Three Vaguenesses

Shane Kowalski

The Greatest

The sun’s throat has been slit across the beach. The tide brings it in. You can see everything like this. It’s like wearing rose-colored glasses to an execution. People crawl out of these desolated homes near the beach to decide if their life is worth the fright. Who is out there, living a life, ready to shoot? All these grains of sand keep filling in around us, letting us know that it’s all still happening. It is unsurpassed and undefeated. friend....I am with you, in your sadness, my friend.... I am with you in these clutching hours of anxiety! ............And where are you, depressed Mother???

Ripped Off Head

When I was eight, I thought a large leaf in the autumned lawn of my grandmother was a large lizard. There is blood flowing out of an oboe stumbling out of a casino somewhere. We go through our lives with these little mysteries like frozen corsages in our chests. Having a memory these days is like having a ripped off head put back on your shoulders. Millions of miles away, in another neon desert... This is how it starts. You’ve made so many mistakes in life. You drive them to school each day. There they learn about the american revolution. Washington. The Hessians surprised on christmas morning in Trenton. That’s New Jersey.

No Experience Is Better

What does Helen of Troy have to do with any of this? It is like repeatedly being hit over the head with a broken champagne bottle. All the lights flicker on and off on the beach. Dolphins swim in paradisiacal sludge. Experiences can be so different it’s like a completely other space. Or “time.” But isn’t it nice to train a dog how “to act?” It begs the question. What will we be reduced to?

Shane Kowalski lives in Pennsylvania. His work appears in Electric Literature, SLICE, Puerto del Sol, Tammy, Juked, Hobart, and elsewhere. He is the author of the story collection, Small Moods, forthcoming from Future Tense Books. He works for the United States Postal Service.