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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Marc Baez

Lou spots Heather on a bar's patio and says "The sun is up rotting things happily without correction. And you ride fists into longer tremors of yourself spread hand to mouth or lost in a helium of wizzes. And I got it bad. But it's not just me. Mountains are forced to eat the animals that die on them. Antarctica can't get out of its ice. And trees are denied the pleasure of taking a mean shit and sipping rum. So be useful. With some love tied to a roof thrown over a thought trapped in its own flexibility, put a gun to your temple and pull the trigger, your face suddenly a wild pig! We slosh. We'd bomb on a canvas. And grace runs the gamut from air to a man rolling back on a sidewalk to smell his feet. I wish I was an asleep foot's blood, or even better byes nailed by grins to girls combing their hair in the universe's snarl. And though you want to build a cranium around a sniff of yourself dancing, why don't you walk over here, sing, and then just kinda stay that way in a blown-out rawness slowly alone pimping your blue to me when I lean. What else you want to do? Burn down. Steal hover for whips. Twist a playground into the pipes of a wind instrument able to produce the notes we think death has written us. That doesn't work! Who's our leader? A leaf? Heisenberg? Are we pointed at bitching spires with mercy?" Heather "I dunno. The tantrums spread their centers. Songs block tools. A crow in hope. About days. Whiff of folds. Talk brews lights a smile massaged by tangled-hair ridicules. And what about legs, a horn's nod to whipped off shirts, or anything. Some mind waving its rags. A dog out of breath in Finland. Insomnia's hurt gun stuffed with fumbled sugar. Idea fiddling itself in vodka. Nights tailed by hands. Palpable of rush. More piling on. Trumpet cringe. Haze in bow. Another thought's merry particles off to see the blizzard. This can't be our life. It can? Where's my Jesus!" Lou: "Nowheres. Heaven doesn't exist, and that's not beats, or a glisten for cutting through gospel. I'm moved. So meet me by the thinking stuck in Tu Fu's tea-steam, by the twist of that old lady's teeth. I've got a thought perfect for black lipstick. And it's clear we're together, inarticulate. The light on entire seas has a communication problem. Van Gogh painted seas. His colors taken hot off the presses of the eyes of amazed retarded kids. Heather! In my pocket, a ten. In your laugh, fantasy able metals raised. Inside our bartender's mouth, a smell. I'll bet he's got a girl hidden in his basement whose beauty moves the capes of the sand in every murderer's sleep. He's a genius. And old. Is everybody sick? Grandparents down the drain of their genuine shaking. The mere chance the Mississippi River is a mess left by R. Crumb bailing himself out of a bad dream with his hat. And there really is no heaven? Not even a little of it? None?" Heather: "Forget about it. A quicker ganging of strings falls on a news. The librarian sparkles. Flies in trees. A smile all its laura in cracks. Thought makes utter blood. The headache's seamstress has it up. Brunt-specks throughout the tune's cycle. Running shine!" And inspired they knock out the bartender and create a drink based on their current emotions. Now a fellow passes the door ringing a bell. He shouts "Hear ye! Hear ye! Anything is greatly improved on multiple levels by the presence of a large man with a beard: sea voyages, experiments, long walks, murders, happy drunken evenings rooted in imaginary verves, gold rushes, love-triangles, bonfires, afternoons with nothing to do, searches for lost children, prize-committees, dangerous commitments to the elements, breakthroughs in tenor, rides in stolen cars, the attempt to make beer, grow marijuana, and settle arguments with dogs or entire systems of knowledge, tours of Europe, serious irreversible alcoholism at fifty, nude swimming, insect hunts in Mexico, card games, loss of sanity to a corner, double-dates, cook-outs, rock concerts, naps on tables, missions to the bottom of the sea, psychological collection, Detroit yards, red-faced visits to prostitutes, a brief sense of transcendence under a Sycamore's branches, a dark house, an army unit, the Russian Tea Room, a mob on a street with its own reasons invented just for the occasion, a Jacuzzi filled with teenagers experiencing dizziness, an eighteen-wheel rig pulling into a reststop Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, the back of a classroom, the roof of a prison, the stage of a theater company putting on a really tight production of a Midsummer Night's Dream, a seat in the President's cabinet, a position in Yoga, a conversation in which it is asserted that life is a wallowed-in balloon lifted by screams or whatever, and his nailed-wristedness gave suffering a memorable pose as did Bob Fosse his fancy butts, a brief field possessed by wine-drunkenness, the front of a line for work, the chorus of a song, a coffin going into its hole." The fellow then dashes into a cab and is gone. In a window above the cloud left by the cab Tina sings to the man in the window munching olives above her "Prowl