Unquenchable Fire

In Fiction on May 24, 2016 at 6:54 pm


If your hand causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. Mark 9:43

    Erich Klinger fought on the Eastern Front and paid his dues, and earned himself an Iron Cross First Class and a Black Badge for the Wounded.  He dried his face. Note the chin, the lower lip: he rarely spoke.  He insisted that he adored the scurrying creatures of the Black Forest as well as the sublime complexity of tornadoes or labyrinths.  Do not be fooled.  I have yet to understand his role in the surgeries: whether he himself injected twins in the eyeballs with methylene blue, extracted their hearts without anesthesia, opened their rib-cages like a cabinet and took the whole organ out entire as if it were sacred like the heart of the Savior.  I asked him about the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division, how he got promoted to the rank of SS-Haupsturmführer, yet he would not tell me.  All we have of his past is this photograph.  Clad in black from hat to boot, with three pips and two lightning bolts on the unit insignia on his collar, he looks like a Prussian king.

The Emperor

In Fiction on May 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm


THAT OLD SERPENT slithered, parallel with a concrete wall, towards Vladimir Central Prison.  He plopped down into a storm drain where rats scuttled, beetles went on defense, cigarette stubs and crushed cola cans found a resting place, then slithered down the groove.  It was a twenty-five kilometer trek.  Perhaps, he could find a cool basement. Or some cracked floorboards in a library.  Or the bed sheets of lovers.  Or the barnyard of a slaughterhouse—where he could flicker his forked tongue, in mute precision, and wait while a koshering Rabbi sliced a lamb’s neck open; and, a gutted trachea and esophagus poured onto a straw-spindled floor; and, he, a patient serpent, could sinuously scrawl over and return to lap at the blood all night (whilst moonlight coming through the slit of the open barnyard door shone), so once the serpent got his fill, the gophers beneath Vladimir Central would tremble. The wind would shake the trees. A colony of bats, in screeching group-think, would flutter from caverns, through the twilight; whilst prisoners’ hearts, in the thousands, would beat inside the cellblocks; and guards with jiggling keys at their hips, lead by dogs, would roam through the dim-lit hallways, unable to see how all of Russia—from highest echelon to lowest scum—was in the throes of having dreams of freedom; while he, that Old Serpent, Satan, wreathed the spine of himself like a sinuous locomotive of S’s, J’s, and Z’s, through the darkness, beneath the prison—and gnats, and mites, and dust, and microbes, all, attached to his skin with smooth and ancient power.

The Ballad of Natalie Snow (excerpt)

In Fiction on May 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm


It was us against them—them against us.

In the beginning it was us.

 We were in a motel room off Pico on Halloween, where a meth fogger bloomed out of a Black tranny’s lips, while the tranny’s John, who was on parole (and was half the tranny’s size) kept point through the bent, dusty Venetian blinds, holding onto his own glass pipe, as my girlfriend (all legs),  the tranny’s John (some lost soul in Hollywood.), waited for a N.F.L. sized Black linebacker named Bubba G (who, with no fear in his eyes) knocked on the door and showed up with 5000 dollars of our cocaine that he had, in fact, (in hindsight, obviously), been cut with Anbesol, with Jasmine, the Black tranny, probably a half an hour before the exchange even took place.