Elizabeth J. Colen’s six brief fictions appears in the May issue. She explains a shot silk effect, imagines her soul trapped in an adolescent, and strategizes handling newsprint stains.
1. Imagine your soul trapped in the body of a 15-year-old nicknamed Sneaky Pete, who loves Warhammer 40k. In this form, how would you go about touching a high school kid that cannot be touched?
I was Sneaky Pete. My Warhammer was being a girl who liked girls. This is where I developed a raging case of charm that still flares up to serve me today. I was once told I could get anyone into bed, even someone who hated me. But then I learned that people who hate you are easy to get into bed.
2. What would you do if a newspaper stained your hands?
I would paint my face with the newsprint and go commando. No, that means something else. I would go predator, maybe. See question 1.
3. What event does your face break open like?
My face breaks open like a dog fight, sometimes with blood. But not an organized dog fight. I mean the kind where pups at the park get a little wild. Dogs bite each othersâ€™ faces with no compunction. People do this metaphorically and donâ€™t admit it. And itâ€™s messier. I like open face biting, no compunction.
4. How do you differentiate from prose poem and flash fiction? You exhibit lyrical qualities in these stories and your chapbook, Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake. Do you find the genres bleed into each other? How do you keep em separated?
The process of writing them are for me no different. Itâ€™s music and compression. In anything there’s sound and story. I think the divide is when a piece is tipped in one direction (narrative/story) itâ€™s flash fiction, the other (sound) itâ€™s prose poetry. But I have pieces in my prose poetry book that are flash fiction and pieces in DMMDDM that are prose poetry. As with any line the only thing to do is cross it freely.
5. What body part do you prefer aiming at with a rifle?
Feet? No parts! I am quite against guns. Though I admit they are fun to shoot.
6. What is a shot-silk effect?
Well, literally shot silk is silk is woven in two different colors, warp and weft. The effect is that it changes color depending on how you look at it. Like relationships, or anything.