Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 23
Winter, 2016

Featured photograph, Frozen Galaxy by Fabrice Poussin.

New Works

Addison James


Parallax — apparent displacement of an observed thing due to the changing position of the observer, mostly associated with astronomy.

Part I Assumptions at the Veterans Assembly. Central High School. Veterans Day 2016.

1 — Virgo (virgin). Second largest constellation in the wide, black speckled nightscape. Hydra is the only grouping larger.
Some of the students carry deep secrets and psychic scars.
2 — Draco (dragon). Found in the far northern sky. The north pole resides in this constellation named by Ptolemy, ancient star-gazer.
Dragons were immolated on this spot years ago.
3 — Crux (cross). Located in a particularly radiant portion of the Milky Way, Crux is more commonly called the Southern Cross.
Some of the vets carry deep psychic wounds and repressed secrets.
4 — Serpens (serpent). There are two daytime meteor showers that radiate from Serpens; the showers peak and the serpent sparkles like flaneuring Christmas lights between December 18 and December 25.
Statistically, one to three of the faculty or staff are involved in some form of
inappropriate relationship with another faculty member or student.
5 — Ursa Minor (small bear). This constellation is commonly called the Little Dipper. By far, this star cluster is most used by navigators because of bright Polaris, the North Star.
More than 3/4s of the vets assembled in the high school gym have killed multiple
6 — Aquila (eagle). Aquila is associated with the eagle who kidnapped Ganymede, son of a king of Troy. The stolen prince was winged to Mount Olympus to play cup-bearer to the gods.
Statistically, a handful of the non-military crowd have killed.
7 — Caelum (chisel). This star cluster is small and out of the plane of the Milky Way, utterly forgettable and irrelevant.
Ghosts melt through the basketball court each time the JROTC color guard
marches across.
8 — Cetus (sea monster). Cetus the pulpy sea-monster was slain by steely Perseus while saving cooing Andromeda from Poseidon's capricious wrath.
There is no respect in the young; some student will rip a fake fart or yell at a
poignant juncture.
9 — Lupus (wolf). This dulcet Greek constellation in all probability hails from the Babylonian figure called the Mad Dog.
None of the students will ever be veterans sitting like this at a high school
10 — Corvus (raven). This Babylonian constellation was revered by the worshipers of Adad, god of rain and storm. Back in Babylonian days, Corvus rose just before the start of autumn rainy season.
Someone in this room will die tomorrow.

Part II Further Assumptions, Inferences, Suppositions, and Postulations

1 — Virgo. Some of the students carry deep secrets and psychic scars.

1 — Only the guidance office "officially" knew that Cadyn's brother was also her boyfriend.
2 — She house-hopped around amorphous foster care half her little life.
3 — When the Baskervilles took her, it was for cash. Times were tight and the Commonwealth was paying upwards of a thousand a month.
4 — The Baskervilles already had a two-year old named Jonah when Cadyn came.
5 — After several monthly checks, the Baskervilles decided another foster kid could fund their burgeoning meth enterprise.
6 — A second lab was set up in the basement, and Chris joined the family.
7 — Cash and checks arrived steadily, like sunrise and sunset. Most funds were frivolously funneled into veins, lungs, and intestines, no 401Ks or college accounts. The third lab deprived Cadyn of her room.
8 — Cadyn moved her bed into Chris's and Jonah's room; she was twelve. By now, Jonah was five. Chris was fourteen; he would jack-off while he watched Cadyn sleep.
9 — Spanking it and cumming in an old tee could only satisfy for so long. The first time, her first time, he raped her while she pretended to sleep; Jonah quietly watched.
10 — The Baskervilles encouraged the quasi-incestuous coupling. Cadyn had fallen in love with Chris and welcomed his sex and devotion. When she got pregnant, the Baskervilles set her and the baby up on welfare, listing the father as Unknown. The fucked part, the secret-secret part was what only Cadyn and Chris knew: they had shared a bed once long ago, when Cadyn first came home from the hospital. Everett, their father, had divorced Chris' mother, and had shacked-up with Angela, Cadyn's momma. Chris was only two, but he still remembered sleeping next to sissy while daddy fucked Angela. Since Cadyn's momma was black and Cadyn was mixed, she felt sure no one would ever discover their real secret, their deep secret, or suspect her psychic wounds, wrapped tight like strips of linen enshrining B-movie mummies.

