APEX CALIENTE is a zine of literature and weirdo art and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Submit stories, poems, art, nonfiction, and comix to Nathaniel Kennon Perkins via 13dv69@gmail. com. Reproduce by any means necessary. This is the right place.

KILL VALLEY
by J. ANDERSEN

R

onno had finally sold his last watch. It was one of six imitation Rolexes he had ordered from china for $30 dollars each to sell at $100 dollars each. Scoot and Sugar tell me it’s the latest of Ronno’s bids for a quick buck. “He didn’t expect the fortune he’d have to pay in customs fees.” Scoot says. “He claims he ‘broke even’ after selling them, but he had to have lost at least a hundred dollars on the whole deal.” Ronno, Scoot, and Sugar are my roommates at the Hotel Voodoo Down—the top floor of a duplex at the east end of Kill Valley. They were kind enough to take me in after finding me homeless and confused after a long bout with compression of the spirit… I had originally set out on a journey south, in search of a life where crisis was clean and beautiful and part of a higher purpose, and moments of intimacy were true like the sound of jazz. For too long, divine madness had diverted me—the kind of free-form democracy of the soul I had seen in great people during brief interactions and parallel coffee breaks. To partake of the same manna that fueled such people seemed inevitable, but only if I acted immediately. So I left home, no notice, no arrangements, just the path as she was life. I made it as far as Las Vegas when a strange brand of uneasiness found me. It was as though the paralyzing fears of another had been grafted to my quest, and the contrast was devastating. I initially attributed the feeling to lack of sleep and nourishment and checked into a motel off the strip for a night, but fatigue turned into a panic I couldn’t shake. The next morning, I turned north to face the defeat

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of home. The return trip was abnormally slow. I kept a consistent speed of 80 mph for the whole stretch, but the road seemed to pass under my wheels at 40. I tried repeatedly to come to terms with the phenomenon by convincing myself I was dreaming, but the knowledge of my own consciousness was an increasingly disturbing reality that sent me into a fit of anxiety. The madness peaked when Iggy Pop’s “Sister Midnight” came on the radio and I found myself on the outskirts of a strange city where my home town had been the day before. I avoided contact with anyone for days. I slept in my car. I ate next to nothing, paralyzed by the thought of spending a cent of the few hundred dollars I had left. The fear wouldn’t let up. Any attempts at assessing my situation made me crazier. I knew only that this was where home should be. The air felt the same, the streets felt the same, and the mountains were of parallel formation (though the deep green vegetation was absent, a lifeless brown surface in its place). But I was surrounded by foreign sounds and unfamiliar buildings. After much frenzied contemplation, I accepted the truth; I was where my own evil magnet had led me. I accepted this, and I cried. Scoot and Sugar found me at a gas station and asked me if I needed help. All I could manage to say was, “There’s nowhere else to go.” They say they initially approached me less out of charity and more out of curiosity. “You looked like you had seen hard times that no one else had seen in quite the same fashion. You looked like you had something we were missing.” Sugar says. “And we wanted to know what it was.” I met Ronno upon arrival at the Hotel Voodoo Down. He showed me to my room, pointed out where the bathroom was, and asked me if by chance I needed a new watch. I thanked him for showing me around and left it at that. A few days later, Scoot found me a custodial job at the local University. I’m still officially employed there, though I haven’t shown up since one of my co-workers offered to clock in for me every day for a small cut of my salary. I took the deal, figuring I could afford it as long as Scoot and Sugar continue to let me live at the Hotel Voodoo Down for free. I also briefly considered enrolling at KVU, but the uniform dress code and required vitamin regimen were enough to deter me from the idea for good.

…HERZLICH WILKOMMEN IN KILL VALLEY reads the sign on the highway that hugs the Kill Mountains. Scoot says the mountains are all made up of petrified feces of prehistoric giants that ruled this area. I step out onto the deck, breathe in the Kill Valley air, and feel numb again. The Lounge Lizard I come home from grocery shopping to find a suspicious looking terrarium at the foot of my bed. I hear the brief rustlings of the inhabitant, who lies hidden behind the large red rock at the center of the tank. I can see the end of a reptilian tale, unable to pinpoint the species of the creature…but discovering the exact identity of this intruder is not my priority at the moment. My greater concern is confronting its owner. “Sugar!” I yell his name down the hall. “Does this thing up here belong to you?!” My tone of blatant annoyance is perhaps what gets him to make the dreaded trip from his room to mine so quickly. “Uh, yeah…” He begins his explanation timidly once he reaches the top of the stairs and peers into my room. “…about that…I’m gonna need to keep this guy in your room for a while.” I don’t bother to ask why, I know I won’t receive a legitimate answer. “C’mon man, you gotta get this thing outa here. This is a small room and it’s taking up way too much floor space…besides, what are you doing with this thing anyway…and what the hell is it for that matter?” The beast must have heard my question. He slithers out from behind his red stone sanctuary to reveal himself…what a disgusting, pathetic, depraved creature. About the size of a chameleon, this decadent and majestic reptile slithers his way lazily up to the glass wall of his habitat, his pitch black eyes with swirling red pupils catching glimpses of us between sporadic, uncoordinated movement. Despite his arms and legs, all of which are abnormally small for his body, he uses his long thick tail as his only means of transportation while his body hovers above it in a recline position…like a fat emperor in a drunken stupor enjoying the comforts of a lush, invisible throne…His slimy reptilian skin is of a disconcerting cartoony pattern of colors; vivid dark blue and purple in uneven, zigzag stripes. His long crocodile-like snout hangs lazily open, revealing a disgusting set of uneven, jagged teeth and a long pinkish-gray tongue that hangs lazily down from the side of his mouth and sticks to his gluttonous belly at the tip.

