flawnt’s funeral

On 16.06.2010, Metazen published “Happy Bloomsday Finnegan Flawnt… A Goodbye. A Primer. Bow.” on their blog. a very special tribute to my work and to the personage of flawnt with contributions by some very special friends: Frank Hinton, Drew Parker, Sheldon Lee Compton, Heather Vaulkhard, Michelle Elvy, Cyn Kuhn, Katrina Gray, Susan Gibb, Sam Rasnake, Martha Williams, and Hzar Worth. Reposted here as “Flawnt’s Funeral”. thank you all – you’re in my heart of hearts. -FF

I don’t even know where to start this/why this is happening. It is new for me. I don’t understand it. Maybe I haven’t ‘suffered’ enough loss in my life. It isn’t really even loss. He will be back, this isn’t the end.

And it kind of is. I don’t know what sort of end it is, but it is an end. An end is coming. The end of Flawnt.

For him it means a bit more creative freedom. A bit more time to work on a novel, on some kind of passion. Who is he? I barely know. When I waded into online literature around this time last year I clicked the word Flawnt randomly on some random blog I’d stumbled upon. I read a story by him and asked him to join me in whatever the hell I was doing. So I suppose from him I drew momentum and became more of a watcher. I watched how he interacted with others online, his wit, his kindness. I watched as friends and fans gathered around to read his words. New snippets of the good stuff popped up in frequency. There was an awe.

Consider this:

“On the terrace outside of the commons stood a small bucket labelled ‘Nürnberger  Würstchen’, filled with green water. This is where students dropped their butts. It has been observed before: fags look like little musty, wiggling worms. What hasn’t been said before is that here they actually were worms, with eerie eyes looking for idlers, who were desperate enough to rescue them from the depth of destitude, drying and reusing the tobacco for roll-ups. A small contribution to a greener, better world. We called this place ‘Wormwood’: it was easy to meet women there, hanging onto a stub, enabling and indulging addiction, slinking away from intimacy, eyes on the sausage.”

A flash. A world. Here is the mastery. You see it all, you smell it. You feel more than he says. It is the right mixture, a spoon pulled from honey: the movement of the drizzle. This is Flawnt.

So where to go? Maybe some will not notice this void, but others will. I don’t know what will happen. Mourning? Curiosity? Waiting. In the end, it will be waiting.

Maybe you never knew Flawnt and the power of his fiction and flash. Please take a moment to learn a bit about him.

Finngan Flawnt I love you always. You are my friend.

– Frank

Drew Parker

“The couple and their child carefully drive through the snow, aware of the slippery road,  a black a red and a blue robin in a rolling cage. The streets are full of people exchanging presents after the holidays, gifts wanted and unwanted, surprises welcome and unwelcome.”- A Good Day For Small Crashes

It took me all of about sixty seconds to recall my favorite Finnegan Flawnt piece, A Good Day for Small Crashes.  In the space of a three (count ‘em, three) short paragraphs, this slice of life flash charms, surprises, and rewards with a laugh.

Good luck with the novel, Mr. Flawnt. I hope it comes roaring out.

Sheldon Lee Compton:

I like Finn’s untitled, as far as I could tell, flash about Hestia awaiting the return of “her prince, no her king,” so that she might receive the “praise and the adoration befitting a goddess of the hearth.”

This story can be found here.

What Finn’s accomplished for me with this piece is taming a subject that might have been approached by any other writer with irony in mind.  Irony, the dead tool, the broken hammer, etc.  The accomplishment comes in the small details that reveal to us this is Hestia’s fantasy, the “goddess of the hearth.”  Stairs instead of elevators, the “emptiness of her apartment.”  Finn shows us that Hestia’s world is not and may never be what she dreams, but that Hestia dreams anyway.  To survive.  To live.  It’s a story of hope in the middle of great darkness rather than escape from a perhaps unchangeable reality that cannot be faced.

Finnegan…We’ve talked over the past week of your departure, and I’ve written you about this already, but I want very much now to say again your work was power and humility, generous and absorbing, and that  you, sir, were an example that will remain long after you’ve left the room.

Heather Vaulkhard

As for myself,
I am a man most of all,
then a father
and a writer last,
but great I am not
in any of these,
be it character
or occupation. – My Hood

I’ve gotta be brief…hmmm…I love so many stories, I don’t know where to start!
my fave of all, is “The Vessel”

This tale is so colourful, I loved the artwork and the characters in this story. it made me smile and moved me too. (not in a syrup of figs way, you understand?

