Saturday, August 13, 2005

"HOW TO BOX YOUR FRIENDS" is a fast fiction based on the following image by the enormously talented Eduardo Recife.
Oh and I'm also planning a six hour reading tour of Vancouver in November entitled READING RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE. I will go from locale to locale, reading to you as you sup on your soupy dinner at a restaurant, as you stare into my blue eyes, as you sit comfortably in your living-room or as you brush your teeth to get ready for bed. The idea is that I will read for fifteen minutes as I jump from an SRO in Gastown to a fancy loft in Yaletown to a highrise overlooking the city in the West End to who knows where. I will read and read and read. Email me if you would enjoy having your own personal reading in your home or business. There will be a camera in tow so that the rest of Canada can share in our adventure.

But for now enjoy this fast fiction...


Michael P. Wordsworth kept track of all the moments that his friends bored him to tears with a) repeatedly told tales, b) inane observations or c) comments that just weren't up to snuff. Michael would write all of these wasted moments down on slips of paper that were placed in containers the size of Chinese food take-out boxes, which were then used in a "farewell party" for the ersatz friend.

"Can I open my eyes now ?" Sam asked from within a tower of boxes.

"You could but then the fun would be spoiled," Michael said, trying to decide if he had time to write down that repeatedly asked asinine request. But he had to watch Jeopardy which was on in ten minutes. After the last box was perched on the top

he quietly walked away.

"Can I open my eyes now ?" Sam asked the silence.

Michael P. Wordsworth would spend the remainder of the evening searching on-line for a new friend.

Friday, August 12, 2005

"A FABLE FOR FRIDAY" is a fast fiction that's all about the genesis of fun and the mythological origins of the weekend. Based on a breath-takingly bizarre image from James Jean , this story rewrites a fable or two as well as a couple systems of theology, all within the span of a couple hundred words.


In the beginning the world was awash in everything. Matter was mixed into a chaos of formations and time itself was a tangled knot of now and before and when. Within this confusion the earliest sources of souls, both great and small, took their home.

Mattarava - who was himself a conglomeration of several future deities as well as a group of professional wrestlers from Mexico and perhaps a couple future unknowns - hovered above his lotus deciding the fate of a series of strings that had fallen into his possession.

"Let us take these and make veins that will be tie the guts of fragile creatures together," said one of the heads who would himself go on to find fame on his own within Zoroastrianism.

"Let us take this and make tiny strands of life that will encode the secrets of sentient existence," said another head that would someday win the championship belt in professional wrestling.
"Let us first take a break," said a small god that would go on to be the spirit of a homeless man on the streets of Chicago.

"What is that ?" asked several heads in unison.

"Close your eyes and you will see."

And within that simple moment of discovery the first weekend was born.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"COUGHING UP YOUR DREAMS" is a little lighter fare than the past couple of fast fictions. Yesterday I aimed for a deranged William Burroughs style but today I'm shooting for something more along the lines of... Richard Bach on acid. Weird but harmless.

Once again this short-short story is based on an image sent to me by Antonio Jorge Goncalves. His project of sketching people on ten different subways around the world is a great gift to the world. Check out his ultra-rad site which organizes his 300 sketches with a subway map.



Pam Small's gentle sleep was often interrupted by her coughing up an item from her dreams. Childhood marbles, erasers from elementary school, peas that she'd spent her life refusing to eat and crumpled up love notes from the man of her dreams were some of the nocturnal offerings that had come up at various hours of the night. Pam decided to store everything beneath her bed in sealed bags - except the peas of course which she'd buried with great shame in her back yard. Sealed away in the plastic bags these items looked like evidence that could be someday used to solve the strangeness of her condition.

She had never told anyone however about the dreams that came from her head or mouth.

One morning Pam awoke to a hideous coughing fit that produced a lovely bouquet of flowers. She stared at them in shock. They had come from a dream of her own funeral. There were few people in attendence but the floral arrangement was divine.

