I send a lot of stories off to literary journals for publication. A number were published in 2020, some are lined up for spring publication this year. All told, though, my stories were rejected or “declined” over 100 times by fiction publications during the two year period of time I was submitting them. Still, I’ve had about a 10% success rate in the past year. It might have been higher, though, if I’d made death part of more of my stories. But as a writer I have a problem with death and dying (among other things dark and nasty) in the stories I concoct. Death can be too easy.Continue reading “My Problem with Death as a Storyteller”
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”
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.
I remember the good old days of college. Post-structural, post-modernist post-urinating-in-our-pants ideas floating over from Europe — Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, Habermas, Barthes, etc. — Them guys and their notions of de-constructing our analysis of reality, proclaiming the limits of language excited the bejesus out of us. But after a while I figured out those same titillating thinkers were sort of missing the whole point of art, especially language and literature. Words aren’t limitations. Neither is individual Continue reading “While We Wait for What Comes Next, Let’s Think A Bit More About Fear of Death and Love and Sex”