Two Texts

Brian Foley

The Body's Memory

A man had a lot of anger. He harbored all his anger in his shoulders. The anger gave birth to viscous knots. After a particularly bad investment made on a friends advice, the knots developed into small ocean liners. The small ocean liners were tightly anchored into the muscles around his rotator cuff. They caused him a lot of pain and smelled like brine. He went to see a professional recommended by the friend who had given him the financial advice. The professional turned out to be a prostitute offering manual release. It helped for an afternoon, but the guilt of paid intimacy turned the small anchored ocean liners into a dangerous mountain range. He did some research on the internet. He took a trip to the city to see an expert. The expert detonated the mountain range with minor dynamite. He broke a champagne bottle over the boughs of the small ocean liners. They set sail towards the horizon of the light bulb. He could not untie all the knots. Doing so, he said, would no doubt kill the man. The body remembers trauma, he said. You should probably stay inside for a few days and drink some milkshakes. The man was pleased. He told his friends he felt 68%, which was better than he had felt since birth. To celebrate his new health, he went to the home of the friend who'd twice given him bad advice and murdered his family while he was at work.

Fear in Reverse

There are men who want to beat me with shovels. It's not an immediate concern. What seems immediate to one bird is a far off telephone wire in Missoula to another. First they have to find me. These days I am often found in the kitchen. I am figuring out a perfect system of how to wash the dishes. It is not a difficult system. It would be difficult if you didn't have any thumbs. My system is based on a Prussian diagram of an asylum for sneezing. In those days sneezing was a sign of conspiracy. You should see how my system makes the knives shine. Like blue cutlass. Like heaven after a rain shower. The men with the shovels are believers of the old world. They sent an official letter and a Prussian diagram telling me so. They're on a slow ocean liner coming to find me. If I don't answer the door they will turn around and go home. That is their way, not mine.

Brian Foley writes in Boston and curates author events at a bookstore.His work has appeared in Quick Fiction, Thieves Jargon, Night Train, Juked, Right Hand Pointing, and Otoliths. You will find him at