surrealism


  While many of you know me from my GFTG blog I do have another side. A darker side? Well a more serious side and here at Fast Fictions, I’ve been exploring my more literary side. Over the past five months I’ve been writing a short-short story everyday under a completely different pseudonym. Some days however are less serious than others.

 


 

An extract from Europe’s Top Surrealist

 

Marcell Duchamp: Ostensibly an interesting concept, doing tai chi in a transparent sumo suit filled with water and tropical fish. Calming, certainly. Perhaps a little too calming? I would have preferred some danger. Why not piranha? Why not belligerent turtles? I think if you want to engage our attention you’re going to have to create something more demanding. Why not fill the suit with sewage? Juxtapose your graceful movements with inner revulsion and horror.

 

Salvador Dali: I have to disagree with Marcell. I think there was an understated tension in the cats that were hanging upside down from the ceiling. Their claws were out and you could clearly see that they wanted to get at those colorful little fishes. Clearly, these pussy cats were suspended too high to achieve their goals but we shared their discomfort. It was animal’s nightmare you presented for us which is what life is after all. Shocking.

 

Andre Breton: But can we ignore the video footage projected overtop of this performance? Teaching dogs to chase their tails and choreographing 25 of them to simultaneously spin around and around like whirling dervishes. Absolutely brilliant. Forgive my colleagues on the panel here. They tend to overlook the big picture. I see that you’re making a statement on pets  and how we become the caged animal in our pursuit of domesticating wild nature. Ending the performance by opening your mouth and releasing a hummingbird was the coup de grace to the concept of pet ownership. Bravo!! Bravo!!!

 

 

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   Yes and the past four months of daily fabulas have been an attempt at peeling back the ontological fabric of a solitary self.  In layman’s terms, I’ve claimed to be somebody different everyday for the past four months. I set about doing this in the hopes of unearthing some truth to our understanding of the thinking self with multiple diagonal ontological cuts across different discourses.

   I’ve now finished the experiment and I’m going surfing in Hawaii for the next month where I’m doing some endorsements for Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax.

  Here’s the last story I’ll ever write on this site…

 

Plugged Straight into the Soul

   Here’s a word of caution. I mean, don’t set your sights too high. It’s great to be ambitious and all but you know be realistic about it. If that makes any sense. What I’m trying to say is don’t be like me. I was stupid and I blew the biggest chance of my life.

   It was something like 18 days ago and I was surfing the web. I lit up a joint and I thought to myself: why can’t they make a giant bong computer, you know a glass bowl with the CPU and screen in a secure layer around the water? How hard would that be? It would make somebody millions and millions of dollars. A bongputer. A compubong. One or the other. So I was thinking about this and watching some weird Laurie Anderson videos from the 80’s. (Is that the blue man group as her back up band?  Jesus, the 80’s were weird.) So I was laughing at this weird video and thinking about literarally getting stoned online. (Come to think of it people might get tripped out by a computer-bong, they might think that they’re being tracked by forces online. Maybe it wouldn’t be a big seller. I mean sometimes the Fear hits and there’s no way around it.) But this story isn’t about getting stoned or ideas for new bongs.

   I’m just setting the stage.

   So there I was surfing the web and then I thought, what would happen if I google google. You know type “google” into the search bar. I took a big puff from my little J and typed in g-o-o-g-l-e. It was disappointing. There was something about google (Duhhh!) but then I thought, what if I type in “googling google” and then some news stories about google came up. I was disappointed and went to the kitchen to make myself a macaroni and cheese sandwich. (Being stoned is kind of like being pregnant. You know, those cravings. The only difference is you shouldn’t smoke weed when you’re pregnant.) I came back to the computer and typed “googling googling google”. Only two sites came up.

