Monday, March 6, 2017


As you may have noticed, we haven't had stories for quite some time. That's because after seven years of working on this project, we've decided to take a hiatus.

Here are some final thoughts about the project.

Thanks for reading.

We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.


I actually thought it would never end. The work had become like a practice anyway, a kind of breathing mantra we'd forget about and then an imaginary finger would point at it and it would get back on a to-do list and focus up. I did, however, imagine that we would someday actually all meet up and talk about what we made or read our favorite pieces. I suppose that could still happen, but who knows. Time is moving faster than ever these days, and the middle of multiple points seems farther and further away in this country. But we're a good bunch, and I'd like to see it happen for sure. Dim light is a necessity. And probably a beer. I'd also love for it to exist in hard copy form too. Make a book out of it. Yes. What an antiquated thought, right? Or if not antiquated, so provincial, in a way, no? Who the hell reads except the people you know who do? I do know a few who write though.

There is evidence of reading because there is evidence of rubbing off on each other. There is more to this last piece than meets the eye, but that is a conversation for another essay for another day or project, perhaps. I enjoyed the reading as much as the writing, actually. And as a poet mostly and one who works primarily in figurative and cropped reconfigurations of experience and sentiment, it was pretty cool to think in terms of narrative and then see that thinking get turned on its head by others in the group.

In terms of writing, I followed the rules for the most part. I remember Lyle and I had spoken about this idea of making it open/inventive and, especially, quick and under ten minutes or whatever. I immediately went Beat with the whole thing, and then new aesthetics starting informing the work. Pretty soon, five to ten minutes became more like fifteen to twenty or even more. But when I got conscious of it, it snapped back into place. Adjustment and stretch. Breath. It's sounding more and more like a yoga practice as I continue to remember it and write about it now.

What did we make? Love, I think. We made love. We made intentions and fulfilled them, and that is in and of itself an act of love. It can also manifest as an act of hate (some will say fear?), but thankfully we chose not to do that. In many ways, the actual products of our intentions almost don't matter. I mean, they do, obviously - and they are rad and flat and thoughtful and mischievous and crafty and everything in between - but the process seems to hold more weight while I'm writing this now. The process made me more conscious of the voices I let enter and inhabit my work and the values I express in my writing. The process made me think deeply about my present and time and the relationships around me. All this stuff sounds really private, and it is (and there are rooms within rooms within even more private rooms, still), but it's taking the intensely private and holding it up into the light that may ultimately teach us the most about ourselves. I'm thankful to have taken part in the exploration, these necessary lifts out of the routines that we think are so essential to the glue and binding of life only to be proven wrong again and again.

13 Rules of Flash Fiction (Johanna)

  1. Flash fiction is a story under 500 words.
  2. I used to write at a desk, but I gave up on proper posture and now I write in a chair from Ikea with upholstery dyed blue. My laptop is hot on my lap.
  3. In Taos, speaking with strangers is discouraged, especially old hippies with long beards. You will inevitably find yourself stuck in an endless conversation about a variety of conspiracies regarding aliens, vaccines, the government and chem trails.
  4. My daughter is not often nice to me. My mother says we are exactly alike. I work hard to make her laugh. She’s nine.
  5. Flash fiction requires succinct language.
  6. I like to handwrite all my stories first and then type them up. I also print photos and put them in albums. I listen to vinyl. Millennials think analog is cool. I try to explain that cassette tapes suck and always have.
  7. In Taos, all the buildings are either made of clay or have facades plastered with clay to look like they are made of clay. The clay comes from the ground. It peels off the walls in the harsh mountain climate-- the freezing winter sun and the parched summer sun.
  8. My daughter, born and raised in these mountains and clay buildings, gives the old hippies names—Slim Jim, Dog Face, Hobo Jo. She says, “I feel bad for people with bad parents who grow up to be hobos.” I wonder if she will be a hobo when she grows up.
  9. Flash fiction must imply what is not said.
  10. I wait a day to reread what I type, to check that the language conveys the story I meant for. Sometimes I discover a new narrative, a new implication, and I add words to draw it out from the paragraph. Then I wait another day.
  11. Taos Pueblo is the oldest inhabited building in the United States. Some families have lived here for a thousand years. There is a lake so sacred, you must belong to the tribe to visit.
  12. My tribe is in diaspora. I’ll never belong here. Belonging doesn’t exist in my DNA. I come from generations of immigrants and I have passed our displacement to my daughter.
  13. Flash fiction saves the climax for the end of the story and often adds a twist.
  14. When the story finally finds its infinite form, it spirals out from the center to return to the center. Only then do I know I am done.

Et al. (lyle)

2017 turned out to be a shitty year. Alienation, decrepitude, decimation. But I'm being melodramatic -- I know. One of the most difficult things was deciding to call it quits with PFC. I hope that we'll all have the heart to start it up again or try something new. We will... We will.