I also loved, hearted, swooned over “My Hood“…heartfelt and delightful.

I must mention “At a Welsh Wedding” …a dedication to Frank,  I loved the ancient mariner and his irreverance…cool as ice this piece. i have to admit, I would’ve grovelled about in my posh frock for a few of those thrown rocks…
the trilogy of ‘icarus files’ were pretty special too, different from the rest..and they left me wondering what was gonna happen next….now i may never know..;o/
lastly, but by no means least…”Why I write“…was pretty special…the descriptive prose was magnificent …i will always keep a mental picture close to my heart ,of flawnt writing with his dandelion quill.

I hate goodbyes, they ruin my mascara and my smile quivers into a noisy simper…auf wiedersehen my flawnty friend.

good luck and love to you,
Heather   (Vaulkhard)

Michele Elvy:

From Flash by Flawnt

Flawnt, how can I tell you why I will miss your stories? Take this one. It is the simplest thing in the world, an old man with his grandson at a garden. Nothing happens: no action, no dialogue. Yet a whole world exists here, between man and boy and circling bird. There is loneliness and connection. Love and sorrow. Life and death. Holiness and space. A flash of moment and eternity. These are essential things that I find at the heart of your stories, Flawnt. Essential things at the heart. Essential things. And the grey here too: it’s one of the reasons I love this so. The scene is clear enough, but it’s no neat black-and-white portrait. And yet, I feel comfortable in the grey here. I am huddling under the man’s heron wings with the boy, and I’d like to stay just a little while longer.

-Michelle Elvy

Cyn Kuhn:

– For Cyn

…Was not easy to pick, but this one seems the obvious choice..of all the gifts I have ever been given, this is one of my most treasured…it isn’t often that a “reader” is let into a writers world…   I have no words my dear Mr. Flawnt, to express my feelings right now.

Katrina Gray

It was a small world with many rules, every thing signifying an action or the suppression of an action, and quite possibly also the thought leading to such an action. It was an environment that denied the existence or necessity of personal creativity and expression, because his day was meant to be mindlessly busy, and keep him busy, in the name of the company, not his muse.” – Flatulence

1) “Flatulence”:  I have soft spot in my heart for both Flawnt and farts. Farts are always funny, and Flawnt is always fascinating. Put the two together, and it’s as good as winning the Powerball. What I love most about this story is that that Flawnt awards a kind of sophistication to rank bodily functions. There’s the boring, sterile office environment in this story, and the character Nicholas blows it apart with the only thing in his control: flatulence. You blow apart anything with flatulence, really, and Flawnt reminds us that we all—at minimum—have this single weapon in all our arsenals.

2) “The Last Story”: This story gutted me. Plus Flawnt uses the term “knobbly bits,” which is always a winner in my book. The lightness and humor of this piece buoyed me through the ever-present recognition that I as a writer will also have a Last Story, and that any story could be my last, that “one of my stories will come round and not leave.” And in the end, love is what’s left. Extra points, too, because of the uncanniness in this particular situation. Farewell, Flawnt.

3) “Why I Write”: Because I am freaking amazed that someone else could articulate exactly why *I* write, while my own explanation is still dancing on the tip of my tongue.

Good-bye, Flawnt. You rest in my heart, in a hamster cage under milk wood. Do not even try to evaporate: I will not let you go.

Susan Gibb

“When he died, people wore dark colours and said nice things about him. They played sad music, which he wouldn’t have even liked, and they had his deathmask taken which made him look limp and not like him at all. When they were gone, weeks afterward, I bought a star on the Internet and named it after him, which seemed suitable, given that he is probably still dishing it out to God.” – Obituary for a Poet Heretic

Obituary for a Poet Heretic is a prime example of what I love best about Finny’s writing style; finding the perfect word to use in place of description or explanation. For example, this concise opinion of the narrator’s father: “My father was a surgeon, a shaman and a greyhound.” There’s a lifetime of character in three words. Finnegan understands human nature and man in all his vulnerabilities. He shows us ourselves and even at our worst, finds a reason to make us likeable.

In Obituary, there is a mental conversation between the surgeon and God that reveals all the doubts we have in our own abilities as well as in a viable version of any hope of a greater power looking over our shoulder. Yet the man himself displays hope and acceptance and pride in his son even though his choices are not the same as his own. Finnegan then brings us to the end of this life, and with a touch of humor reveals the son’s own pride and hope amid his own doubts in his farewell to his father.