   So I did it one more time with one more google and that’s when I saw God or the heart of the internet or whatever you want to call it. It was fucking amazing. I felt like I was going down this water slide made out of a plasma screen t.v. and all the dopest rock videos were playing all around me. Then I suddenly hit pure entertainment. Like I was seeing everything that existed online all at the same time. An hour later I woke up on the floor and I got back into my seat and I did it again. 

   After a couple times I had to call my friends and tell them what happened and so they did it right away too and then word got out faster than you can say “crack” and then everyone around the world was tripping out to the web and there are all these theories about who started it and all these stoners and religious fanatics and real weirdos are coming out of the woodwork, claiming that they invented this or discovered this or know what it means but really I did it and now everyone’s over it. It’s last week’s news. 

  Because how much fun can you have by yourself anyway.

  Well here I am.

  Maybe I will try that bong-computer idea.

 

   And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the revelation of the real author behind the past four months of daily fast fictions… the one and only… me. My name is Lyle Smutts and I’m a visual artist from Chicago and everyday I’ve not only been writing a bizarre burst of prose but I’ve also shaved that microfiction into my beard. In order to replicate the daily blog in its entirety I’ll also wear a cap that announces my identity for the day. Yesterday, I wore a hat that said, “I gave Charlton Heston a homosexual blowjob” and last week I wore a hat that announced, “I’m the Olympic Torch.”  

   I’ll also be converting all these blog posts into beard script in a couple days.

 

A Fine Frame After All

 

     Andy sits in the back seat while Sam yells at her in the rear view mirror. She skooches from side to side and he adjusts the position of the mirror to follow her face. “You could have told me sooner, you know,” Sam shouts. “I can get a job in New York I just need time to research my options.” 

    You always need time, she thinks to herself but says nothing as she’s vowed to let him vent a little but before anything is resolved they’re at Eric and Dawn’s place. Andy gets out of the car with three presents held up to her chin. Sam runs behind her offering to help in an angry tone.

    “Oh my you shouldn’t have,” Dawn says at the front door as she takes over the tower of gifts. 

    “We didn’t know what you needed so we got a couple different…” Sam struggles for the last word.

    “Things,” Andy concludes and laughs. “So can we see her?”

     “She’s sleeping right now but…” Dawn looks at Eric who doesn’t think she’s sleeping at all and he motions their two friends into the newly decorated room. “But just to be on the safe side…” and he puts his index finger to his hushed lips. They quietly file into the room.

    Andy and Sam look deep into the crib and see nothing.

    “Yeah, we need a new blanket. It’s hard to spot Janice with this one,” Eric says and points to the middle of the blanket to a dot that looks slightly larger than the others. 

     “Oh wow…” Andy says,” she definitely looks… premature.”

     “Eight months early.”

     Andy and Sam debate over who little Janice takes after. They talk about upcoming highlights in the stages of her development. Sam waxes philosophic on how she resembles the Big Bang. “I mean how I imagine it looked. The start of a lot of potential.” Andy regrets not getting a smaller knit cap. “In two months it’ll be a perfect fit.” Sam continues along his abstract train of thought: “What a way to mark the moment. I mean you’ll always have this time in your life…With a baby. She’ll…”

     “Have arms and legs in about three weeks,” Eric concludes.

     As they step outside her room, Sam comments on the quality of a frame used to contain a large photo of Janice on her blanket. While he studies the frame, he gathers elements of his argument to use against Andy when they’re back in the car. He will convince her that he can join her in New York. 

     Their future. 

     Together.

 

   And I just want people to know that I have a sense of humor too. Yesterday’s short-short story was my attempt at pocking some fun at myself. I’ve been having a lot of fun with these different stories everyday.

   Amen.

