J.A. Tyler

[waves on hips]

He stood in the waist deep waves of the rippled lake’s surface and his hips bucked backwards and forwards with each tiny white cap and it was like he was fucking the water. Rocking. Swaying. Loving the same murk that was rejecting his flicked wrist casts and the sheen of his bead-head fly. But he smiled just the same anyway because green waders and the sun tightening his skin were good no matter if the fish were biting or not. And he liked his feet sunken idly in lake mud. And he liked his hands cooled by breezing lake water. And he liked his stubble growing stiff and older in the mountain air.


On the shore where yellowed weeds were lying like blonde hair, there was a pile of goose shit toned fervent green and lucid white and resembling somehow both shapes and shapelessness as it sat moist in the gaining heat. And from bottom to top the shit was covered with an orgy of flies, baby small and still hopeful, sucking the life juice from what another body had pushed as waste. They scuttled round and flew on and off and tracked over one another and bumped heads and buzzed wings and vibrated as one mass tickling itself to a happy lustful death.

[a decimated bird]

When they’d got there the water from rock and blowing grass to a hundred yards out was a layer of white feathers curled up towards blue sky and drifting inward as either specks of rotating stars or a thousand unmanned ships moving hollowly on an unforgiving ocean. And in the shallow front water there were sunken pools of blood teeming with aquatic vultures and parasitic picnic goers. Remnants of a battle lost and won. A venture of two not agreed upon but consummated most likely at night when the real stars were out blinking not in knowing meaningful winks but in the necessities of a galaxy that sometimes throws meteors or hurls super-novas or pushes teeth into soft feathers with snapping needful jaws.

[the hook still in its mouth]

Somewhere inside its mouth the invisible line visibly disappeared. And the fish swished and flopped spattering his crotch into wetness. And his hand felt slippery and full of lotion against its frantic body. He slid the metal tool onto and over its flat white-pink gagging tongue and latched onto the eyelet of the swallowed blue-gray dunn. The bait. And they came together in sheer coincidence as his grip loosened and the fish flipped in panic and his tool came out wielding only light-weight curly-q line, and the beautiful dirt lathered rainbow side-stepped into the swirling dark water, free but with the hook still in its mouth.

[grease black duck]

They weren’t like the ducks at home. These ones were sizable and had longer necks and a tuft of Mohawk static hair atop their grease black frames. And something in their shape seemed angry and bitter. But they floated like anything else. And when one descended deeply into the lake it was only seconds before bobbing up again with a fish fighting in its beak. But the duck tamed it with pressure from a clenched bill and massaged it downward with a useful tongue and imbibed it like a lover sucks in air after a kiss as if trying to extend the short-lasting flavor of electric love.

[the feel of new sex]

In two sleeping bags zipped into one, he slid into her for the first time and they both gasped and sighed and giggled and wept and moved slow like mountain glaciers and then fast like the spreading fiery red of rampant sunsets. And earlier in the day they’d wondered about dragging claw marks in the dirt and now she was raking her fingers across the sides of tent vinyl and he was on top of her knuckling his fists into the soft pine needle floor just a layer beneath. And there was a violence from within that came unexplained. And lips met everywhere. And tongues were as they should be. And palms were sweat and sticky. And eyes were half closed delirious with it all. And both spent the night moving together and breathing in frosty nightfall together and spinning morning together and the feel of new sex together.

J. A. Tyler has recent work in Pindeldyboz, Feathertale Review, Thieves Jargon, Underground Voices, & Word Riot. His debut novella is forthcoming from Ghost Road Press in 2009. He is also founding editor of the online literary review Mud Luscious. Read more at