Tag Archives: fiction

“Quarry” by Sterling Arthur Leva

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“Quarry” by Sterling Arthur Leva

I invented time travel for one purpose and one purpose only: to murder Jackson Pollock.

When that glorified finger-painter hit the scene, he opened the door for every talentless dribbler to proclaim, “I’m an artist, man!” The effects of his work would be long-term and nefarious, indeed: technical skill, diligence, and honing one’s craft would become largely irrelevant as malformed clusterfucks of color gained prominence. It was nothing personal against Jackson, though: how was he to know that his drunken masturbatory experimentation would forever taint art as we know it? No, it was nothing personal; the fucker just needed to be stopped.

I knew I had to get to Pollock before LIFE did that infamous spread, in which some philistine journalist asked the rhetorical question, “Is he the greatest living artist in the United States?” Fucking LIFE, man. I couldn’t allow this to happen: I had to make sure he wasn’t living period. But I didn’t want to deprive the guy of his entire life. I’m not a savage, after all, and I wasn’t about to go back in time and off his pregnant mom or strangle him in his stroller or anything like that. I just needed to get to him before his silly artistic ambitions took hold.
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Spectors And Spooks

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Spectors And Spooks

They say this place is haunted.

I watched the news story,
saw the blue-walled backdrop of my apartment
and the last tenant insistent
about otherworldly persistence.

The ghost is supposedly a child,
a little girl,
which seems logical—
if spectors and spooks
are real,
well
what’s more real
and traumatizing
than childhood?
(If you don’t understand
then pat yourself on the back
and hug your mother
and also
congratulations on Daddy loving you.)

I leave a lamp on at night
with two bulbs
(one white one blue)
but not because I’m scared
of spectors and spooks
but because I’m scared of
myself
and my thoughts
in the isolating dark. Read the rest of this entry

Wait For It

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Wait For It

People don’t pray to me too much anymore. Not like the good old days, at any rate. Mostly just the occasional dingbat or screaming loon seeking divine direction for some two-bit revenge scheme. Sometimes I provide it, sometimes I don’t. I mean, after all, I’m a god damn trickster god, dig? Unpredictability is part of my charm.

But ol’ Hermes don’t get called on too much these days. It seems the desperate are more inclined to take their business to the major players: Yahweh, Buddha, hell even Satan gets more clients than me. I just ain’t in vogue in this modern age. Maybe my asking price isn’t high enough– I’ve never been interested in collecting souls, just punch lines. I just love a good punch line. I ain’t shook about the lack of clients though, because every once in awhile I get a real gem of a gentleman caller, reeking of resentment and pettiness and malignancy, and it makes up for all the down time. Lee Harvey Oswald was one of my favorites– that was a hell of a punch line, wasn’t it? Told him I’d make his little assassination dream come true and provide a patsy to boot. I stuck to my word, didn’t I? I guess I may have interpreted the deal a little differently than he, but that ain’t my fucking problem.

There are some lesser known good ones too, some real unsung heroes of tricksterdom that I lent my services to. I remember Foster Conley and his rumblefish restitution racket. That was a real knee-slapper. You see, Foster had this wife that he couldn’t stand. She was always on his case about this or that, chiding him over house chores and salaries and keeping up with the fucking Joneses (who, incidentally, lived next door). Foster may have been able to bear all this horseshit off his old lady if it wasn’t for her god damn fish. You see, she had this expensive as hell aquarium with these prized rare fish sporting stuck up names like Goya and Francois that she coddled and cherished and it drove Foster nuts because she treated those cocksucking fish better than him.

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