   Here’s something that’s not for the squeamish…

 

 

Edible Man

 

 

   On Tuesday morning in the bathroom he stuck his tongue out for inspection in front of the oval mirror. Mike tilted his head as far back as it would go and stared into his open mouth. He didn’t get it. There was nothing inside and yet it was filled with a sweet raspberry flavor. “Is this the sensation that warns of an oncoming stroke?” he wondered. The flavor of raspberry cheesecake subdued his worries. He watched a smile lift from his lips. It was delicious. Pressing his tongue against his cheek, the taste became more intense. He pressed his back molars down on a thin slice of his cheek and sublime cheesecake exploded in the back of his mouth. He’d never tasted anything so good. He opened his mouth to see if he’d cut himself but surprisingly there was no blood. He bit a little more and then a little more until – in his excitement –  he noticed a hole in his right cheek. Fuck, he thought. Out of morbid curiosity he put his tongue through the hole in his cheek. It was terrifying but the intense taste in his mouth was some solace and so he ate some more of his cheek. This went on for several hours – the whole day in fact – until Mike was nothing but teeth and a tongue chattering for more pleasure on the bathroom floor.

 

      Yes, this is true, Louis Soupault the famous French surrealist. To impersonate Andre Breton -as I did yesterday – was my ultimate act of surrealism. Certainly, there have been other gestures of absurdity which I’ve committed over the decades – disguising myself as the heart-beat of a dead man, dressing up as the sunrise in Paris (but in Germany of course) and impersonating a new-born baby while in the arms of an exhausted mother in a delivery room – but all of these pale in comparison with the last four months of pretending to be somebody different everyday. This has been my ultimate automatic writing for the world.
  Voila, le conte d’aujourd’hui !!

The Door Thief

     In spite of the fact that he’d lost his face in the war, Jean was considered handsome by most everyone. Or this is what his wife told him, his jealous wife who still eyed other women warily. Of course she maintained a lover on the side but that was for her nerves, to soothe her panicked doubts of her husbands fidelity. Jean would be heckling faces in television commercials while she snuck out to get her fix of love. Between the commercials Jean would run through his list of potential jobs: a plastic surgeon that would turn pets’ features into the faces of long-lost children, a grief counselor with “tough-love, tough-luck” as his motto or an insurance claims adjuster. Jean hoped to squeeze serious out of the silly. The right job would spring out from between the lines of this list. Weeks later, when he finally embarked upon his new career as a door to door salesman, he found that taking the doors off their hinges while a child went deep into the house to get a parent was the most lucrative. The doors sold well on the black market and no one could ever successfully describe his features.

 

 

 

  Yes, that’s absolutely correct, the Father of Surrealism. Well these days I’m nothing but a free-floating brain in an old Normandy fish tank but it’s something. It’s something surreal, n’est pas?  Last year one of my handlers finally succeeded in hooking me up to the internet. A couple plugs here and there and voila! my neurons were surfing the net. I was experiencing the exquisite, the marvelous and the surreal, all in unfettered moments of bliss. So here’s today’s story which follows a train of stories all told by falsehoods. I will write this tout de suite so I can get back to that sexy housewives site.

  C’est vachement Formidable!! 

 

 

 

Finally, it Starts to End

 

 

   Edward wakes up with a book on his face. He lifts it from his sleep-swollen eyes and reads, “Waking is a tender state wherein every second is like birth relived but with fouler breath.”  While slipping the book of fiction beneath his warm pillow, Edward wonders if this is true. Then he wonders if it’s funny. He gets out of bed. “And the light wakes up,” he says as he flicks on the hallway light with one finger. “The light is groggy and stumbles around a little,” he says imagining light elbowing its way into impossible angles. “The hot water also has to wake up,” Edward says as the cold comes first. “Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” he asks the water. “Are you grumpy?” he says in a mocking tone. His pet peeve is water that’s not in a glass. “Time to wake up,” he says to his unshaven, morning face. He’s speaking directly to his ambition of being the greatest landscape painter of all time. He stares back at himself with little response. He went to bed thinking that he would wake up and start 30 landscape pieces all on 5 by 8 canvases.  Each landscape of river, bridge and trees would be shown through a small window but the rest of the piece would be in gaudy wall-paper. He stares at himself in the mirror and blinks. “Fame’ll have to wait I guess,” he says shrugging his shoulders and turning to leave. “I know, I’ll be the world’s greatest writer!” he says and thinks through a story about a perverted little boy with x-ray glasses who ends up seeing not only through girls’ blouses but also through their skin. The boy grows up to be an asexual surgeon who is nevertheless accused of molesting an unconscious patient. In court and under hypnosis he recounts his experience with the x-ray glasses. Everyone – including the judge – weeps uncontrollably. Edward thinks this might be a good story but then he changes his mind. He goes back to bed where he can dream real dreams.

