Thursday, April 2, 2015

Two Chairs

Untitled by Sherisse

Someone in the house had just died. Dropped dead, in fact. In a closet of a bedroom with the clothes still hanging above, shirt sleeves hanging neatly from their hangers, dresses draped one each beside the other, no bodies inside of them, their colors and cotton, their simultaneous shape and shapelessness. In another room a couple was making love, their bodies clotted together, nude, out-loud moaning that puffed them up and colored their skin crimson, moaning that made the heart accelerate and the toes and fingers go numb, cold. From the center of the house, one could not gather, only guess, who they were; their anonymity had rendered them temporarily invisible or forgotten, and what was certain was that on this particular day they could not be known, not by their names or addresses or interests. The elegant pursuits and intricate schemes of the living: they didn’t matter now. What mattered were the items abandoned, the bag left on the bed, the upside down cups, two of them, the spaces that could not be occupied except perhaps by music, by space or emptiness itself, like a vitrine cleared of its contents, chairs reserved not for sitting but for some not yet fully formed future, some prognostication of sitting. The soul of these things. And the someones who occupied this day, their locutions, you might say they had been cruel and unnecessarily so. Their various vague and foreign disguises: moustaches, hats, trousers, footwear. There were no punched tickets in the pockets, only receipts collecting light creases, a little bit of lint.


The Lovers by Alan

Sometimes it takes a window to understand light. Sometimes it’s like I can’t believe I’ve been living in all this dark. It’s like what’s there, through curtain and glare, is a kind of fuzzy invitation to look inward and make sense (as in shadows, take inventory, check the mail) of the later frames.

The letters won’t read themselves, you know. It’s knowledge of the other that stands up the characters, aligns them with breath so that they rise and dip like a kite. Without is not tearing open. Without is just sky.

I want to tell you all why I left, but first I have to arrange the study. Then I will return to the table we inhabited and wait for the sun to go down. I will imagine us a pair of chairs separated by our desire for a sense of place. Here we are now. We offer the nape, half-lit, on the one end and then almost everything but some definition on the other. Be careful not to disturb the universe, my love. I will be careful not to disturb the universe.

Slowly the sequence to the season: Is there any other way? we think, on good days. Is there any other way? First to each other and then to ourselves. Moving in and then moving out.


Defying Evolution by Johanna

Charles Darwin invented the office chair. He placed wheels on the bottom of an ordinary chair. In this way, he could move faster from specimen to specimen. And so the chair evolved. Humans have evolved with the office chair. Necks and shoulders hunch over. Pelvis tilts back. Nerve compression in the lumbar. Pain in the coccyx. Muscle degeneration. Obesity. Early death.

“Sit anywhere you’d like.”

“I’d rather stand.”

I’ve given up chairs. Like some people give up chocolate or cigarettes, two vices of no interest to me. I’ll stand at counters. Eat at the bar. Type at my standing desk.

“Rest your feet.”

“I’m resting my tailbone.”

No one understands. My mother says I make her nervous, always hovering. In my office, I tower over cubicle walls. Co-workers hunch deeper as if hiding from me. My boss eyes me suspiciously. After work, I run ten miles. I eat one fish filet and one cup of salad. I sleep on my back.

“Have a seat.”

“No, thank you.”

I only sit in my dreams. There is a lounge chair. Plush and brown leather. It reclines. The chair is placed next to a window. The light comes in low and illuminates my elevated toes. I sink into the chair. The cushions fuse to my spine. I wake up restless and sweaty.


Minuteman by Forrest

For this work, meeting another morning, without him: notebooks, ledgers, the last legal pad she had from the office. A small table for that very reason. Imagining him seated before her with nothing else, no notes. Only what was inside him. He had experiences, once he recollected over trust fund certificates with his deceased wife's name, with another woman; and these she wrote down, instead of numbers, as numbers. Hotel rooms. Tallies. Barometer pressure. Algorithms forgotten. She hated them, all the numbers, and all their blind spots accordingly. The measurement of the inseam of his pants, for instance, the way he shifted. She saw it shift. It looked different at the table. All the numbers, these not belonging to him. All on the legal pad. He sold all the possessions. There was only the paperwork, and that in itself keeps the paperwork, she thought. Between them the little ill-stacked pile of All she tallies, trying to remember whether sunrise today is sooner or later by a minute.


I Know Where She Keeps the Key by Bill

The door closed behind me with the almost exact amount of force required in one quick touch to push it shut, overcoming the friction of the latch against the strike-plate and settle secure in the frame without undo noise on impact with the jamb. I did not remove my jacket or my scarf. The air in the apartment was warm and the discomfort and itchiness if I stayed too long seemed desirable, necessary. Deserved. The windows being closed kept a scent of toffee and clove in the place from candles I could tell let off their scent even when unlit.

I used scent in place of odor intentionally.

Though the actual consideration was fractional at best – happening in my mind in a sequence of calculations underwritten semi-consciously by what I am now reviewing in a somewhat reductive loop to attempt to unpack – it was consideration none-the-less of what I can only best describe as political mixed with personal appreciation. It was responsible and irresponsible. Hell, it was personal and odor felt too judgmental, like a mischaracterization.

The chairs too I am trying to decide between. What is it that I can infer from this? What is here? A single occupant at the table keeping the present focus in front of them and the less exacting concerns at arms reach? Or were there two?

Which didn’t push the chair back in? And the table. Is there a folder on that table with briefs on pending legislation? Committee and donor dossiers? Is there a ledger of clients? A calendar with regular appointments, doctors visits? How closely does one profession mirror the other on paper and how silly of me to have never realized before.


It's almost as if... by Lyle

It. Is. Almost as if something started here with people. But there's nothing that has to make it that way. Residue, invisible, of human-ness like sallow, sick fucking ghosts who were never human to begin with.

Let's start over.

Sometimes in the right light, I can barely see him and sometimes in the right light I can still... It doesn't matter anymore anyway.

The Singularity occurs every day. Every goddamn day forever.

Sometimes a pile of books on a table is just some books someone doesn't want to read even though they tell you that they do. It's not about desire so much as it is about comprehension. You moron.

And people in general. You know what they're like. People. Hellish. You understand, don't you?

What was your name again? I don't remember anymore. But there you are. In the window. In the wind. Disappeared.

It's almost as if things get away from you and no matter how hard you try you can't get them back.