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Bedtime Stories: Subconscious Fictions: 1987-2017

Bedtime Stories: Subconscious Fictions: 1987-2017

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Bedtime Stories: Subconscious Fictions: 1987-2017

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Lançado em:
Jan 1, 2018


Surreal flash fictions, vignettes, or perhaps dreams. Read individually, they are snapshots into the subconscious mind. Read linearly, or if one dips in wherever they so choose, a peculiar narrative begins to emerge, where pop culture, the mundane, and the horrors of contemporary existence walk hand in hand toward an unexpected — and sometimes humorous — place. 

Lançado em:
Jan 1, 2018

Sobre o autor

Julian Gallo lives and works in New York City. His poetry has appeared in over 40 journals throughout the Unites States, Canada and Europe. He is the author of 9 poetry books, "Standing on Lorimer Street Awaiting Crucifixion" (Alpha Beat Press 1996), "The Terror of Your Cunt is the Beauty of Your Face" (Black Spring Press 1999), "Street Gospel Mystical Intellectual Survival Codes" (Budget Press 2000), "Scrape That Violin More Darkly Then Hover Like Smoke in the Air" (Black Spring Press 2001), "Existential Labyrinths" (Black Spring Press 2003), "My Arrival is Marked by Illuminating Stains" (Beat Corrida, 2007), "Window Shopping For a New Crown of Thorns" (Beat Corrida, 2007), "A Symphony of Olives" (Propaganda Press 2009) and "Divertimiento" (Propaganda Press 2009). He is also the author of 6 novels, "November Rust (Beat Corrida, 2007), "Naderia" (Beat Corrida, 2011), "Be Still and Know That I Am" (Beat Corrida, 2011), "Mediterraneo" (Beat Corrida, 2012), "Europa" (Beat Corrida, 2013), the short story collection "Rapid Eye Movements" (Beat Corrida 2014) and "Rhombus Denied" (Beat Corrida, 2015)

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Bedtime Stories - Julian Gallo


People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.

Neil Gaiman

A very cold night.

You’re walking along 210th Street, freezing.

The neighborhood is desolate.

No signs of life, except for a homeless man who’s standing on the corner eyeing you with contempt. He’s wearing an old beat up brown leather jacket, a black button up shirt adorned with green circles, green polyester pants, and dirty brown saddle shoes. A dusty, brown fedora sits upon his head. At first, you believe it’s because you aren’t from the neighborhood but you can tell his anger runs much deeper. You can almost feel the roughness of his unshaven face just by looking at it. His eyes say, I hate you, you bastard!

You try to ignore him although you can’t help feel extremely uneasy about him.

What a shitty neighborhood this is.

On the opposite corner a pimp loiters with one of his girls.

On each of the four corners, the entrance to the subway.

Your destination.

You just lit a cigarette and have no intention of throwing it away. At the same time, you don’t want to be standing around.

When you hear the train pulling into the station underground, you dart down the stairs.

The platform is packed, a quite unusual sight considering the wasteland above. People push and shove to get through the turnstile, as if this were the last train out of Hell. Perhaps it is. You slip through the turnstile without paying the fare and leap through the already closing doors and find an empty seat.

It’s a long ride back downtown.

A very pretty girl sitting next to you.

She looks Italian.

There isn’t much room on the seats so your legs are virtually on top of hers. She doesn’t seem to mind. She presses her leg against yours and it seems to make her more comfortable.

You glance out the window at the train passing by in the opposite direction. It appears in negative. Everyone riding it is dressed in nineteenth century attire and they are illuminating.

Everything is okay for the moment. The girl sitting next to you is wearing a perfume that is mildly arousing. You glance at her out of the corner of your eye.

Her leg.

She’s making it obvious that she isn’t just trying to make herself comfortable.

You’re distracted.

The train is now riding outdoors instead of underground.

Snow covered factory roofs.

The sky overcast.

The air filled with smog.

A river down below.

You’re going the wrong way.

As you wait to get off at the next stop, the passengers are getting loud and restless. Bronx people? you wonder.

The train moves across a narrow wooden bridge.

A smokestack from one of the factories is spewing a lava-like spray into the warship grey sky.

This is Michael’s stop, you hear a voice say.

You step off the train, followed by the girl who’d been sitting next to you. She takes hold of your hand, rests her head on your shoulder.

Hello, you say.

