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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Do Over (a short story)

    Smith’s last mortal act was murder.  Now, prowling the dark places, she wonders about karma and redemption. And what a really good pastrami sandwich would taste like.
    It had been one of those flawless September days with blue skies and benevolent sunshine that lie about what’s coming.  Smith was on a crowded 7th Avenue train with her Ipod cranked so that when the madman had slashed his way through the screaming herd, she was completely taken by surprise.  Even more surprising was watching the knife rip into the expensive new top she’d bought for today’s job interview.  She was never going to be able to get the blood out of this.
    It’s hard to piece the rest of what happened together and, believe me, Smith is still trying. There was a hard lurch as the train stopped.  The lights went out and came on again.  There was blood everywhere and, incredibly, Smith’s earbuds stayed put so she had an Abba soundtrack to the slow motion slashing.  Then there was Someone. (Some thing?)  Regal and ruined, he casually snapped the neck of the knife guy and scooped Smith up like she was a little kid.
    They were outside the train. Smith felt kind of high, but cold and like she was about to be really scared.  There seemed to be some climbing involved.  Then he was bent over her and two extremely odd things happened at the same time: something cold and sharp latched onto her throat and a length of his opened arm was shoved against her mouth. A circuit was completed and wet electricity pulsed between the two. Whatever was happening, Smith wanted more of it and sucked hard, feeling stronger and wide, wide awake for the first time ever.
    For his part, Tall Dark and Dead seemed determined to empty Smith, driving her to pull his blood into her all the faster. That is, if this was blood. It wasn’t metallic like blood, but dirty; old dirt where groves of ancient trees still kept out the sky.
    Gee that was poetic. Smith was hearing and seeing everything differently.  It wasn’t so dark anymore and, in spite of the din of an approaching train, she could hear footsteps coming closer. So could her dance partner who dropped her unceremoniously and swung around.
    “Hey, you. Police! Put your hands up and stop moving!” The voice came from behind a swaying flashlight beam.
    Smith, like the rest of the cattle, had spent her life occasionally bumping into something good. Today she had bumped into something else all together and, in a brilliant burst of triple-firing neurons, she knew what was about to happen and what she had to do about it.
    Fluidly, inexorably, she took her savior/attacker by the neck and flung him into the path of the Number 1 train screeching just below them.  Boy, he did not see that coming. Evading the police turned out to be child’s play as soon as Smith put it together that they couldn’t see and she could. As much fun as fucking with them would have been, Smith had more pressing matters to attend to.
    It was revolting in the way of all births. Wet, messy and painful as hell.  Smith’s body rid itself of useless internal organs because, from now on, The Blood would take care of all that.  She wouldn’t need to breathe or eat or shit.  Opening herself, organs splashed out onto the dirty, abandoned subway platform. Slabs and stringy bits were wrung out, leaving Smith exhausted. From now on, there would only be one need: to control The Blood.
    Smith adapted quickly to the new way of things. At first she stayed down in the tunnels where she had all the advantages.  Who knew there was so much to kill down here?  There was a perfect balance she could achieve for some two to three days after draining some poor loser. But after a couple of days she could feel The Blood eating her from the inside out.  Early on, before she got good at this, there had been some close calls.  Once, in her blind desperation to do something about the horrible burning, she killed a track worker.  Think villagers with pitchforks and torches on subway tracks. Not good.
    Eventually she returned to the surface. It was easier than she’d expected and it was fun to be out on the streets, jostled on all sides by the walking dead as each hurried off to a tiny personal hell. Smith remembered what that was like and, even as the first tickles of another firestorm kicked up, she could flex something that was a lot like gratitude.
    Time wasn’t measured by the cycles of day and night but by the need to keep The Blood quiet and, in this way, whole generations of mortals lived and died while Smith fought back against the corrosion.  Over time she developed preferences and a philosophy of who deserved to die.  She liked killing big, strong men because they were always so surprised. For awhile she focused on criminals and putting the homeless out of their misery.  In spite of how they fought, she could see in their eyes that the armed robbers and thugs knew they were only getting what they deserved.  Oddly enough, the homeless fought more fiercely to hang onto their wretched, pointless lives.  After awhile though, that got boring.
    Preying on the successful coming out of their gleaming board rooms kept Smith entertained for a decade or so.  She’d rotate off to the club crowd and, for awhile, checked out the suburban situation.  In time, though, it all got stale. The old euphoria of the kill wasn’t there. It was just another job.
    One night she stalked a hedge fund rockstar and his piece of arm candy. Feeling playful, she tied him up using the terrified blonde’s silk stockings and let him watch before gorging herself on him, too.  She helped herself to the sleek Jaguar parked around the corner from where the couple would be found the next day.  Draining two bodies made her sluggish, but happy in a doped out kind of way and driving out of the city at first light brought back a vague sense of excitement. 
    Chewing a wide swathe through the Midwest, Smith quit wondering, quit worrying and just kept The Blood at bay.  There was no point in getting all existential about it.  In time she went international and found that blood was blood.  She’d harbored a low, quiet hope that she’d find some super blood and get a break from all this killing.  It wasn’t that she had any moral compunction, it just took up too much time and effort and there were other things she’d like to do. She’d love to climb Everest or cross the Antarctic, but without a steady supply of bodies to empty, the risk was too great. Even exploring the Amazon basin, in spite of the proliferation of things filled with blood, would just be too much work.
    Sitting up in the branches of a tree near the edge of one of the last great forests, watching the sun rise, Smith sighed.  There was that damned tickle and before long her insides would begin to twitch and burn.  Suddenly the effort required to get back to the small city she’d been terrorizing seemed too much.  Moving deeper into the woods, she was scouting out a place to go to ground. How bad could this get anyway, this burning?  Would it kill her?  Wow!  Why hadn’t she thought of this before?
    Deep in the forest, along a ravine cut by a creek, Smith found a series of caverns.  The burn was getting bad and there was a moment when she almost changed course, but wouldn’t it be great if she really could die?
    Tucking herself into the crease between a pile of fallen boulders and the still, solid bulk of the earth, Smith hunkered down for the worst. It took awhile and there was a point where panic almost won, but just the thought of starting the whole damned tiresome cycle again was enough to keep her pinned to the ground. The burn built and then hit a flash point where she was engulfed and there was no longer any sense of Smith. Somewhere, in a small kernel of consciousness behind her sizzling, popping eyeballs, a light that should be about to go out got stronger.
   
