Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 10
Spring, 2013
Featured painting, ©2012 by Andrew Abbott : you might like this.

New Works

Nicholas Grider

Precis Decay


A suburban street, the western sky a citrus haze.––John and Martin discuss the new neighbors.––The new neighbors have moved in next door to John and Martin and have invited the couple over to their bungalow for dinner.––John wants to go but Martin doesn't.––The new neighbors, a man and a woman with a small frowning child, barely moved any possessions in when they arrived and didn't seem to leave the house much.––John convinces Martin to accept the invitation and on his way home from the firm Martin stops and buys a bottle of wine as a welcome gift.––John, who works from home, can sometimes see the small frowning child playing alone in the unmowed front lawn, arms out like airplane wings, the frowning child making lazy circles in the hard afternoon sunlight.––The night arrives for the dinner and neither John nor Martin can decide how formally to dress but both decide on a variant of business casual with the new season's fashionable warm palettes and wools and tweeds.––John and Martin close and lock their own front door, and decide to walk down the driveway to the sidewalk rather than cutting across lawns.––After they knock and Martin cricks his neck, still a little uneasy, the door opens, and the woman who answers it, someone John and Martin had never seen before, looks at them both for a long time.


In the middle of the––Let me know how you––Tell me again what it is you––Before the night could begin, he had to––Like nothing coming from something, dusklike––This is how the story goes––When Billy was tired he––When Billy was tired he tried to but––Tapping the edge of the plate with your––And you never liked––How you said "Membership"––The entire story told backwards––Before sunset could begin first we had to––Never taking into account––Sloping downwards sharply––Ghostlike in conduct––Making the mistake of––But before the ruin and crash the bells and sighs when he––And how could he have known when––Twilight reverse-engineered––Tied to the––Frozen to the––Sliding backward but no sense of motion when you––The origin of the phrase––The awkward silence and then all of a sudden they––


Wait, what––What are you––What are you doing––Let go of him––Please, stop, we've been––This isn't right, this is not––Please stop––Just let go and––Quiet down and keep calm because––And you're guests––It's just duct tape––Please don't––Why are you––The curtain's on fire––You have to try to––Just close your eyes and––Please somebody just––Pay no attention to––What have we done that we––Stop struggling––Somebody please help––You're getting worked up over nothing, this is only––Her hair, I can smell the––Just tell us what you want and––Please––Don't be afraid––Stop screaming––Please let us––Don't worry, everything is completely under control––

Nicholas Grider holds a dual art and writing MFA from CalArts. He also edits the very small writing and art magazines Public Access and Public Display, which you can download here.