Author's Exquisite Corpse January-February 2019

This year, instead of publishing one massive exquisite corpse sometime early next year, we’ll be publishing it in chunks as we go along. Think of it as a semi-regular literary journal with contributions from both established authors and new voices. (If you want to read the whole thing, start here, then go here, and then here.)

First, where we left off at the end of 2018


It can be negotiated delicately, however, if one has confined themselves only to cocktails, provided the confinement is not too potent.

-Sonya Taaffe, 11/16/18


The most important thing in resolving conflicts is to find something all parties can feel good about.

-Bill Cummings, 11/20/18


Now, on with the story!


Luckily, Bree could feel good about may things, including putting some serious hurt on her enemies.

-Clea Simon, 1/3/19


Days passed and Bree settled into a routine. She even started to think that the troubles she’d endured were truly in the past. But memory is a tricky thing, and Bree could not outrun those who were patiently waiting for revenge.

-Monica Tesler, 1/4/19 


So Bree decided to stop hiding and finally face the ghosts of her past that had been haunting her for more than a decade. She picked up her phone, took a deep breath, and sent the first text.

-Karen McManus, 1/8/19


“I bought a dog,” she wrote. “LOL. A rescue. You’d like him, a little Sheltie.” She sent the text. Wondered what to say next. “Long time,” she wrote, “How have you been?”

-Suzanne Matson, 1/9/19


Then the dots, the waiting. She loved her phone almost as much as she hated it, how much it held, how much went through it, a body it was ,secreting, emoting, making her way. With a sharp decisive swipe, she turns it off.

-Elizabeth Graver, 1/9/19


Phone off, she flung it into the abyss that gaped before her feet, turned, dug her fingers in the place where the griffin’s feathers met his fur and leaped aboard his back.

-Katherine Arden, 1/11/19


While aboard, she started to have second thoughts--and then third ones. Could she really live without her phone? And what is someone found hers in the abyss, opened her text messages and discovered…

-Julie Dobrow, 1/16/19


that it, and all of the many others were written by…

-Michael Downing, 1/17/19


a distant relation of the notorious punster, all of whose notes contained hidden…

-James Geary, 1/18/19


deep within the wholeness of time. If only she had remembered to wind her watch. Now time chased her instead of the other way around.

-Jessica Lucci, 1/22/19


And the other way wasn’t anything to be proud of--there were dragons and danger and distorted ideas of justice and millions looking for redemption in the bottom of a Coke can…

-Jane Brox, 1/23/18


I saw Gerome’s Bacchante--the ram’s horns sprouted through a young girl’s red hair. She had no shame, didn’t try to cover them with a velvet hat, let them shine like her brown silk dress, they curled back, delighted by their own existence.

-Jennifer Martelli, 1/25/19


“Your horns,” I said--unable to muster anything more. “Excuse me?” she replied, flatly. And it occurred suddenly--these were urgent, recent.

-Phil Kay, 1/13/10


“I said, ‘Your horns!’” I said emphatically.

-Brigid Kimmerer, 2/1/19


He looked at me blankly. “You need to clean out your HORNS!” I yelled.

-A.C. Gaughen, 2/1/19


He looked even more plaintive. “Why do you always nag me about my horns?” he said.

-Susan Napier, 2/6/19


“He said?” she said. “What kind of a thing is that to say?” He said: “He said he said it.” “So,” said she, “What does that say?” And on…

-Adina Hoffman, 2/13/19


“It says nothing honey. That’s my point.” She lifted her glass of malbec. She sit it back down. “Are you fucking serious?” “I’m going to the gym. Or maybe I’ll get shit faced.”

-Andre Dubus III, 2/19/19


“I hate the way you talk! And I even hate that ‘going to the gym’ is your answer to everything. And worse--the spandex--pink!”

-Elinor Lipman, 2/25/19


“Spandex is the world’s best invention,” she answered and left with a swish of elastic fabric. And I was left feeling dehydrated. Tears take a lot of liquid from my body.”

-Lizzy Mason, 2/27/19