Author Archives: Rick Moody

A Catalogue of Possible Forewords to the Selected Stories of Cris Mazza

  1. Cris Mazza, Shinobi Warrior

Cris Mazza, estimable polymath, trombonist, teacher, dog enthusiast, memoirist, novelist, and unparalleled master of the short story form, is also skilled in the martial arts, though this is not widely known. The training began when Mazza was an undergraduate, but accelerated significantly during her early adulthood, when she had reason, for a brief period to travel to the kingdom of Bhutan, in which nation certain Shinobi warriors from an earlier epoch had kept bright the flames of secrecy and bedazzlement over generations, maintaining a small elite training facility in Himalayan caves. Mazza’s instructor in the arcane Shinobi arts, whose name does not come down to us from the source material, was especially interested in nunchaku (ヌンチャク), and in the venerated ahimsa interpretation of nunchaku in which the one stick is breath and the other is the giver of breath. Mazza’s use of the nunchaku, according to this tradition, does not involve bodily harm in the foe, but rather stuns the foe into reflection, through the illusionary appearance of such unseemly amounts of force that any foe would come to know in a paroxysm that resistance is foolhardy. Mazza, though not of outsized physical stature, has adopted, with only minor alterations, the dazzling of ahimsa, and on one occasion used nunchaku in a dispute with a minor experimental writer, at a certain celebrated writing conference which was held that year in Chicago. During a tedious cocktail party, the experimental writer disparaged (in a fashion he believed witty) writing by women, and Mazza calmly exhumed the nunchaku from her attaché case, tore off her modest and unprepossessing pea coat, and dazzled the fuck out of the experimental writer, who retreated underneath a coffee table, after which he left the conference, that very night, claiming migraine, for his assistant professorship at Eastern Kentucky State, where he wrote a minor prose poem sequence entitled Ahimsa. Continue reading

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