The Queer and Complex Business of Naming and Being Named

Clarice Lispector once wrote, “I’m not a synonym—I’m a proper noun.” Like many of her oblique declaratives, the meaning resonates if you are inclined to hear it. Yet even to those who do, what they hear differs widely. Perhaps even more maddening, it is subject to change when it is heard again. Lispector as haughy and indignant. Lispector, tall, set apart from the crowd. Lispector, a singular thing. … Read More The Queer and Complex Business of Naming and Being Named

Micro Prose: Rent by Ananda Lima

Rent   Miki had told Tê the piano was haunted. Miki could hear it in the reverberation behind the low keys and the strident leftover in the highs. But Tê knew nothing about pianos. She opened its cover and exposed the keys. It grinned like a dog. She pressed down, her ten fingers stretched apart. It sounded sinister, she gave Miki that. Jason left with the rent money. They had agreed on a deposit, but the day he moved in (that strawberry blonde hair, that pointy nose, that collar neatly tucked into his cardigan), asking had seemed rude, and unnecessary. And there was the piano. Tê had never thought she would live with a piano. Now it sat underneath a pile of unpaid utility bills. Tê stuck her fingers under its jaw, leaned back and put the weight of her body into the pull. It didn’t move. Later she found out Jason had told Miki the piano belonged to his dead aunt. He claimed she had gone mad after a failed love affair with a married man. Supposedly, he had loved her, but he was related to royalty and could not face the scandal of leaving his wife. Jason’s aunt had played their song until her fingers bled and became deformed with calluses. She drank poison and kept playing until her dead torso fell… Read More Micro Prose: Rent by Ananda Lima

Micro Prose: Birth Mother, Portraiture by Erinrose Mager

Birth Mother, Portraiture Another moon face, unsmiling. She has placed the green tea kettle atop the kitchen stove’s lit burner. She looks not at her portraitist, but instead through the window and upon the wicker basket from which she has drawn the morning laundry to air-dry outside in the garden. Her hair, pulled back and… Read More Micro Prose: Birth Mother, Portraiture by Erinrose Mager

Micro Prose: Things Noticed When Saying Goodbye to a Woman I Would Never See Again by Andrew Schofield

Things Noticed When Saying Goodbye to a Woman I Would Never See Again There was, of course, the white tile of the departures lobby, the one side that glimmered in its fresh wax and the other, waiting its turn, dulled by dirt tracked in on the soles of travelers’ shoes and by haphazard turns of… Read More Micro Prose: Things Noticed When Saying Goodbye to a Woman I Would Never See Again by Andrew Schofield

Micro Prose: The General is on Television Again by Joshua Johnston

The General is on Television Again Despite the egg on his face, he refuses to step down from the podium. It’s war paint, he insists, his neck swelling like a fighting rooster’s. Most of the audience eats it up. A truly brilliant yellow, notes one reporter. One can’t help but be reminded of the sun,… Read More Micro Prose: The General is on Television Again by Joshua Johnston

Micro Prose: Skeletons Warming Themselves by Sara Kachelman

Skeletons Warming Themselves We are the most beautiful dead women ever written. It has been a hundred years and our nails are still growing. The domestic dramas killed us. We never made it to paperback. Our faces favor Marilyn and the writers’ own wives. Sealed off in a ranch house in Plantation Springs, we finger… Read More Micro Prose: Skeletons Warming Themselves by Sara Kachelman