issue 8 :: 2000

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39 Words

When reading Lawrence Durrell's novel TUNC in college, I wrote down all of the words I did not know. There were 39 words. Years later, I asked friends and strangers to take the list of words and write new texts around them. The following are in order of submission for the text pieces, and the visual pieces are thrown in at random. Because.
 
The publication of Yggdrasil the Satrap's salubrious palimpsest (in the form of a rebus) occasioned (what strange aetiology!) boisterous (carotids bulging as they shouted) ululation that long continued without attrition (it did not etiolate). The ululation was not fatuous (though if it was, its verisimilitude was remarkable), not prompted by mere echolalia, least of all was it the product of nascent diffidence; and it came not only from epicures, but from those possessed by hebephrenia, from truculent casino croupiers, in short, from all the detritus of society. Yggdrasil perceived the jocose tone of the ululation as minatory, perhaps even propitiatory of violence towards himself. Frightened (poor Yggdrasil!; I feel commiseration), he cried: “Lalling salver sissu narghile asphoden porringer systole descry infusoria crepitation corolla damascene maenad!” Thereupon the ululation ceased, as no one knew what any of those words meant.

Seth Tisue
 
“Salubrious or minatory aetiology!” exclaimed the Duchess. “My satrap has carotid hebephrenia. Etoliate, or epicure salvers.”

“Commiseration diffidence,” countered the Duke in a propietary manner. “ In sissu palimpsest.”

“Asphoden within a purple porringer,” the crown prince interjected. “Suspended in the heights of Yggdrasil my echolalia!”

“Form systole. Be boisterous. Descury infusoria. Inure yourselves to truculent fatuous corolla. Risk rebus detritus through attrition.”

“We once knew a croupier with damascene ornamatation who was possessed of nascent verisimilitude even in the act of crepitation,” said the Duke and Duchess in unison.

“In any event, do not be a maenad.”

— Daniel A. Russell
 


— Brenner
 
A salubrious Salaam!
Minus minatory minotaurs,
attitudes toward the aetilogy of idiography,
sat in the satrap's trap set,
caress the core of carotid artery art,
heaping hebephrenia on phrenological frenzy,
lollygagging in Lalling.
Evidently etiolate,
the eponymous epicure
slams the silver salver slyly, spawning
mysteries commensurate with his commiseration,
the difference of his diffidence
portending propitiary propositions.
Slats of sissu simulate
portable palimpsests, picturing
naugahyde narghiles,
listing labile ululations,
joking with jocose cosigners.
Aspirating “ asphoden!” at arid asphyxiating asphodels,
doling out porridge in porringers like
easter eggs aggregated against Yggdrasil's drastic droppings,
echoing echolalia (again, in Lalling, calling cooling ululations)
in each systematic systole tolling for
thee, boy, boisterous as Hesperus-lit history
(Colonel Descury's decorous dock
infiltrated by futilely filtered infusoria
inured to your injurious
truculent treatment,
flattered by fatuous fashion,
the corolla of cauliflowers callously cauterized)
recalling a rebellious rebus
of the detritus of destiny,
attired by attrition in attitudes of adamant trips of derision.
Cramped by a croupier, a croupier come a cropper,
demonstrating damascene damage doled out to
nascent neonates' evanescent ventral veins,
varying verisimilitude with verdiginous whimsy,
cellophane cataracts' cathartic crepitation crying,
the moaning of maenads meaningless in melody
(as in Lalling, in echo, in ululations of Durrell)

Joseph Zitt
 


— Weef
 
It began a salubrious day in the Eastern Peloponese, the 14th of March, but as mid afternoon approached the sky darkened, a minatory portent. The aetiology of the darkening skies was never ascertained. A satrap I knew told me of an occurrence where his carotid became compressed as if a hand had tightened around it, just at the precise moment the sky became an ebony black. It was not hebephrenia. Kalus was a sensible man, not given to lolling about in opium reveries. The frightening part, in the words of Kalus, was seeing his own face in the mirror, the color of an etiolate frond, stripped of all vitality. An epicure, prone to consuming quantities of salted fish and pastry, Kalus imagined the constriction in his throat was a reaction to the over-richness of the savories. Moments later his servant, Avery, brought an object on a salver. It was a letter of commiseration from his lover, Felix, announcing that he would be leaving on the next train to Malaga. Kalus was not a man prone to diffidence or to propitatiry gestures - he was tough like sissu - but the palimpsest would never be recovered without Felix's help. A narghile filled with spicy herb calmed his nerves.

