Thursday, 15 July 2010


Banana Bread

by Sam Reeve.


Sam Reeve writes Bizarro fiction and resides in Canada. She aspires to one day become a crazy cat lady.

Monday, 12 July 2010


No More Love Poem

by Daniel de Culla.

"..... Ander her picture when she cut her wrists and so the kid saw the picture and his prick went Whoop Whoop Whoop,,,"

- Trantino. The Great Blafigria Is.

"… For I dream I know not how¡
And my soul is sorely shaken
Lest an evil step be taken,
-Lest the dead who is forsaken
May not be happy now."

- Edgar Allan Poe. The Bridal Ballad.

Please Stop.
I don’t want falling in Love
& being pretty smart
O mamma mia.
When the Train is Gone
I throwed in motion:
I don’t hit the nail on the head¡

I’m going wild against the Wall
Slap-up meal.
My brain’s been fucked
When yr love is come
Toot toot
Damn bitch ate my dog.

Then haulin’s yr Ass:
Love is a silly thing
Fancying that
All over the place
And to die
Of a broken Heart, ja, ja ja.

Hey captain¡ Hey captain¡
My arm chaplain is incapable.
Hey Captain¡ Hey Captain¡
I think we’re gonna cum
In the twinkling of an eye:
The end of the love
Lies inside you¡

Do you know Do you see:
All lovers are Rapier pigs
bastard Gentlemen of rape
Looking out at all rissoles
In the churches’ streets
& saying:
"let me darkle
Or let me daze".

With Langston Huges’ motto
As we live and learn:
"Dig and be dug
In return"

No more Love Poem
Darky Vampire.
Carry me to Yr Black Ritual
Of bloody Love
Leaning lip-poised.
We tremble to receive
The darky fucking Eucharistic

To touch Perceive
Touch Explore
And yet with utmost Sinful care
Slide Melt

The shit Cock
And Chicken
In the head of lustful night
Carry me.

Daniel de Culla.
Poet & Writer.
Painter & Photographer.
Member of the Spanish Writers Association.
Founder and Editor of the reviews of BodyArt, Art and Culture GALLO TRICOLOR, and ROBESPIERRE.
He participates in Cultural Acts of Theatre and Performance. He’s living between Burgos, Madrid and North Hollywood.
He's done performances in Madrid and Burgos. And North Hollywood.
Member of The Creative Thinkers.
Member of The Australian Haiku Society.

Monday, 15 February 2010


Sunday, 31 January 2010


Instruction Manual

by Eric Robinson

Click to enlarge. Or Not.

Eric Robinson writes weird fiction and poetry. He lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. He does not like Bellevue, Nebraska. His fiction has appeared in Dark Sky Magazine. Look him up on facebook and chat with him, he likes that.

Saturday, 28 November 2009


The Man In The Film Noir Hat

by Garrett Cook

His face is like a calavera, mocking all evils with a serpentine smirk. His eyes are beautiful, yellowy catseye green and somehow reflect like a makeup mirror. His suit is white with red stripes like a carnival barker’s, but his hat doesn’t match, that’s the thing. His hat is a wide-brimmed grey fedora like a gangster from an old movie with Edward G. Robinson or James Cagney. It’s just wrong wearing a hat like that with his suit. Where does he get off pretending to be a gangster?

He’s dashingly devastatingly distractingly handsome and when he walks into Beaumont’ s Café, Lucille the pretty young waitress almost forgets her new husband, a wild-looking musician that she’s been married to for three months. She has no clue who the man in the Film Noir hat is, but it doesn’t matter. She wants him to hold her, to breathe his breath (peppermint like his suit) in her hair, to kiss her until she can’t breathe at all. She sways her hips like Mae West and looks at him with thirst in her dark brown eyes. “Hmm” she says with her lips, but in her mind the sound amounts to a voracious “mmm”.

“What can I do for you?’ She says half-suggestively catching a drop of saliva with her tongue before it becomes too conspicuous.

He smiles, but doesn’t open his mouth at first, until he talks, his voice jingling jangling, tintinnabulations of a tambourine.

“Do you run this place?’

Lucille smiles. She knows it’s nothing like the calavera grin, nowhere near as horrifyingly comfortingly lovingly brutally softly warmly coldly seductive. She’s ashamed that she might be trying to seduce him back. What would her husband say? What husband? All there is right now is a man in a candycane carnival barker suit and a hat that doesn’t belong at all. He is what is there, so he is what is real.

“No. My aunt Jess does.”

