“Finger Bone Scissors Beat Nylon Rock”

So one of the projects I’m working on right now is a chapbook, Some Things Last a Long Time. I’m from Austin, and have been missing it after living in San Francisco for three years, so I put on some of Daniel Johnston’s music and tried to make a Trailer Park Trashy taco. The taco was a disaster (Torchy’s queso stands alone!), but Daniel Johnston’s song, “Some Things Last a Long Time,” made something inside of me crack open, and suddenly I had an idea for a collection of stories. It really got me thinking about story form, or, more specifically, about how to join content and form when you’re writing stories that have the insanely ambitious task of representing love.

If, for example, the love is experimental, how can I convey that through experimental forms? How can I still do that in the short story genre, which always seems to be made more specific, short-shorts, micro, flash, prose-poems, etc.? How do I connect them together? How do I show that I want them to be connected, to show not only through tone and content, but through the form itself the horrible truth that even when we’re in a different story, a different relationship, in a different place, the stories before that are still there, that some things last a long time, for better or for worse?

My dearest friend, Kate McNamara, who is currently making art and shit happen in Pittsburgh, PA, made original woodcuts for the book based on the prose. They are as crazy-beautiful and cool as she is.

“Finger bone scissors beat nylon rock

Or should I say-

I decided to sleep with you the moment you tried to sell me a dead parrot,

before you called your mom in the bathroom to ask her, ‘Who the fuck is Mick Jagger?’

Remember that night? I almost hung myself with the porcelain rope of the toilet bowl. You thought I’d died.

When I came to, the room was spinning, not from the alcohol, but from you rolling me up in quarter turns in your alpaca rug.

I started to laugh from the pit of my uterus, or should I say, hysterically. This is how I once said I’d wanted to die. Disposed of. Searched for.

You unraveled me and we couldn’t stop fucking. We threw our clothes out the window under a bloody moon and our bodies became celestial mimes, forming straight glowing lines, slipping into each other’s shadows, moving the night deeper into dark.

We awoke in a donjon of ice. I looked out the window trying to find that cold that had so easily found us. There was a mule in the middle of the road and the rising sun in its eyes was softer than our broken-bottle hangovers, and I knew we’d run out of things to talk about when you could only say,

“Well let me know

let me know

let me know

about the parrot.'”

 

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