Wednesday, February 27, 2013


…I love Facebook.  It's kind of fun being a bit of a voyeur.
I wish I was more clever.
These are actual, unedited bits from Facebook, intended for your reading enjoyment…

Sometimes you gotta remember not all people are bad....some are just too fucking stupid to know right from wrong.

I have given up on losing 7 pounds in the next 7 days and am soaking my jeans with water and stretching them over wooden chairs.

whoops! there's beer falling into my mouth!

I no longer poke. And I no longer accept pokes. But I may make exceptions once a month.

 Where the hell are my birthday wishes people?

Portland has this phenomenon that I haven't noticed anywhere else where obese people get around in wheelchairs. Today I was in the grocery store and a man got out of his chair and stood up to grab a loaf of bread. So I yelled, "Praise Jesus! It is a miracle!" And he joined me in a celebration of our Lord.

Wow. Just wow.

Fuck science, fuck everything!

Happy news on Linked In! This morning I was endorsed by a businessman named Bob Bobstein for my incredible finesse and excellence in impersonating the late, great Carl Malden, and accepting marriage proposals in three languages based on lottery results.

I ate two hot dogs. they were good.

An elderly woman just walked through my bedroom wall and she's now staring at me. What should I do?


Just dug two pieces of glass out of my hand

Oh no! My foot fell asleep while looking at Facebook and I can't get up to GET MY GLASS OF 5:00 WINE! HELP ME!

just had one of the most intense sexual non sexual experience on the tube with one of the most attractive people i have ever seen in my life.

the great pyramid was a power plant & aliens are awesome.

Today, I had to reassure my mother that I write fiction.

In exactly three words, please describe what you do when you're nervous.

"I can't stand oppression much longer. Someone say a prayer."

another dismal day in paradise.

Closed minds really should have closed mouths, too.

I have been sick all day.  I got food poisoning last night and now I have a headache. At least I got my hair colored last night!!

Hey, so I have a poem about donuts.

Totally spooked. My TV just came on by itself.

"Snorting chalk out of Satan's ass crack"

Just so you know, America is slowly becoming a bad comedy.

That is some nasty sh**. 

Dear Google,When has it been ok to reveal a lady's age? Shame shame.

If I pass out and hit my head and don't wake up (lack of commas denotes delusion) please distribute my virtual remains accordingly.

Holy shit I need a day job.

Ponies are for pussies.

I cry a lot.

Monday, February 25, 2013


…Happy Monday.
It's a blustery day here.  Blustery always makes me think of Winnie the Pooh.
I hope you have an incredible week.

…I got a very nice and personal rejection on a submission the other day.  The editor said I was "this and miss" with him, but "more hit than miss."  He said he really like the story below that was published in Free Range Magazine:


            In the umbra of her resolve, I watched Mother stick pin after pin into her skin. 
It scared the life out of me.  I tried not to vomit or shriek or cry. 
            Her entire left arm was covered.   In between the silver sheen, a few spooky streaks of red ran down the underside of her elbow, dripping splotches on the floor.
Out of pins, she flipped her head like a panther’s tail and said, “Go get more.  There’s a big tin in the pantry.”
            I obeyed.  To do differently would have produced disastrous results.
            She immediately went to work on her foot, calf, the thigh area where she had bunched up her baby blue bathrobe, the ratty one with a cartoon duck pattern.
            “Does it hurt?” I asked.
            “What do you think?” she asked back, though it wasn’t really a question.  Young as I was, I had already learned that any question could be answered with one of its own by simply adding a slate-black stare.
Mother pushed hundreds of pins into her skin.  It took the better part of the afternoon.
            At one point, she removed her robe.  She said, “You’ll need to finish the rest.”
            I didn’t want to look at her private places, didn’t want to stick pins in her, didn’t want to breathe or even live any more.  Nine years was a long life for many creatures.  I was elderly by comparison.
            “I won’t do it,” I said.
            Her eyes spun.  “You will.”
            And so I took the first pin.  “How hard?”
            “Do you really think it matters?”
            I jabbed her hard, drawing a crimson pimple.  She did not yelp or flinch or even inhale.
            I poked dozens and dozens of pins into her pale skin.  I covered her breasts and stomach and stuck them across her buttocks and through her meandering pubic hair.
            When I was finally done, she told me to go to sleep.  She said she would take it from here.
            I sauntered up the stairs.  She watched me, or so I thought, catching glimmers of eye whites glinting around the silver. 
I closed my door hard, then softly reopened it.  I tiptoed to the edge of landing and knelt down, looking through the slats of the bannister, waiting, same as her.
            After several hours, he pulled into the drive. 
I watched my father through the window.  He was wearing a mid-weight herringbone suit with a soft pink shirt and a tie that looked like the belly of a fish.  His shoes were butterscotch, “Salesman Brown.”  My father, the tailor, had already taught me much about textiles and weaves, thread count and fashion.  He’d taught me, too, how to dismantle a family.  He’d taught me about suffering and—via mother’s self-inflicted torture--just how much pain the human heart can bear.
            When he opened the door, he found my mother’s arms outstretched.  She resembled a silver crucifix.
            “Take one,” she said, “As many as you like,” she said.  “One for every last lie.”

