Short stories

Pigs Shall Inherent the Earth

You ask a myriad of quotidian questions but today is not a quotidian day Oh no not today not a quotidian day today it is butter smeared around the arsehole a wimp knowing that the mirror is mendacious afterall a penurious couple sharing Chinese for the first time and your wife (now not much to look at except the varicose veins swelling pregnancy three hairy chins nothing to dream over lust over come over) thinks you have found out about her affair which you have but you care not a fig about the man with the little twig and the ridiculous eschewed wig but these machinegun splatter (if only) questions have nothing to do with the affair and Betty is again perplexed and next it is the kids (Kids! Lambs to the Slaughter) turn and of course Mike wants to go back to bed and jerk off and Carol is on the telephone talking to her good-for-nothing boyfriend (wears makeup and listens to music that tells him to commit suicide (if only)) and Peter is tucked up in bed dreaming of tractors and diggers and Oh boy he’s drooling stupid cunt so it’s only right that he should start early tractors and diggers (he’ll keep them nice and oiled with drool).  So you’ve pointed the spotlight you’ve done the SS routine twisted arms pulled ears produced tears caused all kinds of fears and even played with Betty’s boobs (sagging pendulums) and so it’s off to the shower. You’ve no dignity left so you jerk off picturing Betty sucking on that leafless twig and it is all yes O yes and Betty walks in but you don’t stop no you go to the hop to the bop causing a great slop and the last time Betty saw you like this was on your honeymoon when she said it hurt and was red raw and you just stuffed it in there. You might not be embarrassed but she is. Dry and smelling of lotion you stand afore the mirror and you say things will get better Oh they have got to get better surely they will get better well Boy they can’t get any more fuckedup. You put on your pajamas and say that you will wear the grey suit tomorrow and Betty says something fatuous (always fatuous and reads Elle) about the time and you tell her it is going to be a busy day tomorrow and she goes into the bathroom undresses brushes her teeth before she can say goodnight you are asleep. Here you are happy. It is a troubled sleep but nobody will know. Betty climbs into bed and you are unaware. Reads Elle. You are standing on 4th street and you are naked it’s the same dream over and over again you are always on 4th street and you are always naked and your penis is hard throbbing hard but a burnt blackened bratwurst.

You awake around three in the morning in a cold sweat with the machete to your throat the obols placed on your eyes your penis stuffed in your mouth how is it going to end you want to know Oh God (you do not believe in God you abandoned God when God abandoned you) how is it going to end. You think about getting up but you don’t have the energy you think of slipping it into Betty that burnt blackened bratwurst but sleep is welcomed back even though it is a Trojan horse and even before the first Z you’re right back on 4th street naked as the day you were born with that burnt blackened bratwurst spitting and drooling.  So you wake up when you should not too early definitely not late and Betty has been superseded by her foul smell and the camel humps in the mattress and you’re already showered dried teeth brushed before the fear can impinge.  Once upon a time putting on a suit was exhilarating now it is like standing before a wall and having a bunch of kids practice their pitching like being a biscuit in a cum factory like the arsehole at a gangbang the fabric burns deep burns burns burns.  

Lately you have been eating like a pig with gastroenteritis you start even before sitting down snorting grimacing drooling Here he goes the old human trashcan thinks Mike and Heart attack city here we come thinks Carol and The race is on thinks Pete. You’re acting the pig but your dignity was stripped away many months ago and now you’re oinking all the way to the door. Betty will take the kids to their schools you once did the drive but a couple of months ago you told Betty that you wanted to use the bus you enjoy the ride and the company you told her that you had joined a group a bus group Betty laughed but conceded it was a good idea you having friends you having friends and Betty doesn’t mind that now after work you get together (your fucking friends) before the bus and have a couple of drinks she’s fine with it now when you get home you’re in a better mood (and the little twig has licked her fig). Off to work. Betty places a kiss upon your forehead she’s been doing it for twenty years (now her lips are painted) her lips are glowing embers the pain is too much burns but you don’t flinch you welcome the pain you deserve the pain you luxuriate in the pain. (On the spit choking on the Apple.) Have a good day at work says Betty (sans mockery) bring home the bacon.

On the bus you act important you act as though you have the world on your shoulders the canaille under your shaved heels a penis that tickles ribs and knocks out yankee doodle dandy and you hurry head down up 4th street fighting off that clown that frown that noun. It is amazing how quickly you dematerialize nobody gives you a second glance (it’s the times) but under the pink fluff behind the huge belly behind the snout behind the huge grin behind the blank eyes under the sailor cap you know you know you wallowing in the sweat afore the pink big ass without the hole the twirling tail you know the disgust the shame shame is a funny thing to some shame is a perpetual rain fall that drenches for others shame is an absent friend shame can be the torturer shame the nagging wife shame is that clown the follows you into that interview and pulls down your pants shame is that star linebacker that pushed your face into the mud shame is the business man that huffs at your tie shame is the prostitute that collapsed into a mess of laughter at your naked frame shame is that cheap pop song that won’t leave you alone shame is the turd that won’t flush shame just won’t hush.