2 — Draco. Dragons were immolated on this spot years ago.

1 — Epochs ago before humans crossed the great ice bridge from Asia into the Americas, the forebearers of modern wood lizards lived in the primeval rainforest that stood were Central High now resides.
2 — These days, the remaining remnants of these dragon-like lizards live in the cloud forests of Peru and Ecuador.
3 — Modern wood lizards are diminutive miniatures of their ancestors, only a few inches long; during the Eocene period, wood lizards were leviathans, big as sedans.
4 — Wood lizards are hydrophilic.
5 — Fifty-six million years ago in Morton's Gap, Kentucky, where Central sits, lived a very old wood lizard.
6 — The great wurm had lived over two hundred years, guarding the gap between the upper plateau and the great rainforest below. The reptile only coincidentally guarded the gap; the real treasure was a deep water well that lay at the foot of the two-hundred-foot kapok tree where the lizard lived.
7 — Recently, the gargantuan wood lizard had its hegemony challenged by its cousin, titanoboa, a school bus sized snake.
8 — Titanoboa slithered silently up the kapok tree where the sleeping dragon roosted of an evening. Night swallowed up the scene. The weight of the great snake began to break branches as it climbed higher.
9 — The creaking crick of branches alerted the wood lizard to the impending fight. Titanoboa had the initiative. Lashing out with a venomous bite, the snake scored the first blow of the melee. Swatting, out of instinct, the guardian of the well lacerated the snake's snout with its razor-edged talons.
10 — The element of surprise was lost, and the old wurm had the high ground. It seemed as though the wood lizard would prevail against the interloper, but both combatants were charred to cinders as morning broke on the fray. Great fire-balls broke through the atmosphere and pelted the earth. The largest made contact in Siberia and the Chesapeake. Several smaller bolides made contact as well, but the one digging into the Chesapeake was what immolated the North American dragons. The impact sent concussive ripples through the land, reaching hundreds of miles away. Fires broke out, burning down the soggy rainforests of America. Mega fauna and the surrounding flora were wiped away, North American rainforests no more. Cataclysmic shifts were set in motion by the firestorm of meteors that tore the land that forgotten day. Fast forward fifty-six million years or so. The land has morphed; tectonic shifting had pushed the well deep beneath the surface of the planet. The once teeming natural environment is now home to highways, parkways, fuel stations and burger shacks.

3 — Crux. Some of the vets carry deep psychic wounds and repressed secrets.

