2012: Metazen (ebook, mag) | Connotation Press One / Two | In Those Days We | Flash Frontier | Hobo Camp Review | Blue Fifth Review | Bluestem | Santa Fe Literary Review | Thrice | Press 1 | Truck | THIS | Zouch Magazine | Tulpendiebe | Sadcore Dadwave | Mad Hatters Review | Tuck Magazine | Yareah Magazine One / Two | The Rusty Nail | 7 x 20 | the view from here | Blue Fifth Review | fwriction : review | ILK Journal | Baker’s Dozen | Letras Caseras | Dogzplot | PANK | Mad Hatters Review Blog | Reprint Poetry | A-Minor | decomP magazine | TrainWrite | Fatboy Review — 2011: Airplane ReadingFatboy Review | Dogzplot |  Letras CaserasNecessary FictionOccupy Writers | Referential Magazine | Metazen (1, 2)| kill author (1, 2) | Wilderness House Literary Review (1, 2) | Pure Slush (1, 2) | Atticus Review (1, 2) | Mad Hatters Review (1, 23) | Camroc Press Review | you are hereBlue Fifth Review | 52/250 | Blue Print Review | 4’33” | qarrtsiluni | Used Furniture Review | river of stones | Ramshackle Review | The Rumpus (1, 2) | The Glass Coin | fwriction:reviewČervená Barva Press | Short, Fast and Deadly | Wrong Tree Review2009—2010

Cover photo: Diane Marie.My story “Mr Thumb”/”Herr Häwelmann” (transl. Carlye Birkenkrahe) is in the Metazen Christmas Ebook (with audio in German & English). Excerpt:[#140]

«Tom Thumb is a real man now, but he’s still small. He has that in common with all the other literary characters. Not that he’s small, but that he grew up. Ishmael for example: now he has a stomach so big and round that there’s room for a small whale in there.»

Rider Portrait by Sturgis07 via WikimediaThe Blue Rider” appeared at Metazen. This flash story doesn’t pack a lot of Christmas spirit, but on December 21, 2012 perhaps this is just what we all need…Excerpt:[#139]

«I hacked into this man’s head. He was white as a church candlestick. I shoved my purple power source into his eardrums and played solo with his band of graybeard sorry-ass views, which went all in the same direction: all he cared about was attention….»

German garden gnomeThree sombre micros from Germany’s crafty gnomes: SEAGULL, AMOUR FOU and BOGEY — in the new issue of Connotation Press, an Online Artefact. Says editor Meg Tuite:[#136-138]

Marcus Speh submerges us in the empty promises and lies in a failed relationship and yet still the hope for a new one to arise in his three micro-flash, “Seagull,” “Amour Fou,” and “Bogey.”

“In Those Days We” ed. by Jennifer Tomaloff (2012) contains my Sci-Fi stories “Friends” and “Rokovoko”. The online book is available at Issuu. Paperback version at Amazon. Excerpt:

«Tara, I look at us in that photo, taken so many years ago, I look at you sandwiched between Tom and me, with our left arms in casts, so ridiculous, it makes me think of music that is ridiculous also, music by Charles Ives with two bands playing against one another, or two melodies backpacking a third, or an instrument entering a dialog of two other instruments like a dangerous stranger. »

«October: FLIGHT», the 1st international edition of New Zealand’s online mag “Flash Frontier” includes my flash “The Butterfly Collector“, one of the dreamier pieces from my mosaic novel “Gizella” forthcoming from Folded Word. Excerpt: [#133]

«We lived on a dahlia once. Then, a fresh breath of creation still lay upon the land. We were happy people, flower folk, and we didn’t mind that success came in all sizes, small and large, because failure did, too.»

Family“, the story of my vampire brother, is my contribution to the Halloween frenzy unfolding at present at the stylish Hobo Camp Review (issue 15). Excerpt: [#132]

«November is a lazy month. It’s also the month when I recover from my brother’s visit which invariably takes place on Halloween. I might just as well get it out of the way now: my brother isn’t any man. He’s a vampire and (if he can be trusted) he is an important vampire wherever it is that vampires can be important, since obviously they don’t live among us. Except on Halloween.»

