for liver, kidneys, intestine, and testes. Hands put them back together en masse and closed the bust and the waist.

In a non-drug-induced trip, being an egg of intensities, he went cataplectic and ceased to exist. Absence of god did not necessitate deus ex machina. On the other side, in one piece he stayed, albeit a bit emaciated. All he’d need to do, if he wanted to, was let out of his cage there a duplicate of himself and unmake that self all over again this side of the world.

The day after, he had an interview. Now, he felt hunger on him. Chest aching, throat choking, head spinning, he contemplated on the benevolence of what was between his thumb, index, and middle fingers before he very patiently, consciously, chewed on the crumb. He then sipped, again very consciously, on the sugarless, insipid-to-bitter tea.

© 2014 Ahimaaz Rajesh

Published lately in places such as Spork Press, theNewerYork, and Apparent Magnitude, Ahimaaz Rajesh has his writing upcoming in H_NGM_N and nether. He was, but is not on Facebook, is on Twitter and Goodreads, places where he’s as good as not there. Currently based in India, previously he was based in India as well, and while it’s uncertain he’s barcoded, he is certainly pincoded (like for instance 6 8 1 ), and blogs at http://minimalust.wordpress.com

Victoriana By Robin Wyatt Dunn

April 21, 2014 Comments Off on Victoriana By Robin Wyatt Dunn

I got a smell and it’s a killer cause I wet it on the afterjack, my reason is a pleasing dome for you to kiss at;  it’s serpent but it’s filler so let’s just set aside the mints for dinner and get into the meat:

Baby:  it’s too good but it’s the end, and I got to say I don’t know what it means, but I know what it doesn’t mean:  we’re not dead.  It’s the end but that’s because it always is. We chant and we arise.  Lover.  It’s good but it’s coming now to quits and we got to stamp the season on our mints, the spiking of the running quarter’s thumb — what do you call that? — the spikes along the wall, the thrumming of our call, we got to call the spot, five dollars down on the freeway —

East or west?  It’s west baby.  Still west.

Still a westerly is blowing in my name, and I got to say it’s not what I would have thought, it’s cooler and it’s colder and it makes my head erased but I am he who will not say the last embrace, I’ll just do it —

It ain’t yet.

It ain’t yet!

I got a smell of you!  It’s a killer cause I wet it on the afterjack, after I met you steaming fast into the shipping lanes of sky inside my heart and mind, smoking me and telling me I got it done.

Yeah, you can kiss my ass but I won’t kiss yours, but let’s leave it till after dinner cause I’m coming close to the little war we keep inside our pants, not sex but politics, a murder and an ace, not up my sleeve but in my anus, a bomb to bring into the city.

Honey it’s getting colder all these things the Victorians warned us about;  they were reactionaries, you know, they were building the empire and they were remaking themselves so fast it was unbelievable;  the original Futureshock, and they didn’t say shit.

They kept their mouths shut like the original mobsters;  cause they knew they didn’t know shit.  They didn’t’ know one fuckin’ thing.

Victorian.  Victoria.  1850 to 1900 on your afterburner tail, take my lover take me there — we got to get inside your cunt, we got to take those table skirts and put ’em round our lace and embrace the horror inside your gun, it’s the biggest one around,

I’m packing heat but it’s quantum, honey, it’s deeper than I ever wanted it to be, or ever could explain, I’m packing heat and it’s real bad, it’s cosmically enactive and it’s surgically enhanced;  it’s grafted to my brain but so are you, so come with me cause we’re gonna jump, we’re gonna jump to light speed lover but Victoria the bitch is coming with us —

© 2013 Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park.  He is 33 years old.  You can find him at www.robindunn.com

Anarcho-Syndacalist by Robin Dunn

January 27, 2014 Comments Off on Anarcho-Syndacalist by Robin Dunn

When I came inside I knew that it was time to do it, my arms tingling, and my stomach filled with a slow pressure.  Although I always hesitate, and was doing so now as well, curling my head onto my shoulder while I picked a fleck of sleep out of my left eye, I knew somehow that resolution had found me even if I had not found it, that it was now.