1 — In 1986, unarmed U.S. military helicopters transported Honduran soldiers to the Nicaraguan border to fight back the advancing Sandinista army. At least that's what "official" documents said. In reality, yes, the helios weren't brandishing weapons, but the U.S. soldiers inside were.
2 — Orders from HQ were as follows: Once all Honduran troops have been deployed, each soldier is to expend all magazines on the Miskito Indians living along the border. DO NOT return to HQ with any ammo, kill 'em till they are dead, gentlemen.
3 — Dave was there. He did as ordered. He saw them, the Miskitos, flee under his fire. Some stood naked and brave, slinging stones and arrows skyward, trying to down the whirlybird.
4 — Career military is a good route for a kid coming out of high school, so that's what Dave did in '75. It was May when he joined, just a month before Operation Frequent Wind had been initiated and was extracting U.S. Troops from Vietnam.
5 — Dave was not yet 30 when he had murdered the Miskitos. By the time he neared retirement in '95, he had spent time in ops in the Persian Gulf and got decorated in the Gulf War.
6 — After '95, Dave was done following orders. He hadn't married or procreated. He retired shy of 40 to the Florida Keys, bought a little shack and a used sloop.
7 — Army checks kept Dave in a gallimaufry of carrot juice, beer, and potted meat, but for fun things — whores and guns, Dave had to make monies flow from Central American sources. Daniel Ortega wasn't in power down Nicaragua way anymore, but Dave knew some nationals that dealt in contraband.
8 — Sailing his septentrional sloop South, Dave would make runs to the Bahamas, Haiti, and on into the Caribbean Sea where he would make for ports in Honduras or Nicaragua. He would be gone for months, solitary sea tranquility ops.
9 — Once on Central American soil, Dave would buy grass and powder. The hold of his sloop would be filled with equipollent poundage of product.
10 — Back in the twattling Keys, Dave would smoke and snort his days hugger-mugger. The drugs weren't for any particular purpose, wealth or status. He wanted his own supply to cravenly consume and magnanimously make available to hangers-on. The real drug was adventure, the sexy danger of smuggling, drug running, and being free under the welkin gaze of black night, blue day, and yellow rays. The money still spent, but it never went beyond the next year. By 2016, Dave was almost 60. Living a Jimmy Buffett song had been fun when Dave was a young man, but those days were done. Dave's parents were old now, dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis, Parkinson's were ravaging the couple. Dave sold the sloop and abandoned the shack so he could move back to his Kentucky home. Marriage had finally suited Dave, so he now lived in a quiet neighborhood near his childhood home in Madisonville. His wife was a real estate agent, and Dave spent his days easing his parents into their graves. The old adrenalin rush of the open ocean and a ship full of drugs was a scratch he didn't itch. The fear and horror of attempted ethnic cleansing was something he rarely dwelt on. He tried to make amends by devoting two weeks a year to doing mission work in Nicaragua with Baptist Medical and Dental International, but he knew he could never atone for all those return trips with empty ammo canisters. His wife and mother saw the notice in the paper about the Veterans Assembly. They prodded till he donned the ole' uniform again. He didn't want to be there, being honored for all he defended and destroyed, but it made his momma happy.

4 — Serpens. Statistically, one to three of the faculty or staff are involved in some form of inappropriate relationship with another faculty member or student.

1 — Mr. Robbie taught Digital Literacy at Central.
2 — Derrick took Mr. Robbie's class sophomore year.
3 — Their relationship didn't progress until Derrick's senior year; that's when they became partners.
4 — Mr. Robbie approached Derrick under the auspices of undertaking a complex non-school related project.
5 — Once Derrick heard the pitch, he was in.
6 — The pitch was rooted in complex math and software design. Mr. Robbie needed Derrick's bright shining mind to help develop the algorithm and write the code. The payoff would be cold hard lucre.
7 — The idea was tied to Mr. Robbie's chronic masturbation. A typical masturbatory session involved him searching RedTube using keywords, "skinny brunette teen," "mature hairy red head," "cam girl small tits," "amateur blonde MILF," "ebony bbw." Mr. Robbie was searching for doppelgangers of students, friends, past lovers, Facebook friends. The idea germinated from there: write an algorithm that would translate a screenshot into a keyword search on porn repositories.
8 — The app would allow users to upload screenshots pilfered from social media sites or anywhere, old yearbooks, magazines, images captured from everyday locales. The app would then isolate keyword search terms to find look-a-like porn actors or actresses. The more images uploaded to the app, the more likely the user would be able to masturbate to the exact likeness of their spank-bank dreams.
9 — As a result of the business venture and burgeoning partnership, Mr. Robbie and Derrick spent lots of time together watching porn and writing code. Many faculty members had noticed the increased fraternization. Others were taking notice as well. MindGeek, the global conglomerate out of Luxembourg that ran RedTube, had entered negotiations with Mr. Robbie based on a beta version of the program. Ridiculous numbers were being thrown out as starting offers for the software.
10 — If the pair could navigate the minefield of inappropriateness, it seemed that a payoff was imminent. Unbeknownst to Mr. Robbie or Derrick, the school board had just begun investigating the nature of the relationship after Derrick's mom found a porn cache and JPEGs of high school girls on a thumb drive.

