We know we have been terrible. And the really pathetic part is that we haven't even been snorting or fucking. Sleeping, yeah. But mainly writing.
However! SSF is kaput. SSF is rejuvenating until it knows what it really wants. We will start submissions back up at some point. You will all be the first to know. For everyone that shared their honest work with us---we really appreciate it. From the bottom of our dark hearts.
To everyone that has a submission pending--they will be answered.
Love & Squalor:
Saturday, November 6, 2010
by Skyelis Tyler
In the dream, I woke up from unconsciousness in a hospital. My mother told me I had had a baby, like those girls in news stories who don’t know any better.
The baby was black. Though I’ve never seen her, I called her Felicia.
The most likely patron was my butch dyke boss, though hardly any explanation at all.
They took her to someplace on the southern tip of Mexico called Cranberry Paradise and when they returned, they picked me up in a mini-van. They handed me a cupcake with the ashes of my baby in it.
I walked home through highways and cried. Inside the cupcake I found a small mouse, dead. We had a horde of kittens who ate away the mouse and then I knew. Felicia didn’t die in Mexico at all; however it happened, it had gone down in a housing project in Pennsylvania.
My baby: I wanted proof. I never wanted her, but I searched for her everywhere.
That morning I woke up bleeding.
Skyelis Tyler lives in Brooklyn, New York. She would like to have sex to "New York City Cops" by The Strokes.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
by R.S. Bohn
Somewhere, she’s eating soggy cookies scooped from the bottom of a tea mug. With a spoon. She’s got her knees folded under her, like she’s praying, or meditating. She does both. And her hair is cut short now, falling around her chin and making her look like a little girl.
I am not sitting here, knees aching, a crumpled old man. I do not have a mug of tea, or whisky, or anything that would take me out of my life for an instant of searing heat. My hair is not gone, shaved off by a barber I’d never met before for eight bucks.
But I am praying. This I will admit. I didn’t pray, wasn’t brought up to pray, and my hands feel as if they’ve been asked to fix a carburetor or whittle a bear. Things they have never done before. I can’t remember when I last danced, but I’m sure it was this awkward.
I pray that she will find out and come back to New York. My prayer sidles off from sincere plea to operatic day dream. The hospital doors whisk open, I am bravely walking down the hall with an i.v. attached, and she sees this and runs to me, purse flying off. She grabs me and hugs me, and the tears drip like morphine. But not from me. I am brave. I am only wearing a hospital gown.
My praying hands press into my crotch, and my prayer fully disintegrates: a private hospital room, the requisite “I’m sorry, so sorry,” as she kisses me back onto the bed.
Probably, if I had been brought up in a church, I wouldn’t let prayers morph into masturbatory fantasies. Probably. I am not sure how much of a role Jesus plays in the hormone-driven body of a healthy male, but it’s clear he hasn’t got the wheel. I do, and I’m driving straight off the cliff.
I started my run-up months ago. Started it in the theater lobby, spotting her dialing her cell again and again, getting no one. The movie had ended twenty minutes previous. I was waiting for a manager to get me a free pass for next time, since the movie had been terrible and they wouldn’t give me my money back. I got the pass and said hello to her and she got in my car and I thought about how easy it would be to kill teenage girls these days. Thank God I’d offered her a ride.
She said she was too deep for her friends. No one understood her. I had books by Deepak Chopra on the piano. I had a piano. I had a harp. She drew her fingers over the chords, and I pretended she was an angel. I didn’t tell her the piano and harp and the books belonged to Bebe, my wife. Bebe in Italy, seeing an artisan about a new harp, calling me on the phone that night – I didn’t tell her that her old harp had been touched by Maggie, who’d also touched my cock. I told her about how horrible the movie had been, but that I had a free pass for when she got back.
I think I should pray again. Or meditate. Once, Maggie told me to envision a lotus flower opening in slow motion. I try that now, but all I see is her spreading legs, her fingers opening herself for me to look. Bebe would never even think of doing such a thing. Bebe has estrogen cream and all of her underwear is black or tan.
Straight off the cliff. I won’t be taking my wife with me, even though she announced that she would stick with me through “this thing.” She meant the bladder cancer, not the girl. When there is no cancer or there is no me, she will move on. I try to picture what she is doing right now, but I can’t. I try to picture what she did twenty-nine years ago, but all I see is her red-haired friend, Jennifer, laughing at our dinner table. I think Bebe played piano that night while Jennifer sang, and I drank martinis and grew in love with Jennifer’s voice.
