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—not a bone, not a hair, not a nail—and we’ll have to poke around in the ash for her ancestral ring with the ruby, but we won’t find it, and thinking that nothing remains of her in this world we’ll go home where we notice that she left her stories lined up on the window sill (next to a forget-me-not) like little trophies of contests she had with herself. With her gone, the house will be blazingly empty and we will look at our birthmarks, trying to remember anything worth remembering across the battleground of time, anything worth anything before the beginning of this great war.

#47. First published at fwriction:review (2011). Photo:  self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức, during which he kept perfectly still. Pulitzer-prize-winning photograph by Malcolm Browne.


Posted at 10:14am and tagged with: lit, Thích Quảng Đức, Vietnam, Pulitzer, Malcolm Browne, fwriction:review, mother, burning, speh, lit,.

They don’t look at each other when they fuck, Ernö and his wife from Sweden, the blonde Malín. They share this not looking like other couples share thoughts, beds, colds. Malín peeks at a painting of the Swedish king when he still had his good hair while Ernö pounds away as if anything depended on it. Just in case this moment turned into history or something. He looks at the photo of a Vietnamese woman standing in a pad without expression, or if that’s not possible, without discernible expression. Or perhaps it’s just that damned abyss of being that stops us from seeing anyone else but images of ourselves, our image repeated in everyone around us forever. Ernö also keeps his socks on at all times, even when he takes a bath. Malín is afraid to ask about the woman in the field. She really does care about Ernö. She feels that Ernö has known the other woman and would prefer her to Malín’s more austere demeanor. Malín is like a birch, pale and bendy. The other one is like a grain of rice, petite and fertile. But whatever acrobatics Ernö and Malín  perform – and they are as good at it as if they were circus artists, as any connoisseur will tell you – she must gaze at Carl XVI Gustaf and he must gaze at the woman whose real name is Bich Lien Truong Thi, and none of the four knows where their inebriant routine will lead, this love that is sandwiched between obsession and obscurity.

#20. Photo: Frankie Sachs. (German version.) Published in Metazen and nominated for a Micro Award.

Posted at 10:35am and tagged with: sweden, carl xvi gustaf, bich lien truong thi, vietnam, love, couple, sex, prose, story, flash, galleycat, metazen, micro award, submission,.

They don’t look at each other when they fuck, Ernö and his wife from Sweden, the blonde Malín. They share this not looking like other couples share thoughts, beds, colds. Malín peeks at a painting of the Swedish king when he still had his good hair while Ernö pounds away as if anything depended on it. Just in case this moment turned into history or something. He looks at the photo of a Vietnamese woman standing in a pad without expression, or if that’s not possible, without discernible expression. Or perhaps it’s just that damned abyss of being that stops us from seeing anyone else but images of ourselves, our image repeated in everyone around us forever. Ernö also keeps his socks on at all times, even when he takes a bath. Malín is afraid to ask about the woman in the field. She really does care about Ernö. She feels that Ernö has known the other woman and would prefer her to Malín’s more austere demeanor. Malín is like a birch, pale and bendy. The other one is like a grain of rice, petite and fertile. But whatever acrobatics Ernö and Malín  perform – and they are as good at it as if they were circus artists, as any connoisseur will tell you – she must gaze at Carl XVI Gustaf and he must gaze at the woman whose real name is Bich Lien Truong Thi, and none of the four knows where their inebriant routine will lead, this love that is sandwiched between obsession and obscurity.
#20. Photo: Frankie Sachs. (German version.) Published in Metazen and nominated for a Micro Award.