Four prose pieces by /Peter Cherches

Called “one of the innovators of the short short story” by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches’ most recent book is Tracks: Memoirs from a Life with Music (Bamboo Dart Press). His writing has appeared in scores of magazines, anthologies and websites, including Harper’sTransatlantic Review, FlashBombSemiotext(e), and Fiction International, as well as Billy Collins’ Poetry 180 website and anthology. He has published three volumes of short prose fiction with Pelekinesis since 2013: Lift Your Right ArmAutobiography Without Words, and Whistler’s Mother’s Son

Cornered

I find myself in a corner. Of a page or a room, I can’t tell. It’s white, the page or the room. That’s little help. Rooms are often white, and pages more often. Are those words I see, or furniture? Rooms are often white, the furniture says. I find myself in a room of words, a furnished page. A page with a view, or a room with a point of view. I’d like to know how it would feel to dip my toe into this sentence. No different, really, than any other dip of the toe. I could discourse for hours on toe dipping, both literal and figurative, but hours of discourse on toe dipping would be rather ironic, don’t you think?

    I’m trying to work my way out of the corner. It’s work. I don’t know how I found myself in the corner in the first place. I wasn’t backed into it, not that I can remember.

    Could it be a third thing? What would that be if not a page and not a room? Could a third thing be both not a page and not a room and both a page and a room?

     I find myself in a corner. Of a third thing. Not a page. Not a room. Perhaps a pageroom. Or a roompage.

    Would it make any difference?

    I find myself in a corner of a roompage. I survey the roompage, my roompage, from the corner, my corner. 

    And I am pleased. 

Dialogue

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

    “It is what it is.”

    “Whatever.”

Sects

    Once nothing more than a piece of junk, it’s now a venerated object. It is a venerated piece of junk, a sign of humility for its worshippers. It is a humble piece of shit, venerated for its shittiness. It is not literally a piece of shit. You’re thinking of a different sect.

Dream of Me

    I like to sleep with Maya, and she seems to like it too, for a while, at least, but then, sometime late into the night, it’s inevitable, she’ll all of a sudden up and push me off the bed. I was dreaming of Oscar this time, when she pushed me. Right onto the floor.

    Damn, woman, what’s wrong with you? 

    Oscar was my best friend, but I couldn’t see him in the dream, I could smell him, smell him with canine acuity. I was sitting on a bank of sand, watching the river flow, when I smelled him, Oscar. In my dream, the river was Oscar, yet Oscar hadn’t drowned, he had died of old age, peacefully in his sleep, the death many of us wish for. It wasn’t a nightmare, it was a peaceful dream, me sitting there in quiet contemplation, watching the river, the River Oscar, remembering the good times we had together. And then she had to ruin it, waking me out of my dream with a push. 

    “I know you were dreaming of him again,” she shouted. “Dream of me!”

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