SSM: “from Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City” by Michael Bible

19 May

I’m trying to figure out how I feel about the Electric City. I’m trying to figure out how this fits into Short Story Month. I suppose it’s another excerpt, but I’m okay with that. The whole of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City works in vignettes, and so to excerpt these, to me, fits into SSM quite well, like in featuring this series of vignettes from the Electric City is like featuring 10 stories in 1 day.

There is just something about the language here, something about how the vignettes work and tumble, separate but together as a whole. It reminds me somewhat of Berryman’s Dream Songs meets Hunter S. meets Jamie Iredell’s Prose. Poems. a Novel.

The stars are incumbent out here in the mystery. A long electric hum comes from the city. The Apache named Shoe is hunched in half shadow, half light. His headdress makes him seem wise. He holds a hot knife between his teeth and rubs fresh blood on his cheeks. Christ killed the deer and the Apache cleaned it.


Forever found me eating wild apples on an island. He nuzzled my ear with his nose. He is calico, strong of spirit and body. The first morning we rode from the beaches to the end of the forest where we rested and I sang him a song.


Charlie West and I have twins in the old abandoned hospital. His twin is a bank teller, mine is a kindergarten teacher. We take them back to the old surgical theater and lick them. They are redheads and chubby and there is blue light coming from a crack in the door. I hear a noise and it is the cops outside. There are the ghosts of all the dead patients and Charlie and I are laughing, running half naked through the ward.

Read the full story at Barrelhouse.

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