John Liston Byam Shaw The Caged Birdthe blue collection 2: music” from blue fifth review contains my flash “Symphony”, the story of Tara and her music teacher. This is a beautiful issue with many writers, artists and poets. Excerpt: [#131]

«If the new music teacher Mr. Eisenberg would have had one hair less on his head he would have looked like a termite king…»

Demons“, now published at Bluestem Magazine (with audio), describes the (fictitious) visit of the former German tycoon Fritz Thyssen in the cell of Hermann Göring (shown on the right in a characteristic pose) in Nuremberg, one day before Göring was going to be hanged. Excerpt: [#130]

«Göring drops his heavy hands into his lap. He bows his head and from above Thyssen can see how deep the bags are under his eye. Göring’s cheeks, once so filled with borrowed joy, are now folded against his skull bones like the leathery skin of a tired old bat.»

My “The Serious Writer” series keeps reappearing: perhaps you can’t keep a serious writer down? One of my favorite stories of the series is “The Serious Writer Occupies Wall Street”. Originally written for OccupyWriters, this flash has now found its way into the beautiful 2012 issue of the Santa Fe Literary Review, available both in print, as PDF and in digital magazine format. Excerpt: [#129]

«When thinking of the commotion surrounding Wall Street, the serious writer gets very upset. But he is distracted by his personal life: a letter reminds him to pay his taxes, which makes him want to go back to sleep every time.»

Thrice Fiction Magazine is one of the finest literary productions out there: art, fiction, poetry and experimental vision all come together. My piece “Android Clippings” in issue No. 5 is a collection of newspaper clippings for machine-men. Excerpt:[#128]

«Who needs your writing? I tell you who does: you. That’s the beginning and the end of it all. If you don’t need your own work more than anybody, there’ll be no voice coming up from the void, no angel descending from up high, who asks you nicely. No demons will fly around your head pestering you to please believe in the value of your words.»

«Electric Eyes», «Morphic» and «Escape» were published in Press 1 alongside artwork by Anthony Amato Jr., which lends an archaic, fierce feel to the July 2012 issue. This seems strangely well matched with my flash pieces, which are all located at the absurd spectrum of my work. Excerpt (from Electric Eyes): [#125-127]

“Missed the bus today. Hung out at the stop for a bit, then drifted into thoughts of alien spaceships fighting over the last women on the planet. I wondered if all things were what they seemed to be.“

Photo: Jürgen Fauth

Truck, the poetry e-zine that professes to be self-propelled by dark poetic oil, has now published my poem “Secret Brush Strokes”, which was inspired largely by medieval imagery. Excerpt: [#124]

Jungle beans. Arctic badgers. Green steaks. Following clouds. Tarnished vagabonds. Ludicrous fingers. Fantastic booleans.

Mother’s Day” was written as a story of hope that I always felt motherhood (and fatherhood) need and deserve. THIS literary magazine published it in their May/June issue. Excerpt: [#123]

«After twenty years of marriage K. had given H. everything except children. It was too late for that. Everybody said so, especially the doctors, who were the experts on childbearing. H. had been 67 when he met K., who was 37 then. Biology had spoken.»

My short story, “Speaking of Women“, is at Zouch Magazine. The quote by Proust at the start of the piece prompted this story about the relationship of men and women, Excerpt: [#122]

«Just to take time out to create another woman seems difficult these days. The demands on a designer of females are horrendous: suddenly everyone wants them made to special order – no more “I am so happy that I have one at all!” The standard C cup sized brunette with enough cleavage to put your stubbly, worry-rutted face between soft hills and still feel contained enough but not smothered…how much thought and design went into that simple notion!»

The Berlin Party Is Over, 1961“, posted at Jürgen Fauth’s Tumblr mash-up site “Tulpendiebe” is also the title of a photo by Herbert Tobias, and comes with a German translation: [#121]

«This morning, I walked across the square that had once been in the No Man’s land separating the sectors of Berlin when I noticed an old man by the side of the road who pointed upward and said, “This is where they show the best movies.” I followed his finger and saw that he was pointing at the blue, empty sky: nothing was happening there; everything was happening there.»

