Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 9
Winter, 2012
Featured painting, ©2011 by David Ho : where it hurts, oils on giclee canvas.

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Rory Fleming

Palette Swap

Lugea exists in the land of darkness. His fists are meteors. When a speckle of light encroaches on the shapeless area, Lugea punches it until it retreats. What he does not know is that all the lights emanate from the same source, that he is punching the same pool of light. He sits on the blackened ground, with his hands burning up, and wonders what his face looks like. He can see his ashen feet and legs, the granite of his stomach, but he cannot see his face. He wonders if it is soft or hard. If it is soft, he cannot touch it.
As he is dozing off, a new dot of yellow light flickers on. His fists never open—as they are meteors—so he is already prepared. He lunges forward to meet the light and tears the darkness. Like a hole in fabric he once wore, it gets bigger and bigger until he falls into it, and finds the colors inverted. It is all light and he is the speckle of darkness. He wanders the new dimension with the pit of his elbow covering his searing eyes.
Maura exists in the land of light. She has no arms because her body is a pillar of rotating ranunculi. Her pinks and yellows are transparent, almost white in the light. Each petal has its own ear canal. She hears the stomping and it threatens to deafen her.
Lugea feels around with his meteor fist but does not know what anything feels like, so he does not know what he touches. In a matter of time, he bumps into Maura and falls on his rear. Her petals spread, revealing an aqueous face with two swimming pupils.
"I was waiting for you," she rumbles to the collapsed Lugea, who returns to his feet. Because he does not know what waiting means and cannot hear her, he winds up his punch. The first meteor flies through the water and pops through the other side. Pieces of dead rock crumble out of his molten fist. He guards himself with his other arm. The second meteor comes and misses her eyes, which float around her head. He does her no bodily harm. He gives up, but does not realize he has hurt her feelings.
"You are scared," her waters echo, "You will never learn if you do not remove the shield from your eyes."
Lugea has not been taught to think, though he wonders if he has a face, and if someone did that to him what would be left of it, left of him. He wants to return to the land of darkness, where no one else can see his failures. But he knows too that Maura can be a friend, so he sits and waits, hoping that one day shadows can mix with the light.
The extinguished meteors fall off, giving way to newly sprouted hands.

Rory Fleming is a writer of prose and poetry who believes in fiction that maps the true psychology of the human species: nonlinear irrationality. Magic. A —> ? —> B. He chases the in-between.