The Microphone Said: InDigest presents An Evening of Flash Fiction
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
The microphone at the InDigest Evening of Flash Fiction (at Le Poisson Rouge) spoke volumes Thursday night, all from the mouths of readers Ann DeWitt, John Jodzio, Robert Lopez, Shya Scanlon, and Robb Todd. The night was hosted by the amicable Dustin Luke Nelson, who chatted with me about Godzilla, Kenneth Goldsmith, creative appropriation, Ubuweb, Anselm Keifer, Nora Jones and the charms of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Speaking of creative appropriation. Or in any case, appropriation…
Rob Todd got up on the mike. Then he spoke into it. Rob Todd said that Russians are the white Puerto Ricans. Rob Todd said, many people masturbate without washing their hands afterwards. He also said a neighbor rubbed her face in several places then shook his hand, or the narrator’s hand, in Rob Todd’s story. He, or the narrator, or the narrator’s hand, wondered how many times she had masturbated first before shaking his hand. Rob Todd said he then rubbed his own face in several places, (not to mention the hand), or that’s how these hands remember how his narrator said it. Rob Todd later said, Smooth Magazine usually has a giant ass on the cover. These hands remember clearly how Rob Todd said that, and how the audience heard him.
1. Shya Scanlon, of Monkeybicycle fame. 2. Emily Gadd, supporter and fan, Brian Roach, a working actor, and Katie Wudel, a writer, educator and arts advocate.
Shya Scanlon brought a videogame onto the stage and forecasted the entire evening before it happened, or didn’t happen. Shya Scanlon told me exactly what would occur before the occurring occurred, at the bar, before the evening occurred. His book, Forecast, was available, is available, even as Shya Scanlon killed many people with many guns and watched the blood drip down the screen, which he brought with him, or his narrator brought with him, on stage. Shya Scanlon forecasted the blood dripping down the screen and the bullets killing the many people, in fictional terms. People still walked away with his book, in non-fictional terms.
1. Shya Scanlon, opening the crowd up with a story about virtual murder. (Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz. See more of her absolutely stellar photos from the event here.) 2. Author Joseph Rippi (The Orange Suitcase) and InDigest Editor Dustin Luke Nelson, after repeating this phrase with a heavy Russian accent: “I Am International Spy.”
Lincoln Michel murdered your mother this morning, but then he always murders your mother, or the voice in his head murders your mother. One of your mother’s lopped off hands appears on his boot, or perhaps the boot of the voice in his head. Lincoln Michel then rolled over (or maybe it was only a voice in his head who did the rolling over) and pulled a machete from your mother’s femur. Lincoln Michel (and/or the voice with sharp weaponry) was too weak to even cry. The smoke of your mother was on his clothes, on the clothes of his voice, on the clothes of your mother’s voice. You were still very beautiful to Lincoln Michel, but cold. You were too cold for Lincoln Michel’s voice in his head, in my head, you were too cold. Lincoln Michel murdered your mother, again, but I’m the one who died.
Robert Lopez ate sandwiches, and watched his narrator eat sandwiches and watched television and watched his narrator eat television on stage while I continued to die. Sometimes he watched people go to the doctor on stage while eating sandwiches and watching television on stage. Sometimes Robert Lopez watches people go to the doctor and drive in the country, habitually, on stage and in his narrator, and even in his story, and even in my death. I’m not sure how he pulled that off, but he definitely did. Not my death, but the story.
Beethoven was there with his friend Handel, and they both spoke at the same time into the microphone. They said that they once pretended to be John Jodzio and his friend in a hot tub. They said there was a shirtless, sleeveless man (never trust a man who is both of those things at the same time) who told them you and your friend Beethoven have ten seconds to “get your classical asses out of here.” Beethoven said he had a hemorrhoid that looked like a shark tooth. Beethoven said John Jodzio wanted the sharktooth, but not the hemorrhoid, or was it a kidney stone, and there was a plane down that day in the Hudson, or was it on the Hudson (Shya Scanlon had forecasted it). That her smile was wide and full of teeth and it looked like you could fit a few fists in it. These were Beethoven’s words, when he was busy pretending to be John Jodzio, or his narrator, or these hands.
These (those) were (are) the words (mutated, remixed, reported) of the night of August 9, 2012, from The InDigest Evening of Flash Fiction, hosted by Dustin Luke Nelson, with whom I discussed, among other things, InDigest Magazine, the art of Yayoi Kusama, Chuck Close’s generosity towards the art and education community, the seductive elements of New York City, and how to insert the word “Bonerman” seamlessly into an NPR podcast featuring Nora Jones. Thank you, Dustin, for a night of dull none.
by Robb Todd
— David Moscovich writes flash fiction and performs his texts both live and on the radio, fragmenting, ricocheting, and refurnishing language until it meets its own devolution. He lives in New York City. Find him here and here.