    We both should have known better.  She couldn’t have believed that throwing me under a train was going to do it and I, well I’ve been around awhile and really should have gone right after her.  In my defense, she was just so damned entertaining.  In hers…there is no defense. That was just sloppy.
    We all hit the point she did when she went off to that cave, but not many of us follow through. I sure as hell wouldn’t. What? Are you kidding? By the time I got to her, there wasn’t much left.  Enough though.  I’ve worked with less and it was worth it to see how pissed off she was when I brought her back.
    Maybe she’ll put it together about my little trick, but she’d better make damned sure she kills whatever she shares The Blood with right away. For my part, it’s good to know a second cycling through of this vile stuff in my veins is enough to hold me for another year or so.  I’ve got a book tour coming up and don’t need the hassle of having to keep killing and killing. Just so tedious!
    Ah, right. So why didn’t I kill her this time? Like I said, she’s just so damned entertaining. I can’t wait to see what she does next!
• •
Read at the Writing Cage, New York City, 4 Nov 2011.

• • •
click on images to enlarge
 
   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Seamless" ~ the book . . . the trailer.



Click HERE  
to watch on YouTube.











Click HERE to purchase a copy of the Limited Edition.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anomalous Duo (the trailer)

The movie of our first year. Expect sequels.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One year of Anomaly Works NYC

September 18th marks one year of adventure, exploration, collaboration and mutual growth for writer Tammy Remington and artist aleXander hirka.  Under the AnomalyWorksNYC banner it has yielded exceptional creative works both collaborative and individual.  Both have signed on for another year.



At the Burning Man art event 2011, Black Rock City, Nevada.




click on image to enlarge

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Manley Touch

written for
Burning Man 2011
Rites of Passage


story & art
T. Remington






Publiushed by 
AnomalyWorksNYC
August 2011

    After the fire, after what was left of the house had been torn down and hauled away, the lot filled with weeds and trash. Cats screamed and fucked, waking neighbors. Kids skipped school and huffed bags of cooking spray. Diego Ramirez repainted the back of the garage repeatedly to cover the endless graffiti. After six months, Beatriz had had enough and began calling the alderman’s office. 
    The old man who’d died in the fire didn’t seem to have any family. No one would want the place even if a deed could be found since the city’s cheap demolition job had left the basement intact underground. Again, Seth Winslow considered getting out of the alderman game and trying something relaxing like insurance sales. He sighed and instructed an aide to come up with something.   
    Diego got the guys together to put up a fence that kept the kids, if not the cats, out. Eventually everyone forgot about Boris Manley and his strange, old house.

