Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's Already In There

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

"The Greeks grew as a civilization because of a constant influx of ideas with their trading partners. They were dynamic. The Romans, on the other hand, fell because of conservatism and empire wide standardization," Fea said.

This concerned me, not because of the flimsiness of her argument, but because the mind caulk should have prevented such thoughts. Besides, her statements were a philosophical slap in the face to our own movement. We'd caulked ourselves to keep new, bad thoughts out. We'd even caulked the space between our two minds to ensure our fidelity. First issue first, however.

"The Roman empire lasted much longer than the classical Greek civilization they absorbed and was much larger, discounting, possibly, the conquests of Alexander, whose empire fell as soon as he did," I said.

Fea opened her mouth to rebut my rebuttal, but I held up a hand. "More importantly," I said, "Where did you get such an idea? Is your caulk peeling? Because we paid for the extended warranty."

"Well, it was there before. The thought, I mean. Danny told me about it once. I don't know why it just came back like that."

"Danny told you."


"Danny. Tall guy, muscular?"

"Yeah, that's him."

My tongue clicked the comm inside my mouth. I got hold of the guy who sold me the caulk and ordered a case of mind scrub. Good thing he'd put the thought in my head before I'd sealed myself off. How lucky was that?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tunnel Of Love

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

This other universe wasn't mostly space like ours. It was mostly matter with planet sized pockets of space floating around within. The deep miners were the great explorers of their systems, seeking out new pockets of life with ultrasound and seismic equipment. But what to do with all that dirt?

The Pythians were the boldest of all people, digging a tunnel so large that the dirt filled up their world. They obliterated their homeland for the promise of first contact. From that point on, the tunnel was their home and they roamed the reverse galaxies in an enormous worm-world. Where they made contact, they did their level best to bring love, even to those who made war upon them.

It was understandable, after all, when your world is going along swimmingly and suddenly an entire alien civilization pokes its head up through the ground, you might be startled and pull a trigger. Only natural. But love was a powerful thing. And alien love was kinky enough to calm the politicians into submission. After a period of cross-pollination and cultural exchange, the Love Tunnel rolled on.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brief Encounters With Magnetic Poetry

by Matthew Sanborn Smith
(With thanks to John Aitken and his refrigerator)

Shake the drool from them peaches


The wind in me hair
the smell of the sea spray
and two sweaty men under me arms


She's hot like some sweaty Panamanian dress

(I know what you're saying. You're saying, where the hell did he come up with the word Panamanian from a box of Magnetic Poetry? I did it thusly:
I turned a letter "d" upside down for the "P". Then I used the following tiles in order: "an", "a", "man" "I", and "an" again. So there.)


The summer sky roars and drips a wicked cocktail into my mouth by the cheek-full


Her heart murmurs love
like some café beat poet
that bleeds coffee
but the brilliant words
stagger in her mouth
every time she drinks in
his caramel eyes


Come woman
throbbing young sister
speak of vast eternity in your kiss
porcelain angel
warm streams of liquid desire
delicious fever
velvet embrace
wild blush
and breezy perfume breath

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Fall Of The House Of Light

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

No mere home of stone or tree could house Torvak. Too great a being was he, beyond the needs of shelter from the elements, as he himself had become a force of nature. As the gods had for ages, Torvak would make his home from beams of light.

With mere flicks of his fingers his bright walls rose, interlacing with each other, and his palace took shape. In moments, it stood complete and Torvak lounged about his new home without a thought of the wants of mortal men.

Until Tom came over.

"Torvak!" he called. "Torvak! What in the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Welcome, friend Tom! You shall be the first man to gaze upon the House of Light, home to the Younger Gods!"

"Well, I don't know what that's about, but I do know you're running around in your yard buck naked with a bunch of flashlights all over the place."

"This is my home, Tom," Torvak said, spreading his arms widely.

"No, that's you're home, Torvac," Tom said. He pointed at the little one bed/one bath rental behind Torvac. "And you better get yourself on in there! You're disturbing --"

"I'm disturbing what, Tom? The peace? Im not bothering anyone!"

"No. You're just disturbing. That's all."

"The human body is a beautiful thing, Tom."

