Tuesday, October 13, 2009

9 very short stories

untitled, coolhandluke

1. the poet introduces his craft

because the tendrils of the day are ever present and at night it's even worse. chores. errands. words to meet words. papers and bus routes and unzipped flies. for just a minute to push out with my hands, gaining a millimeter per word, half that for a conjunction, hopefully enough empty space to fill with just one (please) breath.

2. suzie doesn't like the meteorite

there are no shooting stars you idiot that's a plane. _couldn't be, a planet? _what do you see? (i don't care if you asked first - you asked first you can answer first :) _good answer. _i really don't know. _promise not to laugh? _promise? _a blizzard. _if i saw something fall, say, here at my feet, then i'd have an easier time believing that. _because. _because. _because when i was young. _no!, that's an appropriate answer to any question!

3. Alex does like the meteorite

She dispensed with chores early. Sundays are great for that, give yourself a break, take it easy Saturday night, that way, when you wake there's nothing but empty hours to fill. At night she made sure to think of tulips and daffodils so that she'd dream of cars with seats made of tulip-hide and steering wheels were ruby. Usually though she dreamt of whales, which was ok too. She wore plain clothes but ridiculous sunglasses that covered too much of her face so that when she smiled at old people the effect was numbed a little. At the coffee shop a young man wanted to seduce her and she smiled politely at first but when he persisted dammit you lout back off and so he did and she went back to reading half a page of Neruda before stopping and staring away imagining yellow deep sea submersibles and glow-in-the-night fish and when she walked by the beach later that afternoon she imagined one day it had rained rocks all each and every one the shape of love-hearts and they had been walked-on and kicked-on and held and kissed soo many times all that was left of them was sand. and she smiled.

4. surprise-a-thon

you like me, _too?

5. Prayer for Gratitude

Dear Great WhateverYouare:

thankYou first and foremost because if there was no gravity i'd have long-since gotten myself terribly lost somewhere dark by trying to peek behind a great-big shadow covering Saturn, secondly, because even though i am aimlessly purposelessly wandering about kicking rocks and biding my time till some great epiphany(love)(magic)(psychic disturbance) comes along and rattles me out of my skin, the air is soo nice here in this whatever place and the view is not soo bad everywhere i look it is ocean (your eyes too my dear). finally, if this Tuesday is not a toy and i am not some great explorer like Magellan or Galileo then thankYou at least for making me feel like it is and i am, if i smile even on the inside of my lips my soul's happiness puts a dandelion back together again for someone else to have a chance.

6. how many times can you keep listening to this same song over and over?

they play cards but she hates cards. the others play billiards in the billiard room but she doesn't like that either. outside some people who've drank more than all the others combined laugh and sing and then all collapse into the pool laughing and singing. she weaves from hallway to room to kitchen to refill a plastic cup with sobriety and keeps walking looking at framed photographs on walls and behind the door of the spare bedroom she hears sex. out front, where there are lots of cars parked she sees a young man lying on the grass, motionless. at first she thinks he's passed out but finally he says: how many times you think we can listen to this song? to which she has no verbal reply, but walks over, and smiles down at him. and sits, in one motion, gracefully landing in a cross-legged position. and finally, after sitting quietly a few moments, says not in reply to him, or to anything at all, or for any apparent reason, i like numbers that are multiples of primes. with the connotation very clear to the man lying on the grass, who now opens his eyes to look at her, seeing her upside down and beautiful, which is to say: as many times as is necessary.

7. the haunted GPS

turn left 300 meters. _prepare turn left, now, you bastard. _proceed, 2.4 kilometers. _prepare turn right, 500 meters. _turn right 300 meters, i hate you. _turn left, now- you missed it , you distracted chump. _u-turn at roundabout 500 meters.

8. these thoughts i must not think of , dreams i can't make sense of

whatever they are i woke up with a jump and it surprised you too and you said you ok? half asleep and i couldn't answer, being that i couldn't remember what came before the jump and so slept again. woke again sometime later with another jump, jeez, babe you ok? me shaking my head and settling in again, turning away from you clutching my favorite pillow (that we both call 'my girlfriend' and recently you say, hey turn towards me, it's ok, bring your girlfriend too we can share her and we are both very amused, but back then you don't say that).
__at the end of the day i drive home and think about what it could have been about and remember nothing and decide nothing but the sensation of driving under regular streetlights each yellow and disgusting makes me wretch and overcome with paranoia i clutch the steering wheel really tight and even though want to turn the music off can't let go and can't decide if i should drive faster to get home faster or drive slower to foreclose the possibility of tragedy. when i get home i decide to never think of it again.

9. fantasy-land

but the dreams we should have had are about hiking around the Olympic Peninsula. and having croissants and hot chocolate with Ashley on the Champs Elysees. of driving firetruck red Mustangs to Byron Bay and having parties on rooftops as bombs and shooting stars fall indiscriminately. and killing it at law school and writing amazing stuff and going on Oprah to talk about our novels and our lives and our mother's soo proud (at last) we have done something with our lives. and our sister's getting better not worse and the air in our tires never getting low. of always reaching orgasm and always one muffin left and always the keys were you left them and when i need a hug there you always are. and every tree i walk under has cherries within arm's reach and when i kick a rock it sings Bach to me and i laugh and keep kicking to hear the whole Minuet. and it all meant something, or nothing, in either case we don't care because we're playing chess in the park and dancing in the club and busy finding Hermes handbags in the bottom of the $1 box at the thrift store and laughing all the way to the carnival to look at the lights and kiss on the ferris wheel like in the movies, in my mind it ends on a couch with me reading Beckett and giggling to myself and your head in my lap napping listening to Ravel and me thinking it's magic and you thinking whatever, _i can sleep to it, anything i can sleep to must be awesome (which i think about for hours after you drop me off and still can't quite understand the logic of).

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