Inventory #603: Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles

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REGARDING FILTH

"If you don’t lie down in the mud and let me pack the mud over you and then wash you in the stream, you’ll be forever condemned. Do you want to be forever condemned? This is your moment to decide."

—Jane Bowles

Inventory #602: Makeup remover wipes 

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REGARDING REVERSAL OF FORTUNE

I put a decision on, then take it off. I sit in chairs until I’m alone, I walk into windstorms with all my technology. I can measure myself but not my wildness, not my tendency to go outside at exactly the wrong time. I knew an artist that tried to spread a rumor that he’d been struck by lightning while taking a photo of it. Magazines printed it as fact. 

wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn
On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!
wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn
On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!
wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn
On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!
wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn
On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!
wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn
On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!

wordbookstores:

The Weekly WORD, Brooklyn

  • On Wednesday, August 27th, at 7 p.m., May-Lan Tan (Girly), Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal), and Elizabeth Mikesch (Niceties) will take to the basement to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets … or maybe their genre-bending essays and stories. Either way, this is going to be great. 
  • Thursday, August 28th, at 7 p.m., we’re celebrating the release of That’s When the Knives Come Down by Greenpoint’s own Dolan Morgan. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal) and B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause, The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes). This is one night only, folks! Knives, cities, relationships, bodies, and absurdity for just one night!

Inventory #601: Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle

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REGARDING REMNANTS

Once I witnessed a windstorm so severe two 100-year-old trees were uprooted on the spot. The next day, walking among the wreckage, I found the friable nests of birds, completely intact and unharmed on the ground. That the featherweight survive the massive, that this reversal of fortune takes place among us — that is what haunts me. I don’t know what it means.

― Mary Ruefle

Inventory #600: Painting by Ingrid Allen

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REGARDING ARS POETICA

I’m walking downtown for dinner, I’m wearing my most athletic silk, I cut my hair with a knife like when I was a red baby, I’m remembering now how easily I could have been taken, I was wild or left in the wild or left on a doorstep and now I’m walking downtown for dinner, I’m impressed by red meat wearing other colors, I’m walking toward a slab of something smelling like the sky, I’m a coyote in a red dress and I’m gonna eat everything.

Inventory #599: St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

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REGARDING EFFORT PUT FORTH

I swim with all my strength. No superhuman surge, or pony heroics; it’s just me at my most desperate.

—Karen Russell

Inventory #597: Tretinoin Gel

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REGARDING FLESH AND BONE

You want to press against the ribs hard enough that they crack, the instructor said. I blew into the doll’s mouth with half effort, half yawn, half dogs barking outside. One hundred fifty percent of something is almost finished, one good and one not good rib, not broken by me. Everywhere I am certified I am bleeding I am not strong I am tentative I am not interfering with the mosquito’s redistribution of my wealth. I can’t stop that. 

Inventory #596: Blue eyeliner pencil

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REGARDING VERY CLEAN MINDS

I stood dripping dirt in the corner, you held a brush and motioned me over. I sat in a white chair on the white carpet and let myself be groomed. It was a lengthy process, a thorough one, I kept thinking Soon I’ll be pristine. You put something sweet on my lips and told me not to move, but whenever I saw your wrists I had to bite the blueness out of them. 

Inventory #595: Red shift dress

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REGARDING CLEAN PEOPLE

I washed my hands clockwise, I let my shower turn scalding while I waited in another room, I spilled a glass of wine and the whole dress turned red. I thought it might be punishment for unclean priorities, but morals aren’t so neat. May I tie myself up in a bow to make up for lost time? I will use an unknowable knot and plop myself onto your desk or wherever else you don’t work.

Inventory #594: High as the Horses’ Bridles by Scott Cheshire

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REGARDING A BARRIER

Just like in junior high school, it’s in the stairwells you find the kids. In the halls and every darkened corner. They ditch parents first chance they get, and the parents don’t mind because inside is not the would outside. No crime, here, not in his house. No borough factions, or fights. Queens, Brooklyn, or Bronx. Best of all, no unbelievers. We’re a clean people, have a good time with your brothers and sisters.

—Scott Cheshire

Inventory #593: Mauve lipstick

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REGARDING TENDER RED LINES

I’m pinning them to a clothesline, they can wave in the wind and dry themselves. Nothing around here is red, just my insides, now outside, now the dog circles and drools all over the grass. I will sit inside and stare at photos of previous sunsets. As visitors approach, they will know what I’ve done. 

I once knew a pathological liar that claimed he owned his own island. I asked to see photos of it, but he said he’d never been there. I chose to believe the lie because the lie was beautiful.
From my new essay, Your Voice, Saving Mein Sundog Lit today as part of “Nothing Works Until It Does,” a series of works inspired by Dolan Morgan’s forthcoming book, That’s When the Knives Come Down.