"I understand that, Torvak. But you gotta understand, I got a little girl over there and, I don't know, maybe it would be different if you were in shape. You . . . you ain't in shape, bubba."

"Fine, then! To hell with all of you." Torvac walked around the front yard, turned off and collected all of his flashlights.

"That's better now," Tom said. "You might wanna get that lump checked out."

"Leave me alone!"

"I'm just saying."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Book

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Früd, intersystem artiste, wrote his book in fire across Death Valley. Fire fed by print books. He claimed his words could be seen from space. There were people in space. None of them could see his words. A nice helicopter ride, however, revealed the story in all its glory. Or lack thereof. For when the rented choppers first flew overhead, astute critics realized:

"Hey, this book reads like ass!" and, shortly thereafter, "We burned Steinbeck for this?" The whole thing was a disaster. Until another disaster saved the day. A group of near-sighted readers kept pressuring their pilot to get closer to the words, so he got as close as possible by crashing right into to them as well as the ground directly beneath them. This miraculously changed the word "ramrod" in paragraph seventeen of chapter twenty-three, into the word "benediction" (trust me on this) and utterly transformed the story from dogshit into a song of the divine. People wept at its beauty and Früd found success that was previously unknown in his paltry existence.

The families of the near-sighted tourists and their pilot sued for a cut of his profits. Früd claimed the book itself, and not the story it told, was the work of art, and he countersued because the defendants' dead family members had vandalized his work. Früd won.

This pissed off a lot of people who, this time, made a deliberate attempt at sabotage and turned the word "avocado" in the very last sentence into the word "mahkrolish," which of course isn't a word at all. But somehow, this made the story even better. Früd couldn't lose for winning and hired his own saboteurs to make revisions until he had enough money to buy a couple of planets.

He didn't buy a couple of planets, because who wants that hassle? His dad owned an apartment building and just dealing with those people was bad enough. Instead he bought a tower, a comfy chair and a nice sandwich and read the latest edition of his book. He found the story gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and all those other cliched organ-tormenting things that one might expect. It couldn't possibly get any better than this, could it? He called for another helicopter to find out.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's A Wonderful Life

by Matthew Sanborn Smith
(Loosely based on the film of the same name.)
(You make up the tune, but make it punk if you care about me.)

You give me a blowjob
And I give you my thanks
And then we get up and get some ice cream

It's a wonderful life
Full of blowjobs and ice cream
And firetrucks and submarine sandwiches.
We've got guns and we've got sex
And occasionally we've got drugs
If Vinnie can score some
from that guy who works at the newspaper
It's a wonderful life.

We go out and tussle
With seven Chinese acrobats
And then the nine of us go test drive the latest

It's a wonderful life
full of Acrobats and Volvos
and army ants and solar powered teeth
We've got love and we've got heat
And we even have a girdle
like the one that Vinnie found
underneath his mom's refrigerator
It's a wonderful life.

We get matching hernias
and drink rat-flavored iced tea
And then race our turtles on the salt flats.
That's neat!

It's a wonderful life
full of hernias and iced tea
and spider-milking farmers and beans.
We've got toasted leather sandwiches
And always go clog dancing
with Vinnie's ex-twin sister
who just turned three
It's a wonderful life!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Northern Discomfort

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

There was Southern Comfort, there was a little coke, there were rocks in snowballs and why the hell were they running around naked in the middle of winter? Hank's rapidly returning consciousness discovered that his willie was tucked so far up into him it might as well have been a vagina. AC/DC's Jailbreak was blaring, distorted around the edges, from the back of Soto's Buick. They were drunk and fucked up and even if Hank caught Selina out there in the playground of the old elementary school was he going to do with her, besides warm the hell up?

"With a bullet in his back!" Paul screamed to the song when it came time. Fuck it, Selina would have to come back on her own, Hank was freezing his ass off and couldn't feel anything below his knees. Hank watched each step, concentrating too much on balance. His feet were bleeding maybe? He thought he left dark splotches in the moonlit snow.

