Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 11
Summer, 2013
guest edited by Yarrow Paisley

Featured painting, ©2013 by Pd Lietz :

Featured Excerpt
Short Prose
Very Short Prose

Zack Wentz

Into Work

1: The Number Two

I was not in a hurry, caught my bus (late), took it to the next stop, got off, waited for the next bus, got on, got off at the next stop, waited for the next bus, so on and so forth, in that fashion, all the way to work.
“Your shift ended days ago,” they said. “What took you so long?”
“I have no idea,” I said. “I took the number two all the way here.”

2: The Salad Salesman

I sell salads made of glass and skin shorn from black animals. These days sales are brisk, and my fingers have grown stained with the filth of money. A man once folded a bill into an origami swan and set it on my cash sill, waiting. I took the thing, un-wadded it to check the number, and gave him his bowl full of flags to gnaw on with the rest of those heartless, motherfucking bastards.

3: We Will Not Answer You

And I was looking at what was happening in my life, trying to figure out how I would tell people about it without knowing what was happening at all.

4: Sweetness and Clarity

“Step into the bucket of honey and broken glass. No. No shoes allowed. Yes. This is what the coupon was for. Yes. We can use this same bucket, same honey, same broken glass for every customer. Yes. Now, step lively. Stomp. Stomp harder. Dance. Take care not to bend the tin. It is our only bucket. There. That’s enough. A coupon’s worth. Yes. You can come again if you get another coupon. No. You cannot taste the honey.”

5: Gainfully

None of the men felt as bad as they pretended to, which was their real job.

6: The Faithful

“For a kick in the nuts you will receive ten gold stars. These you can exchange for knowledge, classes, bits of cinnamon candy.”
“And where do we get these?” the Faithful all ask.
“Never you mind. Continue on foot into the sunset.”
Thank God we never see a sunset.

7: Turning Green

We boiled the sacks of money, living off the broth, turning green as the burden of health left us like so many crooked sparrow. “They dance!” one of us cried. Nobody else saw it. Or at least I thought there was nobody else.

8: Garden

Vegetation placed in imperfect aisles.

9: There is No Aftertaste to Alone

“. . .”

10: First Class TV

In first class they had better TVs, the kind that showed straight into your mind, and you could even change the channels, fuck with the volume, rewind and fast-forward the sumbitches when you wanted, and without it hurting even the littlest bit to just turn the damn things off.

11: A Crescendo

A crescendo of cash from licking lepers over tours of back rooms still run by mixed nuts off corridors crafted with crime silent as the reassurance that nothing is personal because only the nothing still is.

12: Civil Rest, At Long Last

And it was war, as promised. No. It was a passion passed. The men who had become soldiers and survived were now out of work, clanking like a lost circus out of our town and our finally beautiful, beautiful lives.

13: A Forest

No forests exist. The trees are a border between this world and the next. If you float over them, you will die, but if you open one up, crawl inside, you will be cursed with everlasting life.

14: Our Readers

Some of them could read reflections like hieroglyphics, half silhouettes, bits of things gleaming; it didn’t take much. A windshield was ideal, but anything would work: a puddle, a piece of bottle, a shiny chip of metal, or the dying eyes of a man who will never know what has come to pass.

15: Our Livings

We mended fences for fifty-seven years, moving along the border. A year behind us another gang was tearing them out to be melted down and molded into knives. We met, inevitably, and fought to the death at the mouth of the last road that would have taken us to the palace of our mutual employer where we were all to be paid in full.

16: Our Poor Leader

That star hopes to be a reflection in the glass of a tiny lens even the angels have to squint at. We follow it like thieves weighed down with chocolate and gold, playing with ourselves through the holes in our pockets. “If we follow it right,” our poor leader said to me, his sole companion, “we will never make it home,” abruptly quickening the pace.

17: And the Morning of the New Job

I have shaved so well. First the hair came off, then the skin, meat beneath, bone, etc., etc. I have finished, and now, again, feel like a new man.

18: The Cord

In my teeth. But the box still babbles. And our show isn’t over. I smell my ride.

“Happiness Is a Shaved Pussy”

Photo of a little boy running around the car and it was dark and raining and it was a city, and it credits a good car and has a lot of lights and buildings and cars passing through and around the main roads go through the city as a beautiful river and the orange-yellow to pale red and overpasses throughout the city as beautiful parts of the giant skeletons, post-history, do not know that they are there. Imagine the boy’s car is moving, dark and rainy here in town, and this is a good auto, and goes to the main road past and over the river as a beautiful yellow, orange and white and red, and passes under the viaduct. A wonderful fly.

