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"Quenelle", excerpt

Friday 10/18/19

Fourth story of the week composed. Very good. It's kind of the antithesis--that is, it's on the other side of the street--of "Staycation." 745 words. Might as well be 74,500 words. This is how you cut sentences. I don't mean cut words out, I mean hone with the knife, shape their architecture and sonic architecture. Architecture of narrative. A sentence is a feat of engineering and architectonic design.


Tessberg’s insistence that we find his arm is distressing, but it is always that way, another pre-dawn Saturday with Greg T. now that he has shot someone in the face. Sure, they were black, but he could have skull-bagged you if you were the Hamburglar, though that implies criminality. If you were Grimace. Benign example.

The skin peels away, as if it’s been sand-blasted and stretched. Like a frog’s belly when you pin down the flayed edges, only cometary—a room comet. Specks, streaks, chunks, chips, strands of spider web rope, though they are liquid. As much fluid from the brain as mouth, jowl, nose, all of the capillaries of forehead.

The blood is mist. People would be surprised. The sky on those mornings, before the sun leans in, asserting the corona, is always light-lemon, crème-colored, tetchy, like colic-y tapioca, only dry, too, a cigar when you cut it open, worsted meat inside.

This guy is a hero, and he thinks he’s generous because before he digs his own form out of the ground, he asks me if I want to dig up mine, to make changes, which is what he’s going to do with his entity. He’s the kind of person you have to say, “I’m good, bro,” because he values the utilization of an appropriately-placed “bro” and you don’t want to get into how you’re not the kind of person requiring repeated burying.

But he’s forming in that ground, this guy. We follow the murmuration pattern of starlings. They rise and dive in the air, bird-clouds, swarms more balletic than you expect swarms to be.


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