Art by Angela Xu & Text by Peter Tieryas Liu
I once visited an abattoir. In the corner, next to slabs of sliced cows and dead pigs, were a stack of discarded dictionaries and unused heel racks. The smell offended me, a magma of dubious tastes whispering suggestions of the possibility of three impossibilities- a stopwatch that registers wasted seconds, mail distributed in volatile bursts bound by nose hair, a machete that can rip through an imagined childhood and dissipate delusional longing. All memories are eventually orphaned, just like fads and irresolute love. I have to take an evolutionist’s approach to childhood, a business mentality based on zoo park ethics and the French bazaar serving veal, oysters, and a macerated skunk. Reminiscing is more often than not an inheritance based on displeasing odors, an intolerance cherishing the scorching breath of the tenacity of a snail trying to respire. I live in the projection of abandoned carnivals, painting jollity against a pane of rusticated sorrow. Joy tremors in my mind, keeping me awake in the late hours, swinging in swirls that remind me of the importance of propagating triviality- the thousand grievances that merrily haunt rather than plaintively illuminate.
Angela Xu is an international photographer who enjoys taking photos of the obscure. Some of her photography has appeared in the Adirondack Review, anderbo.com, and LitNImage.
Peter Tieryas Liu has stories published or forthcoming in the Bitter Oleander, Camera Obscura Journal, decomP, the Evergreen Review, and the Indiana Review. He can be found at tieryas.wordpress.com.