THE FOGGY SEA.
My hoarse voice—nothing here to please me—contact lenses in the dust—thin slivers of perfect disguise. Tattoo mark on Sam’s left arm. Faint rumble of aircraft over Canoga Park. Sam’s superior strength. He lays brutal blows upon my body. He does this with short harsh laughs. I am entering emotional exhaustion … the outer wall … the hint of the sun falls upon my body. Sam’s wooden features … his eager hands upon my body. The narrow space … the light of the dawn. I lean forward. I take a few steps … then heavy silence. I cannot breathe—an ex-surgeon’s jawbone—an illustration of a sledge-hammer. Sam in utter emotional exhaustion—beams of God—homicidal maniacs roaming throughout Hollywood Dell. My limbs … some other pharmacy items. I wear a trench coat. My expression shows a great loneliness. Sam tells me he has the correct teeth. He takes a deep sigh. Cigarette smoke through the pleasant hours. A long-drawn-out scream through the Lower East Side. The desk clerk moonlights in secret shipyards. He asks me what my technical capabilities are. How should I know? The available pale of Sam’s skin … the transaction of traditional substance abuse. I sunbake beneath the open sun. I sleep inside the hotel room … a quick nap. I rummage through the kitchen drawers. Light beam over LA. Sam has sooty hair—some exotic look—long fingers—he is a light sleeper—he has a frozen voice. Our apartment is a fire trap. I rifle through the kitchen drawers. I’m looking for unusual things. Sam tells me he abhors melodrama. I tell him it is one of the simple pleasures. We are the motionless youth … the child militias … we laze in these horrible afternoons … an electric cord around our waist. A plastic bag full of paranoid behaviour. Sam sucking on some fairy floss. A petrol cap in my back pocket. Sam pays me the rightful attention. Hot sun over Solano Canyon—pressure gauges and fire gasses all around. Vast black clouds inside incinerator halls. An audio booth carved into the cave floor. Police department learning peace control. I’m here. I don’t know why. It is as though Sam has something inside of him that wants things—wants to fill me with his foulness. The utter vacancy of the inner city—these long streets—those dark faces. Sam’s broad shoulders. His feet were running faster—so excited by the speed and the way it spread through his heart—to the point that he thought he might explode. A man in the crowd shouted a warning. A hand flew to his head. He heard it. A gasp—a whimper. I stood beside Sam—I heard the noise—the sound of a body sinking deep—and deeply—a person who had not been able to breathe. We were surrounded by plain-clothed police. Homicide details etched onto laundry wall—film spools—foul worlds—motion pictures—file cards and interesting barbarian—burnings and vitamin shots. We have gone beyond the abyss. We are the motionless youth … the early warning signs … Sam is an extraordinary thing full of energy and always smiling. Solar flares … dead shaman … Sam’s statue-like eyes—solvent in the veins. I am in a state of panic—all morning—no what could possibly be causing it. Paper bag full of dark air and lung noises. Empty parking lots. Sam wears some terrible mask that he purchased at Walmart. Sam keeps having these deep dreamless awake nights—the dull deep dim of thunder. The slow drag of ghosts … my sweaty brow. Tarot cards smeared with Brilliantine. Sam is a thick-set man. It’s cold—it’s dry—black smoke—a cigarette drips down my palm—the smoke from my cigarette falls towards Sam. We both stare into each other’s eyes. The cigarette still flickers as we share a single look. I get up to leave—the door is locked. Handbooks that contain information on humanity. I sit inside the past. It’s hard to describe. It’s the foggy sea—no water—and no life. My throat pulses—chest vibrations—hatred as a particular desire. An insect watches our deep thoughts—silver beetles upon my skin—an empty dry water-drain full of early morning footsteps. My cardiovascular medications. Sam has demographics and guidelines for his suicidal behaviour. Pine branches in the mid-afternoon sun. Body oil on my limbs … some other pharmacy items. I wear a trench coat. My expression shows a great loneliness. Sam tells me he has the correct teeth. He takes a deep sigh. Cigarette smoke through the kitchen drawers. I’m looking for unusual things. The strange technical jargon of North America. I check out the webcams. I move to Pittsburgh. We fuck against the mesh fence. Sam tells me he abhors melodrama. I tell him I’ll find him inside the hotel. We bury empty coffins—these smells of Central-Alameda. The smell of decay in the air. It’s no fun to bury anyone anymore. There are many bodies. A wave of bodies. You won’t get back at the government unless you believe in God. I take numerous deep breaths. A milky fungus between my fingers. Metal scraps on my inside … other scraps of no particular substance. Sam’s hair is a grey colour … his aftershave smells like stale bread. My backbone snaps … it is made of plastic. A massive list of unsocial adolescents. It isn’t a good idea to grow up—nor to get a minor traffic violation. A strange rocket over Los Angeles. Sam and I can’t afford to buy any food— empty boxes of eggs and sausage inside the refrigerator. We need more groceries. There’s a long line out the back of the store. The dead become part of the living. Fake fur … diesel engines compress creamy bodies. Sam and I sleep in the central stairwell … pillows with sharp edges … red spots on our eyes. Paraffin wax burnt to Sam’s earlobe. Sam suffers a great loneliness … his front yard is full of weeds. A doorway shuts and I don’t smile. My swollen legs … the solar system of Los Angeles. Clean hands cleaned with blood. Ice cream in a ceramic bowl.
Shane Jesse Christmass is the author of the books, Latex,Texas (Self Fuck, 2021), Xerox Over Manhattan (Apocalypse Party, 2019), Belfie Hell (Inside The Castle, 2018), Yeezus In Furs (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018), Napalm Recipe: Volume One (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), Police Force As A Corrupt Breeze (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2016) and Acid Shottas (The Ledatape Organisation, 2014). He was a member of the band Mattress Grave and is currently a member of Snake Milker. An archive of his writing/artwork/music/social media can be found at: https://linktr.ee/sjxsjc.
by Matthew J. Andrews
... My heart is a pack of wolves with no teeth, a herd of deer with no legs ...
by Brenna Womer
... how easy / it would be / to flay apart ...