   Oh and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not alive and in some very real sense I don’t even exist. I’m all past tensed out but that’s not going to stop me from writing and sending my words out into the world. You know, when I began writing fiction in the early 60’s, I wrote under various pseudonyms in order to make some money. Over the past four months I’ve been writing under various pseudonyms once again. This time I haven’t made any money. So you see not only do I have a sense of humor but I’m definitely dead. Dead men need no cash. That’s one of the perks of non-existence. That and still maintaining a sense of humour.

   Let me explain: if you’re reading this then my predictions back here in 1979 about future technology are spot on. Sometimes you just get lucky. I don’t wish to rub any of this in but if anyone would like to contact any of my former colleagues it would be much appreciated. With the help of a former student I created a computational program that would automatically put these stories up in the future so that it is now a surprise to absolutely everyone. 

  And so as they say, Surprise!! 

  Today’s story is set in Canada. In “Will you tell me ?” I wrote “In Montreal, they walked in the snow, leaving marks like Maple Leaves.” Today’s story takes place on the other end of Canada where marks are made to look like other things. 

 

Jumping Ship

 

     The thin woman seated by the window unfolds some future inevitability with a flip of her hand. What a crisp gesture, I think as I stroll by. I’m people-watching as I walk around the 6th floor of the Queen of British Columbia which is sailing towards Vancouver Island and this woman’s gesture has caught my eye; her hand turns over the way a page is turned over. She’s explaining some brutal truth of the future to her husband. Possibly, maybe.

    As people-watching is really only interesting in partners, a two-person sport where you pose impossible questions about strangers to a friend, I grow bored and my mind wanders into memory. I remember reading about how one man jumped from the deck of a ferry in order to forge his own short-cut to a baseball game on one of the Gulf Islands located en route between the mainland and Vancouver Island. (Saltspring I think. Is that the name that would inspire someone to such insanity?) He jumped overboard with his belongings in a black garbage bag and swam to the island where police waited impartially. He missed his game. In order to pass the time more pleasantly, I walk out onto the cold deck and push people overboard and then imagine that they’ve jumped jump ship for one reason or another. 

   First I push three little scouts overboard and then imagine them swimming to Galiano in order to get a badge which includes the words “water-courage”. They tie their yellow and orange scarves together as they swim off like little ducks. It’s in their training. Next, I see a teen shivering in a t-shirt. His arms are held out from his body as if he were muscle bound. I bend low and then heave-ho him over the rails. I imagine him jumping overboard in order to swim around Mayne Island for a couple of years in order to beef up and build Schwarzenegger-sized muscles. He dreams that he’s Conan the Barbarian at the beginning of the movie where he’s captured and forced to push the arm of a mill around and around.  He’s determined and content as he swims off.  Finally I target some tourists who are taking pictures of the sunset. “Would you like me to take a picture of you two together?” I ask. They hand me their camera which is all the closeness I need to send them whoosh over the deck railing. I take a picture of them in the water and then toss the camera overboard. In my imagination, however, I see them jumping in order to get a better shot of the pink ripples of the water. (They are so beautiful after all!) In your imagination anything can take place. 

  When I walk back into the warmth of the ferry, I’m tackled to the floor by several large men. Their faces are up so close against mine. There’s very little space or distance to make up a story about them. I wouldn’t even call this people-watching even though I’m staring right into their eyes. 

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