Science Fiction

Will Stanier

Sunshine is for novelists. Sunlight salutes, in soft tones, my quarters.
Here at the petite farm of sad country music.

I’m only awake to say, I told you so.
An English spy on a Norwegian cruise ship mostly built of cardboard.
Without myself, I move more quickly.

Blue Stain, the name tag of the universe.
And equations for umbrellas opened backwards in a storm.

It snowed in Texas the day your spaceship arrived.

Lost Art

Will Stanier

After it was all said and done,
but before it was really over—
canned, kaput, complete,
dead as a doornail, as they say, and
empty of everything we’d
found there:
gobstoppers and galoshes, globetrotter
hand-me-downs, hula hoops and fancy old hat boxes—
I wanted to ask one simple question.
(Just a matter of pride, I guess.)
“Know who I am?” I asked the folks around,
lawyers and tax people, a few professional
movers. “I’m the nephew of Madam
Narcissa.” But nobody acknowledged me.
One young woman, carrying an outrageous
portmanteau, paused and pointed at a placard:
Quiet, please, it
read. That surprised me. Quiet? After all the ruckus the
sousaphones in Aunt Sissy’s band made? Or
Travis, the tortoise importer, who tromped
up the stairs until 4 in the morning?
Viceroys and vivisectionists vying for visits,
wailing from their Winnebagos parked outside?
Xylophones and those crazy Xerox machines?
“You wouldn’t believe your—” I began to say. Yet,
zilch was their concern. Even Zack’s, the ex-butler.

two texts above by Will Stanier

Spencer Radcliffe

3 Vaguenesses

Shane Kowalski
A Mood That It Happened

I had a dream I died. But it wasn’t in the usual way. I died in the dream like how a person forgets what they dreamt the night before. As if it actually happened but didn’t. Only in a feeling. A mood that it happened. But you can’t quite slip back into that mood. And so the feeling just hangs there on the side of things like a velvet night waiting to be pulled in on a hook to replace daytime. And you just lie on your bed naked, eating, and liking things. And it’s not like I was frightened by the death that happened to me. I woke up like the melodious reverb of a harp tuned to another life. Like I wasn’t real and didn’t have authority over anything but didn’t have to be and didn’t have to. And all the flowers popping out for spring had blood already sprayed on them. But nobody took this as an omen.  
The Dark Ages

This newfound confusion… It’s like a toothache or a melody you can’t quite finger. When I was young, we had ice cubes that were solid balls. They fit in your palm and it was like you were trying to see into the future. Everything is wrong when clearly, acutely seen. The past was just tables being lifted in the air for you. Every candelabra ignited when you passed. It seemed, for a time, like there wasn’t any night…  
The Shadow Knows

I am working and looking at my shadow at the same time. While I work, my shadow works. Even though I cannot see the precise nature of its work, I know that my shadow works when I work. When I am not at work, my shadow is not at work. The precise nature of its leisure is mysterious to me, but I do know that my shadow does not work in the times that I do not work. Which all begs one to ask the question: who is making who work? And how can that despicable scoundrel be stopped? 

3 texts by Shane Kowalski