Five Stories
J. Robert Lennon


He was a savant of trembling emotionlessness, with his Basque accent and fluorescent pallor. He’d envy your parfait, revile the second helping; he maundered through his rap song about palm trees. The gutter snob–always pleased by his speech about the flaws in your complexion. But his own gout? Perfect. His profile was like a mountainside decoupaged with lava. His Chrysler was adorned with dried ejaculate, mint candies, and souvenirs from the Seychelles. Within its putrid, lambent luxuriance he read tarot. He’d deploy his white tongue, pouting and jejune, to unleash laurels of firey, delirious indifference, like an opossum flinging itself from fruit tree to fruit tree. Daniel. The brute. His penchant for levering introverts out of their interiors, his momentary lurid hue as he bunched his cheeks and dressed down the rain. He preferred dirigibles to doors, port to chardonnay, the arrow to the mark.

Me, I’m a trove of normal–a far hurl from Daniel’s sordid epaulets and indiscreet acts. My measured immeasurability and properly personalized terrors I attribute to Delia. Delia, of the Olympic dances, the pantsuit like a tent, the offhand corrosiveness. We killed him in an instant–his aunt, his children, his dog. His death was like a sculpture or portrait, a perfect obelisk of avant-stain. That day was a portal to this mindless dolor, a love poetry, a cloak of the imagination. Delia. My Mandarin monstrous passion. My poem of the sea.


Some Folk Wisdom

Bet on the lies of Nostradamus. Missouri narcs would rather shoot than save. A dog who drinks is better than a hermit who hoards. A vacuum without a vacuum cleaner bag raises no dust. A perverted cad speaks more truth than a paramilitary comedian. There’s a hell of pain between Streisand and spun silk. The neatness of a man is worth two grammars. Tornado Wolf beats Robot DiMaggio in a trident fight. There are more shades of red than in one bottle of wine. Rippling pecs make for wan dancers. Never park your van on needles. Mom’s bile makes for better etiquette than Christian musing. Sanity won’t save you from stabbing.



Our startling cameo in “Mostly Bereft” involved the moth-eaten coat of a Rhodesian rector, a Nepalese robotic neck brace, and a passionate absinthe-tainted rump hug between Rebecca and the Countess. But what I mean to impart–because I am a common heterocyte plebian and an opera novice–is that Octomom secretly aborted two children, Berenka and Zapata. Both survived the operation, and formed a human bond–a utopia.

Of course these two were I and my sister—ethereal abandocentrics, obstreperous apostates, segundo-donnas of the camera and the male gaze. Nothing came of the criminal reports of necrotizing abscesses even heavy makeup couldn’t exonerate; we killed the passive voice, the hebraic nocturnes, the naked repartee. A writer baked us raisin cookies; the cinematic metareception made us heartthrobs.

Anyway, xenophobic Kathy will tell you we wasted it on the World Wide Web, but we have a gentler outlook on, Homophobe Monster Crate, and Hobo Concubine ‘Til Morning. These are emanations of a new experiment, whose impact on our chronic nosebleeds and camouflaged neophyte agency is hard to absorb. This amphora of espresso is my concern today, my marriage, my necrotic tush, your feature article, and this cryptic oligarchy contract.

That’s my reactionary motto–“Talk hermaphrodite, earn enough for Passover, coast on your acting brickbats.” So what if mama committed pathological acts of anti-nepotism? A key to the cloak room’s no key to the city.

Just a moment–that’s my agent calling–the Cyprus airfield found my passport. I can go home to Kyoto via Cambodia–not bad representation, for a hydrocephalic decaplet!


Colburn Loved Dancing

The greatest lie Colburn ever told was that he enjoyed abstaining from drink. He tapped his foot, took notes, made crosses with his fingers; he said, “Red wine’s for grandmas, white wine’s for idiots and scurvy lame-o’s. A worthy substitute,” he boasted, “is pussy. Lie down and rock some raunchy jams with a couple of curvy bitches, that’s my preference. Works as advertised, my alkie friends.”

But we must observe that, save for Isobel, whose slavish devotion evolved into proportionally caustic juju after a couple nights of cheap nonalcoholic cocktails and neurotic tarot at the lake, we had never seen the man attempt a conversation with a normal woman, let alone the pirouetting geishas, teenage priestesses, and premenstrual nightie-nieces he claimed to have grabbed, saddled up, and zestily shtupped with whatever jaundiced, stabby, prolapsed man-piece he had stashed in his mucky old jodhpurs.

However, Colburn loved dancing out in the cornfields behind the Muslim Booze Museum in the suburbs of Baltimore. We’d watch him, over rustic nonpareils and jalapeño budgie pie, and admire his gritty but grammatical blank-verse rhumba, the way his veins stood out like volcanic explosions as he parried and noodled among the rabbits and parasites, and we had to admit there was much more to life than introducing yourself to labia and being dosed by the nefarious grape.

Not that a sane man abstains.



Improper elasticity of the triple-massaged neck. Nasal vicissitudes from a postnatal feint. Concerning flesh-hatch of the nethermost lip. Justly preexisting nick on the deflated tertiary nipple. Obligatory crinkle of the twelfth deviant stem. Ruddy hyperextension of the “postman’s stalk.” An odd niche between the connective and third-order vessels. A burn scar on the nose. Bacterial brisket, from an overfeeding diet. Hollering trophy mouth. Stinging priapism of the Kreslo pack-hump. Oppositional tendril on the mandibular/tracheal sac. Stuck muzzle. Paradoxical tenderness of the secondary skull. Dustiness in the mechanical chamber. Preserved exploded knuckles. Nasal Jealousy. Funny stuck back. Docent’s overbite. False tongue. Poodle tooth.