Hi, she says, not raising her head from your shoulder.

She tells you her name but you immediately forget it. We’re walking beside the narrow track bed.

Snow everywhere.

Delinquents everywhere.

They know we don’t belong there.

Extensive track work is being done, wooden boards shield the middle track. Pollution in the air.

You say, I think I’m off at the wrong stop.

Oh? the girl replies. 

You make your way to the other side of the bridge to head back, take the stairs down to the street.

You’re on the tarmac of an airport.

It’s snowy, dark, cold.

You need to find a pay phone. You have to deliver two videocassettes you have in your pocket.

Where can I find a phone? you ask the girl.

She doesn’t answer.

Never mind. There’s got to be one around here somewhere. Maybe down at the end of this road?

Again, no answer.

The road is wet with slush, puddles, dirty ice.

It’s extremely cold.

You kiss the top of the girl’s head, ask, Are you sure you can’t go with me?

She shakes her head.

You kiss her again, embrace her.

You walk on down the road.

You know she’s standing there watching you.

You’re thinking it’s probably better off this way.


. . . . . . 


You’re heading nowhere.

Just wandering.

The sun is bright and it reflects off the snow.    Blinding.

You meet Carlo at the intersection of First Avenue and Desolation Row.

Where are you going? you ask him.

I’m going to see George, he says. Want to go with me? 

We walk towards the subway. The station is under a kiosk. As we push through the turnstile you spy a pretty blonde in a red peacoat and black beret. She slips on the wet tile and falls hard to the ground. You feel sorry for her but you laugh rather than help her up.

The train’s coming, Carlo says.

This station always gives you the creeps.

We run towards the train like madmen, instinctively know the next one won’t arrive for at least twenty-five minutes to a half hour.

You run into the middle car just as the doors are closing. Carlo runs into the last car, squeezing himself in among the crowd.


The train is crowded and full of freaks. A midget wearing a wrestling outfit is swinging from the strap handle muttering something in an indecipherable dialect. He has one eye situated more or less in the center of his forehead. There are fat women, men who look like prizefighters from the 1890s.

A man wearing an apron says, Pizza. That’s the way to go.

Yeah, you can make a small bundle with that, you tell him.

I make the money, I pay the bills. It’s worth it.

You nod but respond no further, find an empty seat and sit down. You rest your tired eyes for awhile and when you open them, you see a happy couple sitting across from you. They sicken you. They get up, walk over to the doors, slide them open and step out into a living, breathing black and white film, walk in the opposite direction of the train. You watch in amazement until they disappear from view.

John Avenue.

Last stop.

You get off the train.

Carlo is nowhere to be seen.


Another shit hole neighborhood and you wonder why you always end up in the most desolate places. The burnt out bodegas make you think the area had once been very prosperous but have since seen better days. There must have been an EL here once, you tell yourself, and make a mental note to look into that.

You step into a doorway to get out of the cold. Inside, you run into Roxanne. She’s leaning against a stack of newspapers.

Where did you get those? you ask her.

Francis gave them to me, she says.

You leave her and proceed down John Avenue.


There’s a bus stop ahead with a lone bench. From it you admire the scum of the earth as they walk by, derelicts all, junkies mostly. Directly across the street there’s a sign mounted on the lawn in front of a housing project: Black Traffic Under Surveillance

You think about how fucked up that is, especially in this part of the city.

You remove a pair of sunglasses from your coat pocket and put them on upside down. You see another midget crossing the street. He’s wearing a grey suit that’s way too big for him, a white shirt, a bright red tie, and oversized shoes. There’s a puppet over his hand. He brings the puppet close to his face then growls. He comes close to you but doesn’t say anything. Instead he takes the puppet off his hand and places it over a parking meter. Out of nowhere, a group of dirty children run over to it and tear it to pieces.

You find refuge in another doorway, a little shaken. Two Puerto Rican guys inside the foyer of the building are looking at you through a pair of binoculars.

You leave, walk further down the avenue, spot an open bodega.

Inside, Yuppies are stuffing their mouths with spoonfuls of Grey Poupon.

You look around.

Your cousin Owen is laughing at something. He’s wearing a bad toupee, grey pants, and red suspenders over a green paisley shirt. You have no idea what the hell he’s laughing at.

You light a cigarette, much to the annoyance of the bodega’s owner.


. . . . . .


You catch the subway at the far end of

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