ALL ACCOUNTS AND MIXTURE: New works from John Emil Vincent

The playfulness of skeletons, the sadness of bones

The Canary Islands were named after dogs. There is talk that maybe the dogs were actually seals, monk seals do look like melting dogs, but the population did regardless have a thing for actual dogs as well. The original inhabitants, Pliny the Elder reports, worshipped them, even mummified them, and called themselves The Dog-Headed Ones.

The bird came later and was named for its habitat; though somehow now it seems named for them—the Fuerteventura Island is after all delicately bird shaped—and everything there must one suspects be brightly colored in molten volcano yellows.

Once a year the rich bring their dogs together to the archipelago’s lone stadium and award them new souls. Rich people as you may know typically struggle to relate to friends, family, and acquaintances. For these hours of barking bliss, however, their beloved canines are bequeathed the souls of last year’s dead relatives, dead neighbors, and even dead maids and dead doormen, and smothered, simply smothered, with kisses. With adoration. Then they bring new, living doormen, neighbors, and children; they butcher them for the dogs. Next year is another year, they chant. Sometimes slipping on this or that ruptured spleen or half-devoured lung. But having a real time of it.

Next year is another year.


Realist theme park

My friend Noah says it should have a roller coaster. I’m not sure. He says it should start really steep and keep on really steep and grind up and you can hear the chains pulling and slapping in that slack-because-they-need-such-serious-chain-to-pull way.

It goes on and on a bit more. And I think at this point we have to move beyond the genre, maybe, space-mountain-like, try some external threats which are overcome simply by staying in your seat: that’s realistic: or maybe: vistas that open up unexpectedly and then go dark suddenly. And then open up to become other vistas. And this is what we in reality call: geography. Or: patience. That’s cool.

But he’s twenty-two so what does he know and hell it’s honest to god just about now I wonder about the inner resources of our young people, and he says, no no I know! it needs to go on flat for a long time. A long flat bit followed by another one with a sudden stop. And the seat guards fly up unexpectedly before it quite stops. And everyone is shocked not by what went on but that nothing did and now it’s over. That’s pretty good I think. But I’m not quite ready to go all Beckett on realism, so I think it’s important we handcuff a murderer to his victim and send them off into the neighboring sodium-light-lit desert. We can watch them escaping as we get off the ride.

It just feels right.

About the Author:
John Emil Vincent lives in Montreal. His first book of poems, Excitement Tax, will be published by DC Books later this Fall.

About All Accounts:
All Accounts and Mixture is an annual online feature celebrating the work of LGBTQ writers and artists. For this series, we seek work from authors who self-identify as "queer," while acknowledging that this designation is subjective and highly personal. Our goal is to provide a forum for writers whose voices might be mis- or underrepresented by the literary mainstream. Submissions open May 18th and run through June 19th. Poetry, prose, visual art, reviews and interviews will all be considered.