Liana's Dream by Zak Block | Squawk Back is an outsider literature website of short fiction and creative non-fiction, and poetry

Running her fingers through Blakie's mother's furs, a surfeit of which, piled up in the closet, dark and deep—carpeted, economically partitioned and shelved—the closet that lights up with a dimmer switch in the hallway, just outside the bedroom, the bedroom with two ways in. Skylight, remote controlled shades whirring, sliding to reveal a panorama of the beautiful city of a winter's dark-purple eve.

Wearing absolutely nothing, but the finest of frilled and delicate undergarments, of the highest quality materials, of the most rarefied; feeling wafting through those choicest garments the sharp cool stabs of wind from a slight crack in the picture window overlooking the beautiful city, her nipples erect, gooseflesh tingling, “looking out over everything”: if not god's creation then this place, this construction, city of giant gold profligates hurling their shit from atop mountains of money; terminal destination of the transmigratory soul of Angel Wasserman, in Liana Lessenger, “looking out over everything.”

Mid-range in value commissioned reproductions of early modern such-and-such's: *classic*, *essential*; imparting to any living space a sense of *sophistication*, *erudition*, *affluence*, *wealth*, *taste*; a predilection for the finer things; the intellect, the breadth of knowledge with which to apprehend and appreciate their extrinsic values, with which to populate one's living space; a panoply representing assorted mediums, movements, styles—a reproduction, an original, an art object. Not a print, nor a framed one, nor an antique exhibit poster: none of that you'd find in your average liberal arts college dorm room; nothing pure kitsch; nor cheap, mass-produced or ugly. Only the finest... only the finest... art is an investment; this is an investment; but it must have some intrinsic value, if not to justify its value, than to justify one's interest in it, that is, in its VALUE.


a certain kind of person, a certain sheen, a certain air...

Passing through the bursting sarcophagus, of wall-to-wall carpeting, onto another stretch of wall-to-wall carpeting, thick, fine shag lived in, looking out over everything, soft enough to sleep in, like that in Blakie's room: grinding her freshly pumiced toes into the fibres, soft, soft, soft, of an intrinsic value, of an extrinsic value—*affluent*, *sophisticated*, *urbane*, *elegant*—a touch of class—a certain class of a people, a certain breed, if you will—“looking out over everything” she owns.

The preceding is excerpted from, the fourth section of, The Dream of Never-ending Heaven, a novel forthcoming, by Zak Block