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Flash Fiction


The Landlord
by Ptim Callan


When I crush the glass and stick my tongue deep in that bulb hole, that’s when the neighbors across the street can watch my eyes light the gloom. Some people don’t believe the religion of the electric. The glowing electric reveals to me the way. Abraham sometimes speaks to me as the flashes go. Moses corrected my spine once, while I twitched in the wall socket. I eat watch batteries like aspirins. I chew wires for gum. I can’t worship during prime time because it interferes with people’s reception. The landlord is complaining again about the smell of the burnt hair. Maybe I’ll move to the midwest where they get good thunderstorms.

Originally appeared in Poetry Midwest #4, Spring/Summer 2002


About the Author

My short story "Them with the Bad Hair" appeared in Pig Iron Malt in September of 2002, and since that date it has been "found" by another online zine, by the name of Dusty Lizard. A 2002 Pushcart Prize nominee, I have additional fiction that has appeared or is soon to appear in over fifteen literary magazines including ZYZZYVA, Fiction International, Hunger
Magazine, Tatlin's Tower, and The Cafe Irreal. I have written, produced, and directed independent films that have been screened at major film festivals like the San Francisco Independent Film Festival, and The Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. I took my English degree from UCLA where I had the good fortune to study creative writing under Robert Coover and John Barth. My first name is pronounced "Tim." Read more of my writing at www.ptim.org.