Author Archives: alanaicapria

December 15, 2014 – Excerpt (and some photos)

“Imagine a scene in which Schrödinger cracks three eggs into a glass bowl, one after the other, and each egg has a yolk the color of the sun except for the last which is a bright red, so bright it is filled with blood, and when the egg yolk strikes its yellow brethren, I begin shrieking in terror off-screen. Imagine a scene where I lie face-down in an overflowing bathtub and as my body sinks beneath the roiling water, waves slosh over the porcelain sides and flood the floor, dripping beneath the tiles and out of the slats providing solid foundation beneath.”

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yesterday, I went into NYC to give a reading at the closing of the “Post Partum Party” exhibition at the Rhombus Space art gallery in Brooklyn. The poets Nicole Callihan, Caitlin McDonnell, and Carley Moore read their work, and then I read two stories from Wrapped in Red. It was an honor to be part of the “Post Partum Party” exhibition and to read my work in the company of so many great writers.

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The Freedom Tower – early afternoon, December 14, 2014.

 

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Getting ready to read from “Wrapped in Red” at the “Post Partum Party” exhibition closing – December 14, 2014.

 

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The Freedom Tower again – December 14, 2014.

 

 

 

December 12, 2014 – Excerpt

“I don’t know what she does with the lines after. Maybe she stirs them into her spaghetti marinara. Maybe she uses them to string the harp she’s been slowly constructing in the diner’s basement. It’s for the organ choir. Every instrument is constructed from bone, skin, or sinew. The harp’s frame might be a cow’s rib cage and the many chords are built from her torn vessels. Maybe the use of her arteries are born from a failed experiment with bovine ligature. The lines kept snapping. She couldn’t keep them connected to the frame. She did her best but her best failed and now, when she strums the notes into existence, she listens to herself.”

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m going to be reading from Wrapped in Red at the Rhombus Space Art Gallery in Brooklyn this Sunday (December 14) at 2pm. Stop on by and enjoy some literature and fine art.

December 5, 2014 – Excerpt

“You wish you were home. You wish you were in your parents’ kitchen with your father standing at the stove frying up Cuban ham croquettes, the same ones he used to make when you were young, those deliciously crisp on the outside, soft and steaming on the inside ham croquettes you still like to eat by pressing between two saltines. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, shoving them into a piece of potato bread with a squirt of ketchup. You know how to make them but you never make them here. The croquettes represent another part of your life, the one you left behind by deciding to move away, and if you fry them up, if you attempt to make your father’s recipe right here in this godforsaken kitchen which leaves you cold on a daily basis, things will grow steadily more terrible…”

 

 

Also, just a reminder that my short story collection Wrapped in Red (Montag Press, 2014) is now available at http://www.amazon.com/Wrapped-Red-Alana-I-Capria/dp/194023316X. Also, I’ll be reading from Wrapped in Red at the Rhombus Space Art Gallery in Brooklyn on Sunday, December 14th at 2pm. Stop on by if you’re in the area and enjoy some literature and art work.

December 3, 2014 – Excerpt

“You look at your hands for a long time. You watch the veins pulse. Or, you think you see them pulse. You stare for so long that your mind plays tricks. Your brain makes you think that your veins jump. You brain says, THESE VEINS ARE JUMPING. And so that is what you see. The veins jump and you feel them jumping. You jump off the couch. You jump on the floor. You jump up and down until you feel like your ankles might break. You jump at the walls. You jump at the door. You jump on the table. You jump on the couch. You jump and your knees creak. You jump and your calves burn. You jump and then the ground stops pushing up beneath you. You drop to your knees and it’s like you’re praying. You haven’t prayed in years.”

December 1, 2014 – WRAPPED IN RED is now available!

Wrapped in Red

 

My new book Wrapped in Red is now available for purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Wrapped-Red-Alana-I-Capria/dp/194023316X. Stories in the collection have been published by Turtleneck PressMenacing HedgeDanse Macabre Du JourTHE2NDHANDscissors and spackleA capella ZooZymbolLoud Zookill author, Mixer PublishingResist!, and Shuf Poetry.

November 29, 2014 – Excerpt

“You look around your room, your empty and silent room, and you think it might be nice to fill it with screaming. It doesn’t matter what kind of screaming; any kind will do. A scream from the shredded depths of your throat. A scream from your digesting innards. A scream from the reciprocating pipes hidden inside the walls. A scream from nails across glass. A scream from within the mattress. A scream from the center of your endlessly pulsing brain. Your poor brain. Your tired-of-thinking brain. Is it so much to ask for a reprieve from all the thinking? You roll out of bed landing on your feet. You walk through the apartment. You look at the couch. You look at the window. You stare at the door. You want to slam something, break anything. You want to run into the hallway and knock on the neighbors’ doors, knocking until your knuckles are raw and the neighbors are frothing with aggravation inside.”