The new alt/litmag SADCORE DADWAVE unites daddies and mommies. My prose poem “A Young Writer’s Prayer For His Daddy” is in there, accompanied by this drawing of her grandfather as a young man, by my daughter. Excerpt: [#120]

«when I’m ill I feel your hand on my forehead, a blue veined cool palm leaf spreading calm; wordlessly I hunt in your wake with the holy harpoon that I sharpened for so many years under your tutelage»

MHR 13 is a wonderful tribute issue worthy of Carol Novack’s quirky genius. She’d have been over the moon about it. Perhaps that’s where she is right now looking down at us, who knows. (She’d not have appreciated that sentimental notion of an afterlife, but she’s not here to tell me off, alas.) I have three excerpts from my upcoming collection with audio versions in there, “Ginger”, “Listen” and “The Passage”—wildly different pieces from my upcoming collection. [#116-118]

How serious can you get? I wrote “The Serious Writer in Texas” during a Corpus Christi vacation. It seems still fresh to me, especially when I think of Texas heat and Texas roads. Published now in the May issue of Tuck Magazine. Excerpt: [#115]

«He wonders if the billboard yelling “drink – drive – go to jail” is an incitement for a young Kerouac. The roads are broken bones of baked Earth and oil. Every time the writer’s car heads for a hole he tenses up but he forgets that this isn’t just a vehicle, it’s a way of life on wagon wheels.»

As a virtually Spanish venue, Yareah Magazine mixes art, literature and opinion in a strong, quixotic cocktail. My story “Meeting Marie Calloway Without Adrien Brody“, dedicated to a young writer of recent Internet-fame, is a genre-bending piece that may send your mind into a spin. So be it! Comes with two paintings by me. Excerpt: [#113]

«The first alien came as a rose out of the rocky ground. It grew on a mountain slope, shadowed by a lonely olive tree. It grew in three days from a seed that had drifted there on a high, forgiving wind after the crash and burn of the starship.»

Yareah Magazine is a lushly imagined, fantabolistic webzine with Spanish blood that has published my enthusiastic rant “Spring Things To Do” surrounded by Botticelli (issue 24). What could be more beautiful? Excerpt: [#112]

«This spring I will forsake all donations in the form of soft compliments. Those that I have received already I will convert into hard currency. I will be my own arrow and my own target. I will practice putting my inner princess to work. There will be frogs available for lower prices than ever in the history of fairy tales.»

Photo credit: Oleuanna (prompted and titled “Le Sucre Brun”, one of the five nightmares) “Five Nightmares” are just that: bad things happening in a world beyond this world. Now published at The Rusty Nail, issue #4. Excerpt: [#111]

«When they took her hair, she smiled and looked down. When they took her clothes, she smiled, looked away. When they took her necklace, a simple chain with a heart-shaped ruby, round like a kind thought, she smiled a strained smile, held onto it with long fingers used to pen and paper, said: Do you really need this? It’s my mother’s. They took it anyway.»

“7 x 20” is an online magazine that only publishes via Twitter. My contribution is part of “Secret Brush Strokes“, a poem written by me in 2011. [#110]

The View From Here promises “the weird, unusual, thought provoking and occasionally bizarre”, and I believe I could deliver just that with my new story “THANK YOUR FOR YOUR SPERM“. Excerpt: [#109]

«After eons of running the world more or less responsibly, the olympic gods have tired of their fates. They seek change. Mars, god of war, has dropped his shield and sword. He’s fully surrendered to his libido and embarks on a 1000 day fornic-a-thon.»

I’m back at Blue Fifth Review in their Winter Quarterly “Ekphrastic / Literature” with “Book Breath“, another shard from my mosaic novel “Gizella” (forthcoming from Folded Word) based on the life of Gisela of Hungary around 1000 A.D. Excerpt: [#108]

«If you let me take three things to heaven, this is what I will choose: my eyes, for they have seen beauty; my left hand, which can bring a drawing to life; and the pillow in which I’ve cried my dreams of so many years.»

Return of the fallen…I’m the first author to come back to that sweet fountain of fiction called fwriction:review, tastefully & superbly edited by Danny Goodman, with the flash “CANDY“—excerpt: [#107]

«The fire-man cometh, the children cried and began to dance as their parents had danced and the parents of their parents before them. He’s coming, he’s coming, hizzah huzzah, they sang cheerfully.»

Wrote on found objects only during our Texas vacation.