I walked into the kiln room and hit my mother over the head with the iron bar I had found under the oven last month, and she barely made a sound as she went down; I had hit hard enough.

The blood was the right color;  I knew I had done it.  I did feel sick, but it was okay too.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about transgression.  But the trans part is important, the across part, like an unstable international border, through which you’re unlikely to pass again.

Now you’re in country.

In country in the fire.

I am an American man but my heritage is my own;  I abhor medals and honorariums;  I despise censuses and absolution.  I know I am damned and I will choose the manner of it.

I am Anarcho-Syndicalist.  In the moving of my body towards your future, all your own, I write this my confession and I write to you, brother, to remind me all that could have been ours.

Brother, do your hands still tremble as mine do?  I am coming.

– –

I stay up with the dawn to watch the explosions.  Risky, but I do it.

Indescribable, and I will act in accord, indescribably, my monkey on fat, my heart on glad but low and folded in my hat, the watchword uncountable uncounted unremembered forgot, all the lessons useless but remembered still, the schooling, the schooling in the dark, in the long and luxurious darks of houses . . .

I wait for it.  And when it comes, I fear for my family.

– –

I wield for you a thousand star cities, ten thousand.

I wield for you the night, and the night after the night, and the night after the night after the night you folded.

I walk in the night and so do you, brother, so do you:

Let us come together and let us be arranged, as I shall say for you:

And if not, then as you say, for this is fire, this is fire, brother,

This is fire that we are bringing.

Fire and fire, and fire, and fire, and fire, brother, O fire brother.

Ten thousand fires, and a hundred thousand.  Stars, stars in the dark —

Each one of us an ocean of urgency, each one of us desperate for the word, for the word go, so ready and set, O brother, O brother ready and set to you.

I hold the starter’s gun, brother.

Not for god and country.  Not for the flag.

Go —

© 2014 Robin Dunn

Robin Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park.  He is 33 years old.  You can find him at www.robindunn.com

Julio Beneath the Orange Tree by Evan Guilford-Blake

September 23, 2013 Comments Off on Julio Beneath the Orange Tree by Evan Guilford-Blake

Julio sits against the trunk of the orange tree and watches the huge globes fall, thunk, one by (thunk) one on to the ground. He has been here for days, weeks, months, living on the tree’s largesse, which continues to drop, like enormous thick-skinned orange raindrops from an overflowing gutter the day after a storm.

He’s tried to walk away, to crawl away, even to roll away, but each time the fruit falls faster, building a wall that surrounds him, and pummeling him with a furious storm of orange that abates, as the wall tumbles, the moment he returns to lean against the trunk again. Fortunately, the (lone) tree is at the top of a small mountain: The oranges land, bounce, then most of them roll down the rocky slope he climbed toward the river below.

Margarita warned him! Julio, she said, the tree, it’s enchanted. No one has ever picked its fruit. Bah! he replied, It’s just a tree. He sighs. Just a tree! An orange tree on a mountaintop where the temperature never reaches seventy degrees. Where rain, and snow, and winds blow: Except beneath the wide branches where he sits and watches the world, and is untouched by it. He may spend the rest of his life sitting beneath the boughs of this “just” a tree. Eating oranges. The tree seems not to mind: It will sustain him, if it will not free him.

Night falls. So do more oranges, silvery black in the moonlight. He eats one, spitting out the seeds, then sleeps. He dreams of Margarita. In the dream, she splits the skin of an orange and, section by section, feeds it to him. He can taste her fingers, too.

A falling orange wakes him. He yawns and looks out over the river, at the bright yellow sun. Another orange drops: thunk. He picks it up, looks at its perfection. Then he sighs, rips the peel, eats the orange, and waits as another day passes.

