Image used without permission from Zach

A spot of context: When I was in my freshman year of high school, I won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award for my short screenplay, Invasion of the Puppy Peoples, that I had actually written in junior high based on characters my friends and I had dreamed up in elementary school. Yeah, I was sort of a wunderkinder. It was a great experience for a young dreamer such as myself, as well as a humbling one. Puppy Peoples was parody of the zaniest variety, while some of the other writers, only a couple of years my senior, were wandering in Beckett’s and Kafka’s footsteps, writing things that mattered–and were damned funny as well. Or it could have been that they were roughly plagiarizing Beckett and Kafka; it’s too long ago for me to remember clearly and, in any case, I did plenty of pseudo-plagiarism of my own in those days. The takeaway message is that I returned from the award ceremony in Washington, D.C., determined to become a serious writer and, as a natural consequence of that action, to take gold the next year.

When submission season rolled around, I was ceased by a vague but gripping vision. A subhuman, feral romance. Tarzan gone wrong. The idiom of a werewolf. Pseudo-Latinate gibberish (or sound poetry?). I sat at my computer, put Bartók’s “Allegro” (from the Being John Malkovich soundtrack, naturally) on a constant loop, and wrote the following. What I have presented here is the manuscript exactly as I submitted it to the Scholastic awards. I think it’s pretty scary.


Vines hanging darkening clinging to wet face, swinging gentleness caress of matrimanus and gone and back, scattered. Eyes seeking, finding nexus, movement once again. Snuffling, seeking scentral figure. Up and down, tops and trunks for spoor and discovery, and movement again. Now leaves, dirt pouncing pounding thudding, quickening as muscles. Loss of mind, muscles thudding sending wailing to head, not-thought nought in nexus, caught once again in stalk-mind. Trunks fleeing, unvibing, nexus caught in ground excluding pouncing pounding thudding. Wetness vaulting treeward in bars confine of quick-dissolving nexus. Scentral figure muddled huddling confusingratiatingly in leap of dirt, leaves firm.

Mind usurping once again, pawsing for spoor. Nexus. Despair, muscles tearing leaves, dirt treeward, bareying disgrace of loss-stalk. Loss loss loss loss loss loss loss loss desperation loss loss loss loss loss putrefabortion loss loss loss loss loss inadequacy loss loss lost cost cor. Mind wailing to muscles, nullify to panic. Circles, of triplex rotatransitory, prying spoors for traceness in stalk, not-stalk-mind still seeking, hiding from life. Finding nexus. Now howling despair at glowing reflection refraction of life-light in infinitum. I: despair for loss-stalk. I: tracing tracking finding nexus, stalk-mind intruding muscles thudding wailing. I: fatigue dragging drawing. Being gravitating to nexus exhaustion, into cavity. Loss-being.

Memories opening channel life-light flooding not-mind. Cor-panion jesticulating fleeting showing hiding trunks inhuming cor-panion. Seeking spores life-light enveloping revealing cavity. Howling up cor-panion flooding life-light thudding neoantiquity. I: passion seeking cortship tripture of languevity. Trunks rising prism vertality shedding life-light leaves firm. Spores dancing twirling corvulsion breath carrying treeward. Warm life-light splashing gentimentality filling vacuity in cor. Cloud lingering treeward, illumination capering spiraluality of mind-mind-mind swimming life-light.

Growling down shaking life springing disrupture chaos. Nexus fissure spreading catching strands dancing carried treeward. Burning yearning annuls pyrobliterate seeking searching cormencing. Despair stalk-mind germinate beginning cor-ruption life-light shading membrane encasing darkenly vision of cor-panion. Wetness ambuscade dropping clopping hopping pouncing dirt, leaves pulpous. Spores abductation of coration.

Being pounding up from. Extranouveus life-being flooding from. Muzzle seeking. Finding. And now moving once again. Muscles shrieking howling, not-stalk-mind clashing clammering, now muscles now not-stalk-mind. Nil erratum, internal balance bringing victorious howling. Not-far. Stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk. Not-stalk-mind navigattrition muscles computrefaction void seeking slaying despair. Not-mind vossifying beating eternatural rhythms. Stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stall stall stalk stalk stalk stall still stall still not-stall stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk stalk silk silt soot root rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot rot decorposition. Mind caught in dismalady, rebelling. Howling up life-light. I: advanteichance, not-loss. I: craving stalk-mind usurping, not-loss necessarium stalk-mind resisting seeking balance.

Visual reception stalk not-seeing not-hearing scentral eminence stalk. Howling stalk. I: stalk stalk stalk stock. Stalk hearing, up up up up up. I: join void cor-pulence. Stalk howling down to dirt, leaves, place of unrest being. Stalk: no no no know gnaw sinew. Muscles, stalk-mind screeching control. Stalk nexus. I: join need nexusarium corpe diem. Stalk: please. Memory of cor-panion romp and circumstance, hanging life-lightenly, pouncing thudding pounding not-muscles. Moaning to stalk-mind, want want want want wont woe. Nexus infinitum, void cor. Up trunk seeing feeling stalk.

Stalk howling up want-need. I, howling up great fullfilament. Muscles tracing tearing stalk, crimson life-light flowing warm from new rupture rapture. Soaking bright life-light, bareying muzzle in void, filling vacuum. Nexus eliminatum perpetuality. Howling up great life-light in infinitum void, shining filling cavity. I: vivacity in amort. Sinking slithering blithe loss-being, cradling stalk, stalk cor-pse. I: nexus in captivitum.

We: nexus.


P.S.: In case you were wondering, I did not take gold, or even an honorable mention, for “Lupocalypse.” But I did not stop writing.

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