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“It’s called a Lounge Lizard.” Sugar says as he looks at his watch. “It’s about time to feed him.” With that he briefly journeys back downstairs and returns with a small, burlap sack. He pulls out a large bottle of Schnapps, unscrews the cap, and extracts a bit of the stuff with a syringe. The Lounge Lizard sees Sugar approaching the terrarium and tilts his head back for a drink. Sugar turns to me as he kneels down and injects the vodka down the creature’s throat. “Would you mind reaching into that bag and handing me the Percocet?” I look at the bag, which now sits on my bed, and get a peek of the plethora of pain medication inside. I rummage through it for a few seconds and find a bottle of Percocet prescribed to someone named Bill Barrow. “Yeah, that’s it.” Sugar says as I toss him the bottle. He gently shakes out a few tablets into the Lounge Lizard’s mouth, who slowly but ravenously chomps the stuff down, then dumps the rest of the bottle into the terrarium. “That’s what you feed him?” I ask, wondering if such a diet is what turned this creature into what he is in the first place. “That’s what they eat man.” Sugar replies nonchalantly. “Anything less pure would kill him.” At this point, the Lounge Lizard starts groaning in deep, throaty, deadpan tones. To my alarm, he starts formulating words, some sort of prose that sounds familiar…”Wwwooooaaaaaa…llllyyyy…Liiifffe’s buuut a walking shadow…he he he…a poor player…thaaat strrrruts and frrrretssssss his hours upon the ssstage…and then is heard no more….It iissss…It is a t….ttt..tale told by an….an…an IDIOT…full of sound… and fury…and in the end…signifying nothing…” He finished his words with a lazy, quiet chuckle. “Was that Shakespeare?” I ask. “I think that was Shakespeare.” “Yeah, I think so.” Sugar says as he gets up from the tank and grabs the bag of drugs. “These things have been known to quote the darkest of prose from poets ranging from Shakespeare to Hart Crane… and they usually do it in the wee hours of the morning.” “Well, now you definitely can’t keep him in here.” “C’mon, man, it’ll only be for a couple weeks. Just grow a pair a nuts and deal with it for that long.” “You grow a pair a nuts and get this awful jackass creature out of my room!” I walk over to my bathroom door and turn back to give Sugar my final ultimatum. “Look man, I don’t have time to sit here and

argue with you about this. I gotta run some errands, so if I come home tonight, and this thing isn’t out of my room, I’m gonna hold you down and force-feed him to you, got it?” “Sorry man, I just thought you two would get along.” The Lounge Lizard looks up at me like some type of deranged nightmare puppy. “Well we probably would, but not if we’re living in the same tiny room.” When I leave the house the Lounge Lizard is laying on top of his rock asleep, his tiny arms and legs sprawled out in all directions. Perhaps I had been too harsh. Perhaps the thing wouldn’t be such a horrible roommate after all. I decide that if he’s still in my room when I get home tonight, I’ll let him stay. Lee’s Diner Friday nights in Kill Valley have proven to be a disappointing affair. I’m not quite sure if the city itself is to blame, or the burnt out, lackluster approach my roommates seem to take to weekends. Since I’ve only been living here a month, it’s hard to tell…but tonight I feel as though it’s a lethal combination of both. Kill Valley’s city center is a pathetic place of dead roads, burning automobile carcasses, and throbbing nightclubs. After the debauchery of failed attempts at scoring women and morphine at Starry Night— the most deviant of these clubs—my roommates and I find ourselves licking our wounds at Lee’s Diner, the only place in town where one can find affordable breakfast and hallucinogenic drugs at all hours. Though I’m in the mood for pancakes, I’m not necessarily in the state of mind required for the stale “country style flapjacks” they serve here, so I order the ham & eggs platter while Scoot whispers something into our mousy waitress’ ear and slips a 20 dollar bill into the pocket of her apron. I assume he’s scoring some of the crappy acid that Lee, the owner and cook, sells to personal acquaintances. After about twenty minutes, Lee himself brings out our food on water-stained plates and I wonder why Scoot’s acid hasn’t arrived with it. Lee is a tall, thick, sweaty man with the kind of face you wish you had at every party to keep the good vibes going. His deep, flamboyant voice and standard American accent reeks of drama and literacy, contrasting beautifully with his grease-stained apron and tattered beanie matting