© 2012 Evan Guilford-Blake

Evan Guilford-Blake’s prose and poetry have appeared in several anthologies, and numerous print and online journals including “The Nassau Review,” “South Florida Arts Journal,” “GringoLandiaSantiago” and “Soundings Review.” His stories have won 13 contests; two have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. “Noir(ish),” his first novel, was recently published by Penguin’s Dutton/Guilt-Edged Mysteries imprint. More information about Evan and his work is available at http://www.guilford-blake.com/evan

LA SNL by Robin Wyatt Dunn

June 27, 2013 Comments Off on LA SNL by Robin Wyatt Dunn

And Jehovah jumped, his long ocean in his mind meeting the small ocean of the Los Angeles swimming pool, falling backward like Michael Douglas under the freeway overpass, every can of coke forever 50 cents, now and eternity, the wind rushes over his face and he accepts the inevitable glory of it, the inevitable change of wind, the movement and music of the world and its so many spheres, incomparably beautiful, mute to the ears of Man―

In this night is the death of tragedy, for there will be no more goat songs, and in this night is the birth of The Police, not badged or armed and not vehicled or helicoptered but scarred, rammed into the new century of a yet longer night, their wise and careful faces merged into the sadness of empire, both collapsing and clawing itself back into life, wicked thoughts flicker through Jehovah of San Fernando’s brain as he backstrokes across the smooth clear water chlorinated and American,

Unknown forever―

Truer than midnight, truer than the sun―

Liquid ocean brother’s dream the man who is not quite god and not quite alive, revivifying entire this broad moment of an equation that we have only begun to grasp―

It’s Saturday Night, Live from Los Angeles!

God let me touch your cathode face.

© 2013 Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park.  He is 33 years old.  You can find him at www.robindunn.com

To Dust A Man Off by Ahimaaz Rajesh

March 25, 2013 Comments Off on To Dust A Man Off by Ahimaaz Rajesh

He remained where he was left — the chair in the drawing room — and now, there he’s been well past two weeks. He’d get up and go every now and then to take dump and to pee. That was it; otherwise, he remained where he was left. She’d bring him food from time to time, and snacks & tea. That was pretty much it.

“You don’t feel the need to come fetch him?” she once asked a friend on the phone. Her friend, she comes to visit now and then, and every time when she leaves — or most of the time — she leaves something she brings along behind. It could be a feather hat, it could be an empty wallet, or it could be a pearl stud —just something she’d leave behind, taking with her the left behind.

‘I don’t really know,’ the friend answered, failing at her reminiscing, sounding reasonably honest. Every time — or most of the time — when the friend would come back the following week, she’d find what she’d left behind right in the same spot she’d left it, and it would — most often — be clean, dusted. You know how swiftly the dust settles on any and all things, especially in cities.

‘This thing, it gathers dust awful swift,’ said the moving man from Dusters & Movers. It would be prudent, she’d thought then, to have him moved back to where he belonged. She’d be leaving home for a while, and this thing isn’t like other things. You know how a ball or a book, when left in one place for too long, never gives you a look when you return home. This thing isn’t like those things, not at all like them. It looks at you, like there’s something terribly wrong with you.

‘I would’ve dusted it myself were it a pen or a notebook,’ replied the woman just so the moving man wouldn’t feel the brunt of the task at hand. For the mover man, though, nothing about the situation seemed strange or in any way unique.

She smiled and thanked the moving man in earnest, and then he was gone, the wheeled casket-basket fastened to that chariot called truck. The thing inside of it, dusted and wrapped, was to be paid for by the recipient.

© 2012 Ahimaaz Rajesh

Ahimaaz Rajesh lives in India, works for bread, writes to breathe. Visit him at his blog: minimalust.wordpress.com

Clean Up by Robin Wyatt Dunn

March 11, 2013 Comments Off on Clean Up by Robin Wyatt Dunn

And you who seek to die, what are you?  Only symptoms, or messengers?  The pained of the world, written for us to see and witness and remember?

Oh you thousand suicides of my latest Los Angeles month.  I clean up the blood.  Sometimes I dream of it. Sometimes I work to regulate its exposure, the camera of my mind, but my heart is beating for a waking world of wrought things, meanings we can understand, to work our weapons in, our words.

Today was Georgia Pannaque, 48 years old — electrocution. The cat seemed electrocuted too, had perhaps been that way for years, like it was ready to molt.

All flesh is grass for the great lawnmower of God, of course, I grant you that immediately, and we can quite properly statisticate her entry for our planning purposes:  so many overweight bodies rendered into meat per capita as the effluents of air and water rise, as the decay accelerates, as our government threatens, as our minds are worried into some new shape we cannot see.