I have never produced anything so beautiful, she quite literally said to herself. (After ten years of living along she was in the habit of keeping herself company with her own voice.)

I think they will accompany me to work, she said with a tear covering one eye. They will brighten up the subway a little.

They will perhaps attract acquaintances like bees, she thought to herself.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"RABBIT CHASER" is a somewhat dark and one might even say creepy fast fiction that is written in a William Burroughs vein. The visual inspiration comes from Pieter Frank de Jong, a gentleman who emailed me some images a couple days ago. One of the pieces I liked the most was this:
Often I joke around in the short-short stories at this blog but today I was in the mood for darkness. If you would prefer a simple chuckle at the stupidity of drugs check out this news item about a guy who tried to smuggle drugs beneath a wig. That story is great for those of you who want a laugh but today's fast fiction is a very bleak take on addiction.


She sits slack at the table with her eyes bagged out in brown pouches that might be concealing some new wonder drug for those with the money to cut their way through despicable crimes. Yeah, it's great but it'll cost you big time. Don't ask where it comes from, it'll ruin your trip. Just keep your eyes on the tree branches around her that reach down with unnatural cravings. Clawing for under her skin. Or so it seems. Or so they told me.

She waits for the man who promised to take her away from all this. From the bone white picnic table that creaks beneath her like a withered old man that barely holds her up. Grandfather time with a bad ticker. Apparently, time's about to croak. Or so he told me. Or so he groaned to me.

I'll be there half past the hour, just hold on, he said. He was so honest, she could smell it. She wanted to touch him, feel something so soft within him. Or so she believed.

But she knows where the holes are that she can run into to end her thick, suffocating desires. Her tenous grip on resolve is slipping. She grips onto something to solve her tenous slippings.

Oh here he is, she smiles. Here he comes. The one I've been waiting for. The rabbit to chase down the hole.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"WHEREIN ICE CREAM TRUCKS FIGURE PROMINENTLY IN A SMASH UP DERBY" is a fast fiction that aspires to nothing less than your total and absolute enlightenment in under three hundred words.

Helping me out in this humanitarian effort is an artist from my very own stomping grounds of Vancouver, Canada, Mark Delong. He drapes everyday drab with something sublime, drawing everyday objects with a unique attention to detail that God only dreams of. But sometimes he just goes for the brute nature of things, as in this piece:

Are you feeling any of that enlightenment coming on yet ? Okay well here's the fast fiction. See what it does to you. Just remember to repeat this story a thousand times. You will reach a unique state of consciousness.



While Rick Asa Thompson the Third - a young gentleman whom one might bestow the label filthy, stinking rich upon - inherited all of his family's fortunes, he unfortunatley had none of their intelligence, grace, wit or ability to urinate in socially prescribed places. In short, he was a fan of all things puerile and base, his fascination finding its focus in motion pictures which featured people flagulating each other and then breaking out into laughter as though they were hyenas spasming into hernias.

"Okay the ice-cream trucks should be here at around four, but are you sure you want the Catholic priests driving them ? I mean we've got a couple of girl scouts that know how to drive stick," Sal explained. A twisted carnival of cruelty was slowly taking shape behind him as animals dressed as celebrities, clowns with deliberately dripping makeup and midgets in human hamster balls were herded into place.

"Fuck if I care. I hired you. My job is over. You entertain me, okay ?" Rick Asa Thompson sat in his director's chair sipping from a slurpee. He was anxious for his birthday party to begin. His guests would be arriving shortly with high expectations and he was eagerly anticipating the skeet shooting which would involve blowing up loaves of bread soaked in battery acid. Communion for the birds below which would be their last supper.

He was also looking forward to aggravating his prissy next door neighbour, Lisa Chong, but that night, as the chaos of Rick's birthday carnival died down, Professor Chong took out the earplugs which had afforded her the silence to focus on her cancer studies and it was in those misshapen earplugs that she found a theoretical model which would someday lead to a cure for cancer.

