Jennifer Greidus lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her work appears at Pithead Chapel, Rolling Thunder Quarterly, Eclectica, Two Hawks Quarterly, and more. She is the co-editor of X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine.
THE THINGS THAT SHAPED HIM THUS
Lunch with Lucas Milas was possibly one of the worst ideas Hess had in a decade. The man said three sentences in an hour. And he ate a chicken breast. Nothing else. Hess could not even talk him into a beer. And he tried. He tried. Hess pointed with his fork to Lucas’s disregarded steamed broccoli. –Not a vegetable man? –Soggy, Lucas said. That was one of the three sentences……
PERMANENT BLACK BURN
Everything about him, at first, made your skin crawl. Fynn was dirty. He faked being poor. He was foul-mouthed beyond clever. He disgorged black ropes of unsettling profanity. As if that were a normal way to have a conversation. As if he’d been born with coils of charred magician’s prop right in his gut. He used the same tranquil tone to ask you if he could borrow five dollars as he did to say to you, “Patrick, your dad just might be the good fuck that he promised.”…..
EVOLUTION OF EVERYDAY LIFE
I pack my stuff into three backpacks and two pillowcases. I pack the apparatus that I use to fashion cut-up fruit. I pack many items; and though she told me when I came here that I would want for nothing, I end up leaving unfulfilled, wanting everything, and with persistent diarrhea from anxiety. I walk home. In seventeen years, no car has slowed for me, and no driver inside has asked me if I needed a ride. Today, a tan man in a Porsche SUV slows and offers…..
Dry, dark sand. It’s the setting, as if anyone would want to fuck in sand. We’ve thrown down three beach towels on top of the dyed sand. I watch Davi as he oils up. He slides a greasy finger along the left side of his balls, slides it behind them, and then points that same finger at me. “Don’t think I don’t love you,” he says. I nod……
He orders tuna salad because he always orders tuna salad. Today, he also orders bacon potato soup. It’s too hot for soup. He likes to wipe his pretty mouth with the back of a hand. He sneers at the waitresses and only pays attention to the ones with fat tits. One of them, Trina, is my favorite waitress. Her tits are fat. I want to tell her to cover them up. Her skirt is tight, too, and the material that’s supposed to hide the zipper is pulled too far to do its job. He’s not an ass man, though…….
OFFA REX, PIGEON FANCIER
His largish hands, done up tight by strings that are alloys, essentially allies, done up tight + made to be strung + made to make a melody + made to increase kinetic wealth, are the static wealth of others. He extracts his largish hands from the alloy hexcore of one Sunburst of nine guitars. Sets are peppered with murmurs of odd words, words such as pigeon + out-weird. He makes everyone’s delusion bleed-out, but only after first casting everyone’s delusion into a wistful, dinner-jacket reality; that night, it is his job…..