And you who choose to live, I amongst you, who are we? What fell world do we make now? If we are building a nightmare, we had best prepare our masks.

Politics, of course; I’m sorry but I speak of politics. Not social planning. I do not accept dioramas or plastic volcanoes.

Polis, Pole Star of the West Coast, our dream of Lem’s Solaris in California, our tight-winding dream of horror. Los Angeles: our duties are fast increasing. I call out to you:  I count your flesh, and watch your words, hoping that tomorrow it will be revolution.

© 2012 Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park.

Apocrypha by Robin Wyatt Dunn

February 28, 2013 Comments Off on Apocrypha by Robin Wyatt Dunn

What world is it, asks Millicent idly.

I call her that. That or ho. The heroin is a dry patch but fruitful too; she makes the strangest faces. I haven’t yet found the right way to die:  I want to be able to choose which world I go to next.

She is hungry. I feed her the applesauce, and she smiles. She is a beautiful woman, my daughter, beautiful beyond reckoning, beyond any hope of anything new — beyond this world. Her glow alone could fuse through quarks and open up the magic door I want to find, my exit.

What world is it, she asks again, a question I ask aloud, more lately, and what a question, one I want to know the answer to. How did we arrive? Why did her mother have to die? And why was it so easy to transgress?

The shape of her lips is also a door, a portal, with its porters and its histories. What histories are written that include my knowledge, and hers? Are we always and forever apocrypha? A fatal mistake, secreted in the desert to forget?

“Let’s go to sleep, Daddy,” she says, and we do.

I dream of her.

© 2012 Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in The Town of the Queen of the Angels, El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, in Echo Park.

Little Lady by Valery Petrovskiy

April 19, 2012 Comments Off on Little Lady by Valery Petrovskiy

You recall the sky of your childhood, fathomless azure, dangerous by its infinity and frightening to observe. Are you afraid to peer into the sky now, dear? I know you fear greatly.

Remember when you ran far into the field. Vast and wide, it still had boundaries, a clear-cut skyline, and the borders were close at hand.

Still, you were unaware of the sky, then, though it ever was there, even if you didn’t see it.

You were tearing through the field in bright new flip-flops, and you jumped and limped with bliss, whirling after your head that was spinning round.

You felt easy as you’ve never felt, whirling and twirling over the weeds and above the flowers, following the butterflies around. Still, you didn’t see the sky, little lady, and the sky fell down on you when you dropped off to the ground.

Why it is so that one has to fall hard to have a look into the sky? You pressed up against the soil, tumbling, and then you turned over on your back and were startled. For the first time, you peered up into the sky, and then you stopped laughing. There was nothing beyond you there, nothing at all, and missing was your familiar sky, where the steel and stone silhouettes rose up from gray pavement, and you were afraid, soundless, petrified, grasping handfuls of firm ground  to stop you from falling into the abyss yawning in front of you.

With your eyes closed, it was even worse, the spinning descent faster, and faster, but you couldn’t bear to look at the noiseless hollow above you, and so you began to weep, your tears coming to aid and overshadow that unbearable sky.

Yet you, not conscious of yourself, knew, in some way, that heaven was above you. You ran home, away from that intolerable sky to escape under the roof. You wept and wept, and someone, so kind — you don’t remember who — consoled you.

Nonetheless, you continued on, stuttering about the bottomless sky, and your fear was ever lasting. The fear is still with you, even now. It ever catches up with you whenever you lie down on your back. No man can understand it. They say, “You have nothing to be afraid of, my little lady.”

But the skies above you ever observe us all.

© 2012 Valery Petrovskiy

Valery Petrovskiy is a journalist and short story writer from Russia. Не studied English at Chuvash State University, Cheboksary and journalism at VKSch Higher School, Moscow. He has been writing prose since 2005. Some of his Prose has been published in The Scrambler, Rusty Typer, BRICKrethoric, NAP Magazine, Literary Burlesque, The Other Room, Curbside Quotidian, DANSE MACABRE, WidowMoon Press in the USA and one in Australian Skive Magazine as well. http://www.proza.ru/avtor/valerka

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