As the afternoon sky darkened prematurely in the Peloponesus their was ululation in the hills, a mourning sound, supplanting the usual jocose nature of the village folk of Epidarurus. Even the asphoden withered. The priest brought out a porringer and evoked the healing power of Yggdrasil as he filled it with crushed oregano, praying to heaven and earth to end the echolalia that beat a tattoo on his brain like the systole of his own beating heart. This was not a boisterous descry, but an infusoria of hideous depth. Repetition could not inure him.

The men became alternately truculent and verbose and then fatuous, speaking of childhood wrongs in pitiful voices. The physician imagined that each had fallen into the corolla of their own brains lost in their internal rebus, floating in the detritus of the past. Soon by attrition their minds were gone and each had to be led around with a croupier fit about their necks. The women left their pretty damascene fabrics and the nascent verisimilitude of their existence and lay down next to the men in full daylight. There was crepitation in their bones as they took their pleasure and later ran with the maenads, their nakedness paler than ever before as they frolicked unchecked in the silvery moonlight.

— Linda Woolman
 
My newfound relations with F. were hardly salubrious and minatory warning signs flashed around me whenever I could look up from my aetiological essay on satraps. Cartoids a-pulsing, I would be gripped by a demonic hebephrenia, made manifest by a comical (and highly inappropriate) lalling in all conversations. This rather etiolated the epicures who rushed about me, with their bargain salvers holding only the hollow excuses of their lives and none of the brotherly commiseration I so desperately needed; my growing diffidence completely overwhelmed any expectations of propitiatory treatment. Their animosity was like a rain of sissu slivers ruining what was left of my dreams. They took it personally, not realizing the extent of my feelings for F.--whom I had only met the night before--and I could not even think of taking their palimpsest personally. Later, I smashed my modified musical narghile pipe, with which I would roam the streets producing a disturbing ululation which was coveted by at least two noise bands I encountered. Their jocose attitudes to art did not interest me and I fled from them. This is what had brought me to the park, among the menacing asphodens, yesterday when I first met F. As soon as I stepped into the park, I noticed her; I even let my guard down against those lily-like leaves. She was in a heated argument with a porringer and ladle monger (every item in his inventory was hand painted with a haunting Yggdrasil design). They were almost to the point of hysterics, both gripped in the firmest echolalia and completely incomprehensible to bystanders. I admired how she stood up to him, especially considering she was defenseless against the vast array of serving utensils at his immediate reach. Somehow I managed to break the systole of the argument, and I put my arm around her and led her out of the park. It didn't take long for her to realize that she was in the embrace of someone she didn't know being led to someplace not of her choosing, and her boisterous outbursts were soon replaced by her concerted attempts to descry some worthwhile and wholesome link between us. That night, the sky was open to any possibility. As we began to inure our less-appealing primary characteristics (me: truculent; her: fatuous), we bloomed as a corolla on the first day of spring. I was grateful for her attention and affection, until minutes later I learned of her even greater attention and affection for the witty rebus-maker and his collection of late-1997 detritus of Chicago bars and clubs. He was a “ published” author as well, on the subject of his monumental collection no less, and this disclosure perhaps pained me most of all, in light of my satrap essay whose abstract had only received scorn and contemptuous derision. This attrition of my hopes would probably have moved to tears the coldest Vegas croupier, so damascent my once nascent disposition became. The verisimilitude of my hopes for F. was stolen from me--I do not remember granting anyone borrowing privileges--and my heart's crepitation, so deafening in my ears, could be heard by no one around me. Especially not my maenad, my F.

