Mad Hit Lit presents Night Comedy of Lunatics + After Charity
J. Grefe - Writer: Facebook
THE EMPRISE REVIEWhas been cast into the void, probably for quite some time now. Here is my poem, the only poem of mine that they hosted, although I never received any word of its publication, had to dig and dig and dig until finding it uploaded and, apparently published, but they remained silent and forever out of touch:Livid Men, Violent Men
They felt the slop of this city when garbled voices bellowed; - crept to the tenth floor and watched through curtained windows. Perched over the drained canal, an orb bled open the train tunnel. Earth: digging, pounding, crushing; a skull stomped on the sidewalk. One worker, on the day of the black haze, slapped men, livid men, violent men. Choking air: his boy spit into a woman’s mouth. Hounds of the Other Waste swarmed, violated bus passengers between stops. The smell of mussed hair, their dirt encrusted nails. Fingers and zipper - his wedding photograph in a stranger’s bedroom. Police officers were napping in the back on the day of the incident. One officer awoke, slumbered an apology. The cameras in this city, he said, will not help you; others might hurt you. Near dark at six. He, engulfed in dust, smoked Chinese cigarettes on the roof after dipping raw mutton slices in boiling oil. Dead adultery in Mandarin. Ah, to be adrift here, the boy said, lashed the whip at the photograph. We have passed all points of departure. The end stop is a train tunnel that will take us out of this city. There are no tickets, he tells the boy. There never were. Never.
I am at the house—again—to ignore a bag of bread, shell casings; guests stare, gnaw the perimeter like trees that get tangled in your hair when I bring you cake. You are hungry, tossing potato sacks down stairs. Let us sit at the table and wonder, we can conjure how to stop time. Rum raisin is not my prayer. You would know this if you didn’t fall asleep on street corners or use your belt and stave hunger, stay the father. I once saw my grandfather come out of the mirror. We built molotov cocktails in the bedroom and set priests on fire—the driveway is where goblins burn. Humans burn. Priests burn. We know how young men run through forests and drink milk, become branches or paste for maidens to eat. We hobble around the camper. I’ve brought popcorn and corn cobs for us to suck until we explode in gorilla suits with pink star-trails and organ flare. It’s not enough—melt. It’s not enough—save my mother from eating an apple. I’ve taken showers in green, hid under covers and shoo away teen boys who feign love for girls who take trips in vans to Nilbog. My grandfather is an angel. Goblins don’t exist. Repeat. This is not your kingdom of shadows. This is Provost in hell. We are a modern family: the van, sunlight, clover leaves and pianos lure mouths open—this is about not eating food. And if we speak, we shut our eyes to hear. And if we scream hard enough, our family just might sprout magic windows and stones of love. Press your hand against the stone. Press your hand against my heart of ham. Feel blood run. I’m made of sap, leaking son.
trope: view from the eye-slats of latex, camera still w/breath, sharp on moving body as body moves from one side of the room to another.— Jamie Grefe (@ShreddedMaps) March 15, 2013
night: remove hand from tomb vortex. it’s a whirl-spell, a cracked shell of light. when you reach the wet teeth, you will know oblivion.— Jamie Grefe (@ShreddedMaps) March 15, 2013
Charred tips spattered pink. We scrub apple-mush in the cold. Your tendrils in my basin. You, reminder of dirt, cleanse me dry. #baconcue— Jamie Grefe (@ShreddedMaps) February 27, 2013
This short magazine showcases six previously unpublished pieces and features original photographs from Michigan, Tokyo, and Hainan. The following pieces appear in this issue: “Sitting Fire,” “Fifth Folio: Production Notes,” “Knuckling Water,” “Apple Tongue,” “Battle Lion,” and “For Nick Cave.” I hope to make more of these Glossi’s in the future. Thank you for reading.
This collection began in a classroom where I was teaching Lee Thayer’s communication theory to high school students in Beijing. At the same time, I was steeping myself in fiction, eating up Robert Coover, Shakespeare, Eugene Marten, P.G. Wodehouse and more. And then the Players arrived, all of them, and you will meet them all. We spoke. They were rehearsing for a live show and I was privy to join them. I studied their ways and became one of them, was shown grand things that blended with my memory of this life and this world. Everything converged and these essays were born.
Or, perhaps I saw a call for a chapbook competition from an esteemed publishing house, but too shy for lack of talent, too word-beaten by failure, I kept these pieced hidden, never submitted them. Unwanted. Weary. Or, did I submit them to a world-class publishing house only to be rejected after an eight month period of waiting and wondering? Yes, I did. The Players forgive me, though, and they needed a home. The Web is their new home. Please enjoy their home.
If you are interested in the idea of performing a life, please sample a few of these pieces. They do not have to be read in any kind of order. Make them meaningful to you.
Writers/Mixers/Artists: If you wish to “remix” an ELECTRIC DELIRIUM essay, please get in touch with me to discuss possibilities or simply do so and send back to me. I’ll be in the vault with the tapes.