(Mostly) Fiction by J.S. Clark
Stories from the Tallahassee Beach Mythos
Florida has been under- and above-water many times over the eons. Who knows what evil lurks in drowned Pleistocene cities on the continental shelf? Who knows what beings transit the aether above, occasionally sighted in places like Gulf Breeze? Who knows what pale ghosts haunt the springs and sinkholes of the karst plains?
Well, I do.
This isn't a coherent, linear, or even reliable narrative. Think of these as fragments retrieved from an alternate reality, presented in roughly the same order in which they were discovered.
RoosterTail, while not explicitly part of the mythos, is probably the first appearance of a character who would later become Nadia Codrescu and even Salmakis Flow. It's in need of an overhaul but it remains one of my favorites, in part because it emerged from a friend's description of diving in St. Andrews Inlet.
Monsters from the Id, a sort of performance-art weblog on LiveJournal, has several related entries tagged mythos. Browse them for background and mood. They span a number of years and failed blogging attempts.
1539 speaks from three unfortunate points of view: Spanish, Apalachee, and--something else--to shed a little more light(?) on the old days.
Pleistocene is a sort of greeting card I created to read at a celebration of Jerry Stern's "short-short stories" held at the Warehouse in 2003.
Finally, the artily named and certain stars shot madly from their spheres is probably my best effort so far, and I hope you'll fall in love with Nadia (or whoever she is) like I did. It was published in Apalachee Review in 2003.
These aren't part of the mythos (perhaps the first one could be related) but I still wanted to share them. A mixed bag.
One of two pieces written in a Tom-Waits-burnout-junkie kind of voice, this piece seems to resonate with people strongly. You won't look at wisteria the same way again. Published in Q, 1992.
Them old Air-Conditioned Blues; another Tom Waits-ish rap from a fellow AC addict. A bit more preachy. A condensed version appeared as one of my Community Columns in the Tallahassee Democrat back in '92, and I was gratified to see it clipped out on the bulletin board at the Florida Governor's Energy Office shortly thereafter.
A wistful and partly true tale of reconnection. Ironically, this is the only "straight fiction" here, folks. Never submitted for publication.
or, possibly, Reasons Why I Mainly Write Prose.
Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan were kind enough to include my very early poem in their online guide Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
Doggerel composed in 1994 by a bachelor with poor housecleaning habits. Needs music. Needs to be on a coffee mug.
I don't know what else to call these.
Political satire meets magical realism; published in Kim MacQueen's short-lived 'zine DIS (Southeastern Culture Quarterly) in 1994.
Why I don't care if you waste paper; a Community Columnist sample from 1992.
As far Southwest as you can go - and still be in Georgia; a Community Columnist sample from 1992.
Existentialist reflections on a VW bus and entropy in general, 1998-style. One of my most profitable creations: it won first place in a fiction contest sponsored by the Vanagon.com website; the prize was a new exhaust system.