The smile slides across his face like a blues man’s harmonica. It reveals glimmering gleaming teeth, sharp, but not like an animal’s, no. Like a vampire’s. Teeth to tear and torment.
“Really, that’s a surprise. I took one look at you and I said to myself “this pretty little lady runs the restaurant.” There seems to be an air of authority about you. Your carriage is very…” The word does not come, or else he delays it to make the forthcoming word seem more felicitous. His brow furrows as if he’s deep in thought. “Majestic.”

She blushes and her face turns reddish pinkish frostbitten scarlet. “Do you want me to go get her?”

“If it’s no trouble.” He says it like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood with a hypermasculine inflection. The smile comes back.

She sways her hips again, like Mae West or Peggie Lee or some similarly sultry figure.
Lucille walks into the kitchen where slightly haggard Aunt Jess Beaumont is scrubbing a pan caked with blueberry pie. The smell of Dawn permeates the room yet doesn't get rid of the noxious meatloaf stench around it. “There’s a man to see you, Aunt Jess,” Lucille tells the middle-aged cook and proprietor of the café, “he’s cute, but he sounds like a salesman.”

“Tell him to go away.” Lucille doesn’t want him to go away. She clings to her aunt’s thighs like a child and begins to sob. After the tantrum, Jess does come out of the kitchen, but she’s awfully suspicious. Lucille is usually somewhat calm and down-to-earth, though she does go on and she’s certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer. There’s some bad juju around this place and she just can’t put her finger on it.

Then she sees the man in the Film Noir hat and she smells the musk of beauty and corruption, of carcasses and violets and dead things and peppermints and…money. She too smiles at him. She too sways her hips, hips supporting her somewhat ample girth. She too hears “mmm” in her mind. Money, violets…she likes him and she can’t tell why. She’d have a worse tantrum than Lucille if he had to leave.

“What do you want?” she asks him. She’s trying to be the consummate businesswoman. She’s trying to sound like one sounds when dealing with a salesman. It doesn’t work on him, he knows she smells the violets and the money and the corpses. He knows she is “mmm”ing at the center of her gold-flecked-grey-flecked hair. Lucille is looking at him in silent worship, eyes as wide as an English girl’s at a Tom Jones concert.

“I’m an idea man,” he says, “I sell ideas.”

Jess’ hand ventures ponderously pensively to her chin. “How much are these ideas?” She asks. She’s only curious. Yes, that’s it. She couldn’t be taken in by some smooth-talking stranger selling something she didn’t want. Violets and money and…mmm.

“A dollar.” He says.

Jess takes out the dollar like one possessed and gives it to him. She mouths the words “I love you” but would never say them out loud. His calavera smile and his yellowy catseye green eyes say “I know you do.”

He stuffs the dollar in the jacket pocket of his candy-cane carnival barker suit. “Your coffee should be a quarter cheaper.” He tips his hat revealing a bald head decorated with pretty patterns like those of a Faberge egg. Each bizarre line and swirl forms the letters of an unwritten novel or the scenes of a film that won’t ever be screened. Lucille and Jess see in those patterns the blinding light of ingenuity and have a headache just from looking at the bare, bald head of the man in the film noir hat. Then he walks out, bathed in a light of pure and unrefined thought and leaving an olfactory trail of money and violets and corpses and peppermints. As stupid as what he suggested might be, it is positively epiphanous to Jess.

Four days pass and he has gone from Maryland to New York on his flying carpet of dreamstuff. He gets a hotdog with Jess’ dollar and walks on to the UN building. He’s about to go in, when he is stopped by security. They stop him, but they don’t. They just don’t dare to make him state his business, because it must be too big to understand. They’re right.

Inside, the world is meeting. Population 200 and something. The man who is China is arguing with the man who is France regarding something neither one cares about. The man who is France took the man who is China’s parking space.

Everything stops when they see the man in the Film Noir hat. They smell the violets and peppermints and money and corpses. They all like the man in the Film Noir hat.
“What do you want?” says the man who is our great nation feigning frustration to obscure his interest in the man in the Film Noir hat.

“I’m here to sell you an idea,” the man in the Film Noir hat says.

“How much?” says the man who is Switzerland.

“A dollar.”

The man in the Film Noir hat takes Switzerland’s dollar and makes his suggestion: “This world is over. I say nuke the damn thing.”

Each one of them stops and thinks about it. And each one of them has to laugh at the absurdities they’ve lived with.

And everyone smiles. The world joins hands, wraps their arms around friend and foe alike…

And there is fire and screaming and crying children and melting cities and a mushroom cloud…

And the man in the Film Noir hat takes a leisurely stroll through the dust, his work done in this corner of reality. He stops and enjoys the voice of his sister Calliope, singing dirges for the slain woven with threads of great operatic sopranos. He basks in the music for a little while, then looks down at his watch. He’s sad to go, but there is promise yet. Other places and other times are calling, other dirges, lament of a thousand bluesmen, hearts that ache to stop to stop the ache.

