Edited by No Glykon Cover photo by Stephanie Bonham Logo by Kristen Koenig Reality Hands www.realityhands.com The rights to the content in this book belong to the creators.
REALITY HANDS Heiko Julién Stephen Michael McDowell Emilia Batchelor James Roo Walter Thomas Mackey Mike Bushnell Megan Lamb Michael O’Toole No Glykon
‘elucidation, eluded’ Heiko Julién what a Stupid Thing to like a persons face to like a person because of a face to like a Person because of their Face faces are not in short supply pick up a newspaper or better yet, dont i only ever wanted you to be good i only ever wanted for us to be clean and tidy and leave this space exactly the way it was when we found it but we browned it it used to be green and blue, with hints of reds and yellows and purplish hues now its brown. not saying thats a bad thing, but hell is where the heart is, it just keeps getting fresher im a slave, i know but this is a cool, new kind of slavery the one i chose the kind i made for myself with my own two hands theres a certain kind of satisfaction that comes from building something with your bare hands, ive been told thats the kind of satisfaction i think i have as i sit back and just stew in these Awful Juices marinating in the collective expunged Gloopity Glop of this Overripe Nonsense
the full-blown stench of the cumulative result of all these bad decisions and habits brought on by laziness i didnt have enough energy to overcome sadness i was too depressed to do away with boredom i was too apathetic to resist selfishness i couldnt avoid because i simply couldnt see that there was anything else and then theres you but youre not here and then theres the memory of you and thats that ~
eskimo bros Stephen Michael McDowell matthew looked at janet standing by the casement windows next to fred. matthew tried to remember what she said to him earlier about having to go, that she needed to be at work in the morning. he was tired of watching all the men in the room fawn over the two blondes sitting on the bowflex, nervously drinking vodka, one of them, clearly about to cry matthew stood up and walked to the middle of the room. eric appeared from the bathroom and asked if matthew wanted more cocaine. matthew said sure, but kept glancing over at janet. he thought when eric offered that he would take a key out and offer matthew a bump but when he turned back to look, eric was holding the baggie in front of matthew, dancing a little, staring at the blondes. they were talking to afriik, eric’s drug dealer, crouched on the floor between them matthew took the baggie, did a bump, and handed it back to eric. eric lunged at matthew, violently hugging him. eric said ‘i love you brother’, let go of matthew and leapt toward the other side of the room, dancing, his arms and hips swaying with, matthew thought, inhuman enthusiasm and gesticulation matthew started back toward janet and fred. as he approached, fred looked upset. ‘i’m not telling you what to do,’ he said, ‘i’m just saying you’re making things way more complicated than they need to be.’ fred walked past matthew in a semi-hurried shuffle and matthew heard janet say ‘it’s my life’ quietly as fred brushed past him janet stood looking out the window at baltimore, the warehouse was high enough the the skyline appeared just over the adjacent building. it wasn’t obvious from inside the warehouse but it was 3am and dark out. matthew walked up to janet and put his hand on her shoulder. ‘don’t you think you should go home soon,’ said
matthew. ‘you said you had work in the morning, didn’t you’ janet buried her head in matthew’s chest. ‘not until eleven though,’ she said weakly. she looked up at his face. matthew felt afraid, ‘she’s going to kiss me’, he thought, ‘and i’m going to kiss her back’ in a cab on their way up charles street, janet offered matthew a baggie. he took it, finished it and put the empty bag in his pocket. ‘i shouldn’t be doing this, what am i doing,’ said janet. ‘what’s wrong,’ said matthew ‘i don’t get it, what’s wrong’ ‘okay,’ said janet, ‘so if we’re going to do this, it needs to be fast because i have work in the morning, and then i have to pick up my daughter at five, and she’s a ball of energy so i can’t be tired tomorrow, understand’ matthew felt unsure but like he had already committed to something, something he felt sure he would either regret or have to confront in the morning, but he agreed to try amidst janet repeating ‘i shouldn’t be doing this’ as they walked into her apartment ‘we don’t have to’ said matthew. ‘do you want a beer,’ said janet, ‘i have tons of beer, do you want one, here.’ she handed him one from the fridge. he already felt very drunk and weird about everything. he already felt bad about janet seeming unsure but somehow committed to whatever was about to happen. he took the beer and walked into the back room sipping it while she frantically cleaned the living room ‘this place is such a mess,’ she said ‘there is something weird about the brains of moms,’ thought matthew, then asked if he could smoke a cigarette. ‘i was just about to have one,’ said janet in a frantic tone. she took a pack of american spirits from the coffee table, quickly removed one and handed it to matthew. ‘you have a balcony,’ said matthew, smiling. ‘yea, do you want to smoke out there,’ asked janet. ‘sure’ on the bed, they lay next to each other silently, until matthew
