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...
You don't hear much from the second person. Somewhere between the confessional first and the observational third, its rhetorical space is limited: instructions, injunctions, and the occasional bout of extemporaneous philosophizing. Yet its narrative impact can be profound. The metafictional adventures in If on a winter's night a traveler... come to mind, as do the drug- and literature-fueled escapades of Bright Lights, Big City. You might not have felt compelled to write in the second person before; or your might have exiled your second person exploits to a dusty corner of your hard drive, fearing literary irrelevance. Fear not! Your second person stories, or any other person narratives, for that matter, will happily be read at email@example.com.
Stopping for a Moment to Glance at Your Soul
It is a rainy night when you stop into the gallery. You are wearing an overcoat, long wool and black, and your scarf is wrapped tightly around your neck. You are on your way to a bar where jazz is the only music in the jukebox and elegant women with downcast eyes sit alone at the bar, drinking manhattans made with a good bourbon, and strong. You are on your way there to meet some new romance of yours, some new flame; things are indeterminate, and perhaps you have met only once before, and never kissed. You have in your gut the beginnings of a desire for this person, the kind that grows to consume you, but here in this hour of the night it is only just incubated by your thoughts of what this evening might hold: the desire fueled not by the presence of this person but by the thought of what their presence might mean. In your head you are hearing the opening music from a foreign film, mournful, and your hands are in your pockets because you have forgotten your gloves. It is too cold to smoke a cigarette, and the soft rain collects on the hairs of your overcoat, not penetrating, but sparkling in small drops that fall when you shrug your shoulders in to warm your neck. And you are walking along the busy street with car wheels splashing through puddles, and the sounds of street cars stopping and buses rumbling and people moving quickly everywhere, some with umbrellas, some with raincoats, some with hats and gloves. It is a night like this and you are thinking to yourself that when you get to the bar you will order a scotch, a single malt and not a blend: but not too expensive. And you are thinking to yourself that dinner sounds nice too, dinner somewhere with good food and wine, and you can sit there by the window talking of things urbane and profound, and watching pedestrians huddled in doorways outside as the rain intensifies, scurrying to open doors of cabs, carrying them away to their next destination. It is a night like this and you are thinking of other nights like this, some in spring when the weather is more unpredictable, some in summer when men throw their dinner jackets over their shoulders and worry about perspiration, some in autumn when the cold has not quite become bitter. And you are thinking that you should not yet allow this desire to consume you, not just yet. It is hard to say where things might lead. Walking down this street in this rain with these people around, you realize you are early for your evening, and passing by an open art gallery, a painting visible from outside catches your eye, a vast expanse of canvas almost white, except for a corner, where a vivid moment of paint arrives, tantalizing the eye. What is depicts is evocative but not realist, spontaneous, almost aggressive in its statement. You want more: this paint, exiled to the edge, insists on its primacy over the canvas, and the canvas resists. It is intricate, against the undifferentiated expanse; it is vibrant, against the blankness; it is exuberant, against the expressionlessness. You press yourself closer to the window. The gallery is empty, save for a man behind a white desk in the back. He is not looking at you. You think for a minute: is this enough? To see these paintings through a layer of glass, at oblique angles, distorted, untrue. Then you find yourself pushing open the glass door to the gallery, shaking your arms to loose the drops of water still clinging to your coat and scraping your boots on the entry mat, the ubiquitous grey kind with ridges to clear dirty soles. The man in the back behind the desk takes note of your presence with a glance and a nod, and having determined you are a mere interrogator of art and not a potential buyer, he returns to his work. And you are shaking off the chill and looking around: the gallery is the same as the world over, white walls, open space, the paintings lined up just so. The connection between the art on the walls and the feeling of the space is immediate and visceral, an aesthetic sucker punch. The white wall and the white canvas are one and you identify yourself as that spark of color, as that flush of interruption in an otherwise smooth and serene world. But then you take a deep breath, the feeling fades. You are looking at mostly blank canvases again, with little splashes of color that in their configurations suggest with confirming contortions of the human body, distant landscapes examined through a telescope, chattering insects, a blurry haze at dusk catching the orange tint of the sky. The titles corroborate no metaphor: Untitled, they all read. Oil on canvas. You move around the gallery in an art inspection shuffle, examining each one. Untitled. Oil on canvas. Each one the same. Each painting slightly different, the splash of color in a different position, the palette employed a variation of crimsons and forest greens and ochres and midnight blues, with streaks of violet and fuschia. For a second, a minute, an hour, you are removed from you present self, thrust back into your past with a violent motion, so that you are again playing in the foxtails outside of a vacation rental, hiking through redwoods and ferns, watching the play of light at sunrise across your first lover's hair. And then: snapped back into the present by a sound: the shuffle of new feet entering the gallery. Alone no longer, your reverie recedes. You are in a gallery again, with painting on the walls, and a man behind a desk, and a new visitor. A drop of perspiration has formed in your right armpit, and now it falls the brief distance between your flesh and the fabric of your shirt. The feeling of it landing reverberates through your skin and you know then it is time to leave, time to be on your way again. Without a backwards glance you walk to the heavy glass door, pull it open, and step out into the night again. And everywhere there is movement and motion, and you are late now, and in your gut that small spark of desire has grown, intensified, and you wonder as you dodge the umbrellas and animated limbs of passersby whether, once ensconced in the dimly lit bar, with a scotch in your hand and the gaze of a stranger focused upon you, you will share your reverie, share your moment of ex-temporality, or whether you will quietly hold it inside like a small thing, delicate and rare and cherished, to be observed and remembered only when a space in the world of quiet potential opens and you, reluctantly, step in.