5 — Ursa Minor. More than 3/4s of the vets assembled in the high school gym had killed multiple people.

1 — The lone Korean War vet had laid more men six feet deep than any other in the gym.
2 — Ken was in the Chorwan Valley fighting that proxy war against the Chinese. He was a heavy artillery gunner, shelled the hell outta the surrounding hills.
3 — One of Ken's victims was Li Qiang.
4 — There were nine divisions of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army in the Chorwan Valley. Li was in first division. His position came under heavy shelling and succumbed to the U.S. war machine.
5 — Ken was yelling, "I'm gonna stick my size 10 up your Chinese tail-pipes," while Li died.
6 — Li was a devotee of Taoism, The Way. With religious devotion came pious ancestor worship.
7 — Ancestor veneration has roots in the Zhou Dynasty (1122- 256 BC). Before the Zhou, people worshiped the old gods, but after the Zhou, ancestor worship became more prevalent. Confucianism and Taoism sprang from the waning days of the Zhou dynasty as well.
8 — Ken, the Killer of Korea, was visited one wintry morn by a 10,000-year-old progenitor of Li's line. Ken was breaking the ice on his pond, so's his cows could drink. Ken smote the chunky ice with a digging bar big as him, once, twice, thrice, and then it gave way and swallowed him up. Icy death was seeping into his clothes and freezing his toes. He wavered in and out of consciousness, verging on hypothermic sleep.
9 — Changdong Ban materialized in Ken's dream-death mind. The ancestor ghost was bathed in soft light and fuzzy realism. Changdong spoke power to freezing Ken. "You will feed and honor my son Li with money and paper offerings. Give him weapons to fight his ghost-world enemies. Respect the remains of the life you took by seeing him a successful ghost."
10 — Killer Ken, slaughterer of thousands by artillery and arm, was saved from iced-death by the miraculous intervention of his Golden Retriever, Duke, who pulled him out by the scruff-neck. Ken laid stone solid for over an hour, came to, and crawled, belly magnetized to earth, home. The icy pond took four of his toes and laid him in hospital for a week. While still being cared for, he folded napkins into knives and offered them on the warm radiator to Li. When home, Ken built a small shrine out back of the barn. Daily, he would take coins, choice morsels, and carefully folded paper items to dedicate to Li. For his part, Li, who died childless, was able to have ghost things like other dead; he thrived with the aid of Ken's offerings.

6 — Aquila. Statistically, a handful of the non-military crowd have killed.

1 — "Gardyloo," shouted the puissant communicado from the velvety swevens of Tolier's teens.
2 — He was an ambodexter ping pong phenome who excogigated to cozen his pimple-pocked cousin of twenty-dollars.
3 — Conteumelious attercrops and pismires were sanguinolently twittering about the basement where the ping-pong table resided.
4 — Melliflous whacks and thuds cascaded off the crystalline concrete walls as the pair pounded the paddles to determine who the ebullient victor would be.
5 — Toliver pizzled his pimple-pocked cousin. The tepid cousin was always huckle-bone-bound to his mother. She, Aunty, remained upstairs during the diminutive tennis match.
6 — Chirping bills and jangling coins signaled the beatnik exchange of nebulous cash and desultory sighs.
7 — In the gnarled subterranean light, the cousins fought over the money and match. Sopping blood seeped carpetwards.
8 — The downy fibers soaked her son's last breath and final thumping blood beat while Aunty sipped coffee and capriciously bathed in the windowside apricity of November.
9 — Toliver, mushy and oily, left the banana republic luminescence of the blood drenched basement. His squawking Aunty, gurgling and rasping death, drenched Toliver with boiling blows.
10 — Crepuscular animals ate the damp remains. The police were told a diaphanous story about Toliver's cousin wandering into those woods. His family tightly stored the secret in pressure sealed mason jars, never to be told. Shifting blame and theories, coupled with inept State Police, placed the case in the unsolved pile. Toliver carried the ping-pong beating in his secret heart every day.