caressed and then grabbed janet’s hip. she wrapped her arm around his neck, sliding her hand along his bare back matthew held janet and kissed her face, he liked the way her nose protruded slightly at the tip and kissed it repeatedly. she didn’t laugh, she seemed either enraptured or attempting to detach herself from the contact. ‘you have good breasts,’ said matthew. ‘what,’ said janet in a hushed, frenetic yelp. ‘i’m surprised, i thought moms’ breasts did weird things after nursing and never changed back, yours seem healthy and young’ janet smiled and kissed matthew and positioned him on top of her, he put on a condom from a bowl on her night stand, took a sip of beer, and gripped her tightly. after a few minutes matthew’s body felt exacerbated and his brain, dull, ‘i’m bored,’ he said. ‘don’t stop,’ said janet, ‘it’s the condom,’ ‘yea—’ said matthew. ‘i don’t know what to do.’ ‘are you clean?’ ‘yea, i just got tested.’ ‘i am too, except, well, herpes, but, like, it’s mouth herpes, and it’s not enflamed, so, you’re fine.’ ‘goddamnit,’ matthew thought, taking off the condom. after they were done, janet seemed shocked and overtly aware of what had happened. she said ‘ew’, and ran to the bathroom. matthew chugged the rest of his beer, blacked out, and woke up with the sun against his back. he could see janet in the kitchen through the bedroom door. matthew sat up and took a cigarette from her pack, sitting on the nightstand and lit it. he tried to remember the course of events the last night, and the first thing he thought of was the first time he and janet kissed. she said ‘i’ve never kissed a person with lips bigger than mine,’ and ‘wow, i want you,’ in a calm manner, and matthew realized that that gesture is probably what guided his semiconscious mind to his present situation matthew walked into the kitchen and took janet by the waist and
tried to kiss her. she resisted. ‘i should have known that wasn’t going to happen,’ he thought. ‘um, yea, yea,’ said janet, ‘um, you’re not really supposed to smoke in here.’ ‘oh,’ said matthew, ‘i’m sorry.’ ‘no no no no it’s my fault, it’s just, my daughter’s going to be here today and i don’t usually smoke inside, it’s okay.’ ‘what happened with work,’ matthew asked, walking to the balcony. ‘i called in sick,’ said janet. ‘jesus christ.’ eventually janet came out to the balcony and sat down in a chair. she seemed nervous and earnestly attempting calm. ‘you know,’ she said, lighting a cigarette, ‘i really shouldn’t have done that last night.’ ‘yea you kept saying that, why?’ ‘well,’ she started, exhaling smoke, ‘i have a boyfriend in kansas, and he won’t like that i slept with someone else unprotected’ ‘oh,’ said matthew. ‘do you want some oatmeal, and, like, coffee,’ asked janet. ‘sure,’ said matthew putting out his cigarette. janet put hers out, only one-third finished, and bolted inside. ‘is it good,’ asked janet. ‘the coffee’s fine.’ said matthew. ‘the oatmeal’s kind of bland,’ ‘yea i don’t want bianca to get addicted to sugar, so i don’t have sugar.’ ‘do you have raisins or something.’ they sat watching tv for about fifteen minutes while matthew finished. ‘i don’t even ever watch tv,’ said janet. ‘me either,’ said matthew. he set the bowl down on the coffee table and stood. ‘the apartment looks good,’ he said, ‘you cleaned it really fast.’ matthew kept standing a few seconds. he looked at janet’s nose. she smiled. he walked to her and hugged her. ‘come back again some time,’ she said. matthew walked out of the apartment and caught the bus to station north. when he walked into his apartment eric was sitting in his studio smiling with a handle of whiskey in his hand, blaring the mountain goats’ song ‘damn these vampires’ as it played on his laptop. matthew sat down on the adjacent futon. ‘how’s it going brother,’
said eric. ‘i’m hungover as fuck,’ said matthew. ‘well, have some of this then.’ matthew took the handle of whiskey and took a sip. ‘so, you going to marry janet and adopt bianca?’ matthew almost spit. he grinned, then took another swig of whiskey. ‘nope,’ he said. ‘aw, well that’s too bad. but, well, the good news is—’ matthew still had the handle to his mouth. ‘we’re eskimo brothers!’