Selina had long been forgotten. The location of his clothes as well. All there was was the exhaust ridden fifty-dollar Buick. The Buick was warmth. The Buick was life. He prayed it held more booze and or drugs. As he fell to his knees and crawled for safety, he prayed he could get blitzed enough to wipe this thing entirely from his life's memory.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Consider The Stuffing Beast

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Consider the lowly stuffing beast. An ugly creature, it's only saving grace, the succulent flesh which millions consume annually on the fourth Thursday of November. Because of their hideously mottled appearance, stuffing beasts suffer from a lack of exposure, and consequently, severe inferiority complexes. Turkeys and beasts may be slaughtered equally, but it's the turkey that gets all the camera time, the turkey whose form adorns greeting cards and holiday parades, the turkey who can count one among its number as the relieved recipient of a full presidential pardon. No stuffing beast has ever been raised by a family, named by one of the children, and spared execution because of the bonds of love.

It is because of this that stuffing beasts so often attack turkeys, not only killing them, but consuming specific organs such as the neck and giblets. Outside of these, beasts are known mostly to eat large quantities of wheat and various herbs.

Stuffing beasts, like turkeys are slaughtered year round, though the beasts are often preferred dehydrated to be sold as croutons.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Making The Call

Sorry, gang, for another incredibly short one but between work and pre-Thanksgiving events, time is short.

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

When we all went telepathic, the phone companies were pissed. They sued everyone for making phone calls in their heads.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oh, The Ideas, They Fell Down Like Rain

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Throughout the day, the heads of the fortunates caught outdoors were pelted with explosive epiphanies and intuitive leaps. Jorge created a gene-therapy rider for fertility drugs so that women who rattled eight babies from their frightened egg-sacs would have as many breasts to feed the lot.

Someone figured out how to fix the stoplight on Poplar street and we all thanked him for that. Damned thing was always blinking.

Cornelius asked himself why, and painted the sky by bending the atmosphere until he'd achieved a pleasant peach. "No, not pink. It's peach."

Sally's children made gravity bubbles that lifted entire buffalo from their grazing grounds and carried them off into strange and distant lands. When the bubbles popped, the buffalo fell somewhat harder than the ideas.

One especially virulent meme forced strangers everywhere to join hands and play a game of crack the whip the stretched across continents, tore limbs from bodies, and sent people into orbit.

It occurred to someone else to get out of her car and walk once she realized the traffic on Poplar street would never move again.

When it was all over and the lawns had dried, Marnie asked Maxie, "What the hell happened today?"

Maxie rubbed her pretty little head where the buffalo had hit and wept. "I have no idea!"

Monday, November 20, 2006


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Zip injected himself with just a little bit of everything and then waited to see what would happen.

He never saw what happened.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

First Kiss

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

My first kiss involved twelve other people.

I was a genetic aberration with a lip span fourteen feet across. School, needless to say, was a generally unpleasant experience. The kids called me big mouth and it hurt. Not as much as when somebody stepped on my lips, but it did hurt. Aside from that, I was happy. Not that anyone believed me. With lip droop like mine, I broke records for the largest perpetual frown.

Then in high school, Cassandra and Helen and Fran and Gertrude and Suzanne and Elliot and Petra and Trina and Julie and Paulette and Yasmine and Trish came along. They formed the Lip League, a group of young fetishists who nearly wet themselves when they met me. They swept me away to an underground party the first weekend of my freshman year and there, among the stolen six-packs and scratchy basement couches, they lifted my lips, counted three, and laid the biggest smooch upon me in smooching history. I found the whole thing bone-meltingly erotic.

The thirteen of us became sweethearts. My confidence soared. I knew they'd never leave me for someone else. We were married in a highly dubious ceremony just after graduation. My lips have not drooped since.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

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The Testers

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The boys down at the plant tested crashes all day long. They built and modified their dummies. They set them and belted them just so, or left them unbelted. They ran them into walls. They ran them into each other. All day long.

By the end of the day, the month, the year, their heads were thick and gluey with images of violent accidents until they couldn't see anything else when they lay their heads down at night. They no longer enjoyed the civilian's advantage of taking a drive without expecting a crash. So they crashed. And they crashed.

