Friday, February 18, 2011

…I have two new stories, "A Fair Exchange" and "Fruit" up at 52/250 A Year of Flash and Staccato Fiction respectively. They're also here under "Words in Print."

…I love that photograph above, from Christine Ritter. Don't you love it, too? What are you thinking when you look at it? Who are you thinking about?

…I had an agent request to see my novel yesterday. It doesn't mean anymore than that at this point, but it was still very thrilling. I nearly peed my pants. The agent in question is someone I'd die to work with. I won't share his name unless something happens. Pray for me. Knock on wood for me. Rub a lamp and conjure up a genie. I'll be grateful. I'll repay your kindness with a box full of kisses or gummy bears, whichever you prefer.

…Augustana is an awfully great band. You should check them out. They're raging right now on my iPod.

…Sometimes I write pieces and I think, a little while after, This is actually not very good. In fact, this is crap. Sometimes I write pieces and think, Hey, this is good. I like it. I believe others will as well. And then sometimes (yes, I know I'm using that word repetitively) I send it out and people do indeed enjoy it enough to accept and publish the work. But other times, they reject work that I think is good. And sometimes they reject it a lot and then I wonder if my guage of quality is accurate.

This Is Not a Love Poem

You are in Switzerland noshing patchwork cheese,
buying wristwatches with Andre or Gary.
The sun is gentle and restrained on your faces.
The breeze kicks up enough that your hair flounces around your cheek
while seeding the air
with the honeysuckle notes of your perfume,
and at this moment
on our very planet
there could not be a more lovely creature
than you.

Over here
there’s no yellow brick road
so I’m heading off to where
the trails are paved with razors pointed topside,
sticking up jaggedly,
a billion blades
of glinting metal teeth.
To get where I need to go
requires more than faith and
means taking a blood bath.

You should be so thrilled.
Perhaps you can toss confetti across your gazpacho
or shoot up the next guy to slip you the finger.

Mind you, this is not a love poem.

Mind yourself
and mine those men with their ceramic smiles
and candy cane eyes,
their Dudley Do-Right jaws as reliable as oxbows.
Take them in the crux of your kiss,
your armpit
or crotch
for all I care.
Crush them like scrawny spiders or
choke them with a designer garrote,
but leave me out of it,
I’m busy.

When I brushed my teeth this morning
they bled inky black, liquid licorice.
I tried gargling with salt water but that did nothing to stem the flow,
the blow as it were,
so the doctor has fitted me with this muzzle thing
and now the only way I’m able to convey how much I hate you
is to type it
like I’m doing right now.


  1. Some of my favorite poems of mine remain unpublished. Some of my least favorites are not only published, but I'm constantly told by anyone who reads them that they love them. I wrote a terrible poem for a several-week poetry contest and it placed 6th out of 24. Much better poems have been toward the bottom. There's no accounting for taste.

  2. Congrats on the agent wanting to see the novel! That's great news!

  3. ben, i'm glad to hear it's not just me! tawnysha, thanks so much. i'd probably croak from excitement if i got him.

  4. Time to work some conjure for Len! (seriously)