Dodie Bellamy is a San Francisco writer and teacher. Her books include Academonia, Pink Steam, and The Letters of Mina Harker. Her book Cunt-Ups won the 2002 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for poetry. In its Fall 1985 issue, ZYZZYVA published her story “Complicity.”

A snapshot of an arguably lost San Francisco — one before the Loma Prieta earthquake, long before the dot-com boom and bust — Bellamy’s piece is experimental without being indulgent. It meditates on sex, art, identity, and friendship, confronting the inherent messiness those themes invite. Living off of bad checks and shoplifted goods, the men and women in “Complicity” may be marginalized by society at large, but there’s nothing shrinking about them. As the narrator says, “We knew we were perverts so we wallowed in it.”


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