Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
1A piece removed. 2Come eat it.
Or don't. 3Wine, Shoulder, Bolt, Socket. 4Mothbombs 5On the road with your only soul. 6One woman's trash is another woman's treasure 7Aliens! Right here in America! 8It's not as crazy as it sounds
or, music is as music does 91) Sign.
2) Hope for the best. 10A friendship in a bottle. 11A five-year-old tries his hand at action adventure. 12Will the circle be unbroken. 1390ways' first Quaterly Review rages on:
2 samples of Fiction. 14Muscles and fat.
A thin layer of sweat. 15Fiction goes serial.
Part 1 has sex and drugs.
You know you want to stay tuned. 16Our fiction serial concludes to cure your
vertigo from last week's cliff-hanger. 17An iced-out 21-speed sensation: The Moves are
all up on your handlebars. 18We're all in this together.
Except those bastards in administration. 19Jilted, laughed at,
and in the air. 20Swirling and swirling... 21You can't make yourself like them, but you have to pretend because they are your family. 22How well do jewel cases retain odor?
About as well as you stink. 23It's black and white. It's old world.
It's photo time. 24Piggy calls, wanting to sell you insurance.
This is what's on the other end of the line. 25A long pause, then, 26Fiction's Second Qaurterly Review
can speak Italian. 27It's only bread, after all. 28It's job search time at 90ways. 29George W. Bush's resting heart rate and a bum in a green sweater. 30Antique weaponry and teenage angst.
Together at last. 31One-hundred-fifty-three syllables
of October fun. 32there is only
self 33She's cold to the touch.
Cold and pebbly. 34Gut-wrenching love.
And wallabies. 35Building a habit out of ivies and orange flowers. 36A 90ways exclusive sneak peak at the
new and groundbreaking Alphabet Book. 37Type it with one hand and
see what happens 38A face any susbsitence farmer could love. 39The Quarterly Review: read it again for the third time. 40For every task, someone is the best.
Sometimes that's impressive. 41I didn't get a computer;
I moved to Indiana. 42A piece removed. 4390ways has new concerns about identity theft. Lock up the children and your sense of self. 44time. eyes. deep sighs. 45I know there's a place 4690 stars are born. 47I had to ask. 48It's about sex.
But isn't that always the way with classical music? 49The epistolary form in the 21st century.
Complete with neuroses and unpunctuation. 50There is no end to the party. 51Rockin to the sweet sounds of prepared food. 52Of or pertaining to. 53Including spaces, this blurb is 90 characters. Ways, words, characters. It is a leitmotif. 54Minnesota. Miami. Poetry in 90ways' Fiction.
It's the best of all worlds. 55It lives and breathes and is hungry for carnival food. 56A piece removed. 57The curtain is being pulled back... 58Up in the Fiction house! It's a bird. It's a plane.
It's an illustralogue! 59The hat, in all honesty, is a private matter. 60Putting up with all the doth. 6190words strike terror into the hearts of the longwinded. 62Return of the illustralogue! 63Take one down, pass it around,
blow your nose. 64A piece removed. 65The First Quarterly Review wants
you to meet its little friend. 66From our servers to your ear buds!
It's misguided enthusiasm, in podcast form! 67Questions for the man himself.
Plus, the podcast adventure continues. 68No one would ever use Starbucks
to define their identity. Right... 69Don't you remember the rose clipped under my windshield wiper like a butterfly under a pin? 70Oh, it's nothing.
Oh, it's life-threatening disease. 71It's not you. It's me.
And my Eurasian captors.
72Root, root, root for the brisk
sale of anything possible. 73Look within the very bowels of the soul.
Or at least your mother. 74We're not strangers any more. 75He knows of what he speaks. 76I find that often times I'm quite
mature enough to enjoy a few beverages. 77He is licking me.
I don't like it one bit. 78Our favorite stuff is coming 'round the mountain, again. 79A wooden-back brush and a homemade bowl of oatmeal. 80A man's home is his... 81Fack to the Buture. 82This dude pulled back on his nose
and mucus and unleashed a city. 83The polls are in. 93% of respondents do not approve of the monkeybone lodged in their lower lip 84Like a thirsty man in the desert 85Taxpayer dollars wasted on broken egg. News at eleven. 86She loves her red octopus.
She will chew it to death. 87Bubbling, gurgling, fighting a moment to stay afloat. 88Molting our pasts into the air... 89The Return of 90 Words 90It comes but once a... ever. 91Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, the end of the Fiscal Quarter. 92The 540 word circle is now unbroken. 93An emptying out of the animus, perceived as tranquility
94All roads lead to South Dakota. Or at least the I-90 does, anyway. 95He laid down his whittling knife and he and his brother took up arms in rage. 96Drinking manhattans made with a good bourbon, and strong. 97Living white and pudgy, I never expected much for myself. Now, I could tell that was true. 98A few gestural lines towards the thought of death. 99Rest in peace.
I know I will. 100And then we played baseball and then we played army and then we were best friends. 101We torn holes in sheets and became ghosts for each other's pleasures. 102I looked at the pictures of you, twenty years old,
sometimes skinny and sometimes your face a soft moon.
103Fingers clutching little trinkets of the day... 104All roads lead to South Dakota. Or at least the I-90 does, anyway. 105Everywhere signs of an interstice arriving. 106What you see and what you believe are two different things. 107It was as if a million literary ghosts poured from its pages, moaning to be set free. 108So what if too many times we have been here, both
lost in our machinations...