    Livingston Manley didn’t forget. From the age of sixteen on, she gave it her best shot. Moving to Miami would do the trick, right?

No place else had, yet, but Miami was different. She found work in a little boutique, got a tan and lost eighteen pounds. Anyone from the old neighborhood would have passed her like a stranger on the street. But she knew the truth; God knows the old man had told her often enough. It was never going to work out. She should find some not terrible guy with a not terrible job and start having kids.
    “Liv, babe, you got a visitor.” Shondelle, the manager at Periwinkle, stuck her head around the corner.
    Livingston froze. Visitor?
    “Are you Livingston Manley?” The guy was a stranger and let nothing show.   
    “Y- yeah.”
    “You’ve been served.” He put the long white envelope in her hand and walked out.

   
    A week later, another lifetime later, Livingston turned the corner she’d sworn she would never turn again and there it was. There it wasn’t. The gray green shingled house with those aluminum awnings over each window wasn’t there. There was a fence. There was thin air where there used to be a bedroom with a door that locked from the outside. She stood there and stared.
    “You lost?” The kid looked to be about eight.
    “I sure am.” She’d give anything for a cigarette right now. “You remember the house that used to be here?”
    “Not really. The fire happened when I was little.” He picked at something on his head. “Was it yours?”
    “Is there a way in?” She walked over to the fence. It seemed solid.
    “What’s in it for me?”
    She looked at the kid for awhile. How badly did she need to walk that ground again anyway? Five bucks got her to where the fence met the corner of the garage. He ducked in through a gap and disappeared.
    “This way. Come on!” The kid had opened the side door. The garage, dim and oily, was exactly the right passage to take Livingston back. She followed the kid out the back door and into the old yard.
    Livingston made one slow circuit of the bumpy, broken ground. She reached the remaining first step of the front porch and turned to face what was no more. Old truths were crumbling underground with that basement. She stepped into what was no longer a living room with all the furniture facing the long gone television.
    “Bye, Dad.” She paused in the invisible doorway, “You were wrong.”
   
   

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Liminality (Neither Here Nor There)" - art for Burning Man 2011

aleXander hirka (photography and digital montage)  

>> click and click again on image to enlarge <<

40″x40″ – on display at Center Camp, Burning Man 2011
Rites of Passage, Aug 25 – Sept 9, Black Rock City, Nevada


The Ritual of Crossing Over.
On the Verge, at the Brink, on the Cusp.

Putting it On_The_Line.

On the threshold, At the gate, Amidst a revolving door.
On the border.
An Entrance from which to look at the Not-Yet-Future – A Portal from which to view the Fading Past.

___________________________________

Liminality (from the Latin word lÄ«men, meaning “a threshold”) is a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective state, conscious or unconscious, of being on the “threshold” of or between two different existential planes, as defined in neurological psychology (a “liminal state”) and in anthropological theories of ritual.
As developed by Arnold van Gennep (and later Victor Turner), the term is used to “refer to in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies, and uncertainty regarding the continuity of tradition and future outcomes”.  Although initially developed as a means to analyze the middle stage in ritual passages, it is “now considered by some to be a master concept in the social and political sciences writ large”. In this sense, it is very useful when studying “events or situations that involve the dissolution of order, but which are also formative of institutions and structures.”
It is particularly useful as a tool for analyzing both contemporary events and problems, and for analyzing and comparing various historical periods.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

