The American Scream // Rebecca Gransden


The American Scream dream-light plays and flickers over abandoned space, where long walkways fade. Looped screenings overlap, projected onto the crumbling interior walls of the last dead mall standing in the States, a construction scheduled for demolition on a prophesied future date. Kids of skateboarders sit with their backs propped up against certain inner walls, their mouths slacked open, as the overlayed and out of sync projections run. There is no obvious source of origin for the film, no projector—only projectees, imbibing the images as a sunken parade. Circumfused score and dialogue clang into an atonal echo, while badly overdubbed undercarriages numb into a collective hymn to discordance.

In a pan-textually nonexistent booth between planes, a pity party projectionist sells his soul to a screen demon and fuses with the machine, his life force propelling the unit’s motion in a perpetual spasm of winding muscle.

Silent Disco Reverse Screaming Sucks

The kids grope for an unearned nostalgia analgesic, tanked as blank receptacles, their souls clawing out amygdala residuum. Gormless rhesus shrieks break out and fuse with the film noise, dimmed consciousness behind vocalisations in syncopated cutthroat singing. A stridulant chorus of reconstituted transhumanist dogma reabsorbs its own unspooling spiel, in an hellacious upwelling of klazomania.

David Lynch’s Family Evacuation

Backwards rust bucket milky trash couple tear into each other driving, film prop baby on the bloodied teat wrecks the day in a spray of hick rage. Centrefold neighbour fulfils juvenescent suburban bedroom voyeur wishes for resting teen comedy faces. Slow motion bar crawl amid a colonnade of furbelowed strippers. Act normal in front of a paternal mucus fountain atomiser. Townsfolk line dance towards senility while early Johnny Depp’s myopic regenerated clone Marty McFlies a hoedown with disarticulated feedback.

Autopsy of a Scream

Classless rejects are crazed by categorisation overreach, primal therapied into medically induced dementia. A collective dream state emerges where the spring thaw reveals a stiff and his collapsed sentinel—taxidermied best friend. The skateboarders’ kids rise, jaws loose, and stand wobbling, to siphon bad air. Insensible, they drift to the projections and push against the walls, as the film drapes to blanket their shaky frames, and they steal scenes and scoff them down, open throated.

Burn marks grow in the light, and the movers inside the image run into the woods.

Clown waves you out of town.


Rebecca Gransden lives on an island. She is published at Tangerine Press, X-R-A-Y, Expat Press, Muskeg, and Ligeia, among others. Her books are anemogram., RusticlesSea of Glass, and Creepy Sheen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s