And he was driven because he can not drive (of course, the way he refers to things), and the brother, Javor, of one child, one child, and one child, a very unhappy young woman, a very strange young husband and two cats. One is never to enter the house. Family. And they are his brother Javor’s. He was a baby, toddler and child. A man is not come home longer.

Javor’s done, so they should do what is normally expected to do when spending his time. Javor, who monitors the real-life police shows, and drinks beer. But this idea is not so, because the idea of credits to give Javor the opportunity to make part of communication because he does not really have much time to do something more, for some reason. Javor, trying to spend the night as children, and the odd half a quiet war with his wife, and the company plans to spend an evening out, as if they are not really there, but viewers in an ambiguous world in which they are not completely satisfied. Yes, Javor, they should do what they usually need to, when the officer, Javor, has those real-life police shows to watch and drink the beer. But this is not so much the idea, the idea of how to get the opportunity to give Javor the opportunity to achieve some degree of socialization, he who does not have much time to do something for some reason. Javor tends to spend the night in that strange quiet part of the war, and she, his wife, the unhappy young woman, usually spends the evening alone, and the company will continue as if it’s not really existing, but they are on an ethereal plane, where they are not very welcome.

The driver, before leaving, said: “Now, I do not want to, if you are going to be angry and unhappy.” He said: “But what if?” And he sighed and said: “The home-made macaroni and cheese.” He said: “Then we have to come.” He said: “I can not bring you back.” He said: “You should be fresh.” He said: “It is fresh.” He sighed and said: “Then I can do for you when I come back.” And he said: “It’s ridiculous.” The driver said before leaving: “Now I do not want to be, if you enter.” And he said: “But what are you doing?” He sighed and said, “Macaroni and cheese, Javor!” He said: “I’m here.” He said: “I can not give back.” He said: “No, you do not need the new, the fresh.” And he sighed and said, “Yeah, can I do when I get back.” He said: “Do not be ridiculous.”

Today was a child, a baby, and she had a plastic crib on the floor of this kitchen we are talking about here, but the other two are the offspring of bathrooms and the driver, shouting with his brother and probably the unhappy woman there for more than a baby in the manger on the floor and in the kitchen looked and looked (often, as viewers who tremble as if in distraction, or busy, or both) but there was one baby, baby, baby and he credits it in a plastic stand and a kitchen, and we are talking about the other two sons in the bathtub bathroom, crying, and the driver was there with his brother, and, unfortunately, likely a woman there on the floor, and the kitchen floor, a baby bed seeing: shows, shows, and every moment, as if it hiccups.

“So you still want me to give you more empty boxes?” And the driver replied, “No, Brother.” “So you want me to give you up to empty boxes?” And the driver replied, “No.” Even more.

A disagreement on the baby’s diapers, and replacing the lost one filled with shit to use it as yet. Controversy, diapers, and baby, which will replace? Full of stinking shit that does not work in this way.

Someone very, very, very fancy. Someone: Great, Wonderful, Horrible, Horrible.

Okay, listen: this house is the second house, not the other house with the old man, who apparently lives inside and a cat who credits the house, which belongs to this house more to stay in the house of another old person who smokes cigars. Listen: in front of the house, the second house, the same way as the house and one old man, who lived and apparently had a cat from this house that does not belong to this house, but left the second room of the old man who now smokes. Cat in there.

This is not your imagination. You have read here. All of the buildings and the old man and the cat are true. This is not your imagination. All of the buildings and the old man and cat are simply, simply true.

Everywhere you look, weird decorations and plastic objects in bright signs of them. In addition, all very clean. Everywhere: ornaments, cartoons, the glaring of them. Very, very clean.

This is not imagination either. I repeat: do not read here. All the strange things, plastic and purity, are true.

In the car a little boy lost in the city lights, and he was silent, lost in the city lights. The driver was the curser of traffic they seem to be stuck in, the house of his brother, Javor, and he says, “Goddamn! I knew I should not have come this way!” And there is someone holding a sign above his head, reads: “Parking.” Arrow under it pointing to the right, to the left of the driver, but still does not happen at that time, the parking, and the little boy’s view, on a wall a phrase that summed up all of your love life and how life should be always and forever, and he intends to make an entry of the decision and is included with this notification some of the things that support it, and feel that in that sentence for that, in that car, the little boy so lost in the city lights and quietly, lost in the city lights, the driver cursing traffic, they seem to stick to the road again, the house, his brother, and said, “Damn, I knew that I was supposed to be here!” but they can not park there at that time again and the boy thinks of the sentence again seen that sums up everything and how life would be and is and he may take into account the penalty involved, that penalty, and this notice, the few things that support, on and on, and considers that this expression means to him. Again.

Zack Wentz runs New Dead Families. His work has been published in (or is forthcoming from) The New York Tyrant, Weird Tales, Black Clock, and elsewhere.