Tag Archives: dave ring

“And Nothing But” – Fiction by dave ring

The Truth – Ferdinand Hodler, 1903

“And Nothing But” is dave ring‘s brutally honest flash fiction piece from our Winter 2019 issue.

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MY TRUTH? THE FUCK. 

My truth has teeth and hundreds of legs and chews apart the bodies in the middle of the night.  My truth leaves a smudge behind to remind you of what it once undid.

My truth knows the way to the door.  My truth has weight.  My truth can get me into any hardhold in this town fast as anything.  My truth gets me kicked out even faster.

My truth stops motherfucking trains in their motherfucking tracks.

My truth has a reputation.

My truth ain’t all class:  My truth fucks the landlord.  My truth pays the rent.

My truth got me the codes to T-Rex Tsang’s secret stash.  My truth saved Billy Jean Angelou’s ass during the Smoketown Massacre.  My truth scored rides on the jury-rigged rollercoaster at Beth the Eastside Boss’s cannibal roadshow and then got me out alive.  My truth slid along One-Eye Lawson’s hairy tit, flitting back and forth, while my hand did things to his dick that made him shout so loud I could hear his bodyguards gritting their teeth from their post outside the door.

My truth tricked power chords from the pulverized Stratocaster that Skullface Suzy has hanging on her wall like it was a stuffed elk, the barely tuned strings twanging with sadness like a lover that knows every amp in the world is dead.  My truth returned that guitar to its place with a reverence when Suzy called me back to bed, even though Suzy doesn’t deserve her.

My truth went back after dark.  My truth had sticky fingers.  My truth knew when to admit that it got us into all this trouble.

My truth knows that Skullface Suzy never stops.  My truth can tell when the hourglass is running out.

My truth knows when to get out of town and how to bum a ride on the I-90 all the way here from where the sun licked the surface of the lake with a flicker of magenta at the first light of dawn.  My truth knows never to stop looking over my shoulder.  My truth lets the chariot idle on the tarmac, chauffeur snoozing in the back, his bare spine slick with sweat against the vinyl seats, jeans still around his ankles, lips still tingling from a post-coital smoke.  My truth still sings of the spark, the sweet tar.

My truth knows to check that the gun is loaded.

My truth can’t do this much longer, but this gun has seven 9mm lies in the clip, plus one in the chamber.

And Pinocchio ain’t shit.

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dave ring is the community chair of the OutWrite LGBTQ Book Festival in Washington, DC, and the editor of Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of a City That Never Was from Mason Jar Press. More info at www.dave-ring.com.  Follow him on Twitter at @slickhop.

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“A Threefold Invocation” – Prose Poetry by dave ring

Spell Words – Nicholas Roerich, 1922

“A Threefold Invocation” is a powerfully magical prose poem cast by dave ring in our Summer 2018 issue.

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FIRST, YOU MUST OPEN THE DEEPEST PART OF YOURSELF.  Lay a promise there.  You will find it again.  Cast your memories of it into the pool like a stone.  Wait for them to touch the bottom.  Know that the weeds and silt will soften their landing.  Send the most secret part of yourself to the wood, the heart of it.  Lay on the earth.  Close your eyes, and wait.  Eventually you will forget from which way you came.

The ritual is born of sex and blood.  You must fuck the darkest part of yourself, you must own it.  That is the person that you can claim when this is all over.  The self that understands what it truly wants, not merely the clear shallows of your easier yearnings.  Your blood should pound in your ears until the drumming is both a command and a question.  When you are ready, when it tells you to, answer it.

The words should burn your tongue like whiskey, like shame, like difficult truth.  You’ll feel something stir, in the oldest part of yourself.  Don’t be afraid.  This is the beast you can come home to.  This is the future you can claim without recrimination.  This is the joy you’ve always wanted, but didn’t yet deserve.

Take it.

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dave ring is the community chair of the OutWrite LGBTQ Book Festival in Washington, DC.  He was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow and a 2018 Futurescapes resident. More info at www.dave-ring.com.  Follow him on Twitter at @slickhop.