A short piece composed in summer 2012 probably inspired by the works of David Ohle whose influence continues to bubble below the surface. I’m just hoping to capture one of those bubbles, maybe even let it shine for a bit off my teeth, cleanse this rot. Here is an excerpt:
“I’ve split buzzards to sing: bloated tissue, psychic cells quiver neon. Nothing solid to botch the epidemic. The current is blubbery. In the end, Feng doesn’t realize the pain or what electric wires do. They power the city, cake membrane repellent, a haze of clamorous buzz. A buzzard’s brain, frozen open, land-locked and ready to pummel, is the world’s tramp. They shot me. Ode to my struck neck: a beak squawks, volts and rubber splotches. I need a new hitch to sink this crumb: the android, the microbe, the pentagram halo. Feng’s pocket glows when I stroke mashed tongue, lick air. Weathervanes go funny. Not much to tell. I’ll give it a whirl.”
Oh, man. Such a good feeling to make one of my all-time favorite lit mags, THE BACON REVIEW—their one-year Anniversary issue to boot.
Here’s their words about my piece, HEADCHEESE: “Into the fire. Jamie Grefe. Headcheesing. Don’t ignore the title. Don’t ignore the sensation you get when you read it again where it is, not so deep into the story. Again, and it might be the fall, there is a certain rabidity and Jokeresque laughter that drifts through both of these pieces. Tying up the middle of our docket like awful-tight corset strings.
Corset lace? Seems like something that would be a lace, not a string. Like a shoe.
Either way, fury of the Axeman; relish in being stalked, in knowing the grip of the hand around your ankle. We’ve listed it as Wildcard to help nail in the point.”
Big thanks to Eric W. and Jason for giving this piece the best home.
Zack Wentz, thank you for teaching me much about good books and the craft of writing, about perseverance and possibilities. I came across NDF last spring and devoured every issue with enthusiasm. They are worth savoring. Issue Five has pieces from myself, Barry N. Malzberg, and Cameron Pierce among others whose work I am not yet familiar with, but soon will be. My contribution is quite bizarre and would not exist were it not for time spent in the current city where I find myself: Beijing. In that respect, it makes all of the frustration of living in this city of confusion worth the daily effort. Thank you for reading.
Bartleby Snopes picked this one up. Thank you, Nathaniel. I’m honored. A student of mine confessed to me that his worst fear was being attacked by a group of women and that’s exactly what goes down for poor Ben in the story. This one gets quite surreal. Also, I had a lot of Italian horror tropes floating around in my mind that needed release (cue the title). I hope this is a great read for you.
Romance and betrayal, transcendence and misery: all wrapped up in one neat little package. This was originally hosted by Wonderfort, which I loved, but at the time of editing this (8 months after publication), Wonderfort seems to have disappeared. That said, Danse Macabre also took this piece, a blunder on my part, but in a serendipitous way, things seems to have worked themselves out.
This is my first published story. It is closely related to my “real” life, which I suppose makes it more memoir than fiction. I am quite sure the ending is fiction, though. Thank you to Danse Macabre for giving me hope and keeping me there. Writing alone and sending stories off can be quite daunting, but worth it. Always worth it.