Many thanks to editor Jill Chan for publishing my piece “A Well-Trained Horse Can Sometimes Say I Love You” over at Subtle Fiction. If you get to read it, it’s an obvious homage to Luis Buñuel’s and Salvador Dali’s “Un Chien Andalou;” particularly the controversial eye-slashing scene. I remember seeing Un Chien in film school in the late 80s, and for some reason it’s stayed with me ever since. The eye they used was real, it was a cow’s eye, and so with this piece I went from that scene and moved backwards. I like this flash a lot because it’s actually the beginning of something…it doesn’t really have a punch-to-an-end structure; more like punch-to-a-beginning-never-begun sort of thing; reading it, I shudder at what’s coming next. Also, the image of horse carcasses littering roads during the Yugoslavian civil war of the early 90s played a part in writing this. That image turns up in my short story “Vanya” (over here at Guernica) briefly; something about a dead horse that’s really impactful to me. And riffing off this, the slow motion of the horse going down in the opening/prelude of Von Trier’s “Melancholia” is unforgettable to me. It’s haunting and beautiful and serene and violent.
This piece was being shopped around at a handful of magazines when Jennifer Bridges, editor of Jumping Blue Gods solicited it. I told her it would be hers if/after everyone who was considering it, rejected it. It got yanked from 4 different publications, with Subtle Fiction holding it for quite a while before making their decision to publish it. Jennifer nearly killed me. Ok, not really. But in return I gave her the “Love Letter” which I think sort of made up for the “horsey piece.”
Cheers, and as always, many thanks for your time reading.