I had been ill and disjointed for many weeks and that can be quite an assault on the mind. I am writing in the year of coronavirus and the beginning days of what is quite properly being called an uprising and it’s worldwide. My illness carried with it all the signs of coronavirus covid-19 SARS-CoV-2, but with a powerful preponderant emphasis on gastric turmoil and effluvium. Those symptoms would rise up and then subside every few weeks beginning in late April. This ebb and flow went on for three months until we realized it was all due to my handling a cardboard large trunk of old correspondence brought up from twenty years of basement storage. Letters, cards, drawings, and photographs were fully populated with mouse droppings, fur, and urine scented nestings. Likewise, I am sure that every packet or two of memories that I took up to sort through emitted strange, ephemeral mixes of old dead rodent bacteria and virus along with mold and mildew spores and the very dried saliva of death itself.Continue reading “Queequeg”
Ishmael enters the Spouter-Inn and encounters a curious, hard to discern large oil-painting, all the while speaking in the second person past: “But what most puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast.”
Such brilliance describing a mysterious “besmoked” image, somehow connecting storm and night and ship at sea. “Yet was there a sort of indefinite, half-attained, unimaginable sublimity about it that fairly froze you to it, till you involuntarily took an oath with yourself to find out what that marvellous painting meant.” And eventually landing upon the idea that it was somehow a whale about to impale itself upon broken masts.Continue reading “Entering The Spouter-Inn”
Who would have thought that Melville was such a sweet heart and so sensitive. I realize I’ve only read the first two chapters of Moby Dick, but certainly his early intention is to be gentle and loving towards his reader and to approach his story with grace and humility.
I am 713 pages from the Epilogue, but so far I am entranced, although I must admit that I’m as well a bit flummoxed by all the biblical references. Quite early on I decided to keep my mobile phone nearby which contains the “Dictionary.com” app because there are a good many words unbeknownst to most of us here in 2020.
grapnel, hbo, gregale, Euroclydon, cope-stone. I did not know who Lazarus and Dives were either.
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.
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”
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 just finished Haruki Murakami’s latest collection of short stories — Men Without Women. It’s a sad, surreal, gentle, loving, almost sexy group of stories about different ways men feel regarding being alone in the world and grappling with being somehow womanless.
I’d guess most people who are not heterosexual won’t really appreciate this book. That makes sense. For all other heterosexual writers, I want to apologize right now and forever more from the bottom of our hearts: we can only write about Continue reading “Male Writers Are Not Trying to Be Assholes”
The Democrats want me to give them money really badly. They say they need it to fight Trump and his cronies. For the last few months they’ve been saying they want to win a special congressional election in Georgia and show well in Kansas and Montana. They’re testing the waters, attempting to declare a referendum against Trump and conservatives in the fight for America. But I can’t give them money. I won’t give them money. Not to fight and not to pretend they have a referendum on the Continue reading “The Effect of Not Reading Books – or Why the DNC Should Stop Asking Me for Money”