Fates Worse Than Death

by Short Fictions

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I spent the day inside, I hadn’t eaten the whole night I could not sleep a wink, I felt so far from all right thoughts that make my head spin, I’ll think them all over again to me it’s everything, to you it’s just a passing sight I miss your voice, I’d hear it sing through apartment walls Niagara Street South Oakland Pittsburgh, 2014
Full speed to a future Anthropocene no humans just machines and a pastoral guise, a pastoral guise of function of functionality but it don’t work And I’ll trade teeth falling out nightmares for apocalyptic dreams where everything and everyone that I know is blown to smithereens and they don’t stop
This place is a mirror, of Hell or an unstable climate, a planet with no atmosphere I want to know, I want to know, who favors profit over sustainability and it’s tornados and cyclones record breaking heat wet Pittsburgh basements cars floating down the street code orange and heat wave spreading of disease imminent heat death and cities under water I swear, I swear it’s true.
I am out here sweating in short-shorts and tee shirts in late October soon we’ll be underwater, oh I know that shortly we’ll be dying and I’d really rather take my own life now than get caught up in big storms and hurricanes, floods and droughts are side effects of climate change I say the same thing over and over again, I say the same, same thing. “You should over write songs about girls and your friends” but I say the same, same thing I’d like to run away, I think about it every day, always on the back of my mind I’ll sleep inside my car, on the turnpike leaving Pittsburgh never to return again and I hate the sound of my voice, screaming billionaires could die and we’d be all right, or that we could live forever or die out in thirty years and that’ll be all right take off your shoes and make yourself at home I’m always here alone inside my bedroom, I know I’ll never hurt the ones that I love, all of my friends are never gonna die now I always feel so plain and still, I might not exist at all, but I persist if all of this might mean something to someone but it’s not enough to go on, no it’s not enough, no it’s not enough to go on, you’re not trying hard enough, but it’s not enough to go on, no it’s not enough, but it’s not enough to go on, you’re not trying at all “I can’t! I won’t! I know I’m alone” rang the band’s record, I was so enthralled “I can’t! I won’t!” no not on my own, should I just shut up? No one’s listening “It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive”
I really really like you, I do, when I see you in my dreams it all comes back to me / I never expect things to go well, my mind will be my own living hell, and you are not making this easy, thinking making I should just stay home / I never grow out of my crushes, you can always send me a message, and though it’s been years since I’ve seen you, I’ll still sent my voice through the receiver / I really really you, I wish my body would explode, when I see you in the street, I get fucked up for weeks
[Written by Fred Rogers, read by Samantha Proctor] “Dear Brent: Your letter meant so much to me. I was really touched that you felt I could help you at such an upsetting time. I certainly can understand how hard it must be for you to consider Eric’s moving away. / There are no easy ways to handle those feelings. What often helps is to talk about what we’re feeling. What I was most proud of in your letter is that you are a person who can talk about what you’re feeling. Generally, when we’ve been through sad times and we’ve been able to think and talk about our feelings, we usually begin to feel better, little by little. / Something else that might help is to plan ways that you and Eric could stay in touch. I know of friends who have been separated, but who continue to stay in touch by writing or phoning or visiting on holidays or birthdays. Eric can continue to be an important part of who you are, even though he may not live nearby. Your friendship with Eric will always be an important part of who you are. And your friendship will always be an important part of who Eric is, too. / I also wanted to mention that as I as read your letter, I couldn’t help but think what a gifted communicator you are. You use words so well to talk about what you’re thinking and feeling. I’m proud to know you. You are special.”
) Well my heart is in the basement and my blood is in the kitchen but I can’t live here anymore, I can’t live here anymore ‘cause it rains inside my bedroom, there’s black mold on every surface, a hole in every ceiling and you haven’t done the dishes since we moved in, and the kids in Oakland have such joie de vivre and it makes me sad because all I ever think about is dying and everything that I love in Pittsburgh is quickly vanishing or getting gentrified, and I can’t live here anymore / I’m a liar and I’m a hoarder, I love every brick and mortar in this house / and we built this home together, I could live here for forever, I’ll have money when I get older and I can love again / every single conversation, made me feel so much more complacent, ever single interaction made me want to die less and I thank you for it
[Lyrics for this song are taken from the poem by the same name written by Mina Loy C. 1940] “Pigeons doze, or rouse, stripped crescendos of grey rainbow / a living frieze, on the shallow sill of a factory window / pigeons arise alight, on vertical bases of civic brick / whitened with avalanches, as if an angel had been sick” let us grow


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released December 13, 2019


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Short Fictions Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


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