Two stories in the fabulous 2nd issue of ILK Journal: “SELECTED WORKS OF A HERMIT CRAB WRITTEN ON SHELLS, STONES AND SCALES” came from the bottom of the sea. I found it on a Texan beach. “ANSWER ME”, on the other hand, is part of the novel “Gizella” (forthcoming from Folded Word). Excerpt: [#105-106]

«I’m like the sun: there’s only one of me. I’m like the last beat of your heart: no sound escapes my hollow. Do not publish what you don’t understand: copies do not cement truth, they bury it. If you believe in stony men they’ll skewer your smile. Stick to soft surfaces: your skin is never the same surprise.»

Baker’s Dozen’s first issue explodes with art, poetry and prose—13 extraordinary contributions. I’m glad that “Winter Garden” is part of their first cake-miracle. With issue one, eds. Michelle Elvy and John Wentworth Chapin follow up on their amazing project “52|250—A Year Of Flash”. Excerpt: [#104]

«Headlines for the death of a garden in fall. The subterranean voices of spiders. The tragic musical of the year’s last butterfly dance. Married toads who pretend to be pretty frogs, because frogs have the fancier love life.»

Happy Feet” came out of my deeply felt love for penguins. Another one one at Roberto C Garcia’s new venue “Letras Caseras”, packed with political poetry and prose. Excerpt: [#103]

«The other day, a penguin showed up at St Paul’s tent settlement wearing a sign around his neck that said: “Occupy Antarctica”. We gathered round him: he was the first of his kind to join them. When passers-by congratulated him on his commitment to the cause, the penguin asked for some fish first.»

Photo: State Library of New South Wales.

Little red riding hood is strong symbolic stuff. I’m using her in “Sniper“, published at Dogzplot, a piece originally written for this photo by Catherine Davis. Excerpt: [#102]

«I sat on top of a Sycamore tree, comfy, and looked around, aimed here and there without any real passion for aiming until a girl appeared. She looked like Little Red Riding Hood without the hood.»

It’s not often that my own writing gives me the chills: “The Sodomized Dictator” still does. I wrote it after the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 uprising in Libya. Now published in PANK magazine with an interview. Excerpt: [#101]

«In the night after the killing, Ali washes himself in a bowl. His wife comes close and takes his hands, slowly stroking them with hers.»

There is a virtual funeral service for my dear friend Carol Novack (1948-2011) at MHR blog, organized by Marc Vincenz. My flash “For Carol Novack” is up there together with a string of other tributes that are testimony to Carol’s singularity. Please pay your respects to this wonderful writer. Excerpt: [#100]

«In the cities, the people don’t age, they become stones instead. They don’t turn into any old stones, but into stones that sit on top of other stones transcending everything that man is capable of building.»

Photo: Carol Novack 1974, by T. Bennett (via John Jenkins’ tribute).

It’s night in Paris & people have unwholesome encounters — the poetic resurrectionists of Reprint Poetry liked and published “A Classy Whore” (and they also came up with the new title). This is the right story for a classy mag with shades of Victorian times or late afternoons on the cemetery of Pere Lachaise looking at the graves of dead poets. Enjoy. Excerpt: [#99]

«A classy whore who heaved herself onto the street despite a cold that made her feel shaky, suddenly saw that she didn’t care about being classy after all anymore.»

Eternitude“, published at the fabulous, stylish A-Minor magazine (ed. Nicolette Wong) is my daughter’s favorite tale of all my tales. It comes with a drawing that I made for the story. Excerpt: [#98]

«We travel through spring, slaying mythical beasts. We keep a dwarf, who chews a precious stone for us.»

From Russia With Love” at decomP magazine is based on a true story related to me by one of my mysterious Russian friends. This piece comes with a carefully accentuated audio recording. Excerpt: [#97]

«Two heads and founders of two companies jumped out of windows to their deaths in the presence of their families. The autopsy showed that they both had a synthetic amphetamine in their blood which is known to induce instant suicidal feelings.»

TrainWrite published “Lefthand View“, my small glimpse at another world that you only see shortly because you ride by on a fast train…—excerpt: [#96]

«The city grew around the small brick house like an oyster around a dark pearl of uncertain nature. Inside the house, the two old people moved little as if saving themselves for a long journey.»