Saul Waters


And We all Lived Happily

The day


all those new appliances

that you crave fight slaughter for

in those new homes

that you crave fight slaughter for

align & hum

at the same time

is when the madness will truly reign. 

Larry Kevinour

Short stories


For a second maybe less his mind is as busy as a Pieter Bruegel painting. He sits up. Puts down the book he was reading. Blaise Pascal could not sit in a room for long period of time. If he were forced to stay in a room for a long period of time a deep melancholy overwhelmed him. He can be on the sofa for days without the slightest hint of melancholy. He is not going for a walk. His shoes are in the other room. It could be raining. Kant walked all the time at the same time; his neighbors could set their watches by this ritual. He stands up. It was not hunger, it could have been hunger, but now the idea of food repels him. It is dark, but not the time for bed. He has been obsessed with cartography of late. On the coffee table, stacked high, are many books on the art and the history of cartography. The book on top of the stack is a book on Johannes Schnitze. A book is open on the coffee table. A page shows the wall painting of Çatalhöyük. The space between the coffee table and the sofa is sufficient for him to stand in. His back aches, pins and needles impel him to move and he marches on the spot until the pins and needles cease while looking at a painting of Canterbury Cathedral that is over the television. The painting is nothing special artistically, aesthetically, but it reminds him of his time spent at Canterbury. He sees Tybalt’s ball. There was a time when Tybalt would chase the ball around the front room for hours. Now Tybalt is bored of the ball. He is sure a cat can be bored. He too would be bored chasing a ball around the front room. He passes between Scylla and Charybdis and stops at the painting of John Mandeville that hangs on the wall. The traveler points toward the kitchen. Maybe he stood up to make himself a cup of tea.  He is addicted to tea. The book he was reading was by Xavier de Maistre.  Maybe if he were to have a cup of tea he could continue with his reading of Voyage autour de ma chamber.  He looks at the bookshelf behind the sofa. The books, if he were to read them, would change his views, Leon Battista Alberti, Euclid’s Optica, Nostradamus, Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, John Pecham’s Perspectiva communis and Bacon’s Opus Majus. He squints and the room changes dramatically.  His wife hates the bookshelf. He must admit the bookshelf is in disarray and is very dusty. He got up to smoke. He picks up the cigarette packet and lights a cigarette and suddenly thoughts of Frigyes Karinthy impinges. He smokes and thinks so hard about Utazás a koponyám körül that his head starts to hurt. The pain is immeasurable. He can no longer smoke. He drops the cigarette in the ashtray, which is on the coffee table. With his thumb, he kills the coals. A last wisp of smoke ascends in gothic swirls. He watches as the pain wanes. He had no real intention of smoking. He walks to the window. He parts the curtains with a hand. He looks out of the window. It is now dark. The glow of the city looms over the darkness like an ignis fatuus. It is a very short distance to the television from the window. It might seem strange to compare this journey from the window to the television with that of Sir John Mandeville’s journey to the Holy Land, but I feel it can be justified. Say that the space between the window and the television is built up of small cubes of air containing small particles of dust. Say these small cubes are 1 to 3 cm along an edge, I am thinking of the common dice, well then I have no idea, and dare not conjecture the number of small cubes it would take to fill the space between the window and television. He places a hand on the television. His wife’s shoes are forlorn and incongruous at the foot of her chair. He can still see her indentation in the leather. She is upstairs, sleeping. He wonders what she is dreaming. He wants to believe she is in 9 Cities & the Sky.  It is his favorite structure of Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili. He leaves the city and travels back to the coffee table. He stops and looks at the wall painting of Çatalhöyük. The rug he is standing on is mostly red. The rug was expensive. They bought the rug in Turkey. They were there for the Hagia Sophia. He remembers only that had to carry the rug for eight hours while they traipsed through the Hagia Sophia. They went to a café afterward and smoked some tobacco. He cannot remember the name of the café. He tries but futility is inevitable. His mind is more Swiss cheese than. It was a long time ago. Ballard’s drowned giant, Gargantua and Pantagruel supping, Tolstoy’s retreating French Army, no: the coffee table. A sigh loud reverberates. Fatigue weighs heavily upon his limbs. He picks up the dead cigarette. Still, no. He puts the dead cigarette back in the ashtray. Smoking can be boring. Talking can be boring. He was at a great party. It was Christmas Eve night. Everybody was so happy. He started a conversation with a writer. “Didn’t Mikhail Lermontov say that the British created boredom?” said the famous writer. He had to shrug. He had not read Lermontov. He keeps away from the Russians. Their books are always long and have too many characters. He told the writer this. The writer sighed softly, almost Shakespearean, maybe too Shakespearean, maybe a hint of the Sophoclean. He finally finds the energy to walk around the coffee table and again he finds himself in the space between Scylla and Charybdis. Evelyn Waugh took a delight in walking in the footsteps of Arthur Rimbaud. Evelyn Waugh even tried to emulate Martin Eden. I mean the swimming out to sea to end one’s life. Unlike Martin Eden, Evelyn Waugh turned back. I think a jellyfish stung him. He collapses onto the sofa. Marquis de Sade wrote The 120 Days of Sodom or the School of Licentiousness with his eyes closed and with only one hand free. Did he get up to turn on the television, to find a pornographic movie, to masturbate? He slips a hand down between his trousers and skin. He feels his soft penis. He strokes it. He closes his eyes and sees Scheherazade on the sand dunes. No, it was not to masturbate. There is no life down there. He sighs. He removes the hand. He laces the fingers behind his head. Sleep is far away, as far away as Quivira and Cíbola. He opens his eyes. Once again his head is as busy as a Pieter Bruegel painting. He sits up. Why did he get up in the first place? It was not to eat, to drink, to smoke, to travel, to masturbate.  The answer comes in a fulguration. All obfuscation is burnt away. It was to write this.

