I tend to go backward. As much of us do now, we ration, then devour. Especially with media. There’s no way I could’ve withstood waiting a week between episodes of Battlestar Galactica. No, Netflix was my friend there. And as for literature, I am samesies.
Issue Eight: Creation of Annalemma is a thin, sure blade compared with other hoss issues, like, say, Issue Six: Sacrifice. But it holds up well. Inside is a story “South Beach” by Ryan Rivas. Here’s the first paragraph:
After Eve ate the apple, God created South Beach. He, Himself, was a bit stoned at the time.
I originally read this story online because it was published after a story I had online. I was sad to see my story replaced in the featured position, but that disappointment died soon after I read the above. And continued. Rivas conflates and chops up the Genesis account with Christ’s New Testament cameo and sprinkles it with angel dust on a dirty hotel mirror.
When Christ turned sixteen, and realized His name came from a curse word spraypainted on a wall of the abandoned lifeguard tower in which He was conceived, He ran away from home.
The biblical language pervades throughout. “God underwent a spiritual crisis. He took a second look at the Bible and diagnosed Himself bipolar.” How much of the Good Book could be reduced to this summary? The Father and Son bicker and disagree like trailer trash, like a drop-out and a four-toothed mechanic. It doesn’t do much for the Florida Tourist Board or the Miami Chamber of Commerce. But it paints a new white coat on the Greatest Story Ever Told.
God had to admit, the boy had balls. To die like that, again and again. To block the bowels of Hell instead of getting high in Heaven.
Because the issue is centered on creation, Sam Libby’s story “And It Was Good” also picks up on the biblical-esque sense of cosmic lovemaking. “In the beginning there was darkness and time, but there was no God.” Both of these stories operate on similar levels. They both want to subvert classic lines. But they also deviate at that point. Rivas wants to put a cheap nail polish gloss on the holy trinity, and Libby wants to strip the polish off and show that there is no trinity. Only Nature.
As you may have guessed already, between the earth and the sky, well:
It was not to be.
The sky did not want to be touched. The sky didn’t want to lose the only thing that made it different from the darkness on its backside.
We will pause here because this is an important point. We’ll get to the fire and ice later, burning of deep desire–etc. But just a moment, please.