My short story “Berlin Pastoral”, first performed publicly at This Berlin Life in Berlin and later at the 4’33” event in London, was published in 12 installments as part of the annual “12 Days” issue in Fatboy Review [Update: story is part of my 2013 collection]. It begins like this: [#93]

«Susi, Uschi and Tom live on a balcony above busy Helmholtzplatz in Berlin. They’re not strictly speaking homeless: the balcony has got a roof. They live there throughout the year, in winter and in summer. You know people like this exist. You’ve probably waved at them from the street. It’s tight up there, but they never complain.»

The complete audio recording of this story during the first 4’33” live event is here. Also picked by online readers of Flash Fiction Chronicles as one of the favorites for Short Story Month 2013.

Airplane Reading has a great concept and fits in your pocket, too. My memory “Touching Robert Coover in Providence” was published there. Excerpt: [#94]

«Suddenly I remember my trip through the U.S. in 1980: no cells; the locked dials of the Bakelite phone next to the motel bed. 70s colors everywhere, today’s retro was still just yesterday then.»

My short story “Berlin Pastoral, first performed publicly at This Berlin Life in Berlin and later at the 4’33” event in London, is published in 12 installments as part of the annual “12 Days” issue in Fatboy Review. The beginning goes like this: [#93]

«Susi, Uschi and Tom live on a balcony above busy Helmholtzplatz in Berlin. They’re not strictly speaking homeless: the balcony has got a roof. They live there throughout the year, in winter and in summer. You know people like this exist. You’ve probably waved at them from the street. It’s tight up there, but they never complain.»

An old lady is smitten with a little man: Dogzplot published “Thumbling“—excerpt: [#92]

«They fucked every night like weasels. Making love seemed to be the only way to fend off the sure knowledge that they’d both wrinkle and die one day. Before daily sex they’d tried: community work; mad shopping; robbing a bank; overeating and puking; complaining; bullying other couples.»

Back at The Rumpus in the “Readers Report Back From…” column. My “Leftovers”: an unnamed flash from the flash novel “Gizella” in which two knights, Hont and Paznan, muse on death and marriage—excerpt: [#91]

«Suddenly, the wind got hold of the hammock. Leaves murmured. It was cold and the sun had gone down.»

Letras Caseras (ed. Roberto C. Garcia) published “a fable” from the animal kingdom—excerpt: [#90]

«the last lion king said nothing when nothing was left to be said to the large crowd of animals who stood in front of his throne his beloved throne and they looked at him as they had throughout the many years of his reign»

Kathy Fish, writer in residence at Necessary Fiction in December 2011, picked my flash “Fox” and published it alongside a drawing by Taffimai and a little background story to the piece, which forms part of my flash novella “Gizella“—excerpt: [#89]

«It had stopped raining. I saw a fox in the garden hide something. From where I stood it looked like a shoe with a foot still in it. I thought perhaps the fox wanted to hide the foot for his brood and he wanted it to rot a little because, who knows, perhaps foxes like their meat somewhat rotten. Or perhaps he liked the shoe and wished to wear it but being a fox he had four paws and needed four shoes and he only found one.»

OccupyWriters.com | @occupywriters

The Serious Writer Occupies Wall Street” has been published by “OccupyWriters” among a wonderful cast of other writers including the much admired Francine Prose, Alice Walker and Ursula Le Guin. Excerpt: [#88]

«He often cannot find the words these days. He thinks and feels in colors and sounds rather than letters. “Who knows,” says the helper in that moment, “if they’ll ever invent a happy pill. That’s the one I’d like to take.”»

Mummenschanz” (German for “mummery“), now published at Mad Hatters Review, was originally written for the 100 Days And Nights series of medieval pieces: [#87]

«Timothy Cabbage’s Circus offered the greatest attractions from everywhere in the world: he had the seven-fingered girl Rosa, who was otherwise “beautiful as an Asian princess” though she came from a village on the Adriatic sea; he had Frantik, the dwarf from Andorra, who could support his own body weight with only his tongue; he had the talking elephant, who had lost his voice in a Babylonian fire but could write “I am all alone” into the sand with his trunk.»

