Archive for June, 2011

The Forgiveness Party by Stacey Balkun

Jun 30 2011 Published by under Stories

Welcome to the May Day party, the hello parade. Welcome to our quiet space, our glass paintings of Christ breaking. Here we present a box of matches and light candles for loved ones lost. In springtime we think only of the dead, plant seeds in shallow graves. Daffodils trumpet good morning but wilt away by noon. Lord, it’s hard to say our hellos and goodbyes in one breath. Lord, it’s hard to stand and kneel and eat breadcrumbs and be reborn. Matches flare like small kernels of hope and victory. Welcome to the fire dance, cremation of palm leaves and silence. Welcome to the forgiveness party, the farewell parade. Take home an egg and wait for your fortune to hatch. Learn to pray. Lord, hear our prayers. Lord, we hope only to be the last candle left burning.

Stacey is a New Jersey poet with her heart in the south. She likes to climb mountains and splash in the sea. She is currently crossing the country with her trusty kayak.

No responses yet

In Defense of Sweaters by Justis Mills

Jun 09 2011 Published by under Stories

The organization of matter and energy, in its aggressive mysteriousness, permits scandalous relationships. It turns out that your most intimate molecules, electrical impulses within your meat, are cheating on you. That feeling you’ve been getting, that bodily euphoria, that clarity of mind and tangled bloom of purpose? It’s your mitochondria bringing you breakfast in bed because they feel guilty, maybe a little sad that you’re not onto them.

See, there’s this whole other kind of sentient being. Its particles aren’t spatially close in a way that permits blah blah blah etc. The science isn’t the point. The point is that while you’re grabbing groceries the nerves in your hand are acting simultaneously as the speech patterns of some immaterial investment banker. When you swallow you’re contributing a single heartbeat. And you have no choice in the matter, none at all.

It’s fun to imagine, for a while. Your irrelevancy is part of something larger, occasionally. You never know which time you blink is one of their big business deals. You never know. They draw their cells from everywhere, so it’s not just you and them. You’re sharing and they’re sharing and complexity is exponential. You cannot pronounce their names, or compare your sets of senses.

Really all you can do is shock yourself. It’s like a hiccup for one of them, when there’s a static shock. So if you shock yourself, they’ll feel it. It won’t change their day, but they’ll feel it. Just wear sweaters more often, and zone out. It’ll happen. They’ll remind themselves that they can explain the sensation, that they can curl immaterially inward and drink some immaterial water and blah blah blah etc.

The point is that despite your best intentions, you are not alone.

Justis Mills edits First Stop Fiction.

No responses yet