“Goodbye, blue ball,” he says to this earth, “a muse’s work is never done.”

Garrett Cook is worried. He is worried about when the shit goes down; he is worried about one day finding himself not the man he is supposed to be; he is worried about secret histories, wacky costumes, being pelted with bricks by people when he walks down the street and all manner of other things.

If he didn't worry about these things, you'd have to, but conversely, he might just make you worry about them. He's the author of the Murderland books, Archelon Ranch and the upcoming Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective now available for preorder.

He is also the Associate Editor of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. His website is

It's a good place to buy stuff. Better than Mexico even.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Friday, 30 October 2009


He was set at the head of a government depending largely on its troops, and these found themselves suddenly possessed of a power which they had not known previously.

Hello, I am Alexis Rimes.

"Try it for good luck"

And at this as if at a command, everyone began to run. Ah, my revels here are over.

Glares D D Striker of Ottawa is most likely a pseudonymous name created by a spam algorhythm. It was used to front a mail send via a proxy address attributed to "Kevin Stirrup". If you respond to either of the mail addresses (or click on the link provided within the mail) then your home computer will probably become part of a phantom zombie-network that will be used to attack and extort money from an internet business.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Friday, 28 August 2009


Akasa Investigation

by suRRism

Opening Insanitory!

Aid Eight - Stereo Eyes extend to the World
Protocolorenimalettrist is always astonedal

But not aStendhal!
Print was observed by La man
And now EPP!
Known as Economy Propaganda at the End Program
Ls & Gs,
PD Flasses to purchase, for German PD Brille
You can choose between Hard Pardon and Soft Pardon
Beg your Pardon
What a Pardon! Oh Pardon...
Dimension of Polyphony Economy
Get you PD for every day
Out now
Near your vegetative Information Pantry
Back to Fitchen & to Airplane à la carte
Mundgerecht in mini Pieces
Vegetables for Akasha Corps
Belgian Cookies support the Table

You can eat without Bon Apé
Poenté Dot Com

Translated Se/ins Center

suRRism = frateR surrallee & undRess Béton. For 10 years, at least.

frateR Surrallee = ***** ******; "he's a genius and he's older than me. He's written many essays, etc for psychiatric institutes to point the 'new' way of bringing metaphysics to the base pedagogic, etc." He doesn't much like the Internet, no.

undRess Béton = my friend Jaan Patterson from The Other Frankfurt. Jaan is a contra-intuitive textural alchemultimediamist who juggles words and plays football with colour and sound. His graffitti tag is Anno '75.

***** is The Mentor; Jaan is The Motor.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Cum Dumpster (An Implied Narrative)

by R C Miller

R C Miller was born in 1974 in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He currently lives in New York City and here.

Saturday, 8 August 2009


Shit I Keep In My Office

by Daniel Poeira

My office is a small room in an apartment, measuring a mere 2x2 meters. I spend most of my time sitting by the computer - like a hunchback - enclosed by vast amounts of stuff; some of it is useful, some of it crap collected over the years. When I'm working, I have this physical sensation of being surrounded and compressed by... things, of all sorts.

An electric guitar is sitting by my side. It has a Bob Marley sticker on it, but I scraped off the letters b-o-b-m-a-r-l-e-y and left only the words "One Love". The sticker was on an old notebook which I gave to my father, but he peeled the sticker off of it. He said he didn't want any "pot smoker" stickers on his stuff. He is a big fan of The Beatles. Perhaps he still thinks they never smoked it.

I keep a guitar in my office at all times, because you never know when you’re going to need some music on something. Today I was editing a video and it needed 90 seconds of background lounge music. I composed and recorded it in a few minutes, and the job was done. No need to pay for music when you can make your own. Do it yourself. I learned that from the punks. There is a Ramones Zippo lighter over my desk. It's not a real Zippo, but it's got the fucking Ramones on it.

Next to the lighter, there is a pack of paper matches, the kind of matches they give away in restaurants. I thought they didn't make those anymore, but I went to a very expensive barbecue joint and they had some there, so I picked it up, even though I don't smoke. My wife has been smoking lately, bumming fags from friends. I think she is nervous about our adult life. I also see a d20, a stray paintbrush, 5 mini-DV tapes, 3 discarded credit cards, a roll of duct tape, a single chopstick and a pink plastic sword - the kind you use to decorate a rum-based cocktail. I asked for a more manly color, but the waitress ignored me, the bitch.