They knew just how to buckle their belts and position their bulks to minimize their injuries. While they destroyed their own vehicles as well as those of their victims, destroyed bodies and lives and families and first loves, the testers came out of things relatively unscratched. Well, the government had to shut that shit down post-haste, wouldn't you say? That's what the lawyers said. They rid themselves of the testers.

Over time, vehicles became less safe. What to do? Robots! Robots just seemed to be the perfect solution for everything (the robot manufacturers said). They picked up where the testers left off and everything seemed right with the world.

Until, of course, some asshole let the robots drive.

Yahoo Headline

I just saw this headline on Yahoo News:

Major battle in Iraq's Baqouba kills 18

Now, I'm as appalled as the next person about the cluster-fuck over there, but how does something that purports to be a news agency call anything that results in eighteen dead a major battle? Yeah, I know that if one of those eighteen was my kid, that would be as major as it would get, but let's keep it in perspective. We went through two world wars where tens of thousands of people could be killed in a single day. This is even a small number for this conflict, where literally hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed between the two wars. The nicest thing that could be said of this headline is poor judgement. The most honest thing would be to call it bullshit.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Beautiful Ones

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

They appeared over the near horizon, the beautiful ones. Before I caught sight, Edna threw a rock skyward. I wrapped myself around her.

"Stop that," I whispered. They glowed in blues and pinks, floated up and over, never looking at us. The rock would have meant nothing to them even if Edna had the arm to reach them. It was the others I worried about, the ones in the gathering crowds that might have her head for threatening their sky gods. But all faces turned upward; if they had seen anything, it had already been forgotten.

The beautiful ones were here for some other reason, not for us, but we took everything we wanted, drinking in their feathered headdresses (or heads) and carnival costumes. We took it all and there wasn't a damned thing those divine beings could do to stop us. It was the greatest pleasure some of our sad little lives ever witnessed.

No pleasure for Edna, though. Yet as much as she hated their beauty, even she couldn't look away. Maybe that was why she hated them.

For her sake, I looked at her. Only her. Edna's own beauty shone with their reflected light, a little brighter in the wet stripes which ran down her face.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cold Comfort

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

By the time the aliens got here, the Earth was pretty warm. So warm, in fact, that there was no ice to speak of. The only cold things left were our cryogenically preserved bodies. So, these they diced to chill the drinks at the big conquest wrap-up party in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Milk Maid

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

They hung a cow on the kitchen wall so the children could enjoy fresh-squeezed milk anytime they wanted. When Charlie and his wife, Shirley, came over for cards (four games of solitaire in separate corners of the game room (they were social, but not crazy social)), Dave thought he heard Shirley mumbling something from her corner about cow's milk not being right for children.

"Human children evolved to digest human milk, not cow's milk," she said as she slapped her cards on the table. Her logic sounded good to Dave and he felt foolish for putting all that money in a cow instead of the magic beans he'd been eying at the marketplace.

He sold the cow the next day and hung a human on the wall instead. Her name was Myrtle and the kids enjoyed her milk. Dave found himself in awe of the size of the woman's breasts to the point where it began to interfere with his digestion.

That night, after Elke fell asleep, Dave snuck out to the kitchen. He hadn't been there for two minutes before Elke flipped on the light behind him.

"Hwah!" Dave said, pissing his pajama bottoms.

"What are you doing?" Elke asked.

"Me? I was, ah, just getting some milk, is all."

"I don't think you're supposed to drink it straight from the tap like that," Elke said.

"Uh, no, that's okay because, see, it's better that way. The . . . The milk doesn't hit the oxygen in the air and it doesn't . . . It doesn't have a chance to . . . sour . . . as fast."

The next day, an orange juicer went up in place of Myrtle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tom's Old Toothbrush

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

"What happened to your toothbrush, Daddy?" Lainey asked. She'd caught Tom brushing with a toothpaste covered index finger.

"I tossed it out," Tom said, with greenish-white spit dribbling down his chin. "I thought we had some extras but I guess not, I can't find em anyway. I'll get some more when I go out today."

"What was wrong with your old toothbrush?" Pete asked. He'd been listening from Tom's bedroom during a commercial and was out to see if anything interesting could be gleaned.

