Friday, November 23, 2012

Vanishing Dangling Sounds

robert langellier

The arc of Ron’s sentences would often loop up and hang there suspended and strangled, unsure of where to travel, his sense of locutional direction suddenly vaporized, the arc left to flitter in the air for a moment and fall lazily to the ground like dropped paper scraps. They would come out as half-thoughts, mere hesitations: There was a bridge next to the uh—the uh—. And then nothing. It was at this point of change, this stopping moment in the sentence arc, where his sanity would be momentarily hooked and slammed, a brief interruption to the listener but a monumental shakeup of Ron’s sense of clarity. Because it happened all the time. This getting lost in communication. It was in part the devastating notion of lingual possibilities, the incalculable multitudes of word combinations, thought combinations, where a sentence could be shifted and adjusted mid-course by a single word, and the whole thing would diverge: I was in the car—on the car—on her car—on her something—in her something… Ron did not trust such a feeble and fallible thing as himself with the great responsibility of assigning language in its proper order. And since Ron preferred the universe to be in perfect order, he was greatly depressed by the overwhelmed synapses between his tongue and his mind. And he soon became a picture of shining quietness.

Unbuckled under the legal limit

It's all typography. Something about these characteristics makes it apparent. The old fraud wouldn't be getting his view from that window back for many days. It was just something that couldn't be prevented. The giant sky rose like glitter over the rest of the world. Everyone turned out their lights to avoid being burned alive. Something in that kettle made her wish she had never been alive. As it turned out, only kind of was she proven incorrect.

Something in the dog's breathing reminded me that elsewhere, a child was being raped. I looked away from the dog, for a moment, then I looked back at it. I longed for music. Because when I was listening to music, nobody was getting raped necessarily.

They found her screaming at a tree just two miles south of here. Screaming curse words. Throwing sticks. She was dirty.

From somewhere came this horrid noise, and it sounded like a car engine stalling due to a dying rabbit stuck in the carburetor. I looked out into the forest, took a moment to sneeze, and then carried on with the conversation.
"So, tomorrow then. And don't be late with it this time."

The three of them sat facing inward at a central point, trying to combine their theories and ideologies into one central all-powerful idea. It didn't work. Only one of them would know the way.

Some say the reason she was so scary was because of her dark humor. Others, more observant others, would say it was how she was hung in effigy from the stoplight just outside the school, wearing a T-shirt that read: "...until now, that is."

The puppy, Gruber, threw his legs in front of themselves, bounding toward a destination he had never felt before: speed.

You know, I never won any young authors competitions. Not even close. I wrote once about Fastky the dog, I wrote about The Good Week. But apparently my work was bullshit. It still is. Nothing I've written can grow. It all dies of my own A.D.D. I feel that maybe I used to be a more focused writer. Though maybe my writing itself wasn't focused, I could sit down and go and go and go until I had wasted 2,000 words of thought on the simple subject of adjusting from high school to college.

Something about writing trips you up. It's a different something for everybody, but no one can feel perfectly fine with the way they write. Otherwise they're not writing at all. They're doing some other menial activity.

Where has all the time gone? Oh I don't know. Oh, oh, but I don't know. Wake me up. I'm a timeaholic. I'm having the time of my life. Of all of our lives. I'm having it as though to myself, I am keeping the fourth dimension.

If everyone in the world battled cancer untreated at the same time, they would all die.
"Don't mess up my hair," God said, "ever."

--Eliot Sill

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stick a fire in the shellhole: A corn on the cob story

Now old Maurice was really uptight about his wares. There's hardly anything in his shop you could talk him down for. But his wife Candice would work the shop on Saturdays and that's when you could strike it rich. Something about the smiles of innocent children made an affable sale seem more important than cold currency.

One Saturday morning, after a couple hours of catch down at the sandlot, my friend Pete and I went down to Plum Pickin's for a score off the old batty woman. She had graying brown hair, and it was tied up in a bun on this particular morning. She was wearing a blue dress with frayed hems around the wrists. Pete and I had dirt all over our clothes from the ballfield and so she insisted we go outside and brush ourselves off before we look around.

In the back of the store — where all the good stuff was — we found an old chess set with about half the pieces missing. The pieces themselves were fair quality, made of old oak, and there were more black pieces than white. Carrying that and a set of used boxing gloves up to the counter, we asked Candice Pinsleton how much.

"Altogether that should be 10 dollars boys."
"Oh, but Mrs. Pinsleton," I groaned, "we only got five dollars on us between us both."
"Well, those boxing gloves are right expensive for a boy your age." (I was eleven) "You should ask your mother if she could get them for you as a birthday present." (My birthday was in two and a half weeks, but there's no way she could have known this)
"Well this chess set here is missing about half the pieces, and as you can see, these gloves have been used."
"Well everything in this store's used, Quinton, you know that." (Pete nudged me to indicate he was ready to leave. I shot him a look and he looked at his shoes.)
"But Pete doesn't have any money, and I'm buying these gloves mostly for him." Pete looked at Mrs. Pinsleton and became obnoxiously sullen. Mrs. Pinsleton sighed, and turned back to me.
"Do you boys have any change on you? Or just the five?"
"I've got a quarter and two dimes," Pete piped in.
"Well there you go," Mrs. Pinsleton was sold, "I'll take $5.45 for the lot."

We gave her the money and turned to leave when Maurice Pinsleton walked in, back from an early lunch or so it seemed.

"Howdy, what's going on here?" He asked.

Thinking quickly, Pete punched me in the stomach with one of the boxing gloves and I chased him out of the store.

I was mad though, because he had hit me hard, so I actually did chase him down and punch him in the back. Pete was ten.

From inside the store, the sound of the Pinsletons arguing became audible through a couple of the store's open windows. Meanwhile, I tried to think of ways to make a chess-based game that involved boxing. I also scanned the ground as I walked for any spare change that may be lying on the ground.

--Eliot Sill

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunrise Over the Back Balcony

robert langellier

In a sunrise you can witness the planetary shift at once. Besides shooting stars and sunsets, it’s the only time you can look at the sky and see it change in real time. You can see the universe moving, groaning out of bed. (Yes, you can see clouds move at any hour, but on the scale of things those are no more in the sky than my tall friend Will’s head is.) One second the sun is buried in the sheets of trees and pillowy rolling hills, and suddenly an explosion of light, a zero moment where the spin of the earth bangs the door open to a morning. And you’re rattled awake by sunlight that’s violent and warm. Where you once and will soon feel small and powerless, a hairy mote plugged to the wall of the universe in a frozen split second of time, instantly to combust and disappear forever into the infinites, well, now you’re a planet. You see a sun get up and conform to your very most powerful animal senses, sight and touch, its heat launching over the skyline and into the skin above your arms, and the Universe is your servant, not the other way around. It moves; and I move, you realize, and so why aren’t you a sun? You share and identify with its personalities. A heated body of energy. A mortal object. A collection of matter. No thing can make two objects so alike than being. The stained wooden railings of the outdoor balcony with industrial stamps still on them. The dirty trickling water that rolls lazily over concrete and jutted rocks and logs in the cut out creek below, moving toward the urban woods. The shot-out silver beer cans tied together with string and hanging over the water from a tree branch, dismembered by whizzing airsoft pellets. The chee-chee of the wintering chickadee. All is covered in light.