"Gematria": The honeycomb; the scutes of a turtle’s carapace; the ideal crystalline structure of graphine and Hanksite; Benzene, the simplest aromatic compound; the James Webb Space Telescope—efficient polygons with six edges and six verticals. A regular hexagon has six rotational symmetries and six reflection symmetries; these make up the dihedral group D6....
The desire for change—the quest for originality—is empowered by stagnation, by the fear of being fixed within a posture of decline. That other straw men burn before the altar of the idem is not cause enough to join them, to wallow in the comfort of some transcendental plan. For me, there is no promise in the specter of the witness, in being forced to smut the lens that trains upon the page, so much as by a history surrendered to discernment, the bearing of some harborage between…
I thought about all the baby had experienced, and concluded that her name should be Amulet baby, since she was strong and mysteriously unharmed by the elements of hunger and sickness. I sang her name a few times: “Amulet baby,” I said, and in my mind retired the name of limp baby, and she smiled at me so that I knew she liked her name.
"All that rain. All that rain that gets down in the soilmeat under the mulch and sometimes it all slides down the hill that faces the backporch. Everything collects at the bottom of the backporch stairs. Night crawlers ooze out too a lot of the time. Coil-nerves. Dead rabbit parts—couple times. Raccoon parts. Never know what to expect oozing out of the ground with a mouth froze open or lifeless eyes making a seize on me. I tell the other kids at school about this stuff and they say I have satanic addictions but I just like to describe things as they happen because I like to describe."
The host is able to use you like a normal tongue would be used after the transition has been made. This transition is really a translation, isn’t it? A body-torque. I am so stimulated by this notion of the foster tongue. The surrogate that continues on with you, inside of you, once having made its place, its residence, within. The louse is a cyborg success that while taking away from the host fish, also adds to it. To act in accordance with, to embody visceral tandems.
"Lil Kim was important to physics. She came up with the 'Gigantic Shit Ton of Shit We Cannot Understand Theory' which attempts to make sense of the ways in which the universe can be so fundamentally fucked the hell up." Short fictions from MR Sheffield’s manuscript, We Are the Blood, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.
"In our actions we are beyond the believable and we divine, through tea leaves or wind, chemical signals, market rates or text codes of our clan— where we are driven next— furthest from before. Join our little gathering despite these many faults and without which we wonder whose art is reverential. Meet our misshapen family." Excerpts from Laynie Browne’s novel manuscript, Periodic Companions, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.
"Sometimes I would rub my face in the corner where the blue carpet smelled like damp, burning goat candles and then my face would smell like damp, burning goat candles." Excerpt from Mark Baumer’s fiction manuscript, Yachts, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.
"Fire stormed on ice that winter night. Down turned to coal inside my pillow. A sky above my ceiling and the Devil bright red in it, I ate God’s Holy Bible. One prophet at a time. Deep within my bowels, his mercies turned to sour meal." Excerpts from Brian Kubarycz’s fiction manuscript, The Instruments I Used, a finalist for the 2015 TS Book Prize.