Sun

There are questions not even a child would ask. There are dependencies so dependable no doctor would diagnose them, chemicals so addictive, none would name our need dependency.

The first day that didn’t happen, we resolved not to worry; these things, we told one another, have a way of righting themselves. Our children were more resourceful, more inclined to see the advantages. They climbed out their windows under dark of afternoon, kissed in parking lots in full compliance with their curfews. We grounded them for all we were worth, but as ever, their urgency was wisdom. They understood how little time had to offer them.

This was before the new ordinances, of course, which were themselves before we lost any will to enforce them.

***

[ Originally Published in Sun: A Collection of Vignettes about the Sun, Edited by Joseph Carlough and published by Displaced Snail Publications in Frenchtown, NJ. Below is the transcript of the Facebook chat in which Joseph requested my contribution, which I think is more illuminating than anything else I could write about this delightful anthology and the exuberant manner of its genesis.]

September 3, 2013

Joseph Carlough (6:23pm)

kenan
i need you as a writer

Kenan Rubenstein (6:46pm)

What’s up?

Joseph Carlough (6:46pm)

I need 120 words from you

Kenan Rubenstein (6:46pm)

On?

Joseph Carlough (6:47pm)

The sun
Anything you’d like, what it makes you think of, something scientific, it’s usefulness in creation, I just want it to be VERY simple, and straightforward, and more than anything else, beautiful.

Kenan Rubenstein (6:48pm)

Okay. Any other details I need?
Like, what it’s for or anything?
Or shall I fly blind?

Joseph Carlough (6:48pm)

it can be fiction, too, but the text will be justified

Kenan Rubenstein (6:48pm)

Justified how?

Joseph Carlough (6:49pm)

It’s due sept. 10
like, it’s a chunk of text
a block

Kenan Rubenstein (6:49pm)

So not poetry?

Joseph Carlough (6:49pm)

so no poetry
ahaha
right on target!
I’m going to make a small, beautiful zine
and I’m going to work mostly on presentation and packaging

Kenan Rubenstein (6:49pm)

About the sun.

Joseph Carlough (6:50pm)

Yup!
I’m going to make the whole thing bright and very aesthetic
oh! right, one paragraph only, no dialogue
I’ll send you a copy or two when it’s done. It’s going to be a bright orange card, bound along the edges with bright yellow thread, and tucked inside will be a bright yellow zine with stories about the sun

Kenan Rubenstein (6:55pm)

120 words.

Joseph Carlough (6:55pm)

ish. 110-130, if you’d like parameters
I want each page to look as similar as it can

Kenan Rubenstein (7:21pm)

Title?
Or no title?

Joseph Carlough (7:21pm)

No sir, but I’ll put yr website with your name

Kenan Rubenstein 7:32pm

You there still?

Joseph Carlough (7:33pm)

yup!

Kenan Rubenstein (7:33pm)

How’s this?

There are questions not even a child would ask. There are dependencies so dependable no doctor would diagnose them, chemicals so addictive, none would name our need dependency. The first day that didn’t happen, we resolved not to worry; these things, we told one another, have a way of righting themselves. Our children were more resourceful, more inclined to see the advantages. They climbed out their windows under dark of afternoon, kissed in parking lots in full compliance with their curfews. We grounded them for all we were worth, but as ever, their urgency was wisdom. They understood how little time had to offer them. This was before the new ordinances, of course, which were themselves before we lost any will to enforce them.

Joseph Carlough (7:34pm)

LOVE. IT.
Perfect. It’s just the write urgent, but beautiful and almost dangerous feeling
the right*

Kenan Rubenstein (7:35pm)

Great.

Joseph Carlough (7:36pm)

Thanks man! I’ll send you a few copies when I get it all made up
which website do you want me to put with it?

Kenan Rubenstein (7:36pm)

I so needed that assignment today! That is literally the fastest I’ve ever done anything.
Hrm. UnderTheHaystack.net I guess? That’s where all my “writing” is.

Joseph Carlough (7:37pm)

haha, yea, you’re the third person to do it on the spot, i really love and appreciate that, that’s how I would have approached it, too.
It’s feels great, it’s like a “win” to write something real quick.

Kenan Rubenstein (7:37pm)

Otherwise I would have agonized over it. Those are the only options.

Full color cover printed on 67 lb vellum card stock • 16 short stories, printed on 28lb 50% recycled paper

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