NICHOLAS GRIDER






from Fixture/Zikherkeyt



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Sometimes you get confused, other times somebody tells you to set the timer and be confused for X minutes hours days approximate eternities during which nothing you say amounts to getting waved over welcome home, yet everything is permission, and you may have signed a contract requiring you to emit salutations at a rapid click, the click continues long after you’re gone, the hallways you didn’t want to walk down still host both flesh and spirit Carnivals, meanwhile maybe you had a beach wedding to a cement-block’d suitcase, maybe you just smell different

You arrive at the point where your kippah’s flashy and the taffy heart payoff is being aloft and on a clear day you can see forever even if you’ll never get there, and it’s covered in crimson tinfoil leaves



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The ridiculous lengths to which the circus goes to become you

You’re still pure handmaiden hanging out around the immanent like Zilpah or just a shlecht shlub and may have muttered muttered “Paigeren zol er!” or “Ich hob im in bod!”or let your tongue hit a wall while wasting time wasting your money, carving the air with a body you’re not sure is yours, searching for commentary re: meaningful-seeming flailing, or else you don’t ever fall in love you just fall, which works wonders if you love floors, otherwise cold-table dinners are rehearsals for not being able to lie convincingly, having nothing blandly appeasing in your vocabulary, or you’ve scaled several internal hills and are leaving well enough alone, you are steadily working through your lifetime supply of alone, which is joy, meaning fever



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Your bad aim’s parse/concede to kuckers who connect nothing with nothing, but you were just on the wait-list for relevance and instead spent a gap year cross-eyed at 3am. Or history records you went to community college majoring in fighting the inevitable and invisibility, plus almost enough credits for a minor in either being adrift or fleeing on foot, the salutatory shindig is all grape juice and gravitational force; later comes levitation, light as a feather stiff as a board, or you could say it in plain speech beneath aluminum veil: bitte hilf ich or else disappear

and I have enough <                                                     > to give you, and I am you, and

you never learned how to plain-speech ply the present him or them no screen-door slam so you just pull, the heart pulls, is pulled, fall is coming and you’re sole owner, divided evenly between being a space cadet and being erased, which have their uses, none of which you can remember, kucker, hot lint for a frontal cortex and your plain speech is just please mean what you say this once if you have desert feet and gold rings or else let silence leak and yet be flame

say this is yet important, say it, erase it, say it, no stumbling block before the blind



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An elsewhere language’s growling is like science to the extent that you can form a hypothesis and then test it, such as: is walking around in the dark talking in a language you don’t know useful, does it produce the kind of weeds you need to pull, or else science says this kind of diet not that kind, this sunlight not that, this kind of makebelieve, which is foolproof, and applies equally to anyone with a budget, and you get all your instructions in ancient slang, v’Yikrah, or you ask yourself “Vos barist du?” but mispronounce it, and it’s DMZ, wherefore

nobody’s language is your language: you have shorthand and Dear Diary, and long pauses, and long walks on no ocean’s beach, and you’re so beautiful to me when you’re a metric ton of mist, of taffy artery, or you get miffed by the small V until you suss your haircut’s historiography and you get yourself in trouble trying to talk dirty to the clutch-pearl purple state locals but you didn’t pay enough attention during childhood’s “think fast!” so now all you have is a mish-mash machete and death’s loophole arithmetic and where you live the vines grow fast, grow right through you, open-frame, you dreamt yourself into existence? Vos barist du?



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Your plain speech is cluttered Palm-Springs-in-August sunlight so you grab the sunlight and forget the hills and flames and ropes and go, you pledge allegiance with a tongue that isn’t yours, the tongue is cold, or you use words? You praise the word for the word is how your blood circulates, if you have any, or more likely several words arranged in an intelligible fashion that won’t mean anything but also won’t make everybody nervous, however

“A sach tsu reden, vainik tsu herren” and being a person doesn’t quite outline your architecture, or you plus old words you don’t know are an affirmation that you really can connect, on fire, terrestrial, not on fire, and at the end of every sentence, yours or otherwise, there’s always an “almost”




Nicholas Grider is the author of story collection Misadventure (A Strange Object) and experimental book Thirty Pie Charts (Gauss PDF). His work has appeared in Caketrain, The Collagist, Conjunctions, DIAGRAM and elsewhere and he’s a contributing writer to the new literary/cultural magazine Entropy.

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