There Is A Number


      Nell’s mind just worked that way and there was nothing for it.  Dot knew it.  Anders knew it.  Even the guy at the newsstand knew it.  Especially the guy at the newsstand.  Just ask the poor S.O.B. about that time Nell got going about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle with him on a Sunday when she had the time to stand around and talk. But this was getting ridiculous.
       “Is she still on about that?”
       Dot was over for the evening and asking Anders about his wife’s latest pit.  That’s what they called Nell’s obsessions, and she was deeply entrenched in this one.
       “Are you kidding?”
       “It’s actually an intriguing concept.”
       “You’re telling me! I just wish she’d kept this one to herself.  Now I keep wondering about all those fucking numbers.”
       “I know.”  Dot sighed and put her coffee cup down, looking out at the dreary evening.
       Anders went on.  “I mean, it’s not as if she can actually do anything with this.”  He tossed Nell’s well-worn copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” back onto the pile by the couch, rousing Anjou from her perennial nap.
       “Ok, yes the number exists.” Anders took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.  “They exist independent of anyone’s knowledge of them.  Yesterday a precise and absolute and finite number of grocery carts hit the sides of cars in parking lots in suburban St. Louis.”
       Dot chimed in.  “Last week X number of taxicabs ran red lights in Mexico City, a definite and exact number.”
       “So we’ve got those number piling up on all sides.  What good is there in knowing this?  Why even acknowledge that they do exist?”  Anders shook his head.
       “This is worse than when she got going on that one about how we are enveloped by generations of the activity of human hands.  Christ, I went around for weeks almost seeing the blurred motion of all those hands lifting and hammering and setting and building.  It made me feel queasy!”  Dot wrinkled her nose.
       “At least with that one there was a germ of something that could be, I don’t know, used in a poem or a story or some damned thing.  What the hell is there in this? And, sweet baby Jesus, it’s all she talks about anymore.”
       “Well, if anyone can come up with something, it’ll be Nell.”  Dot was comfortable, even smug.
       “Where is she anyway?  She’s got a stack of term papers to go over tonight.”  Anders reached for the telephone, dialed and waited a moment before speaking.
       “Hey, it’s me.  Where’re you at?  Dot’s here, we’re waiting supper til you get here.  Gimme a yell.”  He hung up and shrugged.
       “Voice mail?”
       “Yea.  Who knows.  Wanna try some of this merlot?  It’s not bad.”
       “Sure.”  Dot grinned wicked.  “You do know that there is a precise number of grapes that went into the production of that particular bottle of merlot and no one, not anyone anywhere ever will know that that number is.”
       “Bitch.  Stop it.”  Anders was laughing when the phone rang.
       “Hello?”
       Dot listened, frowning as Anders leaned into the call.  Dot found herself leaning forward, too.  The possibilities of all those precise numbers of events unfolding, clicking into place and falling apart on every side lent tension to the one-sided conversation.  Dot squirmed and Anjou stretched, jumped off the end of the sofa and stalked out of the room.
       “What?  Are you all right!”
       Silence.
       “Ok, ok, but you are all right?  I can be there in ten, no fifteen minutes.”
       Pause.
       “I’m on my way.”  Anders hung up and turned to Dot.  “That was Nell.  She says there’s a number.  No, wait, that there was a number.”
       He went over to the foyer closet and got his coat before continuing.
       “There was an exact and precise number of people who died in the city today. Not that she’d know or anything, but Nell’s floating the idea that that number was 41 until about 20 minutes ago.
       “What the hell are you talking about?” Dot rushed to grab her coat.
       Anders paused by the door with the air of someone accustomed to grand and world-weary gestures.
       “Well, think about it for a second. Who but Nell would have to be in the cab that hit the 42nd person to die in New York City today?”
       He pivoted on his heel and walked out.

• click on images to enlarge •


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coming Up and In Progress

A new short story by T. Remington, "There Is A Number", with accompanying artwork by aleXander hirka, will be shared here on Friday 1 July. 

Meanwhile, if you're out Brooklyn-way, check out aleXander's photo-montage "Mystery In The Air" which is included in a group exhibition of prints at Skink Ink Fine Art Editions, in Williamsburg, through 17 July 2011.

Or take a look at the piece, and photos from the show opening, on Friday June 17, HERE.

Get the Limited Edition Book, for yourself or a friend.
Expand your coolness - get The Schwag!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seamless rolls on!

Released just two weeks ago today, the fiftieth copy of "Seamless" has been sold.

Get your copy of the limited edition, numbered and autographed, while they last.

If nothing else you will be able to sell this on ebay or Alibris in a year or two and finance a trip to Europe.


Loved it? Let us know. Get one for a friend!



Click on image to enlarge.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Available now!

"SEAMLESS"

The first collaboration.
A 14 page book
featuring the compelling short story "Seamless"
by 2011 Pushcart Nominated author
T. Remington

wrapped in captivating graphic impressions
by aleXander hirka
noted collage/photomontage artist, whose groundbreaking underground Smegma The Magazine is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.













click on
image to 
enlarge














• first printing • limited edition • 250 numbered/autographed

• includes an 8x5 mailable postcard with an additional image related to the story.