I went to Naples
because all the Italians told me it's where people go crazy
went thinking a real epic journey was ahead
British Admirals, well respected around the world for their tight upper lips
go to Naples my son
in the shadow of Vesuvius
grabbing at its parts
fat women cooking flesh
their hands scratching their pubic hair when a cat crosses the path
the finest Italian leather, cuffs on pants
a shirt pulled tight onto a young brown skin -- they put on lotion to make the sun burn them more -- that's backwards -- to burn them more -- not protecting -- it makes them more tan.
of course, shit, I thought, Naples, open, asking, of course, it eats the sun right up like this
and the wind boo hoo ing all the time
British Admirals come to Naples
see churches with armed guards and bullet holes
all the dogs have balls
Padre, a cat crosses my path I grab between my legs
piazzas are enormous echo chambers late at night
a stone city, everyone sitting on stony ground carved out of a volcano, getting stoned
bones, dogs barking teeth
I sat down, there was a woman -- I don't think she came from Naples
selling books on the side of the street, it said
Lo Stato Sono Io
and the President on the cover was grinning.
The Greeks came over here, thinking
they must have been thinking
it was magical. They founded Cuma, they settled on Ischia
There is a lake nearby that is so sulfuric that when birds fly over it they die
can that really be true?
that can't be true -- oh we all thought that at some point, grin, that can't be true
no it's in the book, look at the next photo
a bird tumbling down, dying
The Greeks thought that the lake was an entrance to the underworld. Then the Romans
came and killed them. then Normans, Spaniards, Bourbons, Germans, Americans, now the Italians have managed to take it over... wait, what do you mean the Italians?
was Napoleon ever here?
hell, anybody who's really worth anything has conquered the region... hey, how many Napulitanos does it take to defend Naples? No one knows, it's never happened, everyone just stomps their way through there I'm such a stupid American kid I thought I'm too young for this shit, you wanna go modern, the Germans marched right up and down these streets, no -- we didn't need to be liberated from Mussolini, we believed in Mussolini -- and fuck me, who's my President? grinning on top of book covers around the world.
NATO's got a base right around the corner. American Admirals come here and go crazy, surprised that there's no place to hear good American jazz. The place has got the soul for it. Maybe we just can't find it.
Turn on the t.v. There's one American t.v. network that you can get. Guess which? FOX. hello, Bill O'Reilly. hello, Clueless.
So, I came here for all of this. Of course I'm going to go a little bit crazy right? I mean, I came over with the hopes of being jostled about, getting my ideology shook up a bit. You gotta travel man, you gotta travel. See something new.
okay, fantasy number one...
this part is actually true, it's all true
okay, so I'm a waiter at a restaurant on a little tiny island right off the coast of Naples, it connects to the city with a short bridge. When I walk home late at night from work, I walk on that bridge and sometimes, I'm tired and I see the moon and I joke to myself that I'm a wolf. I'm at the edge of the world and I feel like howling.
The restaurant is open from 6:00 or 7:00pm 'til about 3:00 in the morning. None of the Napulitanos show up till around 11:00, and then it's packed. It's surrounded by the water and the crashing waves up against the castle that sits always in the distance. The last Emperor of the Roman Empire, Romulus Augustus was locked up in that castle, but I don't know who he is or really care that much.
okay, so at around 2:00am the Motorcycle Napulitanos start riding through. The little island has a loop that the Motorcycle Napulitanos ride on, circling around the island, motorcycling with helmuts of hair and slick European sunglasses. Women grab on. You can circle them, tightening up, till they smell you, ears dart up and they start reaching out. I'm just a lonely American with nowhere to go throw in a Mingus bass line I'm just a lonely American with nowhere to go. I came here because it's the capital of the world of beautiful women... I see that you're the Emperor. Lo stato sei tu.
It's almost sexual watching the Neapolitan Women get on and off of these motorcycles all night long. I think, "I'm a lonely American with no hopes, no aspirations, my jaw hanging to the floor." One of the Napulitanos grabs my ass, I turn around, he slaps me in the face and runs off laughing. A whole group laughs. I laugh. I don't know what else to do. I laugh some more, thinking about that American kid that laughs when you slap him. What a fool.
This is about the time that you enter my fantasy, my Napulitana, with short blond curls. I'm not sure how you got your hair to do that, but I know it's not natural. You walked right past me, got off one of the motorcycles, but I didn't see which one, you walked right past me, tight jeans, wide hips, a black shirt with its hands full. You were wearing those Italian leather boots that in any other country I would find overstated and foolish, but somehow, I came here to go crazy and they are just perfect.
But, it's the back that will make me remember you years from now. After you pass me, I see your back, completely uncovered and flexing, arched, a deep tan. It's the only part of you that I can see, your back, sweating just enough that it shines. My hands reach out through my eyes and think of all the things I could learn touching that back, that back, thick and strong, muscles and fat. I couldn't hurt you if I tried. I think of the shapes that our backs could make together. I get creative.
I think about you breaking my heart, and wonder if you already have. Muscles and fat, muscles and fat and that thin layer of sweat, so that it shines. You walk over to one of the Motorcycle Napulitanos. Italian eyes creep out from behind his sunglasses. (It is nighttime, you Italian prick. You are driving a motorcycle. I think that you could take the sunglasses off and stop looking cooler than me. At least for a second.) The eyes look at me and he puts his hand on the back, pushing hard enough that the flesh changes. In my head, he says, "First time in Naples, huh? You have no idea, kid. Go back to Iowa, or Texas, or wherever the hell you're from."
And then it's over. You go off with him and I think that's fine, that's fine... at least I saw something. That's a good reason to try and live somewhere else. At least I saw something that I can remember. I know something more, I must, the world must be a bigger place after something like this.
When I walked home across the tiny bridge that night I thought about how every time I think I know something it's just ignorance to my lack of knowing.