Referential Magazine, ed. by poet Jessie Carty, is based on the idea of references, or links between authors and their works. My flash “Tripping” links to a term in my good buddy Christopher Allen’s brilliant “A Husk of Hare” (I made an audio recording of his piece). From “Tripping“: [#86]

«She noticed a piece of vegetable matter stuck between them and tried to suck it loose, making noises like a leaky toilet. “Why do you have to be so dif-fi-fuck-ing-cult, Jacques,” she said, extracting something from her mouth. She held it between two fingers and, slithering towards Jack, held it up in front of his eyes: “Look, cherie, un peu de réalité, bébé,” she said.»

This story for Metazen consists of fragments of a dream & draws on images that my dad told me when I was a toddler & he brought me to bed with a fantastic story of his own making, every night. Enjoy MISERY PARLOR: [#85]

«Every day the same deal: getting up; getting food; getting to work; searching the sky for signs of divine intervention; collecting looks from train travelers; putting the inner clock forward; walking out into the sun during lunch break; dozing off on a park bench with the most exciting wonderful dream in your head…»

Issue 15 of > killauthor is named after one of my favorite writers, Ann Quin. My collage THREE BERG PASSAGES: A TRIPTYCH is named after three of Quin’s novels. It comes with an audio recording (unusually raspy after a cold) & a review by Kenny Mooney [#82-#84]

«The rat was woken by lightning. Next to the rat, on the other side of the paper thin wall, lay a couple. The rat and the man stared upwards (some rats, like men, sleep on their backs) and sighed at the same time, proving the deep connection between their species.»

Photo: Wilderness House Literary Review

THREE QUESTIONS“, not surprisingly, consists of three questions: WHY, HOW and WHEN, and appeared in the content-rich Wilderness House Literary Review fall issue (6.3), ed. Susan Tepper.  I’m sure, Gertrude Stein would have found a more succinct, less flowery way of answering these fundamental questions. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize [#79-#81]:
“I’ve lost track of my question in the course of a lifetime.” —“Perhaps,” she said, “the answers are just as forgettable as the questions were.”

I’m the featured author at Pure Slush in Oct ’11 with five “Serious Writer” stories: “The Serious Writer And His Mother“; “The Social Life Of The Serious Writer“; “The Serious Writer And His Hamster“; “The Serious Writer Buys An iPad“; and “The Serious Writer Cuddles Up“: [#74-#78]

«At night, the serious writer eats steak and smokes bamboo stalks. He washes the day down with a glass of scotch. His bed is a wet concern at the bottom of an iron lake where he tells himself lies, ambivalence-stricken, looking for true feeling, alone now, a ferruginous plant, watered by the people in his life.»

Photo: Pawel Maciejewski

The Last Story“: I wrote this rather contemplative story shortly after J D Salinger’s death last year and I’m utterly pleased to have it come out now at the splendid, still spanking new Atticus Review alongside a great editorial by Katrina Gray: [#73]

«The serious writer always knew there would be a last story but when the time was near, he felt ill-prepared.»

Back at Metazen, which some think is a powerful medication, or a temple for meditation…but whatever it is, it’s a great, happening, magazine with daily stories & poems. Out now is my flash “Swingers“—nominated for a Micro Award[#72]

«…that damned abyss of being that stops us from seeing anyone else but images of ourselves, our image repeated in everyone around us forever.»

Mad hatter material: “Mermaids Are Supermodels” is now at Mad Hatters Review Blog, edited by Marc Vincenz. With its love for “post post postmodern post avant-gardey literature“, mhr is my kind of mag: [#71]

«The deranged sailors’ favorite pastime is the spinning of yarn: one of them, an old guy, ends every story with a loud wet fart.»

It’s lovely to be back at the clean, minimal, story-focused Camroc Press Review, edited by Barry Basden. My flash story “Max Ernst in Sedona” was prompted by this exceptional movie still: [#70]

«He talks to the rocks. He tells them who he is and he’s impressed by their stoicism. He hasn’t lost his good looks but the Navajo women aren’t interested in the painter who sits half-naked under a Jojoba tree and asks about spirits and sauces because he likes his potatoes with thick sauce like Germans do.»

you are here — the journal of creative geography” from the University of Arizona, published part of my petrified multi-volume opus “Selected Works Of A Hermit Crab Written On Shells, Stones And Scales” in their issue #14 — Dislocation: [#69]

«A man made his living by writing prose poems on found shells using the finest calligraphy ever seen. Whenever anyone tried to copy his fragile creations, they lost all their might. The president of his country gave 9 of his texts, consisting of 100 words each, written on the dried skinless skulls of the rare Sargasso sea turtle to the heads of state of the world’s 9 leading nations. One day a master thief stole all nine skulls and held them ransom for 1 billion dollars. Subsequently, the heads of state met with the prose poet for 1 incredibly long hour in which he painted one letter on the nail of the right thumb of each of them. The letters spelled “never mind”. From that day on, politics turned poetic and never again became the butterfly business it had been before.»