— Josh Ronsen
 


— Baudhuin Simon
 
To ugly salubrious his corolla on rebus despite detritus until attrition last croupier ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the trepidation to rebus echolalia despite detritus until attrition last croupier ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to until attrition last croupier ship danascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to last croupier ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to too drowned nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to verisimilitude the crepitation to minatory to aetiology the satrap waited carotid door hebephrenia inn lalling in etiolate the epicure the salver pavement commiseration water's diffidence the propitatory drowned sissu gray palimpsest he narghile the ululation his jocose lungs asphoden had porringer brown Yggdrasil to echolalia the systole of boisterous spangled descutory porters infusoria the inure blurred truculent the fatuous loadings corolla on rebus despite detritus until attrition last croupier ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to aetiology the satrap waited carotid door hebephrenia inn lalling in etiolate the epicure the salver pavement commiseration water's diffidence the propitatory drowned sissu gray palimpsest He narghile the ululation his jocose lungs asphoden had porringer brown Yggdrasil to echolalia the systole of boisterous spangled descutory porters infusoria the inure blurred truculent the fatuous loadings corolla on rebus despite detritus until attrition last croupier ship damascene too nascent many verisimilitude the crepitation to the

Reed Altemus
 

— Mr. I-donta-signa-my-namea
 
Listen, chickie, it wasn't always like this for me. I had to fight and struggle and bust a lot of chops to get where I am today. You're just going to have to get a little bone in your back, oil your feathers; learn when to tread water. Don't let this 'little setback' get you down. Oh, go ahead and cry. My grandma used to say that getting the salt water out was as salubrious as punching a politician. To your mental health, that is. You're here with me, and I don't see a little weeping as minatory, even though some people might.

Here, you take this snot rag, and just rest your head for a while, and I'll tell you how I managed to hoist my own petard where it is today. Give you the aetiology of my disease, as it were. Nestle right in here. That's right. Back where I was a lass, long before I became Postal Priestess, I worked under a pack of sniveling satraps. They'd stab you in the back a hundred times a day, and if that didn't work, they'd go straight for the carotid. Every single one of those teen-age whelps must have had hebephrenia, lalling about heading straight for corporate headquarters, or at least an etiolate desk job where they wouldn't have to trudge out in the snow to shove bills and advertisements into mailboxes, fend off the rabid dogs and take the abuse every tome there was a rate change.

At first I was like you, an epicure of workplace activism. I wanted to be the salver. I wanted to force those smatchets out of sophmoria and into the real world. I was a Union Steward, That way I knew their own game better than they did. It brought me no commiseration; in fact my fellow workers treated me with a certain diffidence even though I was working for them. I could practically recite the Contract, complete with Memoranda of Understanding forwards and backwards, with all the hoo-haw and legal-sounding words. It was expected of me. Practically on a propritory duty. i studied that business like a religion, like it was printed on sissu paper or palimpsest, but the most important thing I learned is that I could scare them with all my hot air. They didn't know jack. I didn't know jack. But it sounded like I did. Like sucking smoke through a narghile. Lotsa bubbles, lotsa smoke, but not much fire.

And everyone fought me. Not only the bosses, but my co-workers, too. Their ululation was deafening. They'd try to defend themselves by saying (and in a jocose sort of way that was supposed to make their vitriol asphoden) that Unionists were only trying to justify being lazy.”This is a good-paying job!” they'd gripe, “ If the boss says jump you say how high. That's the deal. They're the ones filling your porringer. Why are you trying to screw it up?” I suppose you've heard a bit of that, haven't you, Chickie? There, there. Who cares what all those gerbils say. They're wrong, but Chickie? You've got to remember that most of the world is wrong, and it still wins. Wrong-headedness is like a sacred Yggdrasil: it ties us all together, whether you like it or not.

Why do I talk like this? Try thirty-nine years of stuffing it all up their arses while their echolalia pummeled me into the earth. You get some of that dirt in your ears and all you can hear is the systole and disystole of pompous crap. Yeah, you give what you get for a time, but underneath it all you have to be boisterous in only what you think is important. Forget descry, just live buy your heart. And you have to remember where your grandmother lives so you can weep on her lap once in a while. She's not worried about the infusoria of tears and trammeled hopes.