SAD SKINNY HULK emilia batchelor the sad skinny hulk wanted to punch the wall so bad but he never did and always managed to hold back but he bit his arm until he heard the flesh on his skinny arm crunch and teared up a little bit he was jealous of the real big green monster and always afraid // about the skinny little hulk how the words skinny and little are perfect to articulate how it feels the repetition of the hard consonant is brittle and sad in a hurry // the skinny hulk is anything but hulking he is hungry for something and lonely he is getting angrier every day he calls himself a dwarf with a bad head his forehead is a broad box of shelves each filled with dark and violent images // there is another sad skinny hulk and the sad skinny hulk finds him insufferable //
if he could find a home somewhere completely unreacheable he would touch it all and make it all real
bridge jumping Walter Thomas Mackey i want to jump from a bridge and have you take a photograph just as my body hits the water i want to be remembered as a blur once i skyped with a friend and we talked about jumping off the golden gate bridge but we were unsure if the impact of the water killed you or if you just jumped and like your body plunged so far down into the water that you just drowned but it turns out that we googled it and yahoo answers told us that all of your bones just shatter if you hit the water at a certain angle and speed i want that to happen to me i want my bones to turn to dust
vcr Walter Thomas Mackey but now our words come out like broken bottles from a soda pop that just won’t fizz and i’m trying to think of a time that was when it wasn’t like how this now all is it’s hard to think of times without this sadness and this hazy fog that surrounds my head but sometimes i look back at the digital photos and my facebook feed makes you feel a lot less dead i guess if life was like a giant vcr i would take you from your case and rewind you back i’ve got to start from the start and forget your mark on my life and your scar on my heart
Built Gospel Mike Bushnell large planes keeping flying over my head one by one they’re landing cover my ears I’m balled up on the bed holding a phone oh aircraft oh darling I hold you in the wiggling moments you are my cloud we are floating now there is no building surrounding we are in charge and we mute the jumbo jets because we wanna we got life rafts now hah oh Eskimos surround me I’m crying into the mittens on your hands and I am trying to forget this gerbil that rides me into the late I stare at the computer I stare at the dancing chickens I wish I was hungry or happy for no reason but I can’t I will be another burden shed for ease of movement I don’t mean to restrict I don’t mean to constrict I don’t mean to be so strictly anxious but I just keep scratching I feel like second place when I know I’m your winner I feel thinner I feel sickly on the bed where I do not know what else to do but think of you and roll over and over until the sheets are on the floor There are birds that follow I am jumping from the loading bay and thinking of the sad alternatives to not just being another annoyance in the string of annoying people that surround you and I don’t know I don’t know I feel like I am throwing mud at the white dress I hear the sound of bottles hitting hardwood in the falling times you really got a hold on me and I don’t have the answers I am just so scared to be off on the cold planet looking at the universe like another left behind soldier choking for that oxygen and looking for the rest of the brigade to power me forward I am desperate for companionship I am confidently desperate and I rub the chocolate on my body standing in the middle of the jungle while the laser tells this missile where to detonate Oh I am just a lil bitch with a torturous itch in a place only you can scratch I always feel sad when my dad asks for help to understand the technology he must use to stay competitive at work I hold my hands in my lap I stare at the ceramic my stomach stays churning
and I know there is so much good here but I cannot ignore the anxious it is in my blood I feel sad I listen to sad music with him I want to shoot his sadness to far away with a tshirt cannon I don’t know what will make me happy in this life other than standing next to you I don’t know I just don’t know I long to know oh who am I kidding I know my dreams are destined to stay dreams while I rubble against this world I fight to be normal and find myself obnoxiously stuck in place I wear sneakers and I walk up steps big deal the destiny of an empty life is baring down while the rest of you find your greatness I have love and I cling to it like a teddy bear for comfort through this life long horror movie I don’t need bass strings for suspense I don’t need surprising camera tricks just plain life is fucking scary enough to make me run and look back shrieking at what has come for me and when the knife cuts skin and then the metal is inside me I realize my art is finding what it takes to push through while bloody and disastrous while trains crash into my knees and the skyscraper implodes into my mouth and I am standing there spewing debris into the air like a fire breather of the broken things