A chrome guitar slide, a wi-fi USB antenna, a web-cam: my desk is a junkyard of digital bullshit. We knew the web-cam image would suck and the wi-fi antenna is too weak, but we bought it anyway. I bought the antenna for my wife - her PC is in our bedroom - but the signal was weak, so I bought 25 meters of blue LAN wire and nailed it onto the wall, connecting her PC to our router. Now her connection is great, but I have this 70$ piece of digital junk in my desk and I have no idea what to do with it.

My desk is depressing me, so I leave it and try to work on my drawing-board. First thing I notice: clean underwear and socks on top of everything. Bad sign. I throw them inside the wardrobe. They were hiding a pile of books, mostly sci-fi and fantasy stuff. I wonder if I'll ever have the time to read them. There is also a roll of cotton string, a lot of bills (probably unpaid), a pair of black woolen gloves, a paintbrush case, an empty cigar box, and some Nerds candy. There is a box with a Speedball inking plate. I always buy printmaking materials, but always find an excuse not to use them. There is a hole puncher and 3 different peg bars, all of different standards. I wonder if any of them fit the puncher standard. Probably not.

Trying to keep it together. Maybe the other side of the room will be less stressful. I trip over two plastic guitars on the floor that I used to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero. There is also a flip-flop. I am unable to determine whether it's the flip or the flop. There are also some pages of a comic book I don’t even remember drawing. It is 7 years old and I can’t remember what the text was supposed to be, so there are all these drawings and I have no idea how to make sense out of them. There is an empty paper bag. My collection of crappy microphones. A harmonica in the key of C.

Toolboxes. Audio cables. Cymbals. A big roll of black wire so big it doesn't fit inside of anything. Two pairs of pants, folded over an old book. It's a good book; I wonder what it's doing on the floor under two pairs of pants? Pieces of a broken 1960s guitar I have never had the time to restore.

Empty Shoe boxes. Plastic bags. A bass guitar and its amp. A needle and three colours of thread in the same roll. Three different kinds of tweezers. Another lighter. 17 different kinds of black felt markers. 3 different grades of Koh-i-Noor mechanical pencil leads. I love Czech office supplies.

Paper. A lot of paper. Blank sheets of all sizes, qualities, weights, colours: white and cream. A Felix the Cat key chain. What doors do these keys open? A roll of Kodak Verichrome. This must have been exposed 30 years ago. I wonder if it's still possible to develop it and what's in it? Next to it, there is a single frame of 35mm color film. It's a man, dressed up as Santa Claus, standing next to a Christmas tree, with a strange look in his eyes. I found it on the sidewalk, in front of a clinic for recovering drug addicts. I think the Santa on the picture is one of the patients.

It's funny how a simple room stuffed with stupid objects can contain so many memories and ideas. Maybe ideas are the opposite of memories. Memories are thoughts of the past, and ideas are thoughts for the future. Memories look back, while ideas make projects for a future that is still yet to be. But no matter which side you look, all you have to live in is your present. What is the name we have for the thoughts we have in and for the present?

Maybe my office is not so small at all. Physically, yes, but life is larger than the mere atoms we live in. There are way too many memories and ideas flowing in the air. Stories, waiting to be told.

I look to my right and see a paper mask. It is the head of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Daniel Poeira is a PhD student from Brazil, working in the field of Production and Criticism of Moving Images at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where he also teaches animation. At night, while the city sleeps, he creates stories, images and sounds, fueled by ancient herbs and enchanted potions, driven by a force yet to be named or explained.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Sunday, 26 July 2009


Shoot Notes

by Jayson Densman

RAPE SCENE: flash images! No framing > CU/INSERTS. Q-dissolve post. Pulse audio, rhythmic or eccentric beats. (sub punch?) POST NOTE: B&W?

PG X-ROOM SET-UP: Flash images of Party Girl setting up the room (plugging in boom box, dragging in the keg, stringing the party lights, turning on Lava Lamp, etc.). To be interlaced with intro or other sequence.

MOTEL MAN TYPING: various angles of fingers on keyboard to validate V.O. ALSO, CU’s of face washing and looking into the mirror (a moment of post-refection). POST NOTE: B&W?

PHYSICAL CONCERNS of X-ROOM: A & B differentials.

APPX 70% superior angles on PG for the kills and pre-kill movement(s). 30% consideration of oppressive stance. VICTIMS supine and profile angles after kills.

AFTER END CREDIT ROLL: MED CU on PG bursting her head out the KILL ROOM DOOR and staring at us for 15 seconds and then slams the door shut to continue her work. OR: after she looks at us, she disappears with the door cracked open.

