Dont Smell the Floss: amazing short stories by matty byloos

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I sit, tentatively, on my couch in the living room. This morning is quiet, feels older, moves slower and less awkwardly. It is not gawky and reckless like other mornings; instead, it is more pubescent teenager in appearance. I notice the window to my left is open.

The broken blinds near the top of the window frame always look like a bundle of tied-up sticks. To protect the room from the glare of the sun would be a miracle in their present condition. A miracle represents the opposite of achievement, and thus I deem it uninteresting. With a miracle, there is reward without effort, an impossible answer given with no time spent struggling with the question. The morning air is chilled, tinged with foggy haze, and moves past the window too fast.

Occasionally, bits of fog appear in the room with me, blown in through the opening near the bottom of the window. They take shape, remain uncompromised in their clusters of frosted white, making it difficult to see from one side of the room to the other at times. Add to this, the steam from my coffee, far too creamy this morning, with more the pre-fab smell of Twinkies than the actual taste of coffee. I have thought through the circumstances of my childhood relentlessly.

Perhaps I have been too hard on myself. I place numerous restrictions on my diet. I cleanse my liver with milk thistle and oil of clove; detoxify my spleen and kidneys with mixtures of honey, cayenne pepper, and apple vinegar; grind lime skins with raw garlic for my intestines. I conduct copious amounts of research on anesthesia and wound control. I take steps to educate myself in the field of occupational prosthetics at the local college.

I go to great lengths to transfer my condition to a more socially viable and acceptable form, offering countless hours of volunteer work with the handicapped. I have had several uncomfortable conversations with psychologists and surgeons known to be specialists in the care of pre-surgical and post-operative transsexuals.

Don't Smell the Floss by Matty Byloos - Write Bloody Publishing

Mine is not an aesthetic need; this visceral compunction towards functional asymmetry is who I am …. From the Greek, literally meaning amputation love. Succinctly, apotemnophilia defines the condition of self-demand amputation, which is believed to be related to the eroticization of the stump and to overachievement despite a handicap. These persons, unlike paranoiacs, recognize that other people do not accept their own ideas concerning self-amputation. Symptoms are induced for the sake of becoming an amputee, and for the sake of erotic arousal, and seldom is self-injury repeated.

The precise etiology of the condition is not known, and there is no agreed-upon method of treatment. They are trophies of his disdain for me.

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The foot causes me to walk funny, slightly leaning to my left side and shuffling unevenly forward. My father yells at me for walking funny, until I undergo surgery to fix my deformity at age fourteen. There is no mention of the clubbed foot thereafter. It will take several months for this to heal, and I am rendered unable to walk even poorly , for fourteen months. She suffers third-degree burns and is bed-ridden for eight months. I transfer any and all trans-gender fantasies to my idea of a healthy limb removal. I break my leg on purpose when I force-fall off a horse at a pony riding carnival attraction, and enjoy the acts of cast, crutches, and the modified means of mobility. I read many books on the subject, and attempt to make a miniature one of my own after a few months of research with small scraps of wood, a five-pound weight, and several razor blades. I only succeed in cutting off the most marginal amount of my left pinky finger, and feel dissatisfied with the process. Though the cut is small, I wear a band-aid with a tiny red bloodstain in the middle shaped like a Peony flower for months.

I hold it, smell the raw wood of the stock, and aim it at my knee without pulling the trigger. Here are some delicious ones Here's what she said: "The opening story "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice" is the kind of fiction you will tell everyone you know about We know that a lot of book groups are formed for one purpose: to get the members reading all those books they mean to read but never get to, and that that applies to both the big name authors and those intriguing, small-but-worthwhile titles.

We've got a few recommendations this month that fly both over and under the radar: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson This book was already popular in hardcover, and now it's out in paperback just as its sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire , is published in the U. This intrigue-filled novel is "exceptional Meticulously plotted, beautifully placed, and features a cast of two indelible sleuths and many juicy suspects," according to the Boston Globe.

Sounds like good end-of-summer reading to us! The Summer of The Ubume by Natsuhiko Kyogoku First of all, if we were in the habit of judging books by their covers, that would be reason enough for us to love this newly translated supernatural mystery by the author the publisher calls "the Neil Gaiman of Japanese mystery fiction. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery From the author of Elegance of the Hedgehog , here's another novel that "shows all the skill of Hedgehog and deals with the same themes: social class, philosophy, Japan and food, glorious descriptions of all kinds of food," according to Publishers Weekly.

This one just came out in the U. We'd also like to take the opportunity to announce that Skylight manager Emily, of the aforementioned Coyotes book club, has started a new feature on the blog! Now, after Coyotes meetings, members who missed the discussion will get the chance to catch up on the Coyotes Round-Up! First edition up now; keep your eye out for more in the future.