7 — Caelum. Ghosts melt through the basketball court each time the JROTC color guard marches across.

1 — Akio Arakaki from Okinawa was a powerful warrior from a long samurai line.
2 — In June of '42, Akio led his men into the U.S. held, but vacant, Aleutian Islands, west of Alaska.
3 — By May of '43, U.S. forces had retaken the isle of Attu.
4 — Akio and his men made their final stand against the GIs on the island of Kiska.
5 — It devolved to close quarters combat in the sand. Akio held his great-great grandfather's katana, Bright Star, when he was overtaken by GI bullets. A Kentuckian named Bill Tatum took Bright Star from the dying hands of Akio. With a clumsy stroke of aged steel, Bill sliced Akio's throat.
6 — Bright Star became Bill's WWII trophy. Some boys shipped pilfered Lugers home from the German front. Bill's mother received the oddly packaged sword one sunny morning at the Penrod Post Office in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. She took the package home where it sat silently waiting for Bill's return.
7 — After the war, Billy-Boy made his heroic homecoming. Waiting for him, wrapped in cardboard and Hawaiian newspapers was Bright Star. When Bill unsheathed the sword in his childhood bedroom, the ghost of Akio was loosed.
8 — The supreme dishonor of being sliced from ear to ear by his own ancestral blade was more than the ghost of Akio could bear. Upon falling bloody to sand, Akio's ghost melded with the high carbon polished steel of Bright Star. The sword became a vessel for spirit, ancient magic borne boon. As long as Bill possessed Bright Star, Akio would haunt him; Bill never made the connection between sword and ghost, but he knew he was haunted by some past transgression.
9 — Akio quickly became bored with Bill and Kentucky. Bill watched boring TV shows in English, which Akio couldn't understand. Killing Akio and stealing his sword was about the most interesting thing Bill had done in his life. He worked at a factory, ate at diners, and prayed in a lackluster temple; Akio was not impressed. In fact, Akio felt less and less like haunting these days. His revenge had been exacted years ago when Akio smothered Bill's first son in his crib. Now Akio couldn't escape. He desperately longed for Bill to destroy Bright Star or maybe return it to Japan. Akio craved Japan, his ancestors and the dead spaces of his ghost past.
10 — While the JROTC color guard paraded around, Akio practiced forcing his ethereal form through the floor and then shooting up to rematerialize within the bodies of the uniformed teens, only to be thrust out by the pumping of their American blood. Akio was so bored by the ceremony, he wished Bill had stayed home to watch Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Akio liked Marshal Dillion. Maybe Bill would die soon. Maybe that would release Akio from his ill-planned haunting situation. Maybe Akio could haunt Bill into selling the sword and Akio would be in the hands of more interesting people, maybe. Till then Akio would watch Westerns and examine casseroles made by overweight widows at church potlucks.

8 — Cetus. There is no respect in the young; some student will rip a fake fart or yell at a poignant juncture.

1 — sitting swaddled in uncomfortableness and on a beguiling cold metal chair im too aged to be here these ebullient kids dont zooming care
2 — did i take all my mellifluous morning pills did dwimmer-crafty linda have my pill caddy filled did i take my evening pills on accident im exhausted
3 — stand sit stand salute my legs ache surely i didnt take my pain pill i grow sanguinolent and strike a hypnotic lick
4 — i wish my grandkids were here 'stead of in houston though i went to boot camp in texas texas was a helluva time women whiskey western wear bastogne was real deal hell cold as well water and polar frozen
5 — i did take my quiescent pm pills had to because im drowsy as can be a nap would do they are dimming the lights to set the table for the pows mias and those that never had their bones brung home i see ghosts
6 — im young again swimming in the sea momma took me when i was nothing but a sprat daddy on the farm but me and momma went to see memaw chessie be buried we rode a fancy pullman car clear to florida all wet now swimming in the great wide expanse of blue bobbing up against the cresting white froth and foam mommas watching me from the further shore i go floating
7 — didnt happen but swallowed up like jonah trapped in fish belly all i want is momma momma momma dark hemmed in like a corpse in a coffin i cry
8 — momma the sea florida texas belgium gym metal chair spit from the fish to momma falling crying wailing whaling pills momma momma womb belly whale fish jonah jesus me me me
9 — awake someone ripped a good loud toot the leatherneck next to me did he did i i smell it now did i the students are chuckling i did shit myself
10 — wet drawers soiled uniform stand again after setting of the table for ghosts i smell my shit no one seems to mind momma to clean me linda to clothe me jesus to save me and these little shits to honor me this is the belly of the whale bastogne hell

