Finnegan’s Play

Finnegan once wrote a play. Well, I can’t say that for sure because it could have been a character in Finnegan’s Play who wrote Finnegan’s Play. But the absence of any so-named cast member in Finnegan’s Play makes me suspect, and it is just that, a suspicion, that Finnegan authored Finnegan’s Play. . . . Not that it matters . . . or that it was a play or that I know Finnegan, though I’d like to, thoroughly, though I see little chance of that at present, given, I mean, the divorce between actor and setting.

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Keep Your Voices Low

Welcome to our museum! Please seat yourself there and let me connect you to this thing. We call it mind-expanding machine. Visually, it resembles an ancient phonograph, doesn’t it? Assuming you know what a phonograph is. Assuming such things still exist in your constellation. If not, there is one example in the next room within the same dimension. You may check it out later. Not the real one, of course, just a reflection in a controlled time curve.

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Catching Up on Emails

The hurricane has been upgraded to Category E or Level Orange or to the Fifth Tier or Echelon or Whichever Unit They’ve Invented to Measure the Combination of Wind Speed and Irrationality. At this point evacuations are highly recommended which makes you actually consider evacuating which would never happen if the evacuation were mandatory because what word inspires defiance quite like the word mandatory? This storm is undeniably strong however, so strong that every channel on TV is showing the Yule Log. You actually like the windows all boarded up. It’s comforting. The eye of the storm will not look down upon you until early tomorrow morning and so you decide to devote this time to doing something responsible like catching up on emails.

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Some Things Are Fashionable

Some things are fashionable, others not. Those things that are fashionable now might not be fashionable later on today, around teatime. It is generally objects that are or are not fashionable, but sometimes it is attributes, ethics, definitions. Language is at the moment rather fashionable. I am talking to you and you understand. You slowly nod your head, your fashionable head. Your nod is benign. Heads are still fashionable. An assegai, less so. Electricity is currently fashionable. Mammoths, unfortunately not. I am walking on the central reservation of a busy road and I ask myself: how stylish is this? Trucks pass, fashionable and not gauche.

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Heir and Sea: An Excerpt from Sea Above, Sun Below

Tessa swam as a fish among fish, a scaled and finned body. The sound of the churning water like an echo chamber. Then she was neither fish nor infant, but unborn baby. Fetus- formed, she backstroked in the russet sea of her mother’s womb. She continued to perceive the fish beside her, around her. What are you doing in my mother? she asked the group of fish. This is my home. The slimy creatures looked at her with omniscient eyes. This is our element, not yours, they said. Then she was an infantile human again, in the shivering river, as she always had been. She was translucent now, red and blue veins like tattoos beneath her jelly flesh, deeper still was the soft chalk of her skeleton. I’m not one of you, she said. They hovered closer, as if to whisper in her ears. No, you are not. Her eyes slid like egg yolks to the side of her head, over her fragile temples. Fissures appeared at the hinges of her jaw. She thought that if she tried hard enough she could get used to this netherworld. Can I be in your family? she asked. Five of them laughed, pearly bubbles escaping from their pink mouths. Then they vanished. The water vanished. She vanished.

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