Friday, February 22, 2013


…Hey there, Friday.  Look at you, all dressed up in gray, wearing a sleek rain slicker and galoshes, hair done up, with a smile as wide as the Montana sky.
You look great. 

…Yesterday I wrote quite a bit on the new novel.  Poor Gigi and Eve and Eddy, Carly and Ruby.  All of these other kids sure have it rough.

…Today I’ll be in Woodinville for the second time in as many days.  Having lunch with a friend.

…I’ve been thinking about you and hope you’re set for a wonderful weekend.

…Here are some things to ponder:

"Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"You can't climb up to the second floor without a ladder. When you set your aim too high and don't fulfill it, then your enthusiasm turns to bitterness. Try for a goal that's reasonable, and then gradually raise it. That's the only way to get to the top." Emil Zatopek, Czech Middle Distance Runner

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss

 "The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." Pema Chodron

“The universe is not made of atoms; it's made of stories." - Muriel Rukeyser

"As the body needs physical exercise in order to remain in fit condition, man's spirit also requires the spiritual exercise derived when he confronts his problems and combats life's vicissitudes." William Sahakian

"The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken.  We call this period of research 'childhood'." Michael Chabon

"The aim of life is to life, and to live means to be aware, drunkenly, joyously, serenely, divinely aware." Henry Miller.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


…I’m on Twitter and Facebook even though I never really know what to say on them.
I never feel very witty or clever, but I do enjoy what other people have to say.
Here are some real, unedited Facebook posts that I found interesting, for whatever reason, from the last couple of days:

-“I want to be a cunt for the rest of my short life.”

-“Now have to outbid the guy who outbid me…mano mano baby bird.”

-“Dear Oregon,
I’d like to pump my own gas now”.

-“Call your name, 2, 3 times in a row.”

-“I’m not doing very good today.”

-"Last night at dinner, out of the blue, my 4 year old says: 'Mom, you shouldn't drink liquor. Daddy says you get drunk'."

-"I hate everybody; at least I can do it with a smile on my face.”

-"Do you like vegetables? I've always been fond of root crops."

-“Keep praying.”

-"Dear God I need you now more than ever! Why does pain have to hurt so much and hurt for so long and happiness only comes in small doses that doesn't last very long?"

-"I need a virtual hug.  Please."

-"Someone has stolen my bank card details and all my money is gone. Typical Monday."

-"Martin Van Buren."

-"Pretty sure this day cannot get any worse. Tell me something good, please?"

-"Bored food engineers + smoking crack = McDonalds Fish McBites."

-"False humility is incredibly unappealing."

 -"Day of Fail just keeps on failing. They double-booked my shift tonight, so I walked up the hill at 9pm for absolutely no reason whatsoever."

 -"Thunder Muscle."

-"Drawing people's nipples is always fun."

-“Just dropped my phone into a bowl of pho, so this whole Facebook status smells like shrimp pho.”

-“If loving coffee is wrong, I don't wanna be right.”

-“It's shameful that I often find myself wanting to "like" emails rather than respond to them.”

-“thank u for being my frend.”

-“I wish it weren't only Facebook that asked how I'm feeling. I wish my car door asked it. And the auto-check-out screen at the grocery store. And sidewalks I walk on a lot.”


Monday, February 18, 2013


…I had these poems, and some others, published in the anthology "Men In The Company of Women":

The View From A Skyscraper

I have never learned how to draw perfect circles.
The centers shake me off
like shrugged shoulders, sharp shudders,
a tongue-twister with all of my
past mistakes rearing hard, offering this:
a barbed fist
Gatling gun
guillotine blade.

I have never written the right words about you.
Even the letters get lost,
the kerning and tooling of certain fonts
bleeding and blurring,
the syntax of breath making meaning
out of ink the only way it knows how,
pungent and orderless.