"It just . . . had a bad taste is all. I tried it for a couple of days, couldn't get rid of it.

"What'd it taste like?" Pete wanted to know.

"What could it taste like?" Lainey said. "You didn't like, drop it in the toilet or anything, did you, Daddy?"

"Lainey! Jesus!" Pete said, holding his head.

"Listen, don't you kids have school or something?"

"It's Saturday!"

"Why do you think we're still in our T-shirts and underwear?"

"What did we eat, Pete?" Lainey said. "What did we have in the last couple of days?"

"Who the hell cares?" Tom yelled. "Why is this so important?"

"It's a commercial!" Pete insisted, as if that made it his inalienable right to know.

"I was just wondering why our toothbrushes didn't have the same taste," Lainey said.

"It wasn't food, okay? It was an adult thing!"

"Oh, Daddy. You haven't started drinking again?" Lainey asked.

"You promised you'd stop!" Pete said.

"I didn't drink anything, goddammit! If you want to know so bad "

"What is it?"

"It's your mother's . . . vagina."

Everything stopped for a moment. It was Pete who broke the silence:

"Okay, we can't turn back time can we? And make this conversation not happen?"

"Next time you won't be so nosey, will ya'?" Tom said. "Go back and watch your show."

"I don't . . . think I'll be going back in there . . . in this lifetime. I'll be in my room."

"What about you?" Tom asked Lainey.

"I gotta pee."

"Go ahead, I'm done." Even after he left the bathroom she stayed, bouncing in the doorway.

"What?" he asked.

"Daddy could you get your old toothbrush out of the bathroom garbage can first?"

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Universe, Take Two

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The Universe, for some strange reason, had turned into a blank white board, stretching into infinity. Donny floated alone in the vast nothingness beside it with twenty-seven billion and three dry-erase markers.

He grabbed the closest marker and drew a woman to keep him company. Although he was no great artist, he could do better than stick figures. He took his time, because he seemed to have no pressing engagements. He used quite a few different colors, and tried to make her as realistic as possible. When he was finished, he floated back a bit and waited.

Nothing happened.

Talk about disappointment. He'd just assumed she would come to life, like that kid's drawings in the books and cartoons. You know, his name was Simon? And the things he drew came true? But she just sat there. He even named her Melanie, but that didn't seem to help. Sure, it was a crazy idea, but look at how the day had gone so far.

Donny had to face it: the Universe had become a white board and only a white board. Nothing magical about it. He couldn't recreate the human race or draw a firetruck that he could actually drive. He couldn't even keep himself company. He looked around, as far as he could see. There was no one. He was utterly alone. There was no one around and no one to ever be around.

Finally convinced, he gave Melanie much bigger boobies.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

When Frank discovered that the human body was about sixty percent water, he had faucets installed. Then he drank enough water to bring it up to about sixty-two percent. When he went to bed, he turned off the flow from both hips and one shoulder so his legs and left arm shut off. The bed seemed much roomier, but it only reinforced his loneliness.

Frank went to the beach the next day and increased the flow to his limbs and chest, reduced it to his gut and butt until he almost passed for being in shape. Women spoke to him, they laughed at his jokes, everything was right with the world. A movie producer offered him a job in a porno movie. It was his dream come true and he jumped at the offer.

He turned the hose spigot in the old crotchal area to give himself a couple extra inches, and a star was born. Frank had incredible staying power, being able to literally turn himself off at a second's notice. When the time came for the big finale, he got so excited he broke the spigot and ejaculated his entire body. Frank would never know that this single scene would make him a legend in the adult film industry and earn him truckloads of posthumous awards.

When the director yelled cut, the only sound among the horrified actresses was the clanking of brass and chrome water fixtures hitting the floor.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Important Thing

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The important thing was that tourism increased as nature overran the works of man and if every so often you spotted some human remains, you just kicked some leaves over them and went on with your picnic.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bisected To Life

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Existential aliens split us open and what came out was not blood and muscle and marrow, but our true selves. I became a man of black rubber bands who became attached to everyone who had ever touched his life and was pulled in all directions for the duration of the experiment. My wife Hilda sprang to life as a wrecking ball dead weight, pulling me down to my ideal hell at the same time my leg, wrapped around her neck, choked the life from her. Our babies escaped their human shells in violent puffs of smoke.