Great stuff from a great writer and friend to whom I wish a lifetime of successful writing and who only need look over his shoulder to find me watching his own star rise.

Sam Rasnake:

– From Flash by Flawnt

The piece – “The Schmock greeted his fate with perfect equanimity.” – May 19, 2010, Flash by Flawnt, fully exemplifies to my eye and ear the written landscape that is uniquely Flawnt’s.  Wonderful rhythms and imagery – and a matter-of-fact style that overwhelms the reader.  Strong writing.  Love the closing of this piece.  “The words ‘Factory of Blind Infants’ on the inside jacket of the breviary found at the murder scene didn’t mean anything to any of the policemen in attendance.”  Perfect.

All roads lead to Rome – Fine.  All words lead to Finnegan Flawnt.  Yes.

Sam Rasnake

Martha Williams:

“my hands were made of iron: i built a faraday cage to shield my manhood from curious looks. thus armed, i left work & went for a walk in the park that always makes me peevish, but more so when i’m horny and upset. i watched the people pass through their lives & i wondered how they might feel on the inside: furry or feverish or simply red-hot. i sat down on a bench to read, munching carots and sandwich prepared by her for me, lovingly i had to give it to her. the sun melted my resolve to remain a grump. teenagers hopped along, listlessly. no radiowaves ravished my soul. calm & collected i got back to work, lead my team astray & postponed deadlines like an expert undertaker.” – Tickled Pink

It’s scrumptious, it’s rambunctious, it emanates from a Tibetan bowl, it resonates in our minds, it flies, it flaunts its fly, it’s Flawnt.

It’s Tickled Pink.

I first saw this story on Fictionaut, and was enchanted by its rich tapestry; the man who did nothing… the unhinged, hammered hurt from a fight, the train of thought that wends its way between naked Cuban thighs and park gates beneath a flurry of negative newsflakes to end up back in bed with a sweet chariot wife and words about wisdom… all told with an energy that crackles around our Faraday skulls and a resonance that reminds us of the Tibetan bowl from whence it came.

After I ‘faved’ Tickled Pink on Fictionaut, Flawnt replied and told me it was his first story on Metazen… and, well, it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Hzar Worth:

“I am a bomb but I mean you no harm.

That I still am here to tell this, is a miracle: I was deployed on May 15,  1957, but I didn’t go off because a British nuclear engineer, a young father,  developed qualms after seeing pictures of native children marveling at the mushrooms in the sky, and sabotaged me. I could see why during that short drop before I hit the atoll: the island looks like god’s knuckles in a bathtub, the ocean is beautifully translucent, corals glow underwater, a dead city of bones, allowing a glimpse into a white netherworld. I met the water and fell a few feet into a chromatic cemetery.” – Christmas Island

When I read this piece, I was in the midst of contemplating how so many people drown themselves in the useless artifice of ‘labels’ as an act of some type of grandness to their otherwise very uncertain lives.

This wasn’t about bemoaning the so-called ‘sorrows of the World’ which people seem to snort like high grade cocaine from Columbia’s ever abundant supply-load these days. Fuck, people want to punish themselves over the woes of this World like a scorned lover who can’t seem to get past the truth the love has ended, and people move forth to move on, to move forth…

But ’10:46 hrs – Vatican City, Italy’ struck against my thoughts and senses because Flawnt possesses this unerring capacity to not just write clever lil’ stories, which seems to populate the InterWeb like frogs at a pond after a long day’s rainstorm… Instead, Flawnt has created a central character who has flaws, has fears, and the World gives two wits about who he might be, or what occupation defines him and his importance.

In the virtual realms of clever writers with their cute and clever lil’ stories, Flawnt’s writing feeds my man-size mind. I will remain always thankful for this insight he possesses. Thank you, Flawnt.

Finnegan Flawnt:

…After having published more than one hundred and fifty stories on his finely wrought and yet incorporeal blog, after having negotiated precious terms of endearment with hundreds of reading and writing strangers and after having created a virtual, almost fleshly creature – more than a character but a creator of characters himself, the serious writer felt the need again to touch something real and be touched by it…”

Read Flawnt’s goodbye.


And we will watch your curtain patiently. Good luck back there sir.

4 Responses “flawnt’s funeral” →
4 Trackbacks For This Post
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