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down his shaggy wet hair. Though I had never shared more than a few words with the man, I saw a kindred spirit in Lee ever since Scoot came home one afternoon with a photocopied excerpt from some sort of dream journal he had written: December 6, 1969 Blast of “Sympathy for the Devil” over loudspeakers as an Elephant Man leads me to my quarters, a small abandoned bungalow on the outskirts of the makeshift home-away-from-home gardens I can smell the scent of gray abandon instantly but it fades as I am attacked— gives me a mild case of the fear with his presence but mere presence of my new pet, a giant green chameleon—realize that he seldom leaves his perch atop a large difference, after all my stay was a very short one, only veteran of seat stench and rigged delusions of grandeur in the back room for the remainder of my stay chatting—the jungle air outside doesn’t penetrate the walls of my realization that this reptile is at least 100 years old—despite my curious mood my nausea looms over the remainder with the first one, then the other frantically twitching eye—no matter, I soon become accustomed to the beast as I am home, but even if it did I suppose it wouldn’t have made a greedy circus freak mentality he gives a little show with size of an electric guitar you understand, stares at me— carved stone sculpture in the front room, I mostly reside—his tongue picks the various suitable objects out of the room and SNAP into his crusty old mouth it’s then that someone has brought the Chameleon into the back room—but also wants to please those in the vicinity of his—it appears to me that the creature doesn’t want to be here for the duration of a capsuled timeless mind game for one with faceless comrades—it’s funny how the humid grip of old fool who has lost the ability to daydream pleasantly of this swirling studio session of radical indulgence. It’s time once again to leave the confines of my vile fantasy fragrances and return to the ominous overworld—they surround a warzone where humble patrons die young—his eyes are heavy, and his words are unexpected but as the sky gets grayer the intent of the time of day-fire and corporate wastelands that have haunted my dreams for so long, for so long have I seen the enemy, but after the fact it’s strange to think that amidst my too close a range to be equipped to battle them, or want becomes irrelevant, after all, this is only frozen—to battle them, for to fight is to wane the peace treaties—moment in a section of illusions and allusions, fade out—slumber there was my brother, somewhere else,

somewhere—desire to come any closer to peace, thoughts that trace hours later the moth-winged choppers are at it again—one of our old patriots, our prophet, arrives on the scene—the sky is pale orange, and there’s so much smoke of those who reluctantly came before us with no real unconscious pain, unable to experience the surreal, making it impossible to tell whether it’s dawn or dusk—tells us, “Remember love my friends, it’s the greatest painkiller what there is.”—my skull in the twilight of dream and dull consciousness—blast of “Sympathy for the Devil” over loudspeakers. Whenever that incredible veteran-of-fun Lee greets Scoot with a joke and a chuckle (and tonight an intimate, whispered conversation) I wish it was me he knew well enough to grant the rejuvenating power of his salutations. But he knows Scoot, and Scoot knows me, and I am but a humble patron of Lee’s Diner. I devour my ham & eggs with haste, finishing my meal long before everyone else as usual. It isn’t until I’m sipping on my coke that I realize what’s happened. I should never have complained to my buddies about how they spend Friday nights. It obviously got to them enough to spice things up for me…in their way. The clean-cut KVU students at the table next to us are slowly becoming two-dimensional—paper cut-outs of themselves. I look around and everyone else in the establishment seems to be suffering the same condition, except for my roommates, who have caught on to the fact that whatever they had Lee put in my food is taking effect. Ronno seems to be asking me a question, but his voice is so high and loud and he’s talking so fast that I can’t make out the words. The pounding in my head increases in intensity as everyone in the room starts chattering like a mad orgy of cartoon squirrels. One of the college students is dipping his fries in brown fry sauce and chomping them down at a disconcertingly accelerated speed. A woman at a table adjacent to ours cocks her head back and laughs with an inhuman high-pitched squeal. The whole mad scene has me frozen in fear until a straw with razor sharp fangs dripping with poison emerges from my violently bubbling coke and tries to take a bite out of my face. I’m frantically scurrying toward the doors, my exit, screaming at my idiot roommates to “take me home NOW!” It’s hard to tell if I’m actually stumbling and falling to the ground time and time again as I make my away outside.

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Having escaped the confines of Lee’s, I’m now on to the next level of this hellish chemical fantasy. I’m on all fours panting and wishing for air not as thick as the stuff I’m breathing in rapidly, and the ground is slowly morphing into long, gray snakes with insect-like eyes and closed, grinning mouths. Luckily, I don’t have to endure their presence for very long as I’m born up by a group of arms. …any possible memory of the drive home evades me now. I’m far too focused on the sensual movements of the paisley pattern of my blanket. The walls of my room pulsate to the smooth sound of the Buffalo Springfield record that Sugar must have put on to calm me down. He also must have been responsible for the large blunt in my hand, the blunt whose embers resemble the face of a cartoon panda as it burns in the twilight of a depraved Friday night in Kill Valley. #

EMPTY COKE BOTTLE
by JESSE REX TUCKER

Why do the things I’m addicted to Have to look the same. Bottom heavy with a slender top, I put my lips to the rim.