Ready to hear a little more? Want a new snot rag? How 'bout a dictionary? O.K. I can't tell you what to do next, but I can tell you what I did. I inured myself; gave up on trying to win just because the Union Contract backed me up. That's the life of a truculent lawyer. I was a letter carrier with no penchant for legal issues, and those fatuous gerbils never knew the law anyway. Despite my hard work, I'd earned no corolla and had no judge to back me up. So I looked in the vacancy announcements for the magical rebus that would spell an escape route. Lucky for me what I saw was a haven -- I small post office like detritus in some godforsaken place -- was unwanted by the striving managers, and paid too little for other letter carriers to want. All I had to do was wait to open the job I wanted.

As it happens the croupier that paved my way was the very legal wrangling I had learned to hate so much. One of the cases I had been pursuing for the Union was offered a damascene resolution in the form of exile to a tiny mountain fiefdom somewhere south of GawdHelpUs. Was it an up-and-coming community? Nascenty like my ass. And after several years of spending endless hours in an office which held a verisimilitude to a box, selling the equivalent of one stamp an hour, I learned to bend my powers to good, rather than evil. I became Priestess, as you will too, Chickie. Be patient. I know the crepitation is loud in your ears, but wait until they shove your head in the dirt for a while; it will die down. Then, when they're out of your hair, let the maenad in you out. For now, just rest.

— Postal Priestess
 
“The patient... salubrious... No, minatory, especially during the mania, her compulsions for ateology are crippling any decision making... The father a monster, a satrap, often beating the dirt off her. She says he was impotent and remembers the carotid arteries throbbing in his neck being a portent to brutality. Serial abuse is cited as a causatory factor in her hebephrenia, ergo the lalling. Her refusal of sunlight causes the skin to etiolate and she is an epicure of self harm, ritualistically spilling her blood into a salver. A gift from friends, whom when they visit affect commiseration, only their obvious diffidence and propitiatory sympathy belie this gross pretense. She endures this by imitating the sissu tree she loved as a student in India.”

Lottie chooses to repeat this, grinning behind her palimpsest mask, remembering the narghile she gave Robert, and the smoke. She lets go a glorious ululation to his memory, his jocose swagger, the asphodel crushed in the porringer to flavor the opium and his ashes she smoked before a final visit to Yggdrasil as a hamadryad.

“The patient's echolalia is a symptom of her belief that the systole of her heart is echo pining for narcissus and becomes somewhat boisterous if questioned about this... Her medical training compounds the anxieties she has surrounding infusoria and parasites. i had hoped it would inure treatment... Pity! Today her behavior is erratic, truculent then fatuous, patterns you will descry, previously exhibited before escape attempts.”

Lotte listens intently -- the corolla of this final escape bloomed weeks ago. A rebus of expression scribbles itself across her mask and onto the doctor's notepads... Good.

- Gently, the detritus accumulated through Lotty's life begins to fall away, the harrowing attrition of her illness gradually softens and a warm smile gathers in her cheeks-

Earlier in the month they changed croupiers, Lottie's nickname for the dispensary nurse. Mary would force the jeweled, damascene pills into her throat but this one didn't. The opportunity and idea nascent she hoarded them. The Datura plant a divine gift from a havering visitor. Before breakfast she gathered her pills and harvested the leaves and flower from the dhat, remembering the Indian executioners. Cupping one hand to mimic her beloved narghile she ground them together until satisfied there was enough she then joined the lunatic procession and enjoyed her final meal.

- Lottie engages the younger doctor, the verisimilitude of her decision clearly evident in her eyes, and smiles a bright childlike smile, knowing the crepitation of her lungs to be a symptom of the scopolamine, and the quieting glossolalia of echo in her chest was to be expected. The doctor stammers, aware suddenly that something is wrong. Lottie closes her eyes shutting out the growing clamor around her. Now a maenad, high as a witch, each shortening breath brings her closer to her lost friend and his embrace...

