Plugs

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

God’s Disco: ii) Nibbling off God’s Platinum Platter

by Trent Walters

At the poetry reading, black turtlenecks and tweed sport coats jabber over steaming cappuccinos. My friend hangs his head in his hands. One would think it would be difficult to walk in that position. He is still sad, apparently. Guiding him into the poetry room by that nasty elbow that made my gesture, which still smarts, smart, I ask him, what is wrong?

Don’t you see? They look like poets. We do not. We wear jeans and T-shirts. Look at that goatee. I bet it belongs to a poet.

Sure enough, the goatee belongs to a brown-eyed man in a brown-spotted tweed coat. He walks to the podium, reads in a poetic monotone–as if not to eschew a regurgitated supper of leafy green vegetables. The stage lights set his white hair ablaze. His white oval face shines like a virile god with a baldpate, a laurel of hair–the sides horned up like Ferdinand the bull–and a beatific smile from tugging his infinite yoke. We are awed: poetic virgins stunned into immaculately losing our cherries. An hour later, he finishes, awakening my friend who leaps to his feet and cries: Sir, who does your goatee?

Why, I do, says the poet, stroking the sage white bristles.

It is divine. Very poetic.

Thank you, says the poet; I think.

Your sport coat is also poetic.

Do you have a question?

How did you become so poetic?

By writing: the first step in the disco poetics.

On my feet, I say: We may not be Travoltas, but we sure can dance.

The second step notes how the variegated lights reflect off the disco globe, sees the globe again, then revises your second sight, and so forth. Toward the end, you do a jig, then stutter-step to a jitterbug or cut the jitterbug altogether, so that the new end is a new beginning: Only when you know the end do you know how to begin.

My friend sits.

Then you mail the revision to a publisher.

I sit, too.

Nobody else asks questions. They already know the answers. Later, at their private dinner party with the poet, they will glitter and titter like whores over cheap wine and hors d’oevres, and scoff at our insolent questions.

We slip out and notice, on the poet’s back-cover photo, that the goatee covers a weak chin. Relieved, we will fast until breakfast tomorrow when we will gorge on steak, eggs and salsa. Yum.

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