TOSSING SALAD

by JESSE REX TUCKER

J. Andersen is currently a student of English and German literature at Brigham Young University and the section editor for the Arts & Entertainment and Literary sections of the Student Review, an independent publication for the Provo youth community. He contributes poems, stories, and articles regularly to this publication and has been published in Inscape, BYU’s literary journal.

My eyes lock unwillingly onto the egregious cleavage, Mounds of pale pink ballooning out of denim pants. She is crowding her paper, scribbling furiously on top of the art desk, Oblivious to subtle signals she sends from behind. I contemplate the chasm between these cheeks, Staring into the abyss and wondering What lies beneath. The darkness is inviting. Overcome by primal urges, I move toward her. Who can blame me for my unwillingness to resist? This crack is the perfect receptacle, For this half empty bag of M&M’s.

Jesse Rex Tucker writes poems occasionally on the bus or at his kitchen table. He cares about people but hates society. He has dogs. He saw a UFO once and tries to keep an open mind. He skates goofy-footed, and likes candy. He has one tattoo, and it was patterned after an image of a lamp that he downloaded from the Internet. He’s a librarian and loves to fuck shit up. He worships in the temple of the mind and considers himself an amateur psychonaut.

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THE ONLY GENTLEMAN
by CHARLIE WILDEY

I

lace up my tattered Doc Martens, slide on my Levi’s vest, heavy with patches, and I begin the creaking, clunking descent down the narrow stairs that lead from my shitty little apartment/haven to the side door of the giant, pink Victorian house that I live in. The bulky, mauve monstrosity is right on Main Street in the village of Brockport, NY. The house is just about half a mile south of the historic Erie Canal. Brockport is a classy little haunt. Big old houses shake with anticipation for the SUNY students who are soon to move in. Down town is a little, quarter mile stretch heading to the canal; all brick buildings, rooflines stuck together. Coffee shop, comic book shop, barber, pizza, pizza, pizza. I’ve got to buy books for the coming semester. Life Bridge Books can take care of that for me. It’s been about a month and a half since I moved into this town. A week from now the population will have boomed from 12 to 12,000. A Celica driven by a chubby girl in a wife beater rolls by with the nasally snarl of a small engine and a cheap after-market muffler. I haven’t met many people here yet. I work on weekends and usually head into Rochester anyway. Most conversations I have had usually end shortly after the mention of Skrillix, or however the hell that’s spelled. Generic hip-hop spews from the radio of a Chrysler stopped at a light as I cross the street. The town is coming alive. In a way the transition is an exciting one to watch, like the approach of the new adventure that comes with uncertainty. So far though it’s only left me sitting at a table on the sidewalk in front of Perri’s Pizza by myself, eating a mediocre slice, listening to a group of bros talk about how much pussy they would get with their fluffy

new husky puppies and obnoxiously ordering passing girls to pet their dogs. Eventually I walk into the Lift Bridge Book Shop and walk downstairs where the textbook counter and most of the worthwhile books are. Outside I had been surrounded by flat-brimmed hats, athletic shorts, and biceps with blonde girls clinging onto them. Here I am surrounded by Chekov and Nabokov, Kafka and Kerouac, Hemingway and Heinlein. Soon I am walking out of the joint with a bag weighed down by a semester’s worth of texts after the best textbook buying experience I have ever had. It is a beautiful day outside. The walk home is only a couple minutes. Out of habit, I lock the door behind me as I trudge into the stuffy third story apartment in the top corner of this hundred-year old mansion. After thudding the 5 or 6 books onto the dresser in my tiny room, I open my laptop and play “Kill from the Heart” by the Dicks. I sit on my bed to do some writing, and outside I hear the music of a female voice. I peer out of my venetian blind and see a girl with bleached hair whose ass is devouring the tiny “Love Pink” shorts she wears getting into an Acura with some Moosey in a red dress shirt, tie, and sports franchise hat askew on his thick head. Exhausted, I lean away from the window and rub my unshaven face, letting out a slow sigh. I mean, after a year in that über konservativ purgatory that is Utah Valley I have gotten used to wearing a permanent scowl. Looks like I just traded Pepsi© for Coke©. I turn up the music, and put pen to paper. -21 August 2012
Charlie Wildey likes to tell stories. His main focus and aspirations revolve around film, of which he has made several, in addition to innumerable pointless, shitty film projects for classes along the line. Charlie also writes short stories and occasionally poetry, or something like that. He’s also played in a band or two, done some stand up comedy and put a zine together, and he was ok at those things. Charlie studied film for two years in Utah, taking a two year break in between to live in Germany. He currently lives near Rochester, NY where he likes to walk around at night, throwing cigarette butts at cop cars when the opportunity arises. Charlie is attending the College at Brockport, where he studies Journalism.

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because you can’t see from your old ones. You saw them. The one we didn’t want to get fucked up. The one that had a spring inside of him that we drank from. I covered your eyes when you were born and that’s why you can’t remember anything. I knew that if your eyes were closed that you wouldn’t see all of the red. All of the blood in all of the white bathtubs. #
Sabriel Parker is a writer from Salt Lake City, UT. She is the creative non-fiction editor for enormous rooms and has work forthcoming in The Rusty Nail.

