Archive for the ‘Project: Micrograffiti’ Category

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Micrograffiti: Scenario Number One In Which Julia Kowalski Grows A Tail by Kelly Luce

23/02/2011

Scenario Number One In Which Julia Kowalski Grows A Tail by Kelly Luce

Little Julia has just gotten over the chicken pox. To celebrate, her doting parents take her to the Big City Zoo to see the pygmy elephants, which their local zoo does not feature.

Julia does not like the Big City Zoo. It is crowded and the animals look upset. Julia wonders if the angry gorilla pounding at the glass is contagious, like her sickness. Contagious, she knows, means giving something bad to someone else, even if they don’t want it. That was how she got those chicken pox, and how she got rid of them. She clings to her mother, worried that getting too close to a hideous, wrinkly grandma will make her ugly and old, too.

They leave the zoo and descend into the subway. While they wait on the platform, a rat scrambles out of a trash bin and across Julia’s red sneakers. The child is inconsolable; Father springs for a taxi and must bribe the driver to bring them the entire way.

The next day, it’s just as Julia expects: the pink, skinny, hairless appendage sticks out just above the elastic on her underwear.  She grits her teeth and summons contagion.

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As a high-schooler, Kelly Luce worked at the Brookfield Zoo, home to the first okapi born in the United States and the first wombat born outside Australia.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

 

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Micrograffiti: The Children’s Book by Carmen Edington

16/02/2011

The Children’s Book by Carmen Edington

“T” is for toddler and tycoon, and truck. Tundra and tantalize and “T” rails of coke. Ornate or plain, an ill designed “T” confuses the child. A suggestive illustration and parents are wild. Telegraph is out, bearing no current relevance. Young minds are at stake. We can’t take any chances. Read in a sing-song voice, slow and very rhythmic. And please, oh please, school your child in arithmetic. The Chinese are winning. We cannot let this happen. Listen to celebrities. It’s not pointless yapping. Assemble and act quickly or the end-times are near. Hug the children ever tightly. As the future, they’re dear. “A” is for an astute America or “B” is for bust. “C” is for curtain call and “D” is for the U.S.’s dust.

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Carmen Edington loves parody and is the managing editor of FC2.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

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Micrograffiti: The Ensorcellment by Rob Ehle

09/02/2011

The Ensorcellment by Rob Ehle

One high school Christmas night Emmers rode with two pals to the City to wassail it up. Their combined age was 44. They rode the train with an elf. What a night—Juan, Larry, and a magical being. Emmers had seen the big tree when he was little. Gosh. One evening, perhaps, to leave jaded adulthood behind. Juan had brought along the family Jaegermeister. The elf was very blonde, just like an elf, and Larry said it was a Nazi child, but secretly Emmers was entranced. Those tights alone. But the holiday’s shapeless ebb had already begun. Larry thumbed his Christmas gizmo with disturbing focus. Emmers and Juan passed the Jaegermeister back and forth like Lapps on a vision quest. At 4th and King they stepped into the city night with twelve other human travelers, plus the elf. None of them had any idea where the big tree was, and with no spoken agreement, they tippily followed the little betighted person. He took them as far as the ballpark where, maybe skittish about anti-pixie scufflings, he hailed a cab and left them, as their last gift of childhood, the bronze statue of the Say Hey Kid. Witness to evanescent joy.

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Rob Ehle is a graphic designer living in San Francisco.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

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Micrograffiti: Persistence of Vision by César Díaz

02/02/2011

Persistence of Vision by César Díaz

The leathery eyelid closes over his gaze and burns the image. He won’t see darkness entirely, but a yellowing bled into blue—and the red of an orb.  A voice—“Help me, I can’t do it all by myself.” A flash—the eyelid opens: the orb remains, an afterimage, the voice, an afterthought. When she said to him, “You’re no help. I’ll find someone else.” He said to her, “I’m no bore. That’s how I am.” He told himself, Be quiet. That’s not what I want to hear. Still, when he closed his eyes again, he saw more than veins and capillaries flowing through the void between his eye and the world. He saw her walking away—beyond him, set adrift. In that instance he heard others saying—you let her go, for what? He had no reason; he did so because he could, because he possessed a power to do so. Who will blame him, if, by this might, he dwells upon and validates his own ego, on the glistered eye of yearning admirers and the excitement found in the possibility of sex?

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César Díaz lives in Austin, Texas, and is working on his first book.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

 

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Micrograffiti: The Things They Sold by Nina McConigley

26/01/2011

The Things They Sold by Nina McConigley

It was the West, and to go West, it was more than a barter. The Indian family runs the motel off the interstate. They sell shelter. A room with a flowered bedspread, and a sign outside warning about meth abuse.

The girl from the Ukraine sells Dead Sea Salt Scrub from a kiosk. She has a sink and will wash your hands with the care of a mother. A man from Persia sells straight irons and will flat iron your hair straight as bullet at the cart next to her. The Vietnamese family can transform your hands and feet. Your nails can be lacquered and painted with an American flag, a flower, even a school mascot.

And then there is the Turkish grain of rice man. He can write your name on one grain and then place it in a small glass vial filled with glycerin. He can write the Lord’s Prayer on a single grain. He can write anything you want. Even the word Fuck can be suspended on rice around your neck.

The Chinese couple sells food. Orange chicken. Sesame Chicken. Fried rice with carrots chopped like blocks and peas like planets orbit each grain of rice. There are no words on them. Instead, they are oily, soy stained, and ready to be consumed.

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Nina McConigley lives in Wyoming and loves the Jackalope.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

 

 

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Micrograffiti: Morning Song by Alex Colburn

19/01/2011

Morning Song by Alex Colburn

She sings for many things. For instance, the pleasure she gets from trying to understand her family. What remains of it. Her father, his gruff ways, walking in the morning before opening his shop, shuffling towards the newsstand on the corner, shaking the change in his pockets, voice thickly accented by cigarette and business-savvy. Her brother, leaping from his mattress, up with their father, grasping at his shoes while running downstairs to the storeroom. Perhaps to steal and smoke one of those yellow cigarettes (Gauloises maybe), learning to be business savvy?

From the radio downstairs soft voices in harmony. She, in the middle of her room, hands and face washed, strumming the pleats of her mother’s dress. Eyes closed, singing for her life still and softly, imagining those leaning giants of the forest and earth somewhere out there, here maybe, possessing a magnificent strength. A natural, timeless strength.

She moves to her window overlooking the street, her loving hands humming along, pulling the shade open to the sun shining her room and her face with life-force and silent song.

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Alex Colburn can read, write, listen and talk. Just don’t ask him to sing anything.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>

 

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Micrograffiti: It’s the first person you fell in love with by Shams Pirani

12/01/2011

It's the first person you fell in love with by Shams Pirani

Bite. Not enough to chew at first. Just checking the nails are there. While you avoid doing what you would do if you were who you wanted to be.

It’s the date where things started to go badly, and instead of making them go the other way, you got pulled under by the negativity.

It’s the job where they raised your targets because they realised they’d have to pay you what they said they would, in commissions, and they had been planning to exploit you. You just ran away.

It’s when you stood in the tube station and looked too much like a terrorist to them, so they were scared and cold toward you. Instead of drawing from your well of wit, you felt angry at them, and they saw and felt even more scared.

It’s every moment of joy you could bring your grandparent, grandchild, but because you hide inside a cocoon,  letting fear close the door before you go through it, they’ll just have to get their joy in spite of you, instead of because of you.

It’s you. Not her. Or him. It’s you, not the system. It’s you. You bite your nails. So you lose.

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Shams Pirani has not bitten his nails in many years and comes from South London.

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Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>