To another it might seem harrowing, what the aliens did to us, but honestly, we had already grown accustomed to the situation before they ever showed up. We felt not shock so much as relief that we could finally show each other how much we suffered and point the blame with the whole of our very beings.

When it concluded, things changed. Not just for us, but for everyone in the world. Divorces were rampant. Games and distractions were gently set aside and we went about the business of helping one another. Hilda and I simply walked a block away from each other, each with a child in hand. We tried hard to stand for something beyond mere suffering. We transformed our lives and when the aliens came back again, we welcomed their next experiment.

I became a young oak . . .

Thursday, November 09, 2006

All The Love He Gets

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

It wasn't until he was absolutely fucked up on kerosene that Pete got the idea to seek out Karen. He'd spent the morning in his closet, breathing deeply with an open jar. He'd been going for suicide but the shit had broken his concentration and now he stumbled down the long halls of condo city, not really feeling when he came down CRACK on one knee or hit his mouth on a faux-marble windowsill.

Joey got him to Karen's place in his old Charger that was more Bondo than body. She and her family were doing their Memorial Day thing in the back yard. Pete fell out of the car, closed the door slowly and poked his head back through the window at Joey.

"I'm gonna stick this," Pete said. He found the paperclip in his pocket and jammed one end right through his nose.

"Good God!" Joey yelled. "Jesus, man, when the cops pick you up, don't even tell them you saw me today."

Joey tore off and Pete faced Karen's house. He came out with everything, just as he'd planned.

"Karen! I love you!" he shrieked, and then he pissed his pants. And that was everything. That was all he had. He waited because he didn't have anywhere else to go. He had been planning to kill himself earlier. It's not like he made any appointments for this afternoon or anything.

Pete didn't really register Karen's four brothers coming out to greet him. The oldest one punched him into the ground and they were pissed at him when he couldn't get up. They generally felt bad about kicking people, but they didn't feel like bending over this time. They were scrawny, but what they lacked in size, they made up for with enthusiasm. Eventually they got tired and went back to their barbecue. There had been screaming somewhere during the whole process.

Pete lay filthy and bloody and half in the road, broken teeth, swollen eye and coughing up blood. He stared at the sky for a long, long time. Karen came dreamlike into his line of sight. She knelt above him, her tears burning beautifully his opened flesh.

"You have to stop now, Peter," she said. "Go away and don't come back or else they'll kill you next time." She started to get up.

"Hold it," Pete said. "You came out here, even though you hate me. That's all the love I get, this time around, and it's good enough. Just stay a second. I wanna enjoy it."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Am Verbing

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

I am sleeping.
I am dreaming.
I am ejaculating.
I am waking.
I am cursing.
I am doing (the laundry. Early.).
I am showering.
I am shaving.
I am eating.
I am pissing.
I am brushing.
I am going (out).
I am walking.
I am running.
I am skipping.
I am laughing (at the ugly children).
I am racing (them to the bus).
I am beating (their asses to the bus).
I am getting (on the bus).
I am closing (the door).
I am starting (the bus(because I'm the driver)).
I am laughing (at the ugly children outside of the bus).
I am ignoring (their pounding).
I am running (some of them over as I pull away from the curb).
I am rolling.
I am speeding.
I am speeding.
I am hurtling (down the highway).
I am crashing (into the front of the grocery store).
I am leaping (from the burning wreckage).
I am thrashing (through the aisles).
I am stealing (all the pudding cups I can fit into my pants).
I am fleeing (the authorities).
I am running.
I am running.
I am panting.
I am slowing.
I am being (caught).
I am resisting.
I am being (beaten).
I am screaming.
I am hurting.
I am crying.
I am sleeping.
I am waking (in the back seat of a police vehicle).
I am moaning.
I am complaining.
I am threatening.
I am pulling (down my pants).
I am defecating.
I am laughing.
I am laughing (less).
I am being (pulled from the car).
I am laughing (less and less).
I am being (beaten severely).
I am being (beaten repeatedly).
I am waking (in prison).
I am showering.
I am soaping.
I am dropping.
I am bending.
I am questioning.
I am screaming.
I am screaming.
I am screaming (?).
I am smiling.
I am switching.
I am lying (in my bunk).
I am contemplating (the ugly children).
I am considering (the reverse function of my wet/dry vac).
I am recalling (the fifty-five gallon drum of spaghetti sauce in my uncle's old bomb shelter).
I am noticing (the looseness of the pipes behind the toilet).
I am observing (the obvious softness of the guard's skull).
I am wondering (what tomorrow will bring).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Got Nuthin'

