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Hypergraphia has its upsides

Alexander Maksik Archive

Leaving

July 26th, 2009
by Alexander Maksik

PARIS-

These arrangements of empty chairs are what’s left of celebration, argument, meditation, sleep and revelation.  They huddle together like still animals in the cold.  From a chair beneath a plane tree, the round tracks of a cane disappear into the gravel.

The single chairs are absent of their poets, readers and afternoon philosophers.

Those side by side and face to face are absent of their lovers, their chess players, the soon to be married and the just abandoned.

The great groups of circles and strange half-moons have lost their lecturers, their students.

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Cadeaux: A Love Letter

March 23rd, 2009
by Alexander Maksik

PARIS, FRANCE -

The first I gave you was Farewell, My Only One by Antoine Audouard, a novel written in French, translated into English and shipped across the ocean where I found it on a shelf in the mountains.  I lay it in my suitcase and took it back to France where I put it in your hands.

The first you gave me was a leftover jar of olives (a remnant of your ruined vacation) and when you were gone I ate them alone wishing you’d stayed.  You offered me the idea that I might not disintegrate, might make it through.  It’s the same gift you continue to give, the one I found years ago in a jar you’d bought with someone else, for some other life.

You know the place, the smell, the feel of cheap tile beneath your bare feet.  You know the kitchen and what you can see from there.  You know all of it so I’ll excuse myself from the burden of trying to describe a thing so far beyond language. (more…)


Call Me In Ten Years

February 8th, 2009
by Alexander Maksik

PARIS, FRANCE -

After school we’d play two-hand touch on our front lawns.  These were years when the LAPD was cruising around handing out limited edition baseball cards to the neighborhood kids and we were as safe in the streets as we were inside our own houses.  We spent every minute we could out there dreading the inevitable fall of darkness, being called to dinner, to our homework, to our beds.

When my parents went out they’d hire one of my father’s students to look after me. She’d cook me dinner and make me go to sleep on time.

One evening I was standing with my babysitter in front of our house in the soft dusk when a car came tearing around the corner and screeched to a stop.

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Gizzards, Jennifer Downes and the First Semen

January 10th, 2009
by Alexander Maksik

PARIS, FRANCE -

I.

With gleaming-white buckteeth, unharnessed by braces, Greg Downes had it rough.  His wide brown eyes revealed every injustice he’d ever endured.  Every time he’d been tricked, teased or made to eat grass, it was all there in his big wounded antelope eyes.

When Greg was angry, which was often, he’d sit on the curb in front of his house with his feet in the gutter and his shoulders hunched high about his ears.  He thought it made him look like a high school football player and he told us so.

“I’m a football player,” he’d say.  “So, fuck you.”

We teased him until he cracked.  Which was the goal.  We wanted the spectacle.  When he’d snap he’d lose his mind and hold up both hands and give us all the double-finger: two long middle digits pointing to the sky, respective servants, pointer and index, kneeling prostrate at their sides.

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