WEAPONS & WOUNDS: check lighting intensities and coloring for the kills. Lots of contrast! Need a fucking squeezer!

Contrast LM testing before each kill. 10-30 desirable, augmented diffusion pending (wax paper/D-sheet). Grain target 22%.10% opaque organic volume on-set, the rest adjusted in post. Need a goddamned Lumisphere!


Monitor for AC room. 50’ RCA cable (BNC adaptor?)

Down angle at some point in a kill. Pulley from Pat.

RAPTURE shot of PG in total immersion. Get a few angles on this and play with the lighting.

Fuck anything that gets in the way of a creative shot. NOTE: bring industrial size aural/responsive KY as to lube opponent, as opposed to a raw fuck or boring and predictable verbal spanking(s). No need for bad flack.

LISTEN CLOSELY to all shot influences, organic or spiritual. No discrimination! Only astral elevation!

Jayson Densman is a Dallas, Tx-based film-director, responsible for birthing Jeremy C. Shipp's "EGG", a film that you really ought to see. He has just been up for 77 hrs non-stop last weekend filming the main multiple-murder section of "Party Girl" - another film that you really should check. It's probably not a good idea to wake him up right now.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Sunday, 5 July 2009


The Hoop Cycle

by D F Lewis


The apple orchard was a gorgeous aid to sight, floodlit as it was by a high hot sun that seemed unnaturally to focus its beams upon the ranks of trees to the detriment-in-darkness of the gutter-heavy houses around the orchard.

The orchard had long become an oasis of shimmering fantasy-within-reality when, one day, from the houses, a little girl entered by the click of the orchard's gate bowling a wooden hoop over the smooth grass.

Sometimes, the hoop's course met a wormy windfall and it toppled over, only for the girl to pick it up and continue rolling it beneath the golden apples, apples unpicked or unfallen, delicious-to-see or hiding their maturing flavour shyly to taste themselves, with their thump-potential waiting for the nearest wind to help them land thus upon the ground irrespective of any human agency.

The girl smiled as she finally leant the hoop against one of the nutty trunks. She peered through the over-lapping trees to see that the gutter-heavy houses were invisible-with-darkness outside the orchard. She felt the warmth of the sun focused on her face. She lifted up an arm to pluck the plumpest, juiciest-looking apple – but she could not reach it. There was a single inch beyond the added height granted by the tips of her toes upon which she balanced precariously. She righted herself so that she could use the hoop to ring and then bring the branch towards her reach.

There was one other to be picked upon in the apple orchard, as yet unseen. A young man who had also been attracted by the shutter-directed sunlight here. He watched the girl's antics and involuntarily laughed out loud. She looked up.

"Who art thou?" she said.

"I am here to ask thee why it is darker outside of here."

"It is always darker outside of here," she replied.

She had never been warned not to talk to strangers. He, too, had never been warned not to talk to strangers. Perhaps more dangerously, he had never been warned not to be a stranger to whom others might talk.

He laughed again. He pressed his chest with the flat of his hand and said: "It is always darker outside of here."

He it was who had used the expression 'thump-potential' earlier, knowing that it had then stuck out like a sore thump in the flow of words. More so even than 'gutter-heavy' or 'shutter-directed' or 'nutty trunks'. Thump thump. Apples falling one by one. Heart beating in tune with windfalls. All now seemed to give the thump-potential of the day more sense and the girl felt her own heart beating faster as she fully took in the handsomeness of the young man who had accosted her in this oasis of sunshine.

With the instinct of an older woman, the girl forgot about the apple she had been set to shake free from the tree with the hoop and, forgetting, too, the hoop still leaning against the nutty trunk, she walked in forthright manner towards the orchard's gate, pretty head held high in righteous pride.

The young man did not follow her. He would need her to grow older than her thoughts. She was not ripe enough for plucking. He laughed again, this time to himself, as he went to retrieve the hoop so as to keep it for the day when the girl returned as a woman to the orchard from her gutter-heavy house in the darkness outside of here. He could not reconcile the symbol of the hoop nor the meaning of the words that had told its story. He now knew only one language and that was Silence, Silence being a language in its own right, but a language where one never knew which word to use (there being so many) so one ended up by using none of them.

He listened to the orchard's gate click as the girl vanished into the unfloodlit side of here. He twirled thoughts between his fingers, eager to reach their end but, of course, never reaching any end as the sun never set upon the orchard, nor did his twirling fingers reach the end of the wooden hoop that he ravelled through his hands in panic or absent-minded prayer nor, for that matter, did his tongue reach the end of any hoop-within-hoop of words....