I have never learned how to sleep a full night.
Some people find their power in naps,
others pull strength from Freudian jigsaws
while my dreams are less laundered
tattered fiction,
sprung screen doors
hinged in nothing but wind,
unhinged by the lingering scent of
your maladjusted ghost.

Predictions From The Woman Who Raised Me

The wrong side of history showed up
this morning on my walk through the woods
where saplings, warped by the persistent sheen of summer sun,
had their spirits split open
broken like tinder or kindling
which took me back to youth
that scare place
staring at crooked linoleum tile
instead of eyes,
her hot breath like
jalapenos in my face
saying, “Boys don’t cry.”
saying, “Fairy tales are jelly lies.”
saying, “You and your future don’t stand a chance.”

My Sweet

I’ve been instructed otherwise,
yet I often think of the girl you were before—
buried in bubble baths,
favoring foot lotions and
lilac-scented cashmere,
bursting out in song or
giddy laughter that could shake a room.

Now fluff from the afghan collects like diaphanous peach fuzz
around your chin, one feather
latched in the deepest crease of a cheek,
laugh line put there from your steady smiling,
before the stroke,
before all of the dead-end silence.

But when I move to wipe away a dribble of spittle,
your eyes hitch with a diamond glimmer
before flattening out again
and I know what you’ve done,
that you’ve just smiled at me,
saying, I’m here,
saying, My Sweet.  Don’t forget us, My Sweet.

The Bad Queen

She has skin like ash,
the shade of aspirin
and just as bitter when taken without water.
As I kneel to kiss her hand,
she says,
“That’s right.  That’s how you treat your mother.”

Friday, February 15, 2013


…I've been listening to a lot of Nico Stai and Jonathan Wilson lately.  Gosh, they're both so good.

…Did you have a fantastic Valentine's Day?  Was it important to you that the day be special, or was it just another day?  What did you do?

…On Valentine's Day of all days, I had a story read by Nate Tower on his Podcast whereby he asks a writer for their most quirky, unusual or disturbing story, and he reads it live without ever having read it before.
So I sent him "Medicine and Meat" which was published in Wrong Tree Review.  It was actually the first story of mine I've ever read in front of an audience.
I must be brave.

…I had this story, "Boom," up at Pure Slush:

…And this is something I wrote a while back:


Of all things,
I watch you catch a shark.
The fish, a gray smudge inside cunning cobalt water,
struggles against each ripple,
darting like sun shadows between every vented wave.

You’re apparently a pro,
reeling in with ease.
Your shoulders are the color of flan,
of toast.
I remember how you’d tear off hunks of bread at breakfast,
smear the crust in bleeding egg yoke
and raise your eyes to mine,
bejeweled and sanguine.

Now your man unhooks the fish
and drops it into a handy cooler while
him: _______/
you: on video in some other hemisphere/
me: seated and stupefied/—
watch the slick-skinned creature gasp
and squirm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


"Eleven Hints for Life"

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.
But what is more painful is to love someone and never
find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who
means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was
never meant to be and you just have to let go.

3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a
porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

4. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose
it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.

5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an
hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it
takes a lifetime to forget someone.

6. Don't go for looks, they can deceive. Don't go for wealth,
even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you
smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day
seem bright.

7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go,
be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and
one chance to do all the things you want to do.

8. Always put yourself in the other's shoes. If you feel that it
hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.

9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck
a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may
heal and bless.

10. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best
of everything they just make the most of everything that comes
along their way.

11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with
a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Monday, February 11, 2013


…I sent a story into an online magazine.  The theme was “fashion” and the story had to be 500 words or less.
This is the response I got:

Hi Len,

I read your story last night and the end is so disturbing, I just can't run it, I'm sorry.

Of course it's a personal choice - these things always are - but I was so disturbed by the final image I just thought no, I can't.

I've thought about it some more and just re read it and still the same, so I thought I would let you know.

Of course, if you have something else.

