• mattlock commented on the post, editor 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    When people say that they want the truth, that’s not usually what they mean. And when people say they want TRUTH, that’s not usually what they mean. What they want is a story without obvious artifice. They must be outsmarted by the artifice in order not to see it.
    Truth is banal, chaotic, full of tedium and irrelevance.
    But an editor knows just…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, passenger 7 months ago

    Days pass, and then years, and eventually a lifetime. They are made of decisions, or at least the idea of decisions. There were choices, that much is assured. But who chose? The person that you weren’t, and became? Or the person that you are, and never had any chance to avoid? Or do the two meet somewhere in the past, when all scales were tipped…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, tumble 7 months ago

    Many years ago, on a gymnastics mat, the world spun around her. Skylights spattered with rain, the blue cracked plastic and the foam underneath, the back wall against which other gymnasts propped their legs and stretched, and the door, a shining blur of outside light even with the clouds, and the darkened shape of her mother emerging to bring her…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, haunted 7 months ago

    An handful of dust, recycled far too many times, was once again scooped into a leathery sack and pushed out into the light. And later it shivered under the black canopy, and looked through the only clearing to the stars, which shone like many eyes watching down, and reminded of the many terrors watching from just in earshot. And the infinitely…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, survivor 7 months ago

    What did you expect? That it would last forever? That you could experience these things and put them in our pocket, and take them with you like obedient pets? Did you think they were lying to you, those robed degenerates lounging on marble?
    You hirsute madman, stumbling from the wet jungle, clumps of mud in your beard and eyes. Where did you…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, lake 7 months ago

    it shimmered as only old dreams shimmer, in the secret places of a life nearly over
    and the whipping wind tossed little white lips of froth over themselves, rhythmically, in sequence toward the shore
    birds swooped from the sky, catching the sun on the way down, flashes of white in descent
    and it smelled like a breeze that is the whole infinity…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, seaside 7 months, 1 week ago

    Where all stories, even the first story, began. And where many stories, including maybe the first story, end. In small, foolish, terms, the long strip of pulverized mountains where boats are rocked to sleep on the surety of the tide. Where leather-faced men dislodge insults from the lost parts of their lives, that they heard in foreign tongues…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, invest 7 months, 1 week ago

    !” He shouted, his hair slicked back and blonde as summer grains in an old Roman senator’s field. Light streamed from his face. His radiance flowed out among the rows of fold-out chairs and brought out rich, blood, royal, reds from the musty stained carpeting. The hotel conference room, with him in it, was Napoleonic, with windows that stretched…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, similar 7 months, 1 week ago

    The ones who long for escape will dedicate themselves to understanding their prison. They will dive in, to the walls, the floors, the pipes in the basements — and further. They will follow the pipes outward, sink into the currents of shit and toothpaste that wash outward to the furthest horizons, and follow them there. And inward — to understand…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, cinema 8 months, 2 weeks ago

    Fat from the carcass crackled around the fire. A semi-circle of tired, dirty, things crouched and watched the meat cook. Gusts of warmth escaped from under the meal and touched their faces. Light as well, shadows against the trees and the canopies and into the tangle of dark brush. One looked back, hearing, from his secret fears, the rustle of…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, strands 1 year, 8 months ago

    They fell out from the tangle of history, twisting around the world and blowing in the breezes. Split, gnarled, burnt, cut, dyed. And we count ourselves fortunate to be among them, draped over the shoulders of the future.

  • mattlock commented on the post, clash 2 years ago

    A sea of blue and white scales, scraping along the floor of the bay. Waves whose contents were water and flowers and sometimes incinerated relatives. Now, whose contents are each other. Who are formless and yet cling to form, until they grind into dust. Another load dumped from some shore. And the force moves about, and smashes into the opposite…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, waitress 2 years ago

    She shuffles between the tables holding a tray of clanking glasses. She slides in the small spaces between like beams of light slipping under a door. She holds her breath and tightens up her stomach to try to make herself smaller, to fit, between those lives, seated and flailing and shouting about themselves. She brings and they take. They grow…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, clockwork 2 years ago

    What is it like when the base assumption is wrong? What is it like when the dock floats with the water? Or, from the deck of the boat, you could swear it’s the sky rolling and not you. The captain, snapping open a gold timepiece, takes another look at the map and knows, when that little golden spear of sureness moves to impale those Arabic…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, worship 2 years ago

    If there was only one choice for a man to make in the short course of his life, that choice should be what to worship. All further decisions flow from this. Does he choose to murder? Or something more banal, it doesn’t matter. What matters is his highest ideal and how he squares his actions with that.
    Better than the things that are chosen for…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, tiled 2 years, 1 month ago

    I’ve heard that pious weavers would add imperfection to their rugs, to pay dues to God, the only true perfection. But the king felt no such shame and no call to such deference. He had before him an army, a nation wide and a lifetime deep. It’s not that he chose not to be pious, piety never entered his mind. There was no room next to the ambition.…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, roasted 2 years, 5 months ago

    In a creative mood, God got up from his breakfast and walked to the veranda. He looked down over the railing of balcony at the white flecks of sails and sailboats floating on the azure water. A salty breeze tossed his hair to one side. Vines and olive trees on the cliffs under the villa shook similarly. When the breeze halted he could hear the…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, fortress 2 years, 9 months ago

    Your love is like a fortress and we are the invading armies in the fields beyond the walls. There is one inside who peaks over the battlements in jealous doubt and lays in the lavish warmth of your shelter. We watch him in envy and we plot our entrance.
    The brave, impetuous soldiers who charged the gate with roses and poems fell alone in the…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, breakout 2 years, 9 months ago

    That’s a good word because when I was sitting here waiting for it to load and thinking about what I’d write and why I started wondering what the purpose is of all this. All this single-word brainstorming. Do any of these paragraphs become novels? Do any of these people become authors? Are they authors already? Procrastination was my favorite sin…[Read more]

  • mattlock commented on the post, dash 2 years, 9 months ago

    One finger slid down the communiqué to hold his place, while the shockwaves of the shells pushed the walls in an out and caused the gas lamp to pirouette in desperate bids to escape the hung nail, while the local people pushed desperately in and out against each other to escape the city walls and save themselves from a final pirouette to the…[Read more]