RED BATHTUBS
by SABRIEL PARKER

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y mother birthed me in a bathtub. “It was white before you came” she’d always say. “That’s when they changed to red, all the bathtubs.” I remember that my father would never look at them. He would rush past them with the rapid, heavy steps that I can still hear whenever I see stairs. The bus lumbers by that house. The one with the red bathtubs. The one where my mother expelled me like waste and blood and my coming was so violent, so unexpected that I stained all the porcelain in the house. And all the bathtubs carried my name. The house we don’t live in anymore. With huge toothless windows and grey vines somebody painted on it. They look like veins that have bled dry. And then my father remembered me and the bathtubs. Two, three, six, fifteen. There were fifteen. Fifteen bathtubs in our house and everyone as red as blood. And my father, he would lie in each one every night, go from bathtub to bathtub with eyes like gaping, toothless mouths. I dreamt that the house overflowed with red bathtubs. That they poured out of the windows like blood and shattered on the sidewalk. I saw them full of water and the bathtub wasn’t red but the water was. I saw them in my dream but I never saw them with my eyes. But you did. You saw them with your eyes that were not like gaping toothless mouths, eyes that were clear and bright. You saw them. Each one filled with blood. The blood that our father did not spill at our birth. And now, your eyes are empty and you move from bathtub to bathtub each night. Slitting open “new eyes” as you say

Detail of “Lose Like a Winner” by Shaky Sullivan.

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My thoughts and the emotions that they cause are probably my biggest influences. For example, being socially anxious influences my work in that if I wasn’t socially anxious I might not analyze or want to write about most of the things I end up writing about. Does your association with Muumuu House cause you to feel any pressure to write in a certain style? I do not feel any pressure to write in a certain style because of my affiliation with Muumuu House. When I’m writing something and become aware that the style is different from my pieces on Muumuu House, I continue writing but consider submitting it to other places. There are some major stylistic differences between your poem “Anxiety Attack” and some of your short stories. “Things I Remember About a Man on a Plane” and “My Experience on Bath Salts,” for example. Will you explain why that is/what caused that? Is the reason for that difference biographical? I don’t make conscious stylistic decisions while writing. I generally write from my memory, and sometimes that is affected by the amount of time that’s passed since [thing I’m writing about] to the time when I’m writing about it, or by being on drugs during [thing I’m writing about], etc. “Anxiety Attack” was written during an anxiety attack but edited later. “Things I Remember About a Man on a Plane” was written within a few days of the encounter with the man on the plane, so I was able to remember a lot, whereas “My Experiences on Bath Salts” was written >6 months after I’d taken bath salts, so it was harder to remember exact details via passage of time and being on bath salts. What power do you think is accessible through your “play-by-play” style stories that can’t be tapped into using more orthodox story forms? When I write other ways, it feels forced and I don’t feel focused on what I want to focus on. I want my writing to be simple to understand so that a person can analyze what the story or poem is actually about, not the story or the poem as a “story” or a “poem.” In “Jordan and I Left for Pittsburgh at 2:30 PM on Friday, April 22” there’s a line that goes, “People clapped then Jordan and I read

by NATHANIEL KENNON PERKINS

AN INTERVIEW WITH MALLORY WHITTEN

Last month I emailed Tao Lin to see if he would be interested in doing an interview for this zine. A few minutes later I saw that he had posted on Twitter, “if u’ve been published by @muumuuhouse & want to be interviewed let me know, i’ll refer ppl wanting to interview me to interview u instead.” Then, later that day, he sent me an email saying that he would pass on the interview, but that I should interview Mallory Whitten. It turns out that she’s great. Mallory Whitten’s work has appeared in Shabby Doll House, UP, Muumuu House, and Metazen, plus a bunch of other blogs. She’s one in a crowd of alt-lit elites that you’ve probably heard of if you read Vice, Thought Catalog or even Hobart ever. It seems like she does a lot of drugs. The language in her work creates unnerving ideas of the contrasts between perception and reality, and after I’m done reading one of her stories I always feel like my thoughts are somehow affected, like I can’t fully process what’s happening around me. Here is what she had to say: What is your relationship with Tao? I met Tao Lin in August 2010 while visiting New York City. We started communicating through email and I sent him some of my stories, which he published on the Muumuu House website. We’ve hung out in Ohio and New York a handful of times, most recently in NYC during hurricane Sandy. He is someone who I look forward to seeing as soon as I am not around him anymore. What/who are some of the major influences on your work?