loops. Airs. Tell time spirals binge pull drifted tops. Li Po bears open hots slug pearl of Junes shading. Apples paint slung overgrown hip affectionately with old hair prance in tenses and sing through fingers worry and orientation what from, what thought yet, blackening how, other things." The man sings back "A violet away from another one, and lost. Who door pear depth. What branches are ours and when? Young cave." And Tina jumps out the window into his arms. A ribbon from her hair falls and lands on a boom-box from whose speakers a newsman says "Eyes cooking what they're thinking. It's quite a thing. Not the only thing. Look at birds. Glare slumped. The old and their sticks. A girl playing with her hair like it's a gun. It has similar rules. The Bering Sea builds muscle and color underwater. The train makes a screech I'd send a love note to if it'd just stay in one place. Nothing I actually want has an address. A sadness hangs to hook the far. You lean. Blow a lingering knot. Otis Redding can sing rings onto your fingers you can't take off. And then Illinois has Lake Michigan. What does it know? Fuggit. Saddle your spit and go! That's ambition. A tree has ambition. So does Joy Division and anything else firing. An oak tree fires a leaf at your shoulder. A GTO fires as it passes. You pass your fingers through some tea-steam and wish you were its fire. The bus is late. A stray dog lavishes your hand with its tongue. A memorable possession. What's your job? A few kids run by as if that's their job. When I was a kid we'd mount each other and kick. And now I lay around reading Spring and All. Saddle my love handles and go! Here's Mike with Traffic." Mike: "Good afternoon motherfuckers. On my left is The Kennedy. It's got problems. And so do you if you don't love Al Green singing with his eyes closed. He can sing babies into your stomach, put grownups between your teeth. He can pull your mortality back on a rubberband and shoot you at bigger aches. His voice at times too much grief. Fuggit. Saddle it anyway. Ahead is the art." Shutting off the boom-box Keith says to his Mother sitting on it "Today I saw a baby feeding and he looked so happy. It was like all the best lines Shakespeare ever wrote had banded together and were holding up the breast he drank from. I was bringing a pie to my friend. He used to have a Ma too. Her milk made him wilder than a comic book with crooked teeth. But now his pain is deep. It has a Russian beard. And he sits in a nuthouse biting his hands to keep himself interested in consciousness, his hair looking fucked with by excited fairy-tale fingers, maybe trying to get at the ballerina-hipped gunk in his head. But I don't cry. I hum astride a volcano that bubbles over with lips in a thought I add speed to and pinch more awake. Ma look! Over there a bum-wicked dizziness knifes itself for mystery and adventure." Ma: "That's just pragmatism boy. Then there's sludge. Height twirled. The grip of a crop of drives overdosing on feathers. And remember. Top beauties huff flexed cracks and ignore the pouring creeps hunches bond and push at instruments chewed by thrust. So you'll rot in a library's purrs." Keith does a pirouette and screams "But I need a rip! Bellowing loop of dream-stink. What is Mount Everest trying to prove? If I think wiser will I land in a sublime fort with all day to hover and darken, or will I fall asleep? Yes. While others blow and fatten the pouts I want to burn. Ma. Days with those who belt it, double back on the curves they throw, as crumbs hung onto sails guitaring themselves into hot, and arias stayed in their balloons, upped what thought was putting into the pot, and busted it, practiced glistens, stroked its own guts, while cup held wrong, and hills of rave, and grabbed the singing behind one's back! Sometimes when I can't sleep I stand outside. I am a stationary target. Bump me and see what happens." Ma snores. A boy and girl on skateboards whoosh by in conversation. Boy: "New talents bench-pressing nights of Latin blood. Moan and its glider. Let's ditch school tomorrow! Break a table looking for music. Leave ours shirts unbuttoned in mortality's wish-interesting heaviness, every thought a fallen tooth pitched to days already felt through. And drink scotch! Though what do they do in other countries?" Girl: "France gazes at sauces, complicated newspaper sentences. Italy walks back and forth speaking Italian fluently. And Spain wears excellent pants." Boy: "Terrific! Who are we?" Girl: "I'm Francine. I like records. And my head bundles affections rooted in the hustle of my anus gurgling its doom-sweets." Boy: "I'm Tom. And I'm persuaded by cores only the bluest child geniuses intuit while prying open walks of rosiness among a carbonated fluttering of self involved wings. Are you listening? I am. What's his name felt this too. Abandoned by green eyes, with sexually transmitted birds in his head, he burns low-probability graces in a budging shadow. No sleep for days. Which is a dynamic sealant, sticking him and immensity together! Immensities are swell. Like the sky. The sky has a great ass. But I like you better. You're on the ground. So let's keep going. We're in love!" Girl: "Imagine if, breath as though."