November 28, 2014 – Excerpt

“Sometimes you fried things and when the frying oil splattered your bare skin, you closed your eyes and wished for it to happen again. You flicked water at the oil and then the oil flew up, sizzling on your arms, and you almost cried, almost but not quite, and your eyes watered but not enough moisture accumulated to drip down your face in a stream. You didn’t pick anything out of the oil. In fact, whatever breaded something it was that you tossed in, you left hovering at the bottom, the breading going from pale to golden to brown to black, then beyond, to completely scorched and saturated with grease. Smoke came out of the pot and it was strongly scented and its body filled the house so that when you breathed, you choked, but you were pleased with that choking because it meant something although you couldn’t be certain what.”

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I finished my NaNoWriMo novel on Tuesday (November 26) and am now 5,000 words into a new project. I still have to return to the NaNoWriMo novel and edit the manuscript but I wanted to make sure that I got some pages down in the new project so that I can make sure I know what direction the work is heading in. The writing feels more personal and I hope it becomes something I really like.

November 21, 2014 – “Wrapped in Red” released!

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Tonight, my short story collection Wrapped in Red was released at the “Post Partum Party” exhibition opening in Brooklyn. If you want a copy, you can order the book at http://www.amazon.com/Wrapped-Red-Alana-I-Capria/dp/194023316X.

November 19, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 19

“The fourth floor is for anything snapped or cracked (broken ankles, broken ribs, broken skulls, broken arms and shoulders, broken necks, broken noses, broken wrists). The fifth floor is for growths (teratomas, tumors, lumps, sarcomas, carcinomas, fibroids, nodules, outgrowths, polyps, cysts again, excrescence). The sixth floor is unoccupied but keeps all the lights on regardless. The seventh floor is empty.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is 34,956.

November 18, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 18

“Like any good woman, I have a number of baby names picked out. None of them are suitable for my cyst. Untitled, I say and the nurses take turns slapping me across the face. My red cheeks bleed onto the hospital-grade pillow. Shameful, the nurses say. They shake their heads, back and forth, back and forth. I don’t blame the nurses for being upset with me. I’ve done the non-maternal thing. I’ve made a joke at the expense of my fertility.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is 32,524.

November 17, 2014 – Announcement

My 2015 Pushcart Prize nominated story “Excerpt from Chiaroscuro” is finally available in Crab Fat Magazine‘s issue 2.  The link is http://crabfatmagazine.com/2014/11/issue-2/. The piece is (obviously) part of a longer work and I’m really happy with it. So read and enjoy.

November 17, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 17

“I knew a man who peeled the skin halfway off his middle finger so that when he left fingerprints, the smudges were always abbreviated. He liked to make art installations from deli meat, until deli meat grew scarce in the neighborhood and he had to find the meat elsewhere.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is 29,443.

November 14, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 14

“There is nothing in my hotel room but the lines, an IV stand, and a heart monitor. If I unplug the monitor, a flatline alarm will sound and then pink-swathed nurses will come running with their fingers pushed deep into their ears. I unplugged the monitor three times last week, then stared at the nurses’ feet as they ran, thinking, Trip trip trip. None did. The nurses are graceful as ballerinas. They do a little dance around the hospital room, checking the monitors, taking my temperature, tucking blankets around my legs. I want to stick a leg out and watch them go flying into the IV stand but that wouldn’t be the polite and gracious thing to do.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is at 27,770.

November 13, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 13

“I keep crayons away from the children in case they shove the wax sticks into their eyes. Blue crayons (shade doesn’t matter so let’s just persist with arbitrary blue) make the children most prone to stabbing. They’re desperate to work the crayons into their eyes and noses. They have an aversion of red crayons and use them to stab holes in the playpen floor, deep tears that grow wider the longer the children weigh upon them. The children are not mine. I found them nestled at the back of a half-flooded basement, their fists clogging their mouths, eyes red, stomachs enflamed with infection. I reached for one child and its fist became a gaping mouth lined with snapping teeth. The child bit at me.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is at 25,769.

November 12, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 12

“There is a man who sounds like a fly when he speaks. His voice comes from the walls. It is trapped inside the plaster. I keep him up in my attic, hidden behind the eaves and wooden planks. He disturbs my sleep with his buzzing. I toss and turn with my face pressed hard against my pillow and when I swallow, the saliva is always so acidic that it burns. I feel a hole in my throat. I feel a hole so deep that it gapes inside my skin. I can fit a candlestick inside. I can fit a fork and knife. But the hole is plugged up, covered with hard mucus, packed up with calcified fat. I never open my mouth when I’m near him.”

 

NaNoWriMo word count is at 23,718.

