Halloween Special– 202020202020202020…

October 30th, 2020



May we not live this year again.

This 2020 year reading of
October Nights Lyrics
is dedicated to
George,
Breonna,
my cousin Pamala,
and the countless, nameless rest…



October Nights Lyrics

No, it’s never too much darker
than this dusky side of late October.
The Moon hums sillily on the sides
of slumbering edifices, declaring willingly
the nature of her vamp metaphysics.
The first fog ghosts steal through gorges and under
bridges as our fingers move through
their freshly shampooed hair.
There’s a mischief on this air. 
Callow ghouls
stride and stagger
along the crowded
pedestrian streets;
flippant fairies
vivisect the sidewalks;
vampires with plastic
teeth transact
with their bank accounts―
crossing their fingers,
sticking out their tongues.
They curse their invisible gods.
Behind Cheshire Cat
eyes and eyebrows painted to
outrageous angles,
underdeveloped faces hide crack
infested minds. Lingering
on pouty tragi-comedy lips,
that condemnablest fear— of unknown.  

I said no,
it’s never too much darker
than this dusky side of late October.
Only they― truly tremulous― dare supplicate
at Alters of Chance and Change, dare
lift a prayer to preserve those shallow memories,
re-live them once more, ever one
time more, and so, ascend
to inalterable Eden. While we,
the wiser, wisened damned―
left behind this Day of the Dead Eve―
cursed with myth-making arts of memory, will
stumble on and stumble on and stumble on.
While we turn keys and juggle dice, they
dance to an unconquerable, sugar-coated rhythm!—
let them play, I say, at immortality.
I envy them not.
For we know first tossed spades
closing a close friend’s death, know,
unaccroachably our failures; know of
diving from cliffs into different seas, and
rocketing through and beyond the atmosphere
toward endless numbers of empty infinities.   

I said no,
no, it’s never too much darker
than this dusky side of late October.
Dressed as their most disconsolable desires,
ever greedy as first suckled,
candy-gobblers pain unto
the French word for bread.
We know, soberly, that distinction,
possess the instinct to retain,
and aspire to know totally;
our pen ink’s read; our desires
known, if only as unattainable.
Gloaming arises, morning mounts,
mist,
hissed,
ssssst.
Questions often answered then seemed notionless—
lightning remained motionless—
the tide thundered, oceanless:
acorns yet crushed
— underlined twice.
And repeats,
acorns which
have yet
to be crushed
— underlined twice.
Yet how I enjoy their crushing.
Each age of excess
soon descends.
They will soon enjoy
inaccurately remembering.
Jack-o-lantern
candles sputter out.
One less roll down the hill.
Another year,
another night…







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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX–Waterloo Records, West End

October 26th, 2020


West of the the city center, Waterloo Records still hangs out for a full square block.  Since 1982, it has sold in here.

The entrance door sticks open into the first of two expansive rooms.  In this first room, digital media– CDs, DVDs.  Immediately left of the entrance, two seven-foot cases of Texan’s music, five ranked by staff preference.  You pick up Jon Dee Graham and proceed to the next room.

Ah, here is the analogue.  Some used, but mostly new vinyl LPs sidle up the length of the building in four rows.  Unlike the digital media– which are squeezed tightly in their shelves with but the sides of their packaging displayed– the LPs have their front covers facing forward, to flip through with your fingertips.

Hey, check this out, y’all, two columns of analogue cassette tapes in six narrow rows.  Ranging from 3.99 for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a rare find, the Cro-Mags, goes for 17.99.  You pick up both, pay, remind yourself to check the belts on your tape deck, then pick up your skateboard deck from behind the counter where it was checked, hitch up your pants by the belt— and saunter forth into the bright, Texas-size Sun.







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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX– Gross Men’s Room

October 18th, 2020


The paper receipt forcefully lodged in the urinal cake drives you to the toilet, which quickly turns you back around.  The BBQ must be spicy, here.








Up Next Week: the Conclusion to ATLAS: Austin, TX– “Waterloo Records”
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ATLAS: vol 1. Austin, TX– Latin Galleries at the Blanton Museum

October 11th, 2020

“Casting the Runes” by Lenora Carrington: two-beaked bird wearing gold dominates, center-left.  Below it are demons— fluffy or angular or pig-shaped.  Above all these, cloaked and caped female figures stand at an alter with leaves and twigs.  Oil with gold on wood.

“La maestra” by Alfredo Zalce: a not so old woman wearing white sits in rocker, before black background.  Her face, three-quarters lit, with her elongated forefinger pointing to lower half of the page of the book.  The girl leans against arm of the chair, enraptured.  Woodcut.

“Espacio horizontal limitado” by Carlos Rojas: a flat black canvas in centimeters-thin, metal frame.  Inside the frame?  Two twin, white, millimeters-thin lines border the canvas.  Except in the lower corners.  To the lower right, the two lines become filled-in, forming a single, white block line in that corner.  While in the lower left corner, there is but single white, dotted line bordering the canvas.  The only other deviation from the flat black?— another block line, rising from those thin lines at the bottom, right third of the canvas, in a 90 degree angle, to form an open right triangle as it juts right, becoming thin, dotted lines, which then meet another open right triangle of block lines, above it.  Oil on Canvas.

“Graneros III”, by Gonzalo Foneca: the terra-cotta-colored sculpture resembles an architecture, or a town plan.  There are tubular towers of various diameters.  Several staircases vary in size— some of these lead to sensical places, others to nowhere in-particular.  A large foot mounted on a pedestal dominates the roof of the architecture– the foot’s width is wider than any staircase.  Other platforms and indentations, niches or windows, surround the roof and sides of the sculpture.  Red travertine.