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a text message conversation we had about getting tattoos of things each other like on our butts.” Do you think you’re ever trying to see just how much you can get away with? That was a Tumblr post I wrote to document our trip. I don’t think my intention is ever to “see how much I can get away with” at readings. I choose what I read based on how I feel at or before a specific reading. In the same post, you talk about people who aren’t amused by your work. I get the idea that there is a certain satisfaction in pissing them off/challenging their sensibilities, but at the same time you’re a little disappointed that they don’t understand what you’re trying to do, and that makes you self-conscious. Is either of those things true? What do you think about that? I don’t feel satisfied by pissing people off when they’re listening to my work. I think I can feel amused sometimes when that happens, not because I enjoy making them angry, but because their reaction seems extreme or something. If someone else is reading and I’m in the audience feeling disinterested, I sit quietly or leave, instead of making certain facial expressions or outwardly expressing disapproval. I enjoy challenging people’s ideas of what “art” or “literature” is or can be, how it can make a person think or feel, etc. When you write, who do you imagine your audience is? What would your ideal readership be? Who would it include? While writing I think I imagine the people I’m writing about as the audience, and try to portray them in the most accurate way. Seems my ideal readership would be anyone who likes my writing or thinks or feels similarly to me. Anything else you want to say or promote? I want to thank Tao for recommending me for this interview. I’m excited for his new novel, Taipei, which can now be preordered on Amazon. Jordan Castro has two forthcoming poetry books, one of which can be preordered on Amazon. I keep a blog updated with art and links to my writing here: http:// malloryannwhitten.tumblr.com #

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins lives and works in Salt Lake City. His journalism has appeared in The Tico Times, The Mormon Worker, SLUG, and Revolv. Commas and Colons, Pithead Chapel, and Triquarterly have included his creative work. He is the Fiction Editor of enormous rooms and is a proud member of the Deadly Venoms, BOA.

by JESSE QUEBBEMAN-TURLEY

UNMARKED

Sometimes, I find white guys in my sock drawer. I throw ‘em out the window, in the dumpster, whatever. Sometimes, I have my hand deep in my pocket, Reaching for a piece of gum, Or some chap stick, And I pull out a white, bald head with a soft, pink face, instead. “How’d you get in there?” I ask. Sometimes I find a white guy in the bathroom mirror-Chubby. Receding hairline. “How’d you get in there?” he asks.
Jesse Quebbeman-Turley is a musician who lives in Provo, Utah. He hopes someday to be a musician who lives somewhere else.

MONSTER BONG HIT (A BUDDY COMEDY IN SHORT FORM)
by T DAVEY SIDD

A

t a bar where both came either on drugs or a fake ID, Butt Pile and Monster Bong Hit met over a table of other people’s drinks. They casually sipped the cocktails of the people who were dancing and, being so full of shit and gripe, neither had the nose to recognize his shitty reflection across the table, also polishing off the cocktails in succession. At his first tangle with pills, Monster Bong Hit got wrecked into his apartment under Butt Pile’s friendly care. Butt was vigilantly comfortable that everything would be cool. Monster Bong Hit came-to the next afternoon needing to find something comfortable to smoke. Butt took a short moment to think. With headaches, they walked slowly across the neighborhood to the house where Butt Pile lived. Pile found a baggy in someone’s room, pinched a bit and they took a seat. They put down a good bullshit, and that bullshit goes on, why ever.... ONCE Monster Bong Hit barged into the bathroom where Butt Pile sat. Shouting, Monster was trying to fuck with Butt Pile while actually delivering some meaningful vulgar news. «Dude, you made me cut one off mid-sentence, busting in shouting like fucking that!» Bong Hit got to the pubes in the story before Butt Pile could shout him out of the foggy bathroom. Pile decided to just get back in the shower to clean everything up ‘again.’

“The Misfit Pulls on Bailey Boy’s Shirt” by Chad Danger Lindsay

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ONCE

Butt Pile diverted a wild night to the dark, empty state fair park. Having worked around machines in the past, Butt Pile assumed the keys to the rodeo arena’s John Deere would be on it somewhere. «Hoot Hoot! Right in the fucking box above the steering wheel. See?! They aren’t even worried!» Bong Hit didn’t think that there could be a dark enough place for what he expected to follow. Still hooting and hushing, Pile’s fingers only pretty slowly inspected the tractor’s open cockpit. The controls that ran the attachments on the tractor weren’t making sense. Unable to raise the attached dozerbucket, Butt Pile rabbited the throttle up with the sonovubitch in reverse. Butt Pile’s yelp of «stay clear» got Bong Hit scrambling to get out of the way and searching for a better view. With an ugly effort to climb up a stack of hay bales, Bong Hit took too much faith in his handhold on a bale’s twine. The bale fell with a twist and caught Monster’s hand on the way down. Being pulled along by the bale, he went assover-teakettle to a spot that was kind of in the way. The machine was throttled down and now idling in reverse, but Butt couldn’t find the sense to work all the brake pedals, so only very slowly and dumbly did the tractor back over Bong Hit, front-mounted scoop bucket and all. He just sort of popped out from under the tractor like a bump in the dirt and hay, all dusty. It was only ten seconds before Bong Hit was up on his hands and knees, then up and shouting at Butt Pile. Pile responded: «What the fuck man? What are you worried about? Are you okay?» Monster Bong Hit felt himself over, and his ribs felt like broken in five places. Then he felt an odd, swollen tightness in the inner thigh and crotch of his jeans. Feeling around more, Bong Hit palpated a tight numb coldness in that area of his pants. His sweat output doubled as he thought he could be in shock, then immediately he dove onto his back and kicked his leg into the air to raise the thigh a little and slow any internal bleeding. When Pile reached into Monster’s pocket for his phone, Pile’s hand returned with the phone, smelling like the whole round of queso fresco that Monster had crotched at the neighborhood Mexican supermarket earlier and foggier that night. «Dude, did you pick up some cheese in your pants?» «Oh, shit, maybe...» It was a genuine maybe. Butt reached down Bong’s already hastily unbuttoned pants and