9 — None of the students will ever be veterans sitting like this at a high school assembly.

1 — In future world
Bloody-pants virgin mothers
Consume their babies.
2 — Future student teens
Only exist in V.R..
3 — Neutered soft machines
Sabotage classroom learning.
4 — Children congregate
Via virulent avatars
Of God's perfection.
5 — Freedom ain't free
Ain't free over wi-fi neither
U.S.A in ether.
6 — Future wizened vets
Honored with comments and likes
Cyber-space parade.
7 — Couch-bound bravery
Medals won with V.R. specs.
8 — Hand-to-hand got killed
Cyber battles are the now.
9 — Touch, feel, fucking kill
Digital, not physical
End you with keystrokes.
10 — Each gen is better
Older gens are much lesser.

10 — Someone in this room will die tomorrow.

1 — Yela stepped through the corporeal plane of existence, into red realms of Martian sand and sky.
2 — Yela was a character created by Tom in an online RPG called Red Planet.
3 — Yela was tall, brown, and busty, all Tom wanted to fuck. He would flog his nob to Yela's skin tight outfits and the gait of her long dark legs.
4 — Tom was fat, pale, and boy-busty. When he fucked his hand or slid his dick between two pillows he would try to be as close to the screen as possible, inches from the hulking space marine sex of Yela.
5 — Tom looked into buying one of those animatronic fuck dolls, three-holed and pre-tightened for his teeny pleasure. They were so expensive. He had faith some foreign-fuck would develop new tech to slash the price, but that could take years. In the meantime, in between time, he ordered a svelte pocket pussy online.
6 — Tom scribed the name Yela on the plastic, fleshy brown pocket pussy, and he fucked it between bouts of Red Planet Martian battles and interstellar spaceship chases. Fuck and game; game and fuck, Yela and virtual life at the center of his lust.
7 — School was hard for Tom because he couldn't fuck or game. He was the hind-end of several sophomoric cruel jocular jabs, but he didn't dwell.
8 — Home was hard for Tom because his grandma would whine about his seclusion. Tom's mom and dad were gone baby, gone. Someone had explained it to him once, but he couldn't remember.
9 — Raw dicking Yela the day prior to Veteran's Day, Tom got caught by his grandma. His flaccid penis bent inside the rubber replica of womanhood with shame. His grandma recoiled in horror.
10 — Tom avoided home after the Veteran's Day Assembly. He lingered around town till well after the sun dipped down. It wasn't till after midnight, hoping grandma was sleeping, that Tom went home. To his surprise, grandma and the minister were waiting for the teen. He hemmed and hawed about this and that, but lost his shit when grandma told him she had incinerated the pussy, game console, and all. He beat his grandma and maimed the minister before swallowing a shot from his dead granddaddy's .45.

Addison James teaches Grade Nine at an undisclosed locale in the Commonwealth of Stay Outta His Business. He lives in a re-purposed micro-home he fashioned out of ole' chicken coups and dog runs. His wife is a raving radical Republican right-winger who currently carries their first offspring. The expectant pair lives with their bloodhound Rufus in a rural out of the way spot surrounded by pastoral beauty and bovine sentinels. His work can be read in Weirderary, Red Fez and The Concho River Review.