Study Abroad


by B.J. Best


I remember fondly the summer I spent in France as a surrealist wine taster. Naturally, we didn’t taste any wine. Instead, we wrote descriptions such as, ‘This ’87 Chablis blooms widows’ breasts’ or ‘Joe’s beau blazes no oboe’s Beaujolaises.’ Sometimes we wouldn’t write anything, but instead send the client the remnants of a motorcycle crushed by an elephant or three days in autumn. Although the French had their own masters to look to, one day the owners brought in a decrepit Salvador Dali as an outside consultant. His face was melting off, little puddles wherever he walked. I asked him how best to live. He said the purest life is sitting on the couch, watching TV, eating crackers.


B.J. Best is the author of three books, most recently But Our Princess Is in Another Castle, a collection of prose poems inspired by video games. I got off the train at Ash Lake, a verse novella, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside in 2015. Visit him online at

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