— Mark Hallows
 
The air, the sand, the water combine in a salubrious atmosphere which is uplifting, even as minatory gray clouds build out over the ocean. We draw closer to understanding the aetiology of fierce storms and hurricanes through our advanced sciences, but the seagulls, the satraps of the coastal waters could easily warn of approaching winds, if they so desired. They must know, long before we do, of the carotid pulsing of the ocean currents and the hebephrenia about to be unleashed on our pitiful shoreline structures. We are determined to be ignorant, lalling in our barrier island homes, our bodies etiolated by our epicurean lives. We are offered to the forces of wind and water on our self-constructed, shambling salvers. After a wild hurricane we creep out, seeking commiseration, with our sad diffidence, our propitiatory whining to the great powers to help us rebuild. We may as well use sissu or palimpsest, for all the good our rebuilding will do. Better move to the desert with a narghile at the ready; there's no winning over this earth's water. Our ululation is but an occasion for jocose entertainment to nature, if it is noticed at all. It will do as it wants and plant one asphoden to mark the grave. Even that grave will be a simple tidal porringer, and Yggdrasil will crack it with mighty roots. What good will our echolalia of rituals do? No future gods will descry evidence of our short existence. We will be long, long gone who once sat on the sand, listening to the systole of the waves, poking through the seaweed and infusoria for shells. Some will become inured to the truculent waters. We make fatuous corollas for ourselves, but is is futile. Our altars are a rebus of detritus, which we ourselves can't understand. Our attrition is guaranteed by some heavenly croupier, who snickers up a damascene sleeve, his nascent humor triggered by our attempts at verisimilitude of the gods. Accept the crepitation of the battered buildings, and sink like a wild but happy Maened beneath the surface.

— M.L. Wilson
 
A Veritable Tale of Woe

Once upon a time...

in a salubrious land far far away there lived a freedom-loving people. When the time came the people chose for themselves a Leader to rule them. Unbeknownst to anyone they chose a minatory Leader. And because the were unsuspecting people, they did not realize they were fodder in his eyes. May the Force be with them.

Before he became the Leader of the land he engaged in study of quasi-dialectic aetiology in a foreign school of renown. And the unsuspecting masses adored him. When he became the Satrap of all the land people glorified him. When he spoke to his people, he spoke passionately and his carotid showed menacingly, a sure manifestation of his hebephrenia bubbling underneath the seemingly calm visage. He was a good public speaker by opinion of many, the masses listening in a trance when he spoke, despite his lalling.

Notwithstanding his unreproachable popularity, the Leader reminded the enlightened of an etiolated plant. He was an epicure, to be sure, having entree from McDonald's and Pizza Hut served on his favorite decorated antique salver. He surrounded himself by many a young noble and advisor. Many of them kept their commiseration secret and well-hidden due to their diffidence that did not surface in his presence. They were propitiatory to each other.

In the privacy of his camera, having first protected all the sissu of the land by a decree as his Veep's insistence, the Leader created many a palimpsest while puffing on his narghile. But he didn't inhale! He was known to resort to ululation when talking about his enemies. Yes, even he had enemies! In public he was jocose with them and even sent the proverbial bouquets of asphodel in porringers to appease some of them.

Yggdrasil was the most vociferous of his enemies. When the Leader spoke about him his echolalia took completely over. His systole was boisterous and if he did not exercise full control in public, people could descry his true self. Not that the rabbit was out of the bag he reminded many of an infusorian in fresh water.

His people became inured to his ways. The Leader started to rule through his truculent and fatuous Spouse. Although many people were oblivious to her ways, the righteous visionaries spied the invisible corolla around her head that she wore with pride. The Leader's family and the Inner Circle was a true rebus to behold. Like on a detritus that it was, attrition took its toll.

Suddenly, a young and unscrupulous croupier with a damascene soul appeared on the scene, as if from nowhere. Her nascent revealed the verisimilitude of the Leader's most inner self. With his finger wagging public conceptual performance, his Spouse was reduced to resorting to crepitation and eventually became a maenad. Having nowhere else to go, she went Northeast and became a grand-vizier from New York.

