If you could watch anyone who considers themself a writer at work, you would likely wonder what they were doing. Writing stuff for others to read — from books to poems to stories to online articles to technical papers to freakin’ product brochures — tends to be an extended, measured and prudent process that involves looking out the window, organizing your email, watching porn (usually actively), reading back issues of People magazine pilfered from your dermatologist’s office, working on a blog post started six months before, checking on your fantasy sports team, thinking about lunch (or dinner), napping, scrawling something “deep” in a notebook, eating cookies, going to the grocery store, wondering why you just read the latest New Yorker short story, and making lists of stuff you need to get done when you finally have time.
A third storey window view of woods, a hidden railroad, a distant field, pieces of stream brimming with rainwater and life. In just the past few days, the skeletal dormancy of winter forest, sketched brown and black all season, slight olives maybe, smeared white mashed to gray, cold dark shadows growing and breaking and growing again — all glistens now in new light, soaked emerald and jade nippling everywhere, early green plugged in, glow-pulse and skimmering in watery mist and fog, slow-motion rain — a spring like few others in the knowable history of the modern world.
The sky is a lake joining everything. We are afraid or worried or wondering what’s next, influenced by everything that media has to offer. Continue reading “Geometry of the Unknown: Animals with Nowhere to Go”
I’m quite happy to report that my short story, “Litter Entries,” has been posted online at the literary publication Philadelphia Stories website. It did not win in the Margarite McGlinn Fiction Contest, but did indeed make the final cut as an Honorary Mention.
“Litter Entries” operates on a lot of levels. It takes place in a fictionalized version of LOVE Park in Philadelphia. I began to write this piece in 2012 before the park got completely remodeled. For awhile I figured I needed to add all that change to the story. The new LOVE Park is nothing like the old one. However, I realized as I wrote and re-wrote that Continue reading “My story “Litter Entries” made the cut in the Margarite McGlinn fiction contest”
Yesterday I used the anger emoji on Facebook for the first time ever.
Generally, when I am confronted on social media with something that affects me adversely, I use the crying roundface emoji. The more diabolic something or someone is online, the sadder I feel.
In the end, sadness usually seems like the only legitimate choice—at least, that’s the way it was up until yesterday when I chose anger.
All of which leads me to wonder Continue reading “The Anger Pastime: What’s Woke May Actually Be Broke”
Good Gods! the summer is such a face slapper when you’re trying to write fiction. And yet, somehow I got stuff done–not enough by any means, but stuff nonetheless.
I’ve had summers where I’ve completely driven off the road and been unable to find my way back until Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I was on the move in a big way finishing up a novella about modern addiction after a summer of twiddle-twaddling, and out of the blue I get leveled by a ruptured disk in my lower back.
But it’s boring to hear about a writer’s actual life, isn’t it? I apologize.
Well, boring unless the writer is letting people in on some scandalous sexual tale or they Continue reading “Which Way We Going Now?”
Reading the poet Morgan Parker gives me itchy privates and makes me wonder so much about this loneliness I feel these days. It seems I’m locked off in time, up in front watching the road, lost in the future, waiting for people to catch up.
I’ve been tracking Parker for a couple years. It’s funny that I stumbled into her when her back was turned, but she didn’t of course feel a thing. I’m not just invisible, you can’t even feel me like a breeze, or smell me either.
I was reading an old New Yorker waiting for my girlfriend to come out of her dentist appointment. It was a review of Parker or her newest book or maybe everything she means to all of us. “Morgan Parker Gets a Tattoo,” is all sorts of talk about There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé which I did indeed go out and buy a few days later. Actually, I bought two copies because I was well aware that it would be a book I wanted to keep and share at the same time.Continue reading “Finding New Land”
There’s no question you need to acknowledge or understand that human experience is fundamentally emotional and pre-conscious. If you can’t wrap your arms around that or you need to actively deny that, then you are going to continue treading water forever (or at least until you die).
Not understanding the primal in us and the pre-linguistic is to create a desert of the soul that you will endlessly try to fill and populate with other stuff/things from the outside, what is beyond you. That’s the gaping need you encounter sometimes. It’s based on denial and a blocking out of what is so simple and basic about life: you are the creator of your own life, that’s what it means to be truly free, and the connection of your own deep Continue reading “Holding On To the Good Life: Another Dinner in the Air”
The most salient feature of Los Angeles here in these days of early 2019, counting now towards 2020 (a number that looks distinctively like a couple dicks sidling up to a nice pair of tits, or maybe a simple set of orifi paralleled by numbers) is the stink of exhaled cannabis in all its vaporous smoky forms showing up in public outdoor venues on as random a basis as any sensual experience has ever occurred, like walking through a crowd during Christmas or at a well-attended sporting event where everyone has been assigned special symbols and time slots that, when aligned just so, requires in the designated person of the moment a massive elicitation of a warm, jolly, benevolent fart—hopeful transcendence along with measured, even cynical, chocolaty sulfuric admiration for all of life’s exquisite beauty—even widespread scented searching for the means to look down after a mountain climb on all of our collective stupid mysteries and idiotic, self-inflicted paradoxes. As if to say: I’m still trying to figure out if it has to do with breathing or drinking water and I have discovered that sex is an activity best served with love under afternoon light. It does not matter that we die.
The best fiction out there can be found in standup cabarets around the U.S. Comedians know how to wield the stick of verbal art to talk about the meaning of life better than anyone who types or scrawls alone in a room for a living. They also know how to stretch the boundaries of language and what topics we need to discuss openly given whatever input has been flooding the transom of everyone’s nightmares and unconscious fantasies.
I will never understand why LA and NYC are considered the full frontal super-weight fulcrums of the standup comedy sphere, but it doesn’t matter. Go to any standup house anywhere in North America and you’ll find men and women making up the most bizarre and often hilariously distasteful shit you’ve ever heard. I suppose LA and NYC are the best places because so many comics congregate in those regions (you can probably add Chicago in as well), but I’ve seen some great comedy in St. Louis, New Jersey, Tampa, Continue reading “On Stories, Fictions, Literature, and Jokes in the Modern World”