Collage by Lynn Behrendt
Excerpts from my novel, Bombyonder, appear in Issue #6 of PEEP/SHOW (along with work by Amaranth Borsuk & Kate Durbin, Chris Piuma, Michael Ruby, Keiko Sono, Tom Beckett, j/j hastain, Nance Van Winckel, Anna Elena Ayre, Michael Peters, Cheyenne Nimes, Anselm Berrigan, Geof Huth and Dorothy Albertini).
Here’s a sample:
On this meeting with this particular ancestor named Carry, I was surprised by her mask and its thickness. Hardly a way in or out. Not at all clownish but with brown scales, leather and bolts.
How strange to hear her speak through the clamp for a mouth and to be seen through her single tiny eyehole. How muffled her words sounded through the barriers. How uncomfortable to know she cried behind that foulness not because it was foul, but for the sake of her brother, an accused molester of the vulnerable.
Trouble with the law. There’s always so much trouble with laws for this family.
Who did this to you?
“The women and children, like they always do, their cruel, perverted imaginations that they just can’t keep to themselves. They have to share, and share for years, they whisper and then they group together and then they testify and allow it all to go down as record. They perverted it all, smote his perfect legacy.”
No, I mean who put that mask on you? Why are you still wearing it? What is behind it?
“My brother placed it on me, for my salvation. He’s my protector. There are so many terrible women and children spouting their wretched tales, repeating and publicizing. They let nothing go! What lies behind this mask hasn’t yet been penetrated. So little left that hasn’t been penetrated. My face is one of the last pure bastions.”
You can hardly see or speak through that mask and it smells like your skin is decaying under there.
“Yes, the decay keeps me safe. Frightens away the children and many of the women too. No one is going to scavenge me for their depraved narratives. Forever I remain unmolested.”
But her corpsed-face remained unmolested no longer.
Because now I was there, smelling it, imagining its appearance, inventing my memories.
Go here to read the rest