I’ve been “Romancing My Youth” under the tutelage of editor Susan Tepper in the Wilderness House Review 6.2 — [#68]:

«As a boy, I often laid in my bed and stared through a hole in the ceiling at the ceiling of the apartment above us where a Viking woman lived…When I met her on the stairs, I focused on her freckles, which, I imagined, ran over her neck and shoulders, across the thin skin of her sternum towards her nipples as if they were insects following a sugar track.»

Atticus Review: Ravenous

Before The Bloodbath” published in Atticus Review, the online litmag of Atticus Books, and edited by Katrina Gray. Untypical for me, this flash came out of a German piece, a “wortblitz” (a flash-led blitzkrieg against the long form): [#66]

« The bonnet of the man on the chair in front of the white wall. The smell of beer on the table. The laughter of the toddler standing up on the synthetic leather stool. The girl crawling across the lino covered floor. »

Trieste Joyce School – © Sergio Bon

Sometimes remembering is not enough, it needs an editor to push you to write it up. I did and “In the nude” is the result. Thanks to Matt Potter of Pure Slush for teasing this memory out of me. [#65]

« We lived in Trieste then, my wife and I physicists both, on the High Street across from one of the places where James Joyce had lived, who’d moved all over town so that it must’ve been difficult for the city to follow him but follow him they did, leaving bronze plates wherever Joyce had as much as sat down, all beginning with “Il grande scrittore…”.  »

Moondog“, began as a short memory flash on meeting the blind musician Louis Harding. The expanded version of this story, featuring brigands and sugar mommies, was published in Blue Fifth Review 11.9 – thanks eds. Michelle Elvy & Sam Rasnake. [#62]

« I also discovered that music was something unlike the weather, something you could make and shape and twist around your ears like the curl of a beautiful girl, and you could get wet doing it and be in the presence of greatness with your eyes closed. »

thirtynine, The 3rd quarterly anthology of 52|250, the year-long flash fiction project edited by Michelle Elvy, John Wentworth Chapin and Walter Bjorkman, included my micro stories “El Asesino” and “The Power“. [#60|#61]

« Walking down a dead end alley, a woman talks unkindly to her man. He looks hurt. »

Short cuts” is a collaboration with Catherine Davis published in the ‘synergetic transformation’ issue of Blue Print Review, edited by the fabulous Dorothee Lang. “Short Cuts” comes complete with photo, story, process notes, editor’s markup, author notes … it has qualities of a “Gesamtkunstwerk“. [#59]

« I don’t love you anymore anyway, you can go. I loathe you. The sex always sucked. I hate all men. I hate all women. »

"THE SERIOUS WRITER IS BUT A STORY IN A STORY" was written in 2010 under my pseudonym 'Finnegan Flawnt' as his last story ever. Now published as a podcast (week 26) by 4'33'' an audio online magazine. [#58]

« He grazed his chin with the index finger of his left hand while still hovering over the keyboard with all fingers of his right hand and retraced the small dimple that separated the point of his chin from his lower lip and which he had come to think of as one of the centres of his creative powers. »

qarrtsiluni, the online literary magazine In qarrtsiluni’s translation issue: “At the ministry” / “Auf dem Amt” with podcasts of the English and the German version of this anti-bureaucratic piece, which was first performed live at “this berlin life!” in Nov ’10.  [#57]

« the longer they make you wait, the more you fall for the poetry of power until you read their ministerial orders as if they were odes or gospel. »

One of my micros, inspired by Glenn Gould playing Bach, was published in “pay attention: a river of stones” ed. Fiona Robyn & Kaspalita. Nice to have a pebble in that river. [#56]

« A young man madly in pursuit of sound was milking rather than playing the keyboard and shouting at invisible musical ghosts. »