Maybe right now, Bebe is praying too. She’s atheist, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe she’s standing at the picture window and looking out over the Japanese garden and praying that I die as swiftly and painlessly as possible. A humane prayer. For all of us.
I try again to see Maggie with her hair cut short, but it’s gone now. I can’t even see her pretty little breasts. I just see me, bald and white, in a shared room. The other bed holds someone I can’t see; they are new and their curtains have been closed all day. No voices except for the nurses and doctors. I hope that it may be Maggie in that bed, that fate has brought us together again. And that now, I will truly understand her.
When I turn off the light and close my eyes, I hear harp music, somewhere close.
R.S. Bohn had the best sex of her life to GnR’s “My Michelle.” She still thinks Axl’s a douche, but they were a great fucking band.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
by CJ Hallman
I've been told that I couldn't give a decent blow job to save my life. That my hand jobs are like vice grips, like instruments of torture. I've been told that I could get a guy off just by turning and looking at him the right way—head over left shoulder, chin down, dark hair falling perfectly in my liner-smudged eyes. I've been laughed at and told that I just don't radiate sexuality at all, that I simply couldn't be imagined rolling around in the sack, or even kissing. I've been told that I'm fat, fat, fat. I've been told that I need to wax, and that I need to grow it all out. That I would never get married because I can't cuddle or spoon properly, because I sleep curled up in the fetal position like I'm a lost Gretel-esque child in some Freudian nightmare. I've been told that I need to eat more, put some meat on my bones, indulge. That I don't deserve a boyfriend because I'm immature and a born cheater and because I clearly don't comprehend the complexities of commitment. That I need to be married soon/yesterday/now. That I need to hurry up and pop out some kids because my eggs are running out and because that's what people do and because that's just the way things are done. That I'd make a terrible mother.
I've been told that I look like a woman who loves pleasure and I took that to mean: I look like a glutton, a lardass. I've been told that I look like a total bitch and I took that to mean: I need to wear less makeup, invest in some clear chapstick, curl my waxy lips into phony smiles at regular intervals throughout the day.
I've been told to give up on striving toward “success” and to just marry/date up. To say yes even when I mean no, to cook meat even though I'm a vegetarian, to wear skirts even though I cannot stand the fleshy feel of my thighs rubbing together. I've been told that my hands are magical instruments, and that my mouth is a first-class, tropical destination comparable to San Tropez. That my hips curve like a wine glass, and that my tits are too small. I've been told that I dress too conservatively in cardigans and long pants. That the thong I wear underneath these clothes is such a fucking turn-on. That I only sleep with you/men for the power you/they possess. That I have no power myself, but maybe a little bit of talent and someday that talent might evolve into power and that when/if I acquire this power, I should know that no man will want me—it's called the Oprah Syndrome. I've been told that I need to cover up, that I'm too inhibited, that I'm a total slut. This I've been told.
And there's a man with me now, a man in my bed, another messenger who is here to tell me, tell me, tell me, and I hear all of these deep voices in my head, all of these words, and I grab onto his ears with my fingers (which he'd told me were “just so feminine and cute” as I fiddled with my chopsticks over dinner at this Pan-Asian chain downtown) and I steer him where I want him—right where I want him. I tell him, “To the left, to the left, up, up.” This I tell him. This, I told him. And I barely hear my own voice, muffled in the sheets, but I know that he cannot speak at all in the position that he's in, and there is silence, and my guilt, oh my guilt, it quickly gives way to pleasure.