Okay, I'll admit it. After pretending for hours that I had a story in me tonight, I'm coming clean and letting you know I don't have diddly.

So. What now? Well, I hope everyone voted. Ummmmm. Oh.

I have been a little obsessed with my probable number 54, The Way to His Heart. I've been fiddling with it constantly. Hopefully, it will be ready by Friday.

Fans (and by that I mean MY fans, you two there) may be interested to know that my story, Passions in Orbit, a Stirring in the Pants (#52 for those keeping track) will be published in the beginning of 2007 at Antipodean SF.

Also, Challenging Destiny will be publishing my story, The Keys to the Yellow Kingdom (#43) around June-ish 2007.

I'd like to give you a link to something mildly interesting. I don't know what it might be yet, let me check around here . . . (sounds of Matt clumping down the stairs in his boots. What follows is his voice, faraway and a little echo-y.)

"Everybody's seen that goddamned OK Go video . . . That one's stupid . . . Time-wasting bullshit game . . . That one's just gross . . ."

Okay, here's an interactive map of Springfield. Now that's mildly interesting.

Man, even my links suck.

Ah. Post Secret. Always fun to be disturbed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Short, Yet Quite Fulfilling Life Of The Food Taster

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The food taster tasted the food and not just a taste, but all the food. One never knew when a side of a roasted boar was untainted yet the other poisoned. From soup to pheasant hearts to chocolate-dipped giraffe's head, the food taster ate the most exquisite meal of his low-born life. Then, once the food taster was properly prepared in full view of the court, the king ate the food taster.

Not surprisingly, good food tasters were rare.

But seared on the outside to seal in the juices.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Words To Live By

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Denemar's words held power, suspended it on the physical plane. When he was seventeen and full of something, he began to recite himself a ladder constructed of his own sentences for the purposes of climbing to Heaven, where he belonged.

"Don't do it!" his mother cried. "You'll never make it!"

He ignored her, climbing as he uttered his manifesto, made up on the spot. He improvised the philosophy which would take him through existence.

"Come back!" his father cried. "It's a fool's errand! There is real work to be done down here!"

But his father's entreaties blew away on the wind from which they were made. Denemar's words were sturdy and clinked together like magnets. They were far below now, his family, his friends, his earthly concerns. How far, he'd never know, for he wasn't looking back.

Denemar fell to his death when his throat went dry and his hand missed a rung that was not there.

He looked down upon them all from Heaven and laughed at what idiots they'd been to doubt him.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

War Is Over

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

It was an electronically imposed night, the whole continent bathed in a black light that overwhelmed the sun until it shone a dark star. Survivors danced to a techtronica algorithm that surged from the ground, a throbbing beat shook every molecule of their bodies. War was over and there was a lifetime for crying. Today was for celebration, the biggest party imagined.

They hired a sentient Yukon storm to blizzard down on the too hot Mediterranean. With a lifespan of mere days it took payment in the instant gratifications which the American enemy had long ago mastered: chocolates, sex, the sensation of a good bowel movement and inane Internet videos. The storm snowed neon through the night, frosting the thin bare trees that lined the streets.

Xuxa sucked in the cold air and fanned her brown leather jacket to let it all in. Her sensitive skin bruised when the storm's light shone on her angelic face and her head still spun from the glut of new information that overwhelmed her at the nodelink. She'd absorbed the entirety of the conquered country, available for only twenty-two Euros per download.

Smooth, glassy, black wolves raced through the streets ahead of the devil-boys. The drive-by canings began at midnight. Even Xuxa headed for higher ground.