Up Next Week: “Gross Men’s Room”
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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX–Craft Cocktail Tour with McClain

October 4th, 2020

– Red-Headed Stepchild (entry pin required)
– Firehouse
– Garage Bar
– Small Victory





Up Next Week: “Latin Galleries at the Blanton Museum”
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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX– Three Legged Dog

September 27th, 2020


Recently groomed and clearly extravagantly pampered, the small, old dog jumps slightly with each step, propelled forward by its hind legs.  A recently groomed and— maybe— slightly less pampered man keeps it on a short, black leash.






Up Next Week: “Craft Cocktail Tour with McClain”
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ATLAS: vol 1. Austin, TX–Texas Coffee Traders

September 20th, 2020

The compound doesn’t look uninviting, at least.  The chain-link has one large, open gate, and its rusted barbed-wire doesn’t seem much tampered with.  A seating area inside the enclosure has tables and picnic benches, a tent to block the sun.

The east quarter of the warehouse houses the store– a large, open space with shelves stretching almost to the ceiling.  All nationalities of bean are represented, here, whole and ground, both.  For sale: drip-coffee machines and filters; french presses and espresso machines; grinders and kettles.  Around the corner, through plate glass, you can see the roasting facility at work.

Back outside, an unmarked van pulls inside the fence, and a garage door in the building center is rolled up by hand. A glimpse of the warehouse interior reveals sheet-metal shelves stacked high with product.






Up Next Sunday: “Three-Legged Dog”
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Judges Confirmed for 2021 FLASH SUITE Contest

September 14th, 2020

Judging Process:

Our contests are judged by our four Judge Panel, with two weeks of online Fan Voting counted as an additional Judge vote. 

One Grand Prize vote counts as two Runner-Up votes.

In the event of a draw, the fan-vote becomes the tie-breaker.

Meet the Judges:

Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate fiction editor for The Lindenwood Review. He has published nine novels and two collections of short stories. He wrote Kickboxer, episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch, and was a sketch-writer for Cinemax’s Assaulted Nuts. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He won About That’s “Down and Dirty” short story contest and was a two-time finalist in the Defenstrationism annual short story contest. He has judged film contests, art shows, and short story contests. He was the final judge for Brilliant Flash Fictionin 2015 (which has included one of his stories in their first print collection) and currently for Defenstrationism (2016-2019). Glenn left 12.5 wonderful years of teaching Screenwriting at Appalachian State University to concentrate on fiction.

Lady Moet Beast, the Beast From Southeast. What can’t be said about this interesting lady? Godmother of D.C. Rap, multi-genre lyricist, producer, poet, musician, writer, singer, actress, and the list goes on. Performing live since the age of 5, determined to be heard, adored and admired, Lady Moet Beast has performed all over the U.S. for the past 25 years. Not your average HipHop Femcee she has grown along with her husband obtaining her own band The Cruddy Crankerz, Beast & Monster Ink,  Drama City Records/Draztick Measurez., Cruddy Rite Publishing, Cruddy Rite Radio, Monster Graphix, and Lioness Filmz. Lady Moet Beast has set a lot of trends from green dreadlocks to hardcore femcees in Washington, D.C. and abroad.

Cedar Danger Block (they/them) is currently a grad student of English literature, usually focusing on trans theory, comic book studies, and medieval lit. They love finding creative ways to mix the three topics and are more excited than they should be about going back to academia.

Aditya Gautam is a writer from India who believes very much in the power of fiction beyond entertaining—for instance, in throwing people out of windows. Among the many things he loves in this world are roasted peanuts, the sound of rain, thick books, toy trains, and weak sunlight. 
His short stories and poems have been published in Singapore, the USA, and the UK.  A speculative short story by him was included in the Best Asian Fiction Anthology, 2018 by Kitaab, Singapore. Most recently, he has been published in the June 2020 issue of The Bombay Review. 
His debut novel, A Dream of Duplicity, will also be published sometime later this year.




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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX– Not Just Mean, Texas Mean

September 13th, 2020

The establishment looks quite closed, so you knock before twisting the handle, which does open the unmarked door.

“Why the hell’d you knock?” she asks, declaratively.

“I wasn’t sure you were open,” you shrug, calmly.

“Might try the door before you do that.”  She looks around the nearly empty establishment.  “There’s room at the bar.  What you want?”

You proceed to make friends over two Witherspoon– a Texas-style bourbon– neat, talking about her damn dog, the politicians she hates most, how her mamma shot a man in the hip, the ending of “Buch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”





Up Next Sunday: “Texas Coffee Traders”
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ATLAS: vol. 1 Austin, TX–Not Just Nice, Texas Nice

September 9th, 2020


The Continental Club is recommended for live music, and, there, Rose is dancing a short of sashay.  She passes by you on the way to the bar a couple’a times, and she always smiles real nice.

She talks to you after the show, about life and love, the last musical act, where she’s from, and she continues to smile.  It’s an intimate smile– warm and inviting–  a longing smile, a smile that asks.

“You wanna meet the singer?” she asks you, “he’s prolly out back.”

They’re on a first name basis, and you three talk about pleasant, unimportant things.

Until the old singer says, “you get to over the age of 30 and you find there’s something higher out there.  But I’ll give you a piece of advice, boy.  Don’t pay it any attention.  ‘Cause when you notice it– it notices you.”

You kiss a little bit, and she agrees to meet you the next day.  She doesn’t.  But you still have her smile.






Up Next Sunday: “Not Just Mean, Texas Mean”
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