CJ Hallman still naively believes sex is its own song. She lives in Austin, TX, and her fiction has appeared in Identity Theory, Everyday Weirdness, amphibi.us, Sphere, (Short) Fiction Collective, and The 322 Review, among others.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
by Laura Roberts
I don’t know what happened between us. I guess you were tired of me and ready to move on, but I just wish you had told me that. I can’t seem to move anymore. I don’t know why I am I writing you a letter, when I know how you’ll respond. Every letter you sent was just obscure lyrics for some song that I wasn’t a part of. And I had to try so hard just to say the right thing. I was so fucking worried about saying the right thing. There were no right things. Words don’t make a relationship. Interests don’t even make a fucking relationship. There are no relationships. Just reaching out for the burners. And when they aren’t too hot, you can hold on. What the fuck is wrong with me. I hate words. Fucking words just written to mean nothing. Nigger. Nigger. NIGGER. You like that. It means something for you to say it because its offensive. It has meaning. Because nothing has meaning. Even NIGGER doesn’t have meaning. You know that right? The meaning is death. The final art. The last heaving breath is your last fucking song, and it sounds the same for everyone. I don’t care for your body. It wasn’t attractive. Frankly. Neither was mine, but at least it was thin. No, your attraction is the mystique you create. Carrying a flask of whiskey, collecting obscure records, your slouched walk that kept out the rest of the world, your accent. You talked about things I didn’t care about, but I listened. I listened so fucking hard, because I loved your voice. And I loved when you said you wanted me. Even though you really didn’t want me. I don’t think I believe that sex hurts you. Some fucking sick ploy for virgins. I don’t think you know pain. People like you are pain. Bring pain. Sometimes I wish you had died, so I wouldn’t have to google you. I’d know you had stopped. Forever. Suspended in January underneath me and huffing and puffing, while I feel nothing. I want to crush you. Grind the heel of my palm into your wheezing head and watch your stomach swell and pop. But really I hope you’re doing fine, you know. The little cunt inside me has to say things like that, because I’m polite and good. I’m so fucking GOOOOOOOOOD that I wish you well. What a cunt.
Laura Roberts lives like a hermit in foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The last thing she purchased were boots that looked like Dr. Martens, but weren't.
Friday, October 15, 2010
by Kit Andrews
I'm in love with this girl. How do I know that I am in love with her? Well I could list off a bunch of mushy reasons that would make me sound like a Shakespeare plagiarizer or I could tell you the truth.
I know I love her when I'm done pissing and I decide not to flush the toilet when she's in the shower.
I know I lover her when she messes with the paper and I don't roll it up and smack her on the side of the head with it.
I know I love her when we go out to eat and I don't give her a price limit that ultimately leads to me ordering her food for her.
I know I love her when she says something so absurdly stupid it makes me want to call her retarded and I don't.
I know I love her when I look at another women, think about cheating, but don't and the reasons have nothing to do with possible baseball wielding brothers or fathers.
I know I love her when I actually take the time to tap her on the forehead before I cum in her mouth.
Kit Andrews is a living failure at the age of twenty-five who has just been able to admit that he's actually a pretty crappy World of Warcraft player. Not really his favorite song to have sex to, but a recurring trend none the less is Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
by yt sumner
We lean into the mirror. Our hips pressed against the basin. Our lips pursed open. My lip liner is red, the colour it always is and my cupids bow is crooked.
She flicks a long lash with mascara.
What’s the worst thing you ever said?
I shrug and wipe my lips, leaving them raw, they way they look when they’ve been kissed hard.
I say lots of things I wish I could take back. Lots of things I never meant. In fact I wish I could cut out my tongue for all the things I ever said.
She blinks rapidly and leaves black flecks on her face.
You’re getting morose, I mean in bed.
I don’t know. The worst thing I ever heard was sorry.
She laughs with a snort.
Well, to tell the truth, I’ll say anything.
Like anything he wants me to.
And do you?
Of course I do.
I think about how much I like my lips looking like this. I place the pencil on the sink. I think of all the things I said.
While I begged, laughed, moaned, inhaled, bit, teased, opened, sliced, sucked, bled, tore. While I made the words hurt and rode every single vowel that travelled down, made him growl back, made him tell me more. Such conversation.
But now it seems foggy and all I remember is the last thing I said.
I said, I love you, once.
She looks at me with black freckles and lashes and smirking.
And were you telling the truth?
I shrug and pick up the pencil. I hold it to my lips.
I thought I meant every word. Until he asked me to say it again.
And I lean closer to the mirror and draw a perfect line.
yt sumner writes stories for people that send her postcards at http://lambeatswolf.wordpress.com/. She's not stopping until she's written 100 of them. She was cleaning the house to Beethoven's 5th the other day and would have much rather had been having sex to it.
Posted by MARGARET AND NANCY at 10:38 PM