Ramshackle Review, created by writer and artist Mark Reep, is one of his ‘Dreams in Black and White’. Thankfully, my piece “Falling Into Hugeness” is now a part of his vision. [#55]

« It may just be that by regarding yourself a writer you will enter a new dimension of being on this Earth that brings you happiness and fulfilment way beyond your wildest dreams. »

dada poem “the human adventure” published in the rumpus’ column “wants/needs” ed. by Susan Clements.  I love their header with a vengeance. It smacks of Kin-der-Kids. Update: absolutely wonderful reading by Nic Sebastian at Whale Sound. [#54]

« saw three little blind mice today; one in a trap i had set, chewing / away on a piece of cheddar cheese; the second outside of the trap / singing parsley sage rosemary and thyme, and the third wagging its / finger at me for grammatical mistakes i had made in the past. . . . »

The Glass Coin published “Love in a Mist“, a rather sad piece with a Jamesian feel, part of an unfinished novel, a character study of a woman full of hope. [#53]

« Hestia saw herself as the keeper of the flame, the calm center of the household, the place to which the man, the hunter, could return when the elements, in general, and his drive in particular, were beginning to overpower him. »

Mother burning” appeared at fwriction:review, the sister site to fwriction, the literary bloggish brain child of my fellow fictionaut Danny Goodman. (update: added to “Flash Fiction Chronicles 100 Story Links in Honor of Short Story Month 2011“) [#52]

« That’s our mother, our little, lovely old mother, who’s burning there, don’t you see? She’s lit herself for a good reason and now she’s already burnt half down, soon nothing will remain of her … »

Posse” written for Meg’s Exquisite Quartet at Used Furniture Review — a collaboration between Meg Tuite, Susan Tepper, Matt Rafferty and Marcus Speh for Valentine’s Day. [#51]

« That night he had dreamt of his mother. It was a dream that he’d have carried to his therapist like a raw, precious egg if he’d had a therapist, and the dream made him wish he had one. »

My story “Rose Petals” appeared in the anthology “Valentine Day Massacre – Poems & Stories by Fictionaut Writers” ed. by Susan Tepper, published by Červená Barva Press (02/2011). Here’s an audio version read by Flawnt. [#50]

« … the Greek grocer, a recent immigrant from Rhodos, the rose of the Aegean sea , flew out of the shop like an angel, sailed across the snow mixed with the woman’s frozen tears and offered her his arm, which she grasped and used to pull herself up. »

Women by Gene Tanta

Mad Hatters’ Review isn’t just a magazine, it’s an online multi-media super-cocktail that explodes in your face and triggers all your senses. Issue 12 contains my three autobiographical texts “Rock, Scissors, Paper” whimsically labeled as ‘Whatnots’, with podcasts and art by Gene Tanta (02/2011). [#47|#48|#49]

« I also had a wife to call mine when I feared to lose my fire in the stormiest storm and who soothsayed my successes from laverbread. We had a child, who was her own from her first moment flopping like a fish on a table top, a girl of greyish temper with thistle green eyes. »

Writing a guest introduction to issue eleven of >kill author (02/2011) was a new, humbling experience. The issue is packed with great writing. My introduction turned out to be a dadaistic collage with a literate coda, featuring all of the 25 featured authors, something between fiction and non-fiction for sure, a riff on radical prose and poetry. [#46]

« Where is your father when you most need him. Is he in India or did he dive and was swallowed alive by a whimsical whale created during a cool cricket match. »

superfoods“, an extremely short, fast-paced existentialist piece, stuffed with good and weird foods, was published in i58 (16 Jan 2011) of “Short, Fast and Deadly“, a mag full of smashing stories below 420 characters edited by Joseph A. W. Quintela. [#45]

« when i came home, family dinner was waiting: i found bison, ostrich and deer on my plate.  »

The Serious Writer and His First Novel” in Issue 2 of the awesome Wrong Tree Review founded by Sheldon Lee Compton and Jarrid Deaton. This comes at the right time — just when I’m out of excuses, done with shoveling and need some serious writer magic (01/2011) [#44]

« He moves his household to a deserted location called Loch Llamorgan. He buys a large shovel, which he covers with tattoos lifted from a book of Maori motives.  »

Read on for my publications 2009-2010.

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