pulled out the busted-open cheese. Pile rubbed the grainy cheese all over Bong-Bong’s face and wiping his hand said, «Fucking serious? Hyperventilating? JESUS CHRIST! HA!» Bong Hit pegged Butt Pile in the ass with the cheese as Pile walked back to his cigarettes in the hay. Then Monster quickly popped up and the two quietly scooted to the exit. The tractor was still slowly backing its way across the dark corral, about to find a fence. ONCE Butt Pile recounted to Bong Hit something he’d said the night before: «So you said, ‹Go put your stupid homework up your shit-cubby!› and they stopped the car and let us get a couple steps closer, then you missed them with the last half of your burrito and they just rolled-off, kind of laughing.» «Uhh...I guess I would do that...» «Yeah! ‘Cause you fucking did!» Pause, Bong Hit says, «Finally a, uhh, idea stupid enough to do.» ONCE They were drunk and both went to take a piss. They stood opposite sides of a lilac hedge and pissed into it as they bullshitted. Each pissed each on the other’s feet, silently thinking he’d pissed on his own, concealing his first, wettest steps back. #

T Davey Sidd lives in Salt Lake City and works in a kitchen. He enjoys walking, snowboarding and the company of cats, dogs and musicians.

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AGAINST THE RAILS

O

by LYUBA BASIN

ctober 22 - Outside the window I hear the train groan against the rails, against the fallen leaves of late October. It is full of passengers, but it is no longer the same train. I know it is no longer the same train. It cannot be. Inside, their amorphous bodies move in and out like the tide, gripping on tightly with each turn. I am gripping on tightly, to my memories. But they will soon fail me. Through the window of the train the passing scenery of the city becomes unrecognizable. Streaks of color, painting Pollock’s in my mind - a forgotten gallery. My memories, unrecognizable streaks of color in my mind. Here, in the window, is my reflection. Every year has added an additional wrinkle to my face. Seventy-three wrinkles. I am no longer the same body as the reflection I used to see in the window of the train. That reflection wore a large suit jacket with a broadness in the shoulders that carried a heavy weight, made it difficult to stand. What was I trying to remember? The City – how it was. Breathing and heaving; how the cold air settled in, got comfortable and aroused blood in our cheeks. How the cars whispered their secrets to the asphalt. Outside, the city breathes, but it is no longer the same city. October 23 - My body’s memory rose from bed early and echoed against the walls as I walked through the rooms. My body still remembers but it is no longer the same body. These rooms have long been empty of people. They are no longer the same rooms. Dust has filled in all their vacant spaces so that everything feels tired and gray. I am tired and gray. The typewriter is tired and gray. The table is tired and gray. Coffee has stained the table. Coffee has left dark rings and dark remnants of the past. What was I trying to remember? Dark sunglasses, rimmed with gold, like two solar eclipses that were ready to meet in the middle of her face. She wore them on the train.

She leaned her head against the window of the train. She kept her lips parted slightly. Open just enough to breathe me in. I breathed her in, her aroma of lemons and spices, so odd and foreign. The scent still lingers, the memory lingers, but keeps itself hidden in corners. Without it, I cannot remember. October 26 - There is no work anymore and I am glad because I am seventy-three and I am tired retired. The window is tired and from the window I watch the train. I watch the train pass seventeen times. I drink the tired coffee. When it stops, I watch as we get off the train seventeen times, catching the reflection of her gold-rimmed sunglasses in the light seventeen times, my large suit following her through the intersection seventeen times. Four new dark rings stained on the tired table, as she leans her head against the window of the train. I follow her beyond the Chinese restaurant, beyond the thrift store, beyond the abandoned building that used to sell Arabic rugs for seventy-five percent off - I follow the sound of her boot heels on the pavement – beyond the deli, the bookstore, the movie theatre and the flower shop, until she stops, and I stop. These are no longer the same streets. I had to know where she was going. I have to remember where she was going. As the train passes by the eighteenth time there is jazz playing on the radio. October 27 - The radiator’s mumbling keeps me awake at night. It is not tired. But I am tired and I cannot sleep. We could have friendly conversations, but it is difficult to understand what the radiator is trying to say. It mumbles: m-m-muh-muh-buh-ba-m-m-muh-buh-ba-muh-ma. I hit it with a hammer, but it only interrupts the mumbling with the sound of a resonating bell. mumbling bell bell Maribel. Maribel and the beating rhythm of her boot heels on the pavement, like jazz playing on the radio. October 28 - There is no work anymore and I am glad because I am tired. I do not drink anymore, but the liquor store is closed on Sundays. The whole city is closed on Sundays and I pretend that together we all lay in bed, and today I pretend that she lays in bed with me but it is no longer the same bed. I do not drink anymore, but when I did I followed her boot heels through the wooden doors of the bar. I followed the lemons and the spices and the two eclipses through the wooden doors of the bar and unwillingly fell asleep. I had to be asleep because now I

