1, 1 Once upon a time a cloud of sobbing strings pretended to protect the figure of a woman in what was either a song or a landscape, hovering above her and around her like moonlight and water, but only in the sense that moonlight serves as the medium for speculation on nuclear fission ninety million miles away in the opposite direction, and water acts as a lens, focusing what it covers into a disclosure adding the picturesque to the particular. There had been an episode of some kind, starvation had loomed, she had been forced, not without some ironic pleasure, it's true, to eat the still-squirming flesh of an Intellectual in Red Bermuda Shorts, among other things. Some of these things were clear, while others remained titular. Under the titles were texts, lyrics she was engaged to write so that a man named Birdy, no longer young at all, but who saw himself now as he had been ten or fifteen years ago, solitary and intransigent and correct in a concrete box that housed a single room, plus toilet and kitchenette, might within those texts produce disengagements by which the letters would emerge as black designs against white paper, and behind them, whether reading or hearing them sung accompanied by guitar, the people of this landscape might then intuit the presence of himself and his Apostrophe - for thus, tropically, did he continue to think of her - she beautiful and he evil, or vice versa, or all one way or the other, so long as there was some sense of distribution implicit in their roles. He identified the luxury sedan in the commercial whose jingle made him think of her, and bought it with the last of his royalties from a previously pilfered tune, and named it As Such, driving it around everywhere, even on rainy indoor days, so that the city and indeed the nation might fondle the exciting and aerodynamic contour of everything that was surging within him precisely as it occurred. And the pleasure of being a lover, of living by love alone, was enhanced in his eyes, as a dilettante of intangible sensations, by the price he was paying for it [see Endnote].

Apostrophe, watching it all in slo-mo, said to the unidentified others sitting next to her on the dilapidated couch in the television's blue-tinged glare while the cheap VCR hummed softly, "Here's the part where he begins to think he's outsmarting - who? not me, even he must have given up anything but the broadest of analogies in that direction - but someone, nonetheless, who turns her head from side to side, allowing his right hand to drip something oily and bitter into the balancing mechanisms of her inner ear, while his left buys out her lease. It becomes possible to cut off the supply of light from a house. Look out for the landlord who tells you he sees through the vanity of possession, for he's about to knock holes in your walls through which later to knock a hole or two in you."

back to "mortified his voice"

back to "incited contour"

Issue Two
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