Moral of this tale: Cherchez la femme!

— George Kovats
 
Notes from the Experience

Pretty much brain-gone at 2am--

Dark thoughts deeply pervade my normally salubrious state, minatory in nature, bludgeoning my mind's eye with the whys, wheres, and aetiology of it all--

And then, barely able to take personal responsibility, the next crisis comes like a willful pernicious satrap intent on blocking both my carotid arteries, causing, not just hebephrenia, but heebee jeebees too; enough so, that a lalling conversation in my head, sounded more and more like Tweety Bird or Elmer Fudd at best--

Of course, I was upset to say the least with this etiolate pallor, ghastly looking in the mirror, making my usual morning preoccupation, as an epicure, not a Simple Simon salver affair to be sure--

Pleading for some kind of propitiatory warmth coming from the sissu foundation board of directors a al Oliver Twist of the Princess and the Pea, I tell them I'm no buddy to palimpsest vagueries; clarity is my mission--

Then, to bring it all together and close this chapter of Distractions, I take a tiny puff on the narghile provoking an unexpected ululation of a jocose, harlequinesque quality, providing added information for my mind to investigate--

I asphoned it over heels to be an additional porringer of surreal nonsense, odd to be occurring 1,000 feet below the frigid surface of this Yggdrasil tree farm's cavernous laboratory, where much of my long hours of hearty dittoes, echolalia journal entries, and the perpetual motions of the systole effect takes place--

Boisterous, and leaning forward, my eye is as pristine as the morning's artificial light--

I decry sanitary infusoria that gel and inure under glass, struggling and then succumbing to uncontrollable protozoan truculent indulgences, fatuous, corolla-shaped stereoscopic kaleidoscoped rebus--

Cascading notes on detritus, that have no real place here altogether, free themselves down the shin of my left leg and rest in the mud that fills my eyes; I observe attrition--

Poker-faced, I play a vampirish croupier gambling with their lives, while their damascene attempt to escape my superior authority and the inevitable nascent verisimilitude, that all crepitation on their part, would be a futile maenad-like waste of common sense and energy--

I create the test, keep score, and grade the final outcome--

— Twitch
 
Tera smiled as the Salubrious Art Palace came into view. She could see the minatory Dr. Amon, the former satrap, through his office window. Dr. Amon was head of the Schizo Aetiology Department. The sight of him made Tera's carotid tighten and throb.

Tera carried her painting into the building. Dr. Amon collected paintings. He had asked her to bring one the next time they researched hebephrenia. Tera knew it was his way of saying he liked her.

Tera was lalling around the building before deciding to sit in the waiting room. She was watching television when she saw him. Dr. Amon. He made her etiolate. Tera knew he was an epicure, but the man following him with a salver full of hors d'oeuvres surprised her.

Dr. Amon stopped and looked in at a young man sitting across from Tera. The doctor's commiseration made Tera's heart warm. The young man's diffidence was obvious, but his propitiatory navy Sissu t-shirt helped his appearance.

All of a sudden the man yelled “Yaahoooo!” His ululation was jocose.

Tera grabbed a pen and a palimpsest so she could take notes. The man took a lighter from his pocket, lit his narghile, and after a moment, blew out a little smoke.

The doctor took a porringer from the salver. “Would you care for a snack?” he asked the young man.

“Care for a snack?” the man asked.

The doctor smiled. “I asked you first,” he said.

“I asked you first,” the man echoed.

Dr. Amon stood firm as the Yggdrasil. Tera wrote, “severe echolalia” in her book. “This is fascinating,” she said to herself. She could feel the systole of her heart.

“You first!” The young man was becoming boisterous. Tera could descry a strange look from the man. She thought he might have infusoria in his eyes. She couldn't inure looking at him. He was being truculent and fatuous.

Tera looked at her painting. The orange and yellow of the corolla calmed her. Her rebus painting was very complicated, but interesting, even with a little detritus on it.