E-mail Emily at emily skylightbooks. You can check out our registered book groups here. Next door to the Los Feliz Cinema and across the street from the Post Office where you can park after 6pm. Bicycle racks in front of the store. Email Marketing by. In This Issue. In the Neighborhood. Banned Books Week.

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Jennifer Caloyeras. Michael Jacob Rochlin. Candacy Taylor. Matty Byloos. Kim Addonizio. Peter Gadol. Jaime Hernandez. Frank Portman. Paul Krassner. Stefan Bucher. Skylight Literary Salon. Eileen Myles. John Carrera. Infinite Summer's End Celebration. Michael Bobelian. Stephen Elliott. The Promising Series. Banned Books: Open Mic Readings from challenged and banned books. Kaya Oakes and Special Guests. Volunteer for Holiday Gift Wrapping. Skylight's Blog: A Feast for the Eyes!

Book Groups and Hot Fiction!


Go to IndieBound. Skylight Around Town: Join us for these events. Store Bestsellers 1. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon 2. Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke 4. The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee 7. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer 8.

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Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli 9. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Zeitoun by Dave Eggers 2.


I was kittied to death by these stories. Matty Byloos's fiction doesn't go down smooth, and that's a good thing: his sentences are hot blurts that bust rudely and . Editorial Reviews. Review. I was kittied to death by these stories. Matty Byloos's fiction doesn't.

Imperial by William Vollmann 3. Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett 4. Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens by K. Cole 6. Imperial: Photographs by William Vollmann. Join Our List. Speaking of our website Kerry Slattery, General Manager kerry skylightbooks. The 27th year of Banned Books Week is fast approaching and we are planning an event-filled week of celebrating and defending our First Amendent.

September Events at Skylight Books. Tuesday, September 1 at p. Sunday, September 6 at p.

Don’t Smell the Floss: Healthy Social Boundaries as an Obstacle to Fiction

Monday, September 7 at p. Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress Cornell University Press The award-winning photographer, writer, and visual artist will present her fascinating new book on an American cultural icon: the coffee shop waitress. This book is a must-have for anyone who loves diners and coffee shops.

Taylor travels more than 26, miles throughout the United States collecting stories of lifer waitresses. It's weird -- the stories, some of them anyway, date back quite a while, so there's a kind of ongoing process of discovery and re-discovery happening at any point for me. I love to read the character descriptions from "Conrad 'Connie' Borscht on Looking" -- those 2 actors feel very real and very close to me.

I'm happy with the weird poetics and strangeness of each of them and the pages dedicated to putting flesh on their bones. People seem to respond nicely to " Leon Spaughy," the story about the Buddhist skunk who appears as a wandering spirit guide to the distressed and lonely copywriter. There are video pieces or slide shows that accompany many of the stories so far, and I've partnered with an artist named Josh Atlas to bring something different to my live readings www. A different dimension, something tangential or metaphorical or at least visually compelling to allow me to read minutes of text to a stranger without necessarily losing their attention.

I just read the "Brief History of the Tupperware Party" story for a podcast, and was very happy with that -- it was my first time reading it, and it felt very touching, this story about this sad, insecure Sasquatch-like figure trying too hard to be accepted and loved completely by his little wife. For the video component, we actually got a group of dudes together to simulate some of the scenes. Cue riotous laughter and embarrassing here, please. Are you currently writing anything?

Are there any characters from "Don't Smell the Floss" that may make an appearance in future stories? I am hard at work on a new book of short stories, all of which have been vaguely mapped out, a few of which have been completed. Something I didn't do with the first group of 14 was to get them published in journals and magazines before the book, so I'm trying to build some relationships there in order to get the work out in another way to a different audience before I go looking for someone to help me get out a second book.

Like I said earlier, the characters from " Not sure, though. Dangersby" really reads like the very confusing end of a relationship, and I could see writing my way into more of that, backwards, I guess. What book s are you reading right now? Both lovely reads. Picked up or traded for works by Tao Lin, Matthew Simmons, Matthew Stadler -- all very exciting to me and hard not to quit my job and just read all the time Which 5 books would you save if your house were to catch fire?

I gave my girlfriend a first edition, signed copy of an Anne Sexton book of poems for her birthday last December, and seeing as we will be living together soon, I'd definitely put that at or near the top of my list. It really is marvelous -- being able to give someone something so precious, and also being able to imagine the poet's actual hands holding the book, and a pen, and them signing it.

Super freaky to me but amazing somehow. A large catalogue of Peter Doig's paintings, and another of Francis Bacon's paintings. For number five, maybe something sentimental. That would be a must read over and over again. What is your take on eBooks and eReaders, as an author and as a reader? My take so far is just from the gut. I hate 'em. But I also don't have one, so on a technical level, my opinion is totally worthless. I get the convenience aspect as far as traveling is concerned, and having less stuff to carry, but whatever on convenience -- sometimes I think we make things a bit too easy for ourselves, maybe.

I just tend to be a bit of a romantic, purist, traditionalist, etc.