Wednesday, June 04, 2008


The white door that doesn't open isn't, and the ceiling's painted dark. The windows aren't open because they don't. On the other side of the door, another. What lives here.

He stands one foot on the curb, one off, the collar of his jacket brushing against his thick neck. He itches in the old way. He seems to remember these pants having pockets, to remember having liked the hairs on the back of his hands brushing against the cotton. But anyway, there aren't any now. Shrugging, he walks anyway, hunching awkardly with every other step. He fidgets with his hands, reaching inevitably for the pack of cigarettes there's no way he brought with him, and itching in the new way as well. The road widens, the low brick sandwich shops and pawn shops giving way. The curb ends, and he stands flat on his feet, dust clinging to his soles. There are greens and browns, and a fox-colored blur, swallowed by the tall grass. Mostly he itches, and he was pretty sure there was a reason he was here. His eyes water, and there isn't a reason to fight it. It probably isn't why he made the walk, but usually it feels alright. He would give himself to it, the fetal-erotic, were it not for the small voice that says maybe this is the beginning of it all slipping away. The fat, sure, but you always lose muscle with it, and he has to conserve.

So why not follow the fox. The grass brushes his face as he leaves the road, but it's only another itch, and itches aren't cumulative. He pushes them aside with white, unsteady hands, pausing to hike up the sleeves of his jacket, unbutton and roll up the sleeves of his shirt. He sweats, of course, brown and green, and sweats, and only comes out the other side when he's sure he won't. Another blur, and he breaks into a slow jog across the low, gentle grass, green only. This is quickly abandoned, but he smiles at himself for having down it, bending over to pull his slacks loose again around thick calves. "Thick, thick, thick," he thinks, panting for breath, and looks up in time to see the blur disappear.

So he swaggers over to what he figures must be a hole, hands missing the pockets which aren't there. His tongue probes the empty space of a former tooth as he reaches it and looks down, sure enough, into a hole. Just a foxhole, though, not wide enough for like, a person. So he turns around, I guess?

Review of C.J. Cregg

I'll never forget learning about C.J. Cregg for the first time. I went to see Ani in Central Park, and Cregg was the opening act. She came across - a buoyant hand-clapping breakdown, a madly apreggiated chorus - with sensitivity as well as poignancy, a product of her ostensibly otherworldly lyrics. But she was complaining about having to meet with a group called Cartographers for Social Equality, and wanted to know what mapmakers had to do with social equality. Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown, I guess.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Loratadine - A review by R. Hamilton

We are in a world
where the seasons last
several years. Summer wanes,
and prognostica-

tions of doom are on-
ly enhanced by the
appearance in the
skies of a blazing

red comet, held as
omen both good and
evil by the mass-
es and the high hous-

es alike. Some deep
tones have started to
creep into the sound-
track, along with some

martial drums, and there
is a good chance your
favorite character
may get killed off in

some horrible fash-
ion. It's a bunch of
cars going fast a-
round an oval. There,

I'm done.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Review of The Procedure for Payment of Host Supervising Teachers

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is" - pretty much the
gist of The Procedure for Payment of Host Supervising Teachers,
a classic, almost novel-length novella about a lecherous,

asthmatic debt collector who is also a werewolf and who, with
his PI friend, finds himself hunting a killer who in turn hunts
werewolves. Does the moral structure of the children’s story —

with its clearly marked poles of good and evil, its narrative
of dispossession and vindication — illuminate the nature of
authoritarian rule? Or does The Procedure for Payment of Host

Supervising Teachers
reveal fascism as a terrible fairy tale
brought to life? (Whether anyone would rather see this than curl
up on the sofa with the latest episode of Slut Wars is a question.)