Joshua Cohen

Rip off the wings of dragonflies

Rip off the wings of dragonflies, take their “spines,” their central lengths and a bit of paste, affix them down noses, between the eyes, one per customer. A dream.

The most important thing

The most important thing, about this pen, is to maintain inkflow: (the idea that) the ink must flow and continue flowing, at all times.

A Certain Angle

Remember, he said, when loaning it to me, this pen won’t write unless held at a certain angle.

It is said of the Emperor Fu Kang

“It is said of the Emperor Fu Kang: that He, with eyes unflinching, and a hand at peace, would have His enemies, and He had many, executed by decapitation. Further, that He would have their heads scooped out, embalmed then impregnated with magnet: the cavity that held the brain would be filled with iron, mined in the furthest West. During His ample leisure He enjoyed tossing these magnetized heads at a metallic surface. Actually in later years, with His son gaining influence, His Empire modernizing and so falling to ruin, this metal surface was often the door to an enormous refrigerator, then the largest to be found in the universe (opening it required two teams of oxen and an equator of rope). Inside this fridge the Emperor kept his foodstuffs, luxuriously imported at our expense, at a temperature most appropriate.”

Joshua Cohen is the author of three novels, including Witz.

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