Monday, August 08, 2005

"THE RAGE POET WAKES UP IN AN UNKNOWN LOCALE" is a fast fiction with a slapdash of slapstick to accompany your Monday morning cup of joe.

You know the kind of people who open their mouths to effortlessly pull out magical little observations the way a magician lifts a rabbit out of a hat ? I think the delightfully talented Ariel Gordon is probably that kind of person. She's a writer/ editor out of Winnipeg, Manitoba whose website is full of beautiful revelations about dead frogs, the angles of rays of light and all other sublime minutiae overlooked by the masses. She sent me this photo to base a fast fiction on:

After you read this story you should visit Ariel's site to put a little poetry into your Monday morning and let her help you attune yourself to something new.



Stan Karlmein lifted his face up from the floor of the unfamiliar hallway. Half his bald head was bearded and wigged with imprints from the carpet and his typical morning look of confusion was magnified tenfold by the fact that he hadn't the foggiest clue where he was. His brain slowly lurched into motion, moving forward into the meaning of the view in front of him.

"Sir, I'll have to ask you to get up," came a deep voice from behind him.

Stan turned his head, which was aching with morning lethargy, in the direction of two men dressed as police officers. They stood over him with metal canisters in their hands.

"Sir, you'll have to vacate these premises immediately." The other officer's voice was even deeper, coming from within a massively muscular chest. He nudged the poet with the tip of his black boot.

Anger surged through the poet's body, waking him up to a state of knowing what must be done.

"I don't have to do anything," he shouted, swinging his legs to sweep the feet from beneath the police. Through the ensuing struggle the rage poet was wrestled to the wall and then back to the ground. As he lay pinned on the ground people peered out from their hotel room doors and words started to crystalize in the compression of rage and shame that wrecked havok in his body.

His routine of a nightcap of laudenum, a drop off in some brand new environment and a wake up call from his two assistants once again was going to provide him with grist for his poetic mill.

Inspiration through anger, he wrote on the credits page of "Waking up Rage", thanking his two assistants Paul and Ben. A photo of the three of them smiling behind a motley collection of bandages stood at the bottom of the page.

Years later the book was to be praised for turning boxers onto reading.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

"DEATH OVERSTAYS HIS WELCOME AT A PARTY" is some qwik/lit that takes this picture by Laurie Lipton as its starting point.

To see her work in the flesh... I mean the bone... I mean... well to see her
wonderfully macabre work, "Day of the Day" you should circle November 1st to
19th, 2005 on your calendar and head out to the Melia White House, Albany
Street in NW1, London during those dates.


London needs you good people of the earth.

If you are heading out from North America however do be careful who you book your tickets through. Some relatives of mine were recently shocked at how horribly their travel plans were changed on them after booking through Thomas Cook. They were allowed 35 kilograms coming to North America and then 20 kilograms going back. A piece of piss way to end a holiday. (I googled stories of Thomas Cook and found this.)

That's the last tangent I'll make for today.

But on the topic of tangents... (And technically bringing up the topic of tangents is not really a tangent for any moment can be a tangent, therefore the topic of tangents is always suitable.) My mind is a forest of tangents with their pointy branches scraping through every moment.

Yes welcome to Fast Fictions.



Mary's little dinner party went off without a hitch except for the lingering figure of death who stayed until an embarrassingly late hour. These thing happen, Mary thought trying to console herself.

Death stood draped in her mothers old clothes which had been stored away in a wooden trunk in the attic. "Look at me, tee hee hee." Death flipped a paper mask of an elderly woman's face back and forth over his bony visage. "I'm an old nelly. I'm death. I'm an old nelly. I'm death."

Tedious, Mary thought to herself. Do all of his travels not avail him to a diversity of experience ? No, he is a bore, she thought to herself. He is always the same.

And at three-fifteen, death grew tired of the charades, of the attempt to step outside of his routine and got the job over with.

The same monotonous conclusion as all the others.