Gregg Williard
5 STUNTS




Stunts

sometimes called tricks, roughhouse beneath or within, like the thump of furnaces or blood. Stunts are essential, life without them a mere withered jerky. Stunts can be seen only in the acts they inhabit, often the deceptively plain and thwarted ones, like striking sticky piano keys, jiggling poorly copied door keys, folding a mate-less sock into itself, or eating the stale little candy that comes with the

check.

Stunts

put metal pins in her ankles. Made stitches crosshatch her legs. Sent her to Schools for Wayward Girls, Reeducation Motels, Glacier Farms and Outward, Way-Outward Bound Camps. Brought her to this ledge where she missed, then rolled the impact to a sideways scale over that last, broken-glass perimeter

wall.

She

landed. She looked up and down the street and Cat’s Cradled to cure homeless hands, under a sky that was just itching to hear bad news. Her glass held water now. She spoke plain. No tongues, no haints, no rocket fuel, no spirits, no sprites, no shine. Her eyes fired blanks. She was stunted out, so they

said.

A

trap snapped branch cracked dead almost dropped her. They said “tramp.” Breaking mirrors or clocks or branches or limbs may have been just making a mess to them but necessary stomps, like a tribal dance that got wrecks to sing anew. Things in a rubbery long skirt. It is stretched out by her legs. They operate double joints. They stretch skirt shapes like upside down cowls of monks. Or bells dangling in bell towers. Or the gabby mouths of proud thieves. As hanging on clappers as tonsils like wrecking balls. This is a woman being rung in and out of

her.

There

was the time that her stunts just made a mess and broke things, people or herself. So maybe if she tried the Don’t Try This At Home she could what, hang up her skirt and high top sneakers? How was that going to work? How was anything going to work? It was like going to work. Like getting up in the morning, the sheer impossible, the sheared

impossible






Gregg Williard's work has appeared in Diagram, Anemone Sidecar, decomP and The Collagist, among others.
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