November 12, 2014 – Announcements

  • My story “The Cells” was nominated by Vinyl Poetry for the 2014 Best of the Net.
  • My story “Excerpt from Chiaroscuro” was nominated by Crab Fat Literary Magazine for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. The story will be released in Crab Fat‘s new issue in a few days and I’ll post a link once the issue goes live.
  • On Friday, November 21, 2014, starting at 6pm, I’ll be at the Rhombus Space Art Gallery in Brooklyn for the opening of the “Post Partum Party” exhibition. My short story collection Wrapped in Red will be released at the event and I’ll be reading an excerpt from the book.

November 11, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 11

“I can throw him down the basement stairs and leave him to ferment near the boiler but the smell won’t stay contained for long. The neighbors will complain. Someone will peek through a window and see the meat accumulating at the foot of the stairs and I can’t explain away a red mass so large. I don’t know where I was yesterday. Here in the house. Maybe outside.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 22,0o1 words.

November 8, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 8

“You must have been so afraid, the officer said while clutching my fingers. I almost laughed. A pressure bubbled inside of me and I thought it would explode in a hideous display of hilarity. I bit my tongue to keep the laughter from pouring out. I looked the officer in the eye and gripped his hands tightly, feigning terror. I thought he would kill me, I said. The officer nodded and took his hands from mine. He rubbed his eyes wearily, then opened the folder. The man’s photo was on top of the documents tucked inside the file. I stared at his face and felt sad.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 17,029.

November 7, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 7

“He worked a screwdriver inside to loosen the enamel. I felt something in my mind do a form of chewing. My body was stuffed fat with teeth. There were teeth behind my nipples. There were teeth lost in the center of my throat. When I swallowed, the teeth were there to further blend the swallowed mess. I reached into the hole in my head and rubbed against a soft mass studded with sharp things. Those were the teeth. The teeth inside my head. I touched them. I split a finger upon them. I bled my finger into my head. When I blinked, my eyes went red from the blood running behind them. I pulled a single tooth from the mass and held it with both hands. Now the tooth fairy needs to come, I said.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 15,014 words.

November 6, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 6

“Most things broke when they struck the concrete. I had lost plenty of bones that way, the calcium chipped beyond repair (although it was always repaired but not enough to make it good as new) and so I limped at times (and depending on the weather) and slept through terrible aches arching up my wrists. It didn’t matter how I positioned myself on the ground. I could roll from side to side, then back down, and it didn’t matter. The pain was there. If I waggled my wrist, my bones felt like they were split. The man cradled the broken limbs against his chest, coddling them with his body heat, and sometimes, he licked them gently to soothe the discomfort. I’m sorry I hurt you, he always said.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 12,041 words. I’m probably going to write later on tonight so that number will inevitably change.

November 5, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 5

“She liked to hum Christmas carols while the man grabbed handfuls of her slightly pudgy belly. She hummed Jingle Bells and We Three Kings. I liked when she hummed Silent Night. The one time I hummed it along with her, she bit her tongue so hard the muscle nearly tore in half. She did it so quietly, without even squealing in pain, that the humming died in my throat, becoming more like a buzzing, and when I finally shut up, the girl looked at me with narrowed eyes and took up the humming again.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 11,126 words.

November 4, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 4

“In a past life, the man was a butcher. He worked in a refrigerated store, packing meat into containers, stacking it into display units. He piled meat on counters and left it in boxes. The man couldn’t get the smell of meat out of his nose. He sniffed and snorted but the meat smell was still there. It was a harsh stench. It was acidic. He went home to eat a steak and gagged at the brown-gray hunk on his plate. Every day, the man went into the land of meat and sniffed around. He jiggled the carcasses hanging from large meat hooks. He bumped against the many frozen slabs. His hands were bruised and bleeding from all the paper cuts he got from tearing sheets of waxed paper. Even worse, there were many times when he almost lost a finger.”

NaNoWriMo word count is at 9,023 words.

November 3, 2014 – NaNoWriMo day 3

“He chewed while I desperately whispered, Chicken corpse, chicken corpse. Sometimes the man offered me meat. He gave it to me on a spoon, the meat laid across the rounded edges, and then he tapped the spoon against my mouth. He wanted me to swallow and while I voided on his command, I couldn’t take that chicken into my mouth. All I could think of were chicken corpses. Chicken ghosts pecking at the ground. Chickens in the front yard, chickens in the attic, chickens roasting in the boiler. The house was filled with ghosts. All the dead women were still here even after their meat was scattered. Parts of them were left behind. The ghosts brushed against my hair gently while I slept.”

 

NaNoWriMo day 3 word count stands at 6,659. Sadly, something is wrong with the NaNoWriMo website so I can’t update my count. Oh well. Until tomorrow, friendlies.

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