$10. (includes shipping)
 

checks payable to: aleXander hirka
mail to:  aleXander hirka • 120 West 112th Street •Apt. 5B

• New York, New York • 10026
Paypal payments accepted, additional 50cents, to bothendsburningman@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Joined at the Seamless

The first printing of "Seamless" picked up today. Postcard insert still on the presses. By this weekend they will be getting numbered, signed, rubber stamped  - and readied for unleashing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

At Issue / Past Issues

AT ISSUE by T. Remington
           It’s good. This Friday, it’s a good one. I’ve sold three magazine subscriptions and it’s not even noon. I like this town. I didn’t like it last night when we pulled in, but today I see it’s a pretty good town. Ok, no it’s not a big city or anything, but I haven’t had one door slammed in my face yet today. Not one dog has been sicced on me. The ladies who don’t want to get our magazines, they apologize prettily. One even offered me lemonade. It tasted terrible, but that’s ok.
       How does a nice middle class boy from Defiance, Ohio wind up with this crazy traveling gang of losers and misfits, pushing lousy magazine subscriptions? It’s all Reverend Bailey’s fault. He might try to deny it, but he’s the one who had to go and tell my folks about me and Bobby. Someday I’m going to live in a city where no one gives a crap about what I do or who I do it with. Until then, I’m keeping my eyes open.
       But hooking up with Mr. Skice and his crew got me out of my hometown and that’ll do for now. No one on the crew talks to me much, but that’s fine by me. I’m not like them. I don’t curse and don’t go out for beers at the end of the day. I’m careful. I’m….good. Not always. Early in the week I’m useless, but by Wednesday something shifts and by Fridays, I am very good. Mr. Skice will tell you how good I am.
       Sleet is shredding the apple blossoms when the crew’s bus pulls out. Spring never lives up to its reputation in these Great Lakes towns. What does? It’s Thursday. I smile and wave goodbye even though none of them is looking.
      Closing the big front door pricks open both security and panic. She’s not an early riser and she can’t make a decent glass of lemonade to save her life, but for now, this is good. Or it will be tomorrow anyway.

PAST ISSUES by aleXander hirka
 
                                                          click on image to enlarge
 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reading Remonda

story: T. Remington, image: aleXander hirka

     They begged, wept, threatened, cajoled and bribed through the night but still, in the morning, Remonda was gone. Without her placid buffering, they went at each other again. Soon territories were staked out, trespasses committed and violence was always a simmering possibility. Bliss had hastily barricaded himself upstairs and had to run Gristle’s gauntlet every time he needed to leave the house. Gristle claimed the bathroom and kitchen. She was sure she’d bring Bliss to his knees in a week, tops.
      Remonda went to Paris just like she’d always promised herself she would. It was  beautiful and many men fell in love with her. Over absinthe in the long summer evenings, she found herself telling each new lover about Gristle and Bliss. Each feigned interest, hoping to make it to the other side of her stories. None did. Not one. Ever.
      Word about the scandalous memoir penetrated even Bliss’s fortified second story. Gristle ignored the stories, but Bliss plotted. He’d spent the entire winter mapping Remonda’s arc out on the hallway walls. This memoir was certainly a message meant for him, something that Gristle would never figure out. With the cunning of the hunted, he made his move under cover of night.
      Safe, back in his lair, he turned the shrink wrapped treasure over and over in his hands. Gristle snatched it away, sending him sprawling. She had used his rope ladder to come in the window behind him and now stood over him, ripping the plastic from the book. By the time he’d righted himself, she’d flung it down in fury. He heard her dismantling his carefully constructed fortifications. Who cared? He had his answers now.
      He cradled the book, opened it and howled in anguish. It was written in French.

                                                                 click on image to enlarge
    story © T. Remington

Friday, March 18, 2011

T. Remington reading from her work

@
Book Store


Tuesday, March 29th @ 7PM

T. Remington writes short, very intense stories. Her latest short story “What You’d Expect”, published in Storyglossia in February 2010, was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. She is currently at work on a short-story/art book with artist aleXander hirkaShe has been a featured reader several times at Bluestockings.

also featuring Clare Ultimo
• Clare Ultimo’s poems capture the humor of being different, misunderstood, impatient, and her trials as a working female artist in New York.

$5 Suggested

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seamless

The February Project, 2011.

T. Remington worked on writing a short story.

aleXander hirka, working simultaneously, with some access to the developing narrative, created four digital collages ~ more energetic correspondents to the story line than illustrations.









A book resulting from this collaborative work is in process of being prepared for publication in April by Anomaly Works Press.