Thanks Len,

…I’m not upset at all.  Truly, I’m not.  I’m just surprised.  I’ve been rejected hundreds of times and this editor is a friend of mine who I like a great deal. 
So, yes, absolutely, I do write on disturbing topics.  But was this story really that disturbing?
You decide and let me know.
Here it is:


            The pink wig she put on was a bob cut.  It went well with her bubblegum lipstick and Pepto-pink necklace.
            She was thin, had gotten very skinny over the last year, and yet it was a struggle to get the tight leather pants over her bony hips.  Next, she added a silver chainmail halter that shimmered and rustled when she moved even the slightest.
            The summer days were too long and it seemed night would never come.  She snorted a jagged line of white powder off her coffee table and welcomed the fierce burn.  She took another and another until her eyes watered and her nose ran and all she could taste was the satisfying copper tang of her own blood.
            Near dusk, she strapped on her stilettos and grabbed her clutch-sized handbag, peeking inside to make sure everything was in order.  In the mirror that hung from her apartment door, she looked exotic and sensual, desirable, to be sure.  After she touched her lips to the glass, they left an imprint that resembled a pair of wings closing in on themselves.
            She knew where to go, which street.  She’d moved here months ago, after the trial and verdict, and had told herself to be patient, studying the new city, doing proper surveillance, establishing the man’s habitual patterns and customs.
            Around midnight, the red Jaguar slowed half a block from where she stood under a streetlight that cast her elongated shadow in two directions, like a switchblade half-open, she noticed, and that made her smirk.
            Now that he was here, though, she felt an unexpected calmness and no adrenalin rush whatsoever.  Perhaps it was the aftereffects from all the drugs earlier, or maybe it was a sense of impending freedom.
            His driver-side window buzzed as it came down and he leaned across.  He’d gotten thick since fleeing the States.  Too much strudel, warm beer and sausages.
            In a foreign language she’d recently learned, he said, “Why, aren’t you a pretty fashionista.”  He was so pleased with himself, even though his accent came through sloppy and disjointed.
            In English, she said, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
            Both her statement and her speaking his native tongue startled him.  “Well, what are you waiting for?”
            “Yes, what?” she said, sliding into the car.
             “Where should we go?” he asked, adjusting the rearview so he could steal glances at her outfit while driving.
            “Where do you usually take them?”
            “Can’t go there.  How about my place?  You cool with that?”
            “I am,” she said, “I am very cool,” and he chuckled, said, “You’re a mysterious piece of work.”
            She waited until they were in bed, both of them naked, her straddling him on top.
            She didn’t much resemble her sister, the one he’d raped and killed, and he would never have known it had she not rammed the knife through his heart, afterward carving Ashley Andrews—her sis’s named—across his chest.

Friday, February 8, 2013


…Happy Friday.
Do you have big plans for the weekend?
Is the weather nice where you are?  I hope so.

…Someone recently asked me where I got the facts and stats that I sometimes post here.  I wouldn’t tell them, and I’m sorry, I won’t tell you either. But they’re interesting, don’t you think?
Here are some more:

…The average rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage is now a record-low 3.34%

…Americans are 450% richer than during The Great Depression, but, per capita, give less to charity than during The Great Depression

…The average American parent spends six hours a week shopping and four hours a week playing (or spending time) with their kids

…The average American has 10 credit cards
Their average credit card debt is $15,000

…By age 20, the average American is exposed to over 1 million television commercials
…Cats kill 3.7 birds annually (no kidding)

…37.8 million people watched Obama's inauguration in 2008.
20.6 million this year.

The Movies:
-3 in 4 people sneak their own food into the theater
-26% of people think the back row of the theater is the best seat in the house
-49% of people have walked out of a movie because it sucked
-People see an average of 4 films a year
-35% of all people own Netflix
-26% admit to streaming films at work
-13% go to the cinema alone

…You can write off the cost of contact lenses and/or glasses on your tax return.

…There have been 4.1 million homes lost to foreclosure since the housing collapse in 2008

…In 2011 there was 3.2 million firearms imported into America

…Transocean, the drilling company that owned the oil rig implicated in the catastrophic Deewater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was ordered to pay a $1.4 billion fine.
BP was fined $4 billion

...Last week Starbucks opened its first store in Vietnam.  Vietnam is the world's second-largest coffee producer.  Starbucks is currently in 50 countries

…Actor Patrick Dempsey, of "Greys Anatomy" fame, purchased Starbucks rival Tully's out of bankruptcy

…2012 was the warmest year ever in America, eclipsing the 1998 record by a full degree.

…Percentage of Americans saying laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter:
2011: 43%
2012: 58%

…1 in 15 12th graders smoke pot daily.  6.5% of all 8th graders do.

…Last year, over 35 million (MILLION) copies of the erotic trilogy, "Fifty Shades of Grey" were sold

…It takes the average man 97 days to say, "I love you" to a person they're dating

…78% of men check a woman out online before a date

…The average cost of an academic year at a four-year college soared 71% in the last decade, now averaging $22,100