about the author

J. A. Tyler is the author of six novel(la)s: Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books, 2009), Sinatra (Vox Press, 2010), In Love with a Ghost (Willows Wept Press, 2010), A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed (Fugue State Press, 2011), A Shiny, Unused Heart (Black Coffee Press, 2011), & The Zoo, a Going (Dzanc Books, 2013). His work has appeared recently with DIAGRAM, Sleepingfish, Caketrain, Fairy Tale Review, elimae, & Action, Yes. He is also founding editor of Mud Luscious Press. To read more, visit: mudlusciouspress.com.

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All These the Violent Children (An Episode of Rain)

J. A. Tyler

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It is raining.

There is rain.

The rain that is raining is the rain of hammers. It takes seventeen hammers to full up the well. The well is full of hammers. When the children drink from the well, swallow the hammers, the claw-ends open up their throats. Where blood should be there are nails. Nails pour out.

In the rain are children’s dreams. Their dreams are peppermint. Peppermint is white nestled in red. In the dreams white disappears and red is blood. In the rain where these dreams are the white is a home that never was, an island without rain, a hat without a head to be put upon.

Children are playing chess. Children are looking out windows. Children are fumbling with zippers. The rain is pooling and the pools are red puddles. It is raining. Children say check. Other children move their pieces. Other children bang their fists on tables. Other children explode into red blooms, snowflakes of skin, ponds of wet like rain soaked carpet.

Rain coming down.

This school is in a city. This city is in a state. This state is in a country. This country is balanced on the end of a spoon held in the hands of a sky, washed in a thickness of stars, clutching a mantra of inglorious thunder.

The rain is cupboards filled with knives. Sharp knives and dull knives and knives with wooden and plastic and bone-carved handles. Knives the children can take out in dozens and stab into the other children around them, until the school is a more lonely place than the pit in a stone.

It is raining.

Rain hits the monkey bars, rain takes the slide, rain goes into the ground. This rain as it falls screams to the playground below in a noise of children’s hands applauding. The children have no hands. The children let the rain wash their stumps, their wrists weeping up at the handles of doors. There are swings and no children swinging inside of this rain.

There is rain.

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