This exquisite corpse comes from the audience at our Echo Park Rising A Rrose in a Prose event at Stories Books. And it’s so good, I think people were cheating, looking back at all the prose that was written before them. But whatever works, right? This is art, not science, and in art, and perhaps falsifying your results is the most “artificial” thing you can do, in the very best Shakespearean sense of artificiality.
Anyway, if you participated in writing this, I’d love it if you’d share your name in the comments. Maybe you’re even one of the below folks in the slowly gathering throng?
Or maybe not! And perhaps with this kind of purity, anonymity is best.
Oh, and sorry for taking so long to post–I completely lost this two-paged beast of an exquisite corpse, and only found it when I opened Gitane Demone’s amazing book that I had half-finished, and found I’d used this as a bookmark. Anyway, if you enjoy exquisite corpses, you probably also enjoy rambling stories, but too bad! This one ends now, so that you can feast your eyes on the actual work you came here to read…
The Glass Eye, and the Horse in the Bowl
Turning 50 is very different from turning 40. Does one look backward and learn from the past, or look forward and plan for old age?
Cats need only to groom and sleep and play. Is thinking about age cathartic or a waste of time? Love is patient, love is kind… the saying, “hindsight is 20/20,” is complete bullshit. I’ve been told by all authorities I’m a good writer. Too many people need me right now!
I don’t consider myself a writer at all, but I got a venereal disease anyway. It came in many colors: green, yellow, and finally blood red. But even though I was afflicted with VD, I still couldn’t help falling in love with her: the auburn hair cascading down her lithe-pale shoulders, that oh-so-teardrop bottom melting into her creamy smooth legs. I reminded myself to never fall for a girl who looks good from behind. But it was far too late for that. I steeled myself to her inevitable rejection and reached out to touch that alabaster shoulder.
It was near sunset; we shot his dogs. It was bad. Then we went inside and we drank. I placed the jar of lice in the cupboard and went inside to feed the termites. Last night I snuck into Andre’s house and stole his peg leg—it should last them for at least a week, and besides, with his habit, he won’t be leaving his room for some time. Sad. But after a week, that wooden leg is not enough. I’m desperate, and I do love my friends, but Susan’s glass eye will have to be the next offering.
So again, I make my nighttime skulk. I also bring an ice cream scoop. Susan is fast asleep, even snoring, skipping and laughing in the land of nod. I reach for her soft eyelid. “This will only sting for a second,” I say as I hold the madly buzzing needle toward the corner of her eye. “And then your eyeliner will be perfect forever!”
Her nose began to twitch. The salon was perfectly silent. Perfect for my first time. The needle made contact. And for a minute I thought she must really be freaking out. Is it hurting her? What does it feel like? When, suddenly, I realized that she was me. The needle was making contact with my arm.
“Shit!” I howled. I hate needles! There was a little blood, and I thought, how did I get here?
But why did I care?
I’ll just sit in this place, watching the blood. I’ll take a moment to consider all that’s happened. And, maybe, after a while, I’ll have the enthusiasm to see what actually is next. Didn’t I have somewhere to be? I love the way sweat rolls down her breast. Why did I even bother going home?
I go home, rest, eat, walk the dog. Tommy didn’t even eat his food. When I go home, I know: the horse ass will still be in his bowl. Pointy nails scratch best. This modern horticulture gives way to life, gives way to growth…
I hate the way you stomp your feet. I hate what it does to me: throwing off the rhythm of my story with your own. I lose myself in the metaverse (who is this?). Michael gets the last word: it fades, like the yellow in piss. Cha-cha-cha—tu eres solo SHUT UP, yell at the moon!
The last time I had the uncontrollable urge to kill was when I got stuck in a coffee/book shop with some odd characters reading out in Swahili… I think. But inside is a cold, rippling ocean of deep grey/blue, with mist spraying about—just on the verge of turbulence.
We drove too fast for the car to stop. Over the beach, passing the coast, passing seagulls, the car just kept going. And we accepted this.