This week, we're thrilled to present some excerpts of work featured in the current issue of Ninth Letter (vol. 7, no. 1). The first one is an excerpt from "What Rough Beast" by Stephen Marche.
The revelation arrived seven minutes into the final scene of California Creamin!, Vol. 23. Eric Deman was sodomizing Brigit Badu on a purple leather sofa beside a swimming pool overlooking the Hollywood Hills when the epiphany announced itself in the top right corner of the screen, lasting roughly sixteen seconds. No one noticed the miracle at its filming, which led a few later interpreters to infer that the revelation transpired during the transfer to video rather than during the act. But most people accepted the explanation that the two principals had their backs turned, and that the crew were so bored and exhausted by ten hours of shooting that their attention wandered for those cosmically vital sixteen seconds. A week after the production ended, a young ultraorthodox man in Jerusalem - his name has never been released - rented the DVD of California Creamin! Vol. 23 from an adult video store in the Talpoit neighborhood and, at home in his empty apartment, with his pants down, was the first to behold the very face of God.
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One of the things we loved about this story is how it became more poignant and thought provoking at every turn. The ending kept us talking, but more importantly it moved us.
To read the rest of "What Rough Best," pick up a copy of vol. 7, no. 1, which is now available in our webstore.