It was as if the girl must have brought the wooden hoop into the orchard not only to 'tie his hands' for the moments of danger till the orchard's gate had clicked but also to tie them forever. But the hoop would surely wear thin and eventually snap after centuries of twirling it through his fingers.

Thump! Just that. A single body thump. No sad sigh. Then, a little later, a tinier thump amid the guttering light of reality as the sun itself dropped to the smooth grass with little more sound than a windfall would make eager to gobble up a worm.

Outside of here, only the silent thump-potential of pennies dropping like meanings. A tongue-tied language with nobody to speak to or to speak of or to speak - nobody, that is, to listen out for the slightest click of an orchard gate.


When I met him, I saw straightaway that he was full of story. It was as if he existed simply for the benefit of story. No point in describing him, as that would take away from the story. And he did tell me story after story, when we sat together, draining a bottomless teapot.

And before I forget, there is not much point in describing me, either.

I was only there to listen. And, well, to drain tea.

One story that still sticks in my mind was one he told of when he was employed as a chauffeur in Paris. Well, I assume it was about him. But whether it was him or not, it was only a story, after all.

"I had been without work for several weeks, and was coming to the end of my money in the last cafe under the last Parisian sky of (what now seemed to be) my last sojourn in the city drinking the last cup of tea that perhaps I would ever drink in France. The French frowned on tea, but I managed to find where they brewed it best. I preferred it to any other sort of drink. So it was with mixed feelings that I accepted a job that entailed driving a car and drinking something other than tea. But I would now be able to stay in Paris a little longer. The man had sat down opposite me at my table as I drained the dregs of my cup on that (what had seemed to be) my last day in Paris. It was like Fate. I was to drive a Princess. Why me? Well, he said it had to be me. I fitted the story. But I must drink alcohol quite a bit of the time, he insisted. That was part of the job. I shrugged. I didn't mind drinking alcohol so that I could later afford to drink tea in Parisian cafes. Sitting pensively in Parisian cafes drinking tea gave me inspiration, led me to all sorts of creative thought for my next story. So, to cut a long story short, I allowed myself to take to heavier drinking while driving the Princess to fashion shops and to cafes where in fact she drank tea, I noticed. I didn't much like the company she sometimes kept. I also turned a blind eye to the baggage she carried. I am not one for gossip. Only story-telling. Well, on the big day, I needed to drink several hard drinks before taking the Princess on a trip that, unlike the previous trips, was more of a mystery tour. I can tell you that, even with alcohol in my veins, I am still a very good driver. So when our car managed to crash in the road tunnel, it was not that I lost control for no reason, but I suddenly saw a little girl bowling a hoop across the road in the tunnel, and I swerved to miss her..."

I put my teacup down and stared at him.

"A hoop?" I said.

"Not really," he said with a smile, "that was only part of the story."

And I blinked. He was no longer sitting opposite me. I must have been drinking tea with myself. The little girl in the tunnel, perhaps, was the ghost of the Princess; a happy creature that wished she'd never meet a Prince. But then without such a meeting, of course, she'd not have been a Princess at all or, if that were the case, even the ghost of a Princess. I poured another cup from the bottomless teapot and stared into the darkening Parisian sky. A faint circle of stars like a distant UFO slowly wheeled behind the clouds.


There was a hoopless barrel that threatened to open like a fan at the merest whim of wind. The fenced yard also contained disused items of machinery: mutant toasters becoming mangled back into shape; gas stoves as hutches for robot rabbits; fridges beckoning with mouldy tongues; once crashed computers now come back to life without operators, without even the electricity to have booted them up.

This was the yard of lost hope in having regained it. If a scrapyard could itself be derelict, this was it. Damage unlimitation. Detritus squared by it own will to live, to live again. Dogmuck cubed. Rubbish re-rubbished by glimmerings of unintended re-use.

A man entered the yard: chief scavenger of hopeless hope.

"Eeeh, this is growin' messier, I hoop it bleedin' rains," he muttered to himself, tucking hankies back into pocket-areas of his garb that he had forgotten he had areas in. His face was grizzled with (as he put it): "cooping with fings." His lot in life was a 'boot' on solid metal seas. He was happy and rich, by being neither.

The rain, for which he 'hooped', would acid-lick the rusty roots of the yard's gantries, and keep the dogs happy. Dog-tongues were dry-cleaning devices; dog-tongues also scared off the pesky kids, but the dogs themselves unfortunately gnawed the gantry roots and even carved teeth-marks into the finest regrowth of fridge or dish-washer. A mixed blessing – dogs. A mixed blessing, too – kids. Kids had the ability to tempt and shape the stretching metal stanchions of the new machines that nobody had ever seen before. New but dirty.

