Monday, November 24, 2014


…I get Word-a-Day.  Do you?  You should.  You can learn new words or figure out what the words you thought you knew really mean.

Here are a couple I like:

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1. the distribution of light and shade in a picture.
2. Painting. the use of deep variations in and subtle gradations of light and shade, especially to enhance the delineation of character and for general dramatic effect: Rembrandt is a master of chiaroscuro.

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1. of doubtful authorship or authenticity.
2. Ecclesiastical. a. (initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Apocrypha. b. of doubtful sanction; uncanonical.

…I had some tiny bits published in Gigantic Sequins back in 2010 when I used to write and write and couldn’t turn off my mind.
People on Twitter keep reposting the pieces.  I guess they must like them, or I don’t know why else they would do that.
Anyway, here they are:

She says she has a new diet, that she will only eat words from now on. I say, “Worms?” but she corrects me. She fills her bowl with adjectives. She floods her plate with plurals connoting paganism. Or maybe she means plagiarism. I get so jealous. She is one of a kind.

I am lines and glyphs and a face full of folded things. I walk on stumpy stilts. I need a cause to fight for. You told me once, “I believe in you.” People used to think the world was flat and now such a notion seems silly insanity. If you place your hand here, dip a finger into its gooey center and have a taste, you might be able to understand me.

My trachea is a leaky boat spilling saltwater as well as my secret impulses. These, they bob and throb beside bluewater veins and slippery shells, fragile but not yet broken.

The Dead Sea
She laid me down in a bed, in a bath of oily holy water stole from foreign soil. I felt compromised. My eyelids reflected on the surface, looked like unshut doors, windows left open for lurking burglars wearing gloves so as not to leave prints. When I dream now I mostly float. The salt is briny but it brings me luck.

One omen is that Mother hums now, a feline, a heater, a planet twisting wrong in its dark orbit. She irons shirts and underwear. Her hair is frosted, her lids glossy lime. There was a time so long ago, when I was maybe an embryo, that she needed me.

Today I woke and learned that I can no longer speak. My tongue is gone. My mouth is a hole, a rictus, a well. Drop a penny down to hear the splatter. Make a wish for me, please.

My Confessions
These words are my organs, pulsing and spilling sloppy over my skins and blank pages and choruses. I have urges that frighten me. Lean your head here and try not to tremble.

His breath tells stories, glories, never boring but always lethal. The stains on his striped overalls are permanent. They are.

I have possessions I want to share, little origami items with prophecies stuffed inside. When I try eating them, they show up the next day, dry and smearless. I wish I could find a person in need. I wish I wish. I wish I were more like my possessions: clearly written and meaningful.

Friday, November 21, 2014


I’ll Take You There

Behind the mad house, past barns and farms, into the woods where a brook gurgles over cabochons, we escape, wading in barefoot.  Sun glints off water sleeves, illuminating our scars.  I take your small hand.  You suck a deep breath.  “Don’t look back,” I say.  The open field on the other side stares at us like the great eye of a bank safe whose combination only we know.   


Panic my heart
like acid rain
searing holes through me.
Then at least feel my flesh,
how hard it’s gotten,
chilled like a tombstone.
It’s absurd, really,
how much
I miss you.

These Are the Times That Call For Murder

At the party there are plate-throwers in your eyes.  You’ve donned Obsession and wear a red dress. 
You never wear red.
 I watch you waltz between all those hairy-handed men with their lip-balmed bangs.  They stink of nicotine and cinnamon Altoids but you don’t bother, you only curtsy and giggle.
You never giggle.
 I get sick in my napkin, stringy yellow stuff like a contaminated egg, and I can’t help but think,
that these are the times that call for murder.
 The guy you leave with looks like my Uncle Phil. He and Phil both have hatchet-shaped sideburns and hands the size of catcher mitts.  This guy puts his palm against the small of your back where my hot breath has loitered in past years.  Over his shoulder, he winks at a barman.  This is the part where I storm across the room and beat him bloody so that you can see how strong I’ve gotten without you, but the truth is I’m kind of tipsy and it’s later than I thought.  Besides, every movie has to end eventually, even shitty ones like this.

You Know I Know

The man in the window
is make believe.
The wounds you have are self-inflected.
The love you are trying to withhold
was never yours to give.

                                                Rage Against
In the mornings I run miles before the others wake, while the sun is just bending over to tie it’s laces, the air thick like freezer air, and there is always this muzzled dog that greets me on mile seven, tearing up ground and grass and gravel, batting the diamonds of a sagging cyclone fence with his leather-gagged snout, hot snot slickening the metal.  I wonder what the owner has done to make him so angry, ropy with wrath.  When I look back the animal has a new trick, pawing a path below the fence.  Muzzle or not, he’s going to get his vengeance on.