Paul Kavanagh

(first published in Black Sun Lit – Vestiges_02: Ennui)


The Newscaster Dreams of John Dee

Thanatic magnetism impels

Now the head

Is crowded with extemporaneous fistfights

Knife attacks

Pint glass attacks




What now what now but a bunch of innocents lined up against a wall and shot.

Thoughts, illuminating and tangible, are a mosaic composed of the most violent acts imaginable, a tapestry where the Lion is attacking the Madonna, where the rabbits and lambs are overwhelming the unicorn and removing the unicorn’s horn with broken bottles and smashed pint glasses.  

John Smith



Life never promised much… born

in a crack, raised in a cage of gargantuan construction,

tortured by a crew of sadistic gods

whose every casual step

could spell butchery… chased

with rolled newspaper and swatter… days

holed-up in the tv, the radio,

the washer, the dryer, the radiator, the drain;

nights hustling over floors and up walls,

flushed with total fear and garbage lust…

blind feelers wary of death from above

or oases of more trash to gorge,

but useless against the greasy poison…

now, as the petroleum distillate

clogs a last orifice,

I pray my children thrive

and spread the gospel of fear in tight places.

Willie Smith

Short stories

A Surprising Assignation (a play in one act)

Kant:  Two alien males are at an alien bar smoking alien cigarettes and drinking alien alcohol.

Lampe: Alien to you may be, but  

Kant: One of the aliens is exhausted. He has just returned from earth.

Lampe: Oh yes much like your trips to Thailand and Bangkok I bet?

Kant: The other alien is slightly older – a hundred earth years. He has never been to earth but plans on a visit. The two alien males are related – all living matter is related on this alien planet.

Lampe: Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. All the lights have been turned out and everybody has gone home well done.

Kant: The Aliens do not speak English, but for now, English will suffice.  

Lampe: And English names please I hate Alien names like qwteterb or :::”:”::”:””:.

“I bumped into this lovely being and I said to her I want to make love,” said Edward (the fatigued alien).

“Love?????” said Tom (the older alien).

“Sex,” said Edward,

Lampe: Aha! More like it!

Kant: “But we are so different she said,” said Edward, “So I told her I was form-blind being an Alien and she said she had never heard of form-blind being from earth.”

Lampe: What?

Kant: “I told her it was like color-blindness,” said Edward, “She told me that when a male wants to stick his thing into a female’s thing the male must regale the female until gorged.”

Lampe: I need to meet this girl!

Kant: “You really would do it for liquid and sustenance I said to her” said Edward, “and she nodded affirmative.”

Lampe: That’s my kinda girl!

Kant:  The Aliens emptied their alien glasses and purchased more alien alcohol.

“We made sweet love for eight of their moon’s journeys,” said Edward.  

“What was the girl’s name?!?!?!?!?!” said Tom.

“Hippopotamus,” said Edward.

John Sweeney


One day I gob’d a gobful of gob

I spat out a sea monster and the earth had to fight the sea monster for surely it was a sea monster lucent and iridescent and slimy a huge slug from the sea and the earth below my feet groaned and set to battle and it was a long battle the longest I had ever seen and when finally the earth swallowed up the sea monster the earth was bruised and battered the dust shot up all around me but it was not ferruginous it was silver gold platinum even and slowly it spread illuminating unfathomable creatures breathing moving with holes analogous to skeletal lions.  

Travis Lemonte



My body collects






hemorrhaging scabs





the way you collect fucks Panini Cards birds trains words clothing books money gold dreams.

Lee Brookers

Short stories


William Smith-Millcocethe


Dear Mr. Stieglitz, do we still study chiaroscuro?

A howling wind/careens/ lifting skirts /unknotting ties /stealing cigarettes /molesting and mocking/ here between the edifices the last rays of day abuse. Dutch fires/Italian Devils/a menagerie dancing and frolicking/feral dogs/ “watch out for that glass.” Swirling skyscrapers /discord of being/ swirl. “Watch for falling icicles.” Barely through/ bleary eyes/ tested with perfume/ cigar smoke being swallowed/a huge aperture/ spewing/ blinding/braying laughter/a hint of music/the queue willingly swallowed. Dear Mr. Stieglitz, do we still study chiaroscuro?

Alvin Roubgonan