The Belvedere

Geoffrey Miller has an MFA from City U in Hong Kong. His most recent fiction can be found in Apocrypha and Abstractions, Crack The Spine, Revolver, Ginosko Literary Journal, Pank, and The Journal of Micro Literature. Visually check out Paper Tape Magazine and Weave Magazine.


The Belvedere

“Welcome to The Belvedere.”
Jazzy piano, duvet smells and widening information – a drunk notices – a focusing munity, working lunch, deleted pool, stage whisper, a hassle for emphasis and room service – all mute deflected affability and sushi and disparity and clutching – ignored.

Orientation – “… roommate … villain … balcony audition …” – Hikari surprised and wasted, trying to reconfigure believable lies with low-level cold, flat-screen Hispanic reality gossip and her own collapsing young creases.

Consideration – Tsuneo’s face envelopes a lifeguard’s skull with tinted eyelashes alternating from mauve to amber, “Reversal,” pouring water, “vaguely wrong … wedding ring … something bullshit …” – tumbler – parking-lot isolation, a V-neck and nylons and spiked heels accented with car bonnet paint scratches – paper-thin and deep.

Sighs, a hundred times, soundless urges and the reality of constantly being followed somewhere to a place – a trailer, a girlfriend, a notepad – a comparatively personal promenade – to Hikari “… consider …San Diego … maybe a dentist or a Volvo.”

Purpose – Suddenly slow, bitter astronomers release a question – oncoming and reaching and narrowing particles – the tattooed assistant disappears, sobering snaps and slamming a fountain with a bathroom baby-toe stumble – a particular doorman is involved, explaining his entrance with Hikari as a dimming investment, “… mentioned … hoodoos and plastic minutes … shit …” – Tsuneo – an stunted obelisk, finally asks to cancel everything – mean.
“… Canyons … deserted … air-conditioned …” – Hikari, bright woman worries with kitchen anguish, squints innocently, “… planned-beginning …”
SECOND SCREEN – intense angle pitching horizon, missing flies – dial – “… tactic … throat … confirmed.” – Hikari in a thirty-seven pelted silver platypus cocoon explains to no one why they can be called foxes


Lima – the strangest departure

Stained, mute monks ease prone tenantless masses with unsophisticated, purple-black reserve, slices of silver, oakum cobs, infection, and exhibition – constables involuntarily indulge disconcerted, ceased decency, instinct, and misrule of spirit to estrange Hikari.

Informing breeze pauses – trust, amazement and strange fitful tracks – doubt and sunshine’s syllables pronounce ghostly instants, edged collaborators, dry chests, vacant purposes, cloudy nightcap notions, prolonged arranging, cordial appearances, purposely-referring half grunts by best skins – “Tonight Tsuneo?”

Blank ghetto smelter’s moments – a temporary mouth – rapt servant, gently anxious, calves part, entangling skeletons and crippling gestures hasten weakness, thrust compromise, half-choked slanting blood – swift impulse preceding midnight in unmoving repose and an overhanging eye demand settling with salt.

Less real than deceptive, quaint light and melancholy equip an immediate interruption, hampering resolve – indisposed out of step American self-reproach and withdrawn off-handed air, lumber through a noon breeze departure without bullets.

The carpenter as the first witness, sheep’s eyes and golden rod with a scented barber powdering mystery, good breeding, a transom servant but otherwise constant to a subordinate post or future circumstances. Undefined soliloquy affirms and selected omitting of relaxed implications, chalk words the state of things – on the coast of Miraflores.



A boa the color of a fairy tale is dreaming and breathing with its tongue among the tangle of dead and living branches building a roof over the porch. Hikari’s asleep with her back to the room as Tsuneo tries to draw the afternoon rain with charcoal. A bird dressed in the colors of a parrot scares him with its curiosity as it ignores the snake.  

Outside of the village where the soil is less used, there’s a boy who crossed his eyes before the river last flooded. From the corners of his mouth, in a voice close to the listener’s, comes wisdom and the tales of wives married to people he’s never seen. Tsuneo asked him once; he said, “I want the two halves of my brain to share.” Years ago, a Dutch biologist here studying spiders died in a canoe after the baby he made killed a local woman as it was being born. The elders left his books with her family.

The river is brown and still with a swiftness marked by diving birds – nearer the dock the air fills with the stink of burnt diesel and rubber trees while an old man waves his hand in the air to let Tsuneo know the canoe for Iquitos has left. There’s a boy playing with a sloth, as Tsuneo sits and watches them he blinks, keeping the world black a little longer each time until it slows.



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