The attrition from working on this painting put Tera in bed for two weeks. She remembered the croupier from the Damascene Casino coming to visit. Her nascent idea of marriage was ruined when she had no strength to smile or greet him, but somehow had strength to vomit on his shoes. Luckily, the verisimilitude of a romance with Dr. Amon had eased her grief.

A woman's voice startled Tera and brought her back to the present. “Dr. Amon will see you now,” the woman said.

In his office, Dr. Amon was talking into his tape recorded. “My next patient has generalized schizophrenia. At times she demonstrates crepitation and other compulsive behaviors. She has severe delusions and hallucinations. During her visits, she is usually a maenad.”

— Stacy Ru
 
Nunquam Haiku #39

Massages one's mind
like salubrious contact
of fingers on skin

Minatory dreams
of societal collapse
pale under its touch.

Aetiology
of the artisan “disease”
thrills pracitioners.

The petty satrap
and autocratic stooges
discuss art's value.

Pumps through the body
Sunlight in carotid pipe
deep into the soul.

Mail tricks and tokens
Foolish and senseless laughter
Hebephrenia.

Babbling baby
speaks with crayon words
La la la lalling

Creative substance
absence would etiolate
community's core.

Epicure of art
much like a salver of wine
gourmet food of soul.

Beggar pity them
men born blind to its aura
commiseration.

Life of diffidence
cold gray penal colony
the void without art.

Try to clam the gods
propitiatory gift
soft painted blessings

Trees of sissu brown
Awaiting the axe of time
and anchor the earth.

Text of palimsest
Faded yellow history
Archimedes wept.

Narghile caresses
the hanoumia will dance
how the Pashas live

Tipsy coyote
sends the mournful mumbling sound
of ululation.

Facetious canine
quit rigor and be jocose
frowning upside-down

rosy petal scent
unattainable desires
naked asphoden.

Porringer of song
drink deep the timeless laughter
grab now the handle.

Ashy Yggdrasil
all heaven & earth are bound
Norse roots remain true.

Repeated recant
words bounce back from a canyon
echolatia

Fleshy systole
Reggae rhythmic contraction
pulsing red echo.

Man in being
as God sweated profusely
boisterous bania

Hope veiled from the seer
a brief half-light of vagueness
descry the future.

Wet Protozoa
minute vibrating lashes
infusoria.

Endless city clamor
inure men to the noises
hidden in the heart.

Palpable untruths
of truculent resentment
jagged, savage lies.

Phosphorescent light
an illusion that misleads
Ignis fatuous.

Little inner crown
cluster of petal pushers
corolla facet.

-

Mind worn through ages
shake loose scattered fragments
of detritus thoughts.

Time is abrasove
the attrition through friction
sorrows particles.

The croupier smiles
plastic chips join the green felt
come on black... oh, red!

Wavy reflection
pattern of precious metal
shiny damascene.

Beginnings of birth
radical unbound atom
nascent as a germ.

Seemingly truth is
blinded eyes risk an error
verisimilitude.

Knee-crack in the stride
fractures of crepitation
old parts long for oil.

Dionysian
dancing through rites of orgy
maenad pleasure cult.

Nunquam is missing
birth of still-born haiku
thirty eight not nine.

— Kiyotei
 
In the salubrious air of cold night, I wiggle against the sharp hook of reality. the pistol-whipped scarecrow in my dream has a minatory presence. The aetiology of my disorder is unknown. The process is simple. The satrap has no clothes. He feels the carotid squeeze of the sky's hunger. My hebephrenia, like his, is just aome karma I cannot digest. My prayers are lalling. Let every hope etiolate. My natural history is from the stoic to the epicure. I offer up my lust and hobo soul on a salver. Don't hesitate. Commiseration is a fool's game. Diffidence is a black hole. I can't live on the sissu of a short range view. My life is palimpsest and I don't need a narghile to see the deeper mystery. Though nights be calm, my ululation is not of this world. I prefer a God who is jocose not clean. A God of asphoned stature is the meat off my soul's porringer. Mine is a song of the Yggdrasil not echolalia. At times my heart is heavy, my systole just a whisper. When God is boisterous at dawn, I descry the infusoria of wonder in the warming sky. Inure me to the times when my reality is vacant. I was born for the swift, deep river. A truculent wind across a vast plain erases all my fatuou doubts. The corilla of a million lights in abandoned places, a found sidewalk rebus are the detritus of dreams washed down from lonely monks of long ago. The layers of masks dwindle by attrition. The croupier at the end of the world knows the Light is too large for this life. The damascene blade of flinty truth reveals the nascent fact of all we have to learn for ourselves from ourselves. Love lends verisimilitude to the dream of understanding, but my longing heart still hears crepitation in the maenad's different song.

