About Joe Cotter

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Chapter 8 – All the wood from
All the coffins from
All time
Gathered together informally
To make a point

The old man slipped his fingers into various holes in Kil-nam’s head and tapped it against the dashboard to test his grip. The spider web fractures that haphazardly demarcated his friend’s skull—Vises make indiscriminate cartographers ♫♪♫—had been perfectly reproduced on the windshield when the tunnel abruptly (and unexpectedly) narrowed and brought the truck to a […]

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Chapter 7 – “One slobber smoothie, please.”
“Vitamins are absorbed faster if you get them straight from slobber.”
(Nods knowingly)

His first thought upon waking was an associative one. That is, that asphyxiation is a Korean pop song. With subsequent thoughts unfettered by those nasty brutes, oxygen molecules, he realized that a phone was ringing, that its ringtone was a chart topper of the most retarding kind, and that it was heavily muffled by whatever […]

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Chapter 6 – The sun fell down the volcano
And ash filled every footprint

  I perceive winter hiding behind the persimmon tree. Unforgiving yet misunderstood. It has spent nine months planning its ambush, but fortunately one out of every million coffee globules that enter my bloodstream is reserved for use in an emergency, and I draw upon these extra stores of wisdom to devise a plan. Rather than […]

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Chapter 5 – “How long was it on my teef
before I noticed?”

Chuckles locked the door as quietly as possible and spent his customary forty-five seconds trying to extract the key from the lock. Young-gi was not to be disturbed. As Chuckles later explained to his soup and a blind woman, “What could I do? Tie him up? With what? Bread ties? A shoelace? I can’t tie […]

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Chapter 4 – The Gargler and The Gurgler

  The old man wished to verbalize his distaste for the mouthwash. He’d lately been talking to himself even when he suspected he was too cranky or drunk to respond. But his lungs, like some petulant three-year-old from northern climes in the throes of a tropical fit, nosily reminded him of his duty, before all […]

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Chapter 3 – “I am a lap hound
with a velvet tongue
and persnickety grooming habits.”

  Chuckles woke up facedown in grape mush, his top lip obstructing both nostrils. His throat was a scab, undulating ridges of craggy scabs, with a white chalk figure defining its contours with a skateboard. Clouds of chalk dust flew up and settled in the scab crevices as it screeched and skidded through Chuckles’s throat […]

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Chapter 2 – Echo of a murmur

  His consciousness drifts alongside itself in a mellifluous whirlpool of time, nothing at the bottom, stillness at the center, a stillness so final the malleable edges of his awareness melt away into…what’s that sound? He is flat on his back, flat on his back, a new kind of flat that renders tops and bottoms […]

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Chapter 1 – Pogo in slow-mo
like a funk-wrapped mummy on a trampoline

  The knock at his door lingered a bit too long in the grains of wood, had its urgency sapped by the fibers, entered a little too meekly the home of a bouncy mind that was forever elsewhere. So it went unnoticed at first.   Some kind of tea was jangling down his throat in […]

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Prologue – Tunnel Rat

  The previous night he’d been no different than any of the other poor dusty souls on the work crew. Resignation just as advanced. Purpose equally forgotten. Blisters showing the same organizational aptitude and ambition. But that morning, as he sat cross-legged in the subterranean dawn and waited for his uncut morning noodle and unripe […]

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