writer ; dramaturg ; producer

47 Cents

47¢

[short stories]

Assault rifles and each round of bullets. Every paper plate in a stack. A condom and a crib ... We were wizards for the 47 times tables. It went from prime to primal.

Constrained literary forms are a little bit delicious –

OuLiPo, sestinas & tweets sure, but flash fiction especially. There's the smoke long (to be consumed over the course of one cigarette), postcard fiction, six-word stories ... My weapon of choice is drabbles.

In their Big Red Book (1971), Monty Python invented a game called "Drabble"; the winner was the first person to write a novel. Since then, the name's been co-opted as a specific, slight form of flash fiction - stories of exactly 100 words. The drabble is prose’s dollar, made up of penny-words & dime-phrases & quarter run-ons. Every allotted word must be spent wisely & used up totally. It’s currency & resources, scrimping & recklessness. It’s the ideal form for a collection of stories about value.

In the main story, "Triangles", a man describes The Shift - a worldwide decision to charge the exact same amount for everything. Goods, services, bribes, fees, taxes - anything you want or owe is just 47¢. But humans discover new ways of assigning value. The rest of the collection, told via 47 drabbles, counts the many ways we judge worth.

47¢    includes images by photographer Twy Miller.

47¢ includes images by photographer Twy Miller.