"The only thing that's keeping me here is the gravity," she said.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lyla's Declaration

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

"How much do you love me, Pietro?" Lyla asked. They held each other beneath the stars in his back yard, while Gert, her little Scotty, sniffed circles around them.

"You'll call me a dope if I tell you the truth," he said. His eyes looked tired and his smile was wide and soft like he had something good in mind.

"No, I won't. Tell me!" Lyla urged him on with a sharp hug.

"All right. For forty-five years, I was absolutely miserable. I didn't have a hard life or anything, but I was starving for something I couldn't get. I didn't even know it existed. It was you, Lyla. I needed you to live as much as I needed water. I didn't know what living was until I met you last year.

"I feel like I've spent my life paying my dues and your love is some incredible reward I've earned for all of my heartache. If I had to live my life all over again and I knew that after forty-five of the worst years imaginable, I'd have you there waiting for me at the end, I'd sign up for it in a heartbeat. That's how much I love you. I feel like you're a part of my soul and if I die tomorrow, everything will have been worth it.

"Look at you, you're speechless," Pietro said.

"I don't know what to say," she said.

"Tell me how much you love me, then."

"Well . . . okay." Lyla looked at his chest, then down at Gertie before looking at Pietro again. "Um . . . Lots! I guess."

He kissed her passionately and they made love, falling asleep in the grass just before the dawn.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Underwear Dynamic

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Suddenly, at work, we all wore nothing but our underwear. And though it only lasted seconds, glances were cast. Glances were avoided. In a flurry of evaluation we judged each other on how we had lived our lives up to that point. We judged each other on this morning's decisions. We judged each other and ourselves on the circumstances into which we had inexorably knotted our lives. Jealousy, arousal, pity, disgust and utter humiliation; the company never ran the same way again.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The soapman and Vanya made sudsy love in her shower for the fourteenth time that month. Once plump and glossy, his limbs now grew slender and cracked, his skin mottled. But Vanya didn't mind and that's why he loved her.

He was supposed to stay in the bathroom when she went to work. At least he thought he was, but Vanya had turned the fan off too soon, and he felt sticky and clammy too far into the day. He checked the linen closet for a towel, and saw another soapman.

It startled him. It still lay in its original packaging, bright green where he was yellow. It stood six and a half feet tall and took up the entire left end of the closet. He looked at himself. Had he ever been that large?

He called Vanya at work.

"Garrollo's Air Printing, this is Vanya, how may I help you?"

"You like green more than yellow, do you?" he said.

"I'm sorry, who is this?"

"This is your soapman. I just found your boy-toy in the linen closet. I thought you loved me."

"I don't " she started loudly, then whispered. "I don't love you. You're the soap."

"I'm giving my life to you, Vanya, rubbing myself into oblivion so you can be clean!"

"So what am I supposed to do when you're gone, never wash again? I can't believe I'm arguing with the soap! Hang up the phone and get back in the bathroom."

"I'll not! I'll go find a homeless woman who'll appreciate me. She won't bathe again when I'm gone."

"Jesus, whatever, just lock the door on your way out."

"Of course," he said. "I'm not a barbarian."

Before she hung up, he heard her say, "I'm calling Soapster " So, she was going straight to his manufacturer.

He left the house, but found he didn't want a homeless woman. He wanted Vanya, even if she didn't want him. A light rain started and he hid in the bushes beneath the house's overhang to stay dry.

That evening she came home and half an hour later a Soapster truck pulled into the driveway. Would they take him away and sell him to a used car lot? No. They delivered four new Soapmen and one Soapwoman, rushing them in on handtrucks as the rain picked up. After the truck left he went to her bathroom window and peered into the frosted glass.

They were all in there, Vanya and all the soap people, the seven of them showering in a disgusting but remarkably clean orgy. He stepped back into the open yard, shocked by Vanya's lack of inhibition. She wanted dirty love, he could see that. It was the one kind of love he could never give.

"You soapslut! I hope one of them gets in your eye!" He screamed out the fill of his broken heart. But Vanya never heard as the raging thunder obliterated his shouting. The soapman raised his hands to heaven and embraced the cold rains, melting to a pale sliver in the driving onslaught, slowly, gladly.