Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment
for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating
Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing,
publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse,
North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly
West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily
and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial
Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. His story collection, The Balloon
Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, was one of
five finalists for the 2009 Starcherone Innovative Fiction Prize. In 2010
he has been a finalist in fiction at Black Warrior Review and Mississippi
Review and in poetry at Cloudbank and Mississippi Review. In 2011 he is again
a finalist in poetry at Mississippi Review. The Spring 2011 Bitter Oleander
contains a feature including an interview and 18 of his hybrid works.
An Unidentified Enclosure Containing Two Occupants
He stuffed his hand inside the hole as if it were a limp rag. When he pulled it out, it struggled, a small wound dripping from its backside. Suddenly it grasped the other hand, dragged it to the next hole and shoved it in. It came back out quickly.
I saw him do it, so he holds out his hands and he does this and that and the other thing, and I decide I meant to say "Yes" when I really said "No," or maybe "unnh," which can be interpreted as "No," but can also be ignored.
At least I'm occupying a certain amount of space with him now, which suggests we have a relationship, which we do not, unless you consider what he did with his hands to be a relationship.
I had to consider whether or not the argument had been arranged for movement from side to side and could win only against itself.
There are repairs involved and they could lead to complications.
I also had to consider whether or not I might have been unavailable to the experiences that desired me.
There was a falling upon that appeared to have an intention attached. The intention's particulars, however, were not apparent and the falling upon fell off.
The knees are simply wrong and must be disguised by holding the legs straight until the entire length points evenly to the ankles, which are also undesirable, but perhaps more inevitable.
As a man of his own tendencies, he tends to tend more.
If he touches my breast, I will respect him.
He put something into an envelope thinking that he might save it. He gave it to himself and he put it in a safe place, inside an envelope.
Then he put something on his hands to make them more comfortable holding each other. It was easier than remembering to be generous all the time. The implications were not what he was expecting. He had been wondering if he needed himself and he had been wondering who he was.
If there was a miracle available, we squelched it.
Climbing down the shadow of the ladder inside the enclosure is a reasonable portion of sunlight, which reveals the advent of the day ahead and substantially alters the shadow, which allows for experiences and takes the place of the initial memories, even when the experiences later appear as if they were themselves memories.
The Resting Place of an Art Deco Clock, Which Has Not Moved in Thirteen Hours and Thirty-Three Seconds
I should have compared one thing to another. I should have ventured forth unsullied. I should have unsuppressed. What I did was investigate the doctor's misperception of my capacity for equivocation. I do not know if it is a gift or a growth. Either way I don't want it removed.
The truth is I didn't realize anyone could see me. Recognizing it was a kind of birth.
Oh, Oh and Oh! It's a devilish unburdening. Am I already exfoliating unrepentant? I engage myself as witness to a suspicious psychological barbershop reek, persistent as battered salmon, as in a relentless vision of male and female linked by the evacuation of essential fluids. It's simply amazing.
But because it didn't explain the aberration, it was thought to be worthless.
And thus the shelter he was living in parted and the sun dripped. It felt good and he welcomed an appropriate rock into his living room.
Dinner wandered by and he pounced on it.
He couldn't understand why, but this frightened him.
And then he didn't find what he was looking for, even though he didn't know he was looking. He removed the ski mask and asked the shoulder-clerk politely. Her neck was throbbing where the sale item connected to her unadvertised features.
If she realized he was a fugitive, she didn't notify the proper authorities. Her passionately fondled secrets remained silent in their rooms while she deliberated over his ungainly credit.
Despite appearances there was no loss of discipline engendered by the lengthy cautionary tales. The unnecessary bag-clerk insisted on enlightening the dark rumor of departure with them.
I was just another customer standing in line, watching myself have an adventure in the dream I wasn't completing. I was awaiting the transformation of acceptable servitude into bodily sustenance.
The exact change isn't acceptable. Exact change is not change.
This all took place in onion country. A holler and a whoop down the road. Not quite the desert, but equally available. "Slip 'em the tongue," says the paunchy produce manager, holding out a globe of uncertain layered density.
Some of us here are old enough to vote twice. We don't appreciate being collected. Neither do we hold up convenience stores, although we do hold up convenience. I'm not the fugitive, but I have a certain misguided sentiment for his desperation.
Be brief. The time closet is smaller than you think.
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