But not all dirt was filth. The man prided himself on living with himself, despite himself. He picked up a loose hoop and fitted it back around the near-ruined barrel. With rain often came wind. And wind was the direst element of all. He'd pooped himself. The Pontiff of the Yard.

Grinning, grinding detritus became a giant face as part of the google-configured yard, watching him grub around in his own back pocket. A mixed blessing – hoopless men like him. Men who opened like a fan at the focused whim of their own ability to fertilise.


The toys settled in for the night. The playroom's girl-child had been taken to bed in the nursery by Nanny without time to tidy behind her properly. The Jack-in-Box was not pressed back beneath the lid, now hanging over the edge in a mess of head-springs. The Dolls House was left lit, its front-hinged 'lid' swinging imperceptibly to and fro in the moving air. Air moving because the Radiators were yet to be turned off. The window locked ajar.

No, not Radiators! It was a coal fire behind its metal-mesh guard still smouldering quite warmly in the playroom's dimming light. Radiators were for the future. Not now. As was the screen flickering in the corner where the Rocking-Horse, when untended, used to rock as imperceptibly as the Dolls House's 'lid' did. Time seemed to strobe between then and now. Screen, horse, screen, horse...

There was, if one squinted hard enough through duration's migraine, a large wooden Hoop to be seen leaning against the now re-established Rocking-Horse. This 'installation' was not far from another which was, if every irrelevant detail is required, formed by a Whip and Spinning-Top within the Hoop's circle of sight.

A cuddly Winnie-the-Pooh Bear lolled against the Jack-in-the-Box's box, its ears tangled with the extraneous loose springs that had previously required such little description before the radiators intervened with their own attention-grabbing modernity. In the end, neither Jack-in-the-Box or Radiators deserved description, as it was the Winnie-the-Pooh who had actually now had the gumption to move for real, it seemed, of its own volition. This was the stuff of fairy-tales of which any description here aspires to be part.

No mistaking the Bear's tentative paw moving to comfort the dead Toy Soldiers strewn across the floor in a path of radiant moonlight at its feet. One wondered if the Bear wondered how the playroom's usual occupant was ungirly enough for such mind-activities as soldiering in wars or watching sparks moving up the back of the sooty chimney as imagined armies heading for battles in the sky above the house.

But wait! The slowly gaping door (in magnified mirror-image of the dolls house 'lid') is casting a wedge of marmaladed light from the landing. Nanny returning to tidy up? Or the child herself, escaped from sleep's enticing arms? Or indeed, on the contrary, quite fast asleep enough to dream of this return to the playroom?

Winnie-the-Pooh turned with a sudden snarl and, for whatever mysterious inverted purpose, psychokinetically called the wooden Hoop across the room. This was managed by employing a magic of some scientific force: perhaps hyperlinking it invisibly under the more realistic subterfuge that it had been bowled across the playroom floor (in the direction of the Bear) with an ability to thread between the Toy Soldiers' bodies – bowled indeed by the Rocking-Horse's final nod of grudging acceptance towards the realms of death it clearly saw for itself within a screen.


She was a Victorian lady turned by the designer museum into a model of the 21st century, with anachronistic props such as swish half-moon eye-shades that she sported on her nose and an over-large plastic hoop that she tried – in an ungainly pose – to spin around her bustle-skirted middle.

"Stand there!" shouted the queue-guide, as he paraded a small party of adults in jeans and T-shirts past the Victorian lady's clumsy attempts to be both herself and a model of a modernity that she did not yet understand – hence these mis-choreographed cavortings labelled: "Welcome the missing back".

The self-conscious audience stood 'there' as instructed and looked up at the epitome of an art 'happening' or 'installation': the biggest selling-point of which was that the lady was a real Victorian, still wearing the clothes she was wearing when snatched by a latter-day Time Machine and planted here today. Her spoken English was so quaint that it needed translation. With no evidence to the contrary, nobody had before realised that people must have used phonetics differently then.

Suddenly, unseen by the queue-guide and the rest of the audience-party, a little girl (just woken from bed judging by her appearance) passed along the edge of the gallery slowly bowling a hoop – a hoop smaller than the Victorian lady's and made of wood.

The Victorian lady alone spotted this small plaintive figure and shouted with enormous passion a few sounds that could be configured into: "Petite Madeleine!"