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can no longer remember, because now it feels like everything beyond those wooden doors was a dream, because she took off her gold-rimmed sunglasses to see me, but I cannot see her. It is no longer the same bar and I can no longer remember. I will lie in bed today, together with the rest of the city and fall asleep so that I can dream again. October29 - I ate lemons trying to find her, but it was not enough. October 31 - I drank whiskey trying to find her, but my heart is tired and burns with every sip. I do not drink anymore because the rooms have long been empty of people, because I am seventy-three and no longer challenged to drinking. I do not drink anymore like the time when I saw my reflection in the window of the train wearing my large suit and unable to stand up straight, the time when I saw her reflection in the window of the train wearing her gold-rimmed sunglasses in the light, the time when I followed the beating rhythm of her boot heels on the pavement and through the wooden doors of the bar, the time when she took off her sunglasses to see me. It was that time, when she challenged me to drinking. That time I did not say no. I drink whiskey trying to find her, because my heart is tired and I am tired and gray and I am seventy-three with seventy-three wrinkles on my face. It is no longer the same face, it is no longer the same body. I drink whiskey trying to find her because my memories will soon fail me. November 3 - I did not leave my bed for two days because my heart was tired and it burned from the whiskey. I drank whiskey trying to find her, but it was not enough. For two days I listened as the train stopped in front of my window. I did not count how many times it passed. I did not watch as we got off the train, I did not catch the reflection of her gold-rimmed sunglasses in the light. My large suit did not follow her across the intersection, it did not follow her beyond the Chinese restaurant, beyond the thrift store, beyond the abandoned building that used to sell Arabic rugs for seventy-five percent off. I did not leave my bed for two days. I lay there with my eyes closed for two days listening to the beating rhythm of her boot heels on the pavement, getting closer. I did not open my eyes because I am tired and gray. I am seventy-three and cannot drink anymore. November 4 - I do not remember owning a telephone but today it rang and when it rang it sounded tired. The dust has made everything feel tired and gray. I am tired and gray. I am seventy-three do not remember how to say Hello. She was there, in whispers on the other line, like she was the time when I followed her through the wooden doors of the bar, where the candles flame danced with her mysterious laugh. I do not

remember owning a telephone. I do not remember if it ever even rang. November 5 - The radiator is not tired so tonight I do not sleep. The city is tired and it sleeps. The train is tired and it sleeps. Only the radiator and the stars are not tired. They do not sleep and I do not sleep. These are still the same stars. These are still the same constellations but this is not the same November. This is not the same November as when I breathed her in, her aroma of lemons and spices and my large suit jacket following her gold-rimmed sunglasses through the intersection beyond the Chinese restaurant, beyond the thrift store, beyond the abandoned building that used to sell Arabic rugs for seventy-five percent off. These are not the same streets. Outside the window I see the same stars. Maribel and the beating rhythm of her boot heels on the pavement, me with the leaves rustling to catch up. Maribel getting lost in alley-ways, between bars, watching the city from below, from the roof of the library. Maribel in my large suit, crying out. Look there It’s you, Lev Right there in the sky Maribel on the roof of the library. The same library. Maribel calling out constellations. The same stars. Maribel in whispers, guarded by her secrets, of all the places I would never come to know. Maribel in my apartment, filled with the aroma of lemons and spices and the sound of her boot heels dancing on the floor. Maribel at the window. Maribel in bed. Maribel naked and soft and loving. And again, Maribel in whispers, right before dawn. I stay awake with the stars trying to find her. Tonight, I am not tired. November 11 - I am Leonard Kronsky, but I am no longer. I am seventy-three years old and I am tired. #
Lyuba Basin is a first generation Soviet who would rather be spending her time camping in the Southern Utah desert while solving the problems of quantum physics (if only she did not lack the patience for mathematics). She currently lives in the Salt Lake Valley and frequents her time at the planetarium.

CHAD DANGER LINDSAY/ATTACK OF THE INTERGALACTIC COCKBLOCKERS/FRONT COVER ~ J. ANDERSEN/KILL VALLEY/3 ~ JESSE REX TUCKER/EMPTY COKE BOTTLE + TOSSING SALAD/11 ~ CHARLIE WILDEY/THE ONLY GENTLEMAN/12 ~ SABRIEL PARKER/RED BATHTUBS/14 ~ SHAKY SULLIVAN/DETAIL OF “LOSE LIKE A WINNER”/15 ~ NATHANIEL KENNON PERKINS/AN INTERVIEW WITH MALLORY WHITTEN/16 ~ JESSE QUEBBEMAN-TURLEY/UNMARKED/19 ~ CHAD DANGER LINDSAY/THE MISFIT PULLS ON BAILEY BOY’S SHIRT/20 ~ T DAVEY SIDD/MONSTER BONG HIT (A BUDDY COMEDY IN SHORT FORM)/21 ~ LYUBA BASIN/AGAINST THE RAILS/24

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