supplication Megan Lamb and Michael O’Toole i wanted to be a priest putting on long flowing robes and sprinkling holy water on the people. when i was a child. voice low, smooth, and cool as a barrel of rain water. i can’t imagine you killing a child. you were born to be a priest who wanders. did i tell you about my confession and the penance that was given me? there was no confessional booth, just a vase of silk flowers and a pillar candle in a large room. it smelled like a blood red carpet and there was no one there but him and he said, what do you have to confess? and i had a story i was supposed to give him but i forgot the story and the story became a real apology. i cried. he said, i usually do not give a penance how modern but for you, i dare to give a penance. confession was lost on me. i stopped doing it when the sins became too good. go home. look at yourself in the mirror. touch your face. give yourself a kiss. he mimed the kiss and put his hand on my left cheek. his hand smelled like a woman’s perfume. when you need to masturbate go to the marketplace, and when you need to end a conversation squat down and take a shit. just like diogenes, who once sat across from me in an airplane and let me look over his shoulder at the dirty magazine he was reading. priests don’t look at dirty magazines. are you so sure? i think they do and they just don’t realize it. * masturbate. pray. wait for punishment and then forgiveness. confession bored me when guilt became more interesting. it was a one for one deal. i was the same way. i never even got to the point where i could
masturbate. i was so mortified by my own thoughts and the sheer potentiality of feeling satisfied in any way. Mortify: “from late Middle English (in the senses [put to death,] [deaden,] and [subdue by self-denial] ): from Old French mortifier, from ecclesiastical Latin mortificare ‘kill, subdue,’ from mors, mort‘death.’ “ also: “subdue (the body or its needs and desires) by self-denial or discipline” ex: mortification of the flesh * if i murdered you i would bury you in the seat of a confessional box. not the seat where the confessor sits but the one where the priest does. there is a version of me that you’ve known and nursed and i need you to speak to her trust. i would confess the murder to the priest and tell him he is sitting on you. i’d tell him, it’s a game, of course, of course. and as long as we’re talking, we’re playing a game. and as long as we’re talking, we’re signing. as long as we’re talking, we’re making a choice about what to remember and what to forget. i would tell him that it is ok and that he is now complicit in the murder and jesus is all-forgiving and i would give him a penance. i would give him a penance of confessing to the murder. and giving me his long, flowing robes and low, cool voice so i could take his place as priest. i would ask you to believe in angels, not in ghosts. i would ask you to swallow my two index fingers before you died. * i believed very strongly in heaven and hell. as a child. there was no
room for the undead in my cosmology. i started a ghost hunting club with my friends. when i was seven. i would leave clues all around the playground or the backyard. iâ€™d leave them in full view so they would find them, but i believed that monsters were hidden from view. a book with weird scrawlings. a single muddy slipper. a hood torn off one of my own jackets. the monsters were hidden because of some deformity, some pathology, some kind of psychological abnormality. my friends always believed me and i felt i was doing something very important. i felt guilty for lying to them. i had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on her pussy. i refused to let her go down on me because i knew i would crash the car when i came. for a time i was scared of attics and basements. they seemed like good places for monsters to be chained away. especially attics. it is very easy for a monster to drill a hole in the ceiling and watch me from above. the monster can drill a hole in the ceiling and watch me drive into oncoming traffic. itâ€™s a general feeling i have not a desire, but a capability. sometimes it is very difficult for me to tell the difference between those two things. it is true. i am not capable if i am not desirous. if you didnâ€™t believe in heaven, what made you want to be good? the desire must give birth to the capability. * the prospect of being a ghost made me want to be good. i wanted to haunt the right people and haunt them effectively someday.
i never believed in heaven even when i was very young. if dead souls went to heaven, then why was the world still haunted by ghosts? ghosts haunt structures, houses, theaters, hotels. have you ever thought that buildings themselves might be ghosts? they give symbol to structure. thatâ€™s part of their job. their job is to exist. they exist past our own lives, collect the sweat and sounds and screams and sex of accumulated years and decades and centuries. i mean, that is the thing about heaven. no structure. no curtains to billow, no mirrors to shatter. you need some kind of structure to create a romance. i think you and all your monsters have accomplished this. there are such longings even fearless people canâ€™t ignore. i am not sure i can think of you in a way subtracted of desire and that is frightening. the way a tiny hole drilled into the ceiling is frightening. i do not think of heaven as a place, which is why it has no buildings, which is why it is not haunted. i do not want to go to heaven. i want to be born again. you have haunted me very effectively.
thought scour No Glykon my eyes are gripping the road. the steering wheel is seeming to flake off on in my hands. my fingers are clutched. i am thinking, crash( crash[ crash( crash triangle[ plus one additional crash for crash triangle( and one for any qualifier i can think of.)] inside of a skull on a non-Euclidian plain or whatever.), i am having this compulsion often.] crash) crash crash crash. “do you ever get a compulsion to crash your car into something while you’re driving?” “….” “not that you would act on it, but like… a controlled compulsion.” “….” “….” “yeah.” “….” “why?”