Art so passively pastel, it was a complementary depression just to sit down and stare at the walls. Couches, tables, chairs, a magazine rack, and one rabid human gnarling nips of hostility at the shaky edges of my periphery. His street wrapped around my throat, my tongue.
I reached inside his enmeshed brain of paranoia and lobotomized that fisted gray. Tired of all the bad-vibing blunt egos unchaining their piss-sharp layers of poison and pomp; a shower of shrugs and scars. Why had I stopped breathing?
His words dripped out assaults: ‘bitch’ ‘skin and shuck’ ‘you leaking pretty.’ ‘some kind of lonely batter.’
I slammed the sky around him. Ripped the tattoos off his sweaty neck. He fumbled with language; dropped his head in his hands. It’s was a standoff of shrapnel. We were two blooming abstracts.
One coffee table between us.
Meg Tuite is author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition, a short story collection, Bound By Blue, and won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, as well as five chapbooks of short fiction, flash, and poetic prose. She teaches at Santa Fe Community College, is a senior editor at Connotation Press, an associate editor at Narrative Magazine, fiction editor here at Bending Genres Journal, and editor of eight anthologies. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines, over fifteen anthologies, nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize, five-time Glimmer Train finalist, placed 3rd in Bristol Prize, and Gertrude Stein award finalist. Her blog: http://megtuite.com.
I love “complementary depression.” Killer opening, period. “A shower of shrugs.” “Two blooming abstracts.” So many fantastic things in here. <3
Wow! So many great lines. Complementary depression, piss-sharp poison and pomp, lonely batter–all of it. So grateful for the coffee table. Fabulous work. I’ll wait in my car ’til they call me. 😉
Damn, damn, and damn. And damn. Damn damn damn damn damn damn.
This is absolutely on fire and full to the brim of your trademark twisted descriptors, verb-adjective-noun mash ups. I love “his street wrapped around my throat.”
I would love to see this published somewhere like Gone Lawn. Damn.
The music in this one! Really rhythmic and action packed.
Opening line is killer. Don’t change it one bit. “His street wrapped around my throat” is also great. And “a standoff of shrapnel”!! As Jonathan said, damn.
In regards to this narrative, I personally thought the first two paragraphs showcased the “I” character kind of assisting this “rabid human” with a “brain of paranoia” — helping him in a way, making him feel better. So the third line of ‘assaults’ and ‘bitch skin’ kind of threw me off. Maybe we can see how “his words dripped assaults” in that first or second paragraph, or in between the two as that single line of description. By “I slammed the sky around him,” I’m back on track and in the moment. Just some food for thought. And lastly, because I like that coffee table, and the blooming abstracts both, I thought about ending it — “It was a standoff of shrapnel. A coffee table between us, two blooming abstracts.” This one rules!
I love this piece! So many great lines: “His street wrapped around my throat, my tongue” and “ripped the tattoos off his sweaty neck. Beautifully strange!