When I hear of my wife kissing another man and confront her, she says, “Tsk tsk.  You need to appreciate the distinction between art and life.”
“But you’re not an actress,” I say.
To wit she asks, “How can you be so sure?”

She says we should try role play.  She purchases items and outfits.  She diagrams scenes on oversized note cards.  She adds stick figure drawings with different poses and the golf ball heads making unusual facial expressions, their twig limbs gesturing to whatever it is the other is up to.  She rehearses each scene, saying the lines to herself, a bit thrilled and overjoyed with herself.
When it comes time to put in practice, to test the waters, she yawns wide as a lion.  “I was only joking,” she says.  Then, “You sure are gullible.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


…Happy Wednesday.
I feel the best I’ve felt in a long, long time.  I don’t know why, but I do.  How about you?

…The world can be a pretty messed up place.  Here are some intriguing things I found in the news that might be of interest:

-Ten officials of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party have been executed for charges including watching foreign soap operas, South Korea’s intelligence agency revealed Wednesday, bringing the total of senior members killed this year to 50.
The National Intelligence Service says the officials were executed by firing squad for watching South Korean soap operas, engaging in bribes, or womanizing, The Telegraph reports.
The officials killed reportedly are close to Jang Song-thaek, the uncle of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, who was arrested in December and executed for committing crimes against the state.

-Islamic State group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq's Anbar province, officials said Saturday, the latest mass killing committed by the group.
Militants accused the men and women of the Al Bu Nimr tribe of retaliating against them after being displaced from their homes when the group seized the Anbar town of Hit last month, al-Issawi said.
On Thursday, authorities found the bodies of 48 Sunni tribesmen killed by the Islamic State group in Anbar.

-A court in Cairo has sentenced eight men to three years in prison for appearing in a video allegedly taken during a gay wedding on a boat.
The video shows two men kissing and exchanging rings on a Nile boat as their friends cheer, the reported. The video became a YouTube sensation after being posted online in September.
For their alleged appearance in the clip, eight men were arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. Egypt's top prosecutor has branded the clip as 'shameful to God'.

-An Oregon mother who had a breakdown while caring for her autistic son and ailing husband allegedly threw the 6-year-old off a bridge and then called police to tell them, authorities and relatives said Tuesday.
Jillian Meredith McCabe, 34, of Seal Rock, Oregon, was arrested for the murder of her son London, police said. Authorities discovered the boy's body in the waters of Oregon's Yaquina Bay hours after McCabe called 911 late Monday.
In the past, McCabe had spoken and written of "pulling a Thelma and Louise" — a reference to the movie in which two women drive their car off a cliff — as a response to the stresses of her life.

Monday, November 17, 2014


                                                          Facts about the Moon

He wanted to tell me facts about the moon.   When I didn’t have time, he wrote them down for me on sky blue construction paper using chalk and diagramming solar systems that had once looked familiar but now seemed bizarre, like a picture of one’s self in the distant future when they are saggy-skinned and brown-spotted.
We were young then, my boy and I, though it didn’t feel that way at the time.  Still, now I remember once we ate bananas and stuffed our gums with large chunks of the fruit and something got into me because I made shrieking monkey sounds and scratched my arm pits and hopped all over the couch dancing.  My boy, my boy he laughed so hard he almost choked to death.  When he finally caught his breath, he said, “That would have been a fun way to go,” and I think he meant it.
Tonight when I pulled into our development and saw the long limos and the strapless gowned teens with their wrist corsages and spearmint smiles I wondered what he might have looked like wearing a tux, a rash of acne on his cheek, nervous as all hell but handsome I bet.  She’d have been blonde like Mary, sweet yet sassy, too.  And I would have liked her.
Now I’ve got a drink in my hand and I keep studying my son’s galaxy picture.  There are spindly stars, rockets and oval planets, but the moon dominates.  Luna is a warbled jawbreaker hovering in space, yet drawn with curved edges so that it appears to be spinning right out of its own orbit, its trapped dimension.  I don’t know what any of it means.  I should have asked when I had the chance.
Right as I’m folding the paper up, I notice on the back side something he’s written in pencil at the base, the font a nine year old’s unsteady scrawl.  The lead is faint and smeared.  I hold it up close enough that I can smell the dusty wheat smell.  “Facts about the Moon,” it says.  “Fact One: even when you’re not aware of it, the moon is always there, waiting for you to look up over your head and notice it.”
That’s all it says.
I get up and walk to the window, draw back one of the blinds.  It’s been clear all week but now the night is so stuffed with clouds that nothing else is visible.  I stand like that, looking, waiting for the light to break through, not worried about how long it will take, just waiting.