M

Teeth

by Tim Jones-Yelvington

His bedroom looked like a teen drama. He showed me vacation photos:his pearl smile perched on a rock. I had ideas for where to put those teeth. We flirted with pillows. We slapped each others’ heads. I slept on the floor. He said sometimes he liked to hug a pillow and pretend it was a person. He said I could get in bed if I thought I’d be more comfortable. I felt like certain mornings when my brain wakes up, but my body can’t move. The other day, I found his Facebook. He got fat, with that facial hair that clings to the chin like a mistake.


Tim Jones-Yelvington is a Chicago-based writer, multimedia performance artist, and nightlife personality. He is the author of two collections of short fiction—”Evan’s House and the Other Boys Who Live There” (in “They Could No Longer Contain Themselves,” Rose Metal Press) and “This is a Dance Movie!” (forthcoming, Tiny Hardcore Press). His work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Puerto Del Sol, Harpur Palate, and others. From 2010-12, he guest edited [PANK]’s annual queer issue.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Teeth”?

I’m not sure this is ‘interesting,’ exactly, since I think it’s actually quite common for flash and micro fiction—but the earliest draft of this piece was at least two or three times the length. I think very short work accumulates much of its energy from the gaps, so I cut away everything but my favorite sentences, and then attempted to add back whatever connective tissue I felt was needed. I struggled for the longest time to find the right sentence to describe the paralysis the narrator feels when the other boy invites him to join him in bed. This was a sentence that needed to exist, but I couldn’t seem to give it voice in a way that jived with the rhythm and poetry of the other sentences. I actually wrote the first draft of this piece a very long time ago—May 2010—and I had to put it away for four and a half years and come back to it in order to figure out how to write that sentence.

News

Congrats to the Best Small Fictions nominations from Matter Press for Compressed Creative Arts: Sara Backer’s “Oh, What a Night”; Dan Crawley’s “Powers”; Jill Talbot’s “Malahat Highway on Boxing Day”; Christopher Allen’s “Falling Man;” and Kathy Fish’s “Five Micros.” Congrats to Christopher Allen for being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Submissions

Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now open. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes June 15, 2019; submit here.

Upcoming

05/20 • Clint Margrave
05/22 • Leah Griesmann
05/23 • Nance Van Winckel (1 of 8)
05/27 • Natasha Sajé
05/29 • Carolyn Oliver
05/30 • Nance Van Winckel (2 of 8)
06/03 • Ankita Banerjee
06/05 • Rachel Rodman
06/06 • Nance Van Winckel (3 of 8)
06/10 • Erica Soon Olsen
06/12 • Beverly Jackson
06/13 • Nance Van Winckel (4 of 8)
06/17 • Avra Margariti
06/19 • Tommy Dean
06/20 • Nance Van Winckel (5 of 8)
06/24 • Stephen Reaugh
06/26 • Hege Lepri
06/27 • Nance Van Winckel (6 of 8)
07/01 • Danielle Hark
07/03 • Shirley Harshenin
07/04 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
07/08 • Matthew Barrett
07/10 • Andrew Stevens
07/11 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
07/15 • Peter Cherches
07/17 • Christopher Ryan
07/22 • Jessica Kehinde Ngo
07/24 • TBA
07/29 • TBA
07/31 • TBA