And with an unlikely Proustian grasp of the Portuguese language shaped into an alien tongue, memories flooded back all skewed and warped. A Time Machine was evidently not a very efficient method to heal injustice or pardon guilt or secure innocence or order the correct course of events. Time Machines were the cause of their own non-existence. Once you had sufficient scientific know-how to create one, you simply knew that you would never believe that one could be created at all because disbelief in Time Machines would be suddenly inbred rather than learnt. Self-evidently.

The small girl was no longer to be seen.

The gallery was quickly emptied by the queue-guide, leaving the Victorian lady 'installation' alone with dislodged shades revealing a real blood-smeared teardrop streaking the white of one eye from within the eyeball rather than from outside it. The saddest sight of all. Tears that didn't need tear-ducts to become tears.

The over-large plastic hoop later fell to the empty floor and rolled towards where the small girl had seemed to have stood by the wall, but toppled over with an echoey clatter before reaching.

"D F Lewis is a one-man publishing phenomenon, a true literary gem. A prolific and wonderfully idiosyncratic English writer who - according to urban.lit legend - has had well over 1500 short stories published since the mid-eighties. His work has appeared in obscure small press publications, high-brow literary reviews, paperback anthologies and on-line e-magazines.

He describes himself as "so Interstitial he falls between a million stools and never sits on any of them."

These days he is equally well known as the publisher-editor of the pioneering (and influential) award-nominated Nemonymous series of megazanthus anthologies. He lives here."

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Mummy Dust

by Fritz Bogott

Wikipedia says the production, sale and use of mummy dust ended around 1900, but my dad's uncle Walt made a pretty decent living in the forties and fifties selling it by mail out of an office in the Medical Arts Building on Nicollet in Minneapolis. The mummies came into Receiving in big wooden crates. I remember being in there in the early 1970's before we cleaned it all out and seeing a bunch of those empty crates still racked up against the wall. At the time, it wasn't exactly illegal to export mummies out of Egypt and there wasn't any law against importing them. That changed in 1959, of course, when Nasser put a stop to it. Walt had seen it coming and saved up a few but still it was the beginning of the end.

Walt's wife Flo had died a few years before in a skydiving accident and his son Jerry was in critical condition after his Polaroid burst into toxic flames. Gramps flew in from Dayton to help out, but more-or-less immediately lost a thumb to the grinder and flew right back to Dayton. That left Gramps' and Walt's other brother Ray.

Ray was bigger than his brothers and absolutely always wore white shoes and a green plaid suit he probably also slept in. He drove slowly in from the coast in a '49 Crosley Hotshot, moved in with Walt and stocked up on super-size bottles of Adventure Bourbon. His concept was that there were just enough Swiss herbalists practicing in Texas and Louisiana to use up the remainder of the supply. Walt had always had his eye on the Chinese market and was suspicious of the Swiss, but Ray expressed his opinions forcefully and claimed he had a connection.

Walt decided to trust him and stayed up all night grinding. In the morning, they packed the powder into hundreds of two-ounce bottles, packed the bottles in some wicker suitcases Walt had picked up cheap from a Tom Watt franchise that went bust, packed the cases in the Crosley and drove off slowly south along the Mississippi, leaving Jerry in the care of an attentive night-shift burn-ward nurse.

The Crosley held up surprisingly well the whole way south, right up until they crossed the line into Calcasieu Parish on the way to meet Fritz (no relation) - Ray's supposedly-big-time Swiss connection in Lake Charles. The engine caught fire without warning and Walt and Ray only managed to save two of the cases before the car whole burned down to the axles along with all the remaining bourbon. Fortunately, a minibus full of incongruously djellaba-wearing men was passing at that exact moment and pulled over to give the uncles a lift. The men and the uncles turned out not to have a language in common, so they entertained each other the rest of the way into town pointing out roadkill alligators, with big toothy smiles on all sides. Ray wrote out Fritz's address and showed it to the driver, and the driver nodded serenely and depressed the accelerator. Fritz had his practice in a one-story fake chateau on the edge of town, and he welcomed the entire busload with Louisiana-inflected Switzerdeutsch and free shots of edelweiss liqueur.

When Walt regained consciousness he was fifteen miles down a bayou, missing a leg and had a fresh tattoo of an ibis in the center of his forehead that he didn't discover until quite a while later. The ibis in question was standing a few feet away, perched on a badly-sprung wicker case full of four-ounce bottles of gray-brown powder that looked NOTHING like the dust Walt had been peddling for twenty years. Walt dragged his stump to the nearest crossroads, traded the case and the bottles for a frozen daiquiri and a half-pack of Camels and as far as I know never came back to Minnesota. We haven't heard from Ray since then either, but that's not all that unusual for Ray.

Fritz Bogott live in woods, write with pen, cook with fire.

Saturday, 13 June 2009