— K. Nuzzo
 
THE 39 WORDS, a CHAPTER

“The salubrious effects,” Duffy complained, “which include pain, are seldom more than palliative and almost never permanent. Stavros enjoys the minatory gesture almost as much as aetiology.”

“You're a miserable old satrap this morning,” Yasmin replied, “any new discoveries?”

“I reference that crazy Greek's pursuit of self, not a care for what ails me,” Duffy corrected.

“She smiled and took his pulse at the carotid artery, “and what about the young Prince?”

The heir to the throne was afflicted with the horrid symptoms and behaviors of hebephrenia. When so informed,, he ran wildly about, arms akimbo while raving, “NOT! NOT! NOT!” before lapsing into a lalling, guttural “ulllllllllllllllll, ulllllllllllllllll,” an unsuccessful imitation of a wolf-like growl.

“The lad is attempting to etiolate me, Yasmin,” Duffy said.

“Trying to?” Yasmin countered, holding a mirror before his paste-like countenance.

The old epicure revisited the exquisiteness of their rekindled romance before Yasmin turned aside, trading the looking glass for a salver laden with grapes.

“Anyway,” she continued, tasting one before serving Duffy, “our mutual commiseration is assured.”

“How so?” Duffy quizzed.

She spoke with a diffidence that disappeared as soon as she felt sure of her propitiatory offering, “I look after you. Just as you do for the Prince, of course.”

Duffy straightened visibly, mimicking the sissu in the courtyard beyond his window, but bemoaned, “his mutterings are a palimpsest I could not endure without you as my narghile, Yasmin.”

Yesterday's ululation had been a siren punctuated by jocose remarks, asphoden references to the Elysian Fields and continuous gesturing as his porringer when the Prince had asked for, “my milk and cake please.”

Duffy continued, “Stavros refers to his as 'Little Yggdrasil' you know.”

Yasmin laughed out loud, “the Prince is somewhat more intelligent than you realize, I think. His babbling repetitions were punctuated by a marvelous pun when he inquired 'is there an echolalia in here.'”

Duffy agreed, “yes, he is up to something. Stavros never noticed the employment of a systole in the seemingly disordered nonsense, and, he's alternating the boisterous verse democratically between Latin and Greek.”

“Perhaps you descry a way out for our troubled Prince?”

“Like a contained culture of infusoria, he's becoming inured to the hardship of this condition,” Duffy realized, “and the truculent gyrations are a fatuous self-medication invented by our young corolla. His babbling and ranting seems to be a rebus, waiting to be solved!”

“I believe the detritus of the young Prince's childhood memory are smoothing you by attrition, Duffy,” Yasmin said approvingly.

“I'm one croupier who knows his place at the table, Love,” Duffy admitted while tapping his head, “my position is gilded, embossed and damascened on a steel plate.”

This nascent sense of his own condition was a rather green verisimilitude that rattled around inside his head like the tiny crepitation of insects.

Suddenly, Stavros burst into the room. She was wild eyed, as frantic as the young Prince.

Yasmin and Duffy stared after her, then, in unison, said, “maenad!”

— Mick Mather

[Note: This work arrived too late to be included in the print issue.]
 
If you've read up to this point you might as well figure out what the 39 words are. Then, write a new piece of fiction using the 39 words, a maximum of 500 words and send me the results. To be published in future issue?
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