Monday, July 23, 2012

Of Daydreams

I have a few recurring daydreams, most of which are pure escapist fantasy; I like to pretend that this life is just the dream in between my adventures in space.

Over the past few years, though, most of those daydreams have been supplanted with one very detailed and unpleasant fantasy. It goes thusly: I am a talk show host. Essentially everyone watches my show. It is a political talk show, much like most of those that you can already watch, with a few key differences: First, my show consists almost entirely of one interview per hour-long episode. Second, I have some infallible means of compelling my guests to tell the truth. Third, when I ask someone to come on my show, they are legally obligated to appear. The questions would vary depending on the guest and why I want to talk to them, of course, but the first question I would ask every one of my guests is, "Why are you such an asshole?"

That's also the title.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Of Poems IV


I run into an old flame.
We stand and look at each other:
her with what I hope is that mixture of
pain and regret and sadness
that comes with love’s sabotage;
me with what I can only imagine is
bitter medicine.
she raises her hand in a half-gesture—
mouth turned in a half-smile—
brow arched in a half-sympathy—
but I’m looking at her thigh:
spun around it is a tattoo,
three peonies,
black and yellow and red,
so vibrant I can’t
hear anything else,
see anything else,
feel anything else.

I’m waiting for resolution,
      cold and hard and final.
I’m looking for vengeance,
      served with warmth unbearable.
I’m fumbling for love,
      hotter still, burning inside out.

She comes back in a flash,
with a tangled skein woven
around her,
filaments flowing from
me to her, heart-strings that bind.
I pluck one—the note is
totality of feeling.
I listen, and she listens,
we’re caught up in
everything we’ve ever been together,
until the wave breaks,
and rolls back;
the web around us fades
so slowly I don’t notice,
and every day I’m
weaving, weaving, weaving.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Of Works, VIII

Here is something I've been working on for quite awhile.

I'm just about ready to abandon it. The title is a placeholder.



It's a very specific freedom, born of blue sky and a horizon that just goes, a landscape without reaping: after six months in Iraq, Interstate 10 is more than just cracked concrete. West Texas is more than a sun-blasted wasteland. It assumes a new abundance, defined less by what it is and more by what it isn't: Flick your cigarette out the window; the route isn't compromised. Get lost; dawn is not your enemy. Take this exit; nobody dies.

Drive for days, and nothing matters.

Blue sky for miles and the kind of heat that scorches and kills but doesn't stick, an ethereal, shimmering heat that you can't remember at midnight for the cold that grips you.
I tell you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Of Works, VII

An examination of the last decade. It is fiction, despite appearances, despite real elements. But it is also true. Here is



In the year 2000 I played at least a thousand hours of video games.

In the summer of 2003, I read Kurt Vonnegut’s entire body of work. Parts of Bluebeard, Breakfast of Champions, and Slapstick have all run together in my head.

I was desperate to be taken seriously.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Of Works, VI

My writing teacher calls this a guilty elegy. Without further explanation, here is

I had a few days' warning before the hurricane hit--but I am perennially ill-prepared. I woke up that Sunday and thought to myself, "I heard something about a storm. I should probably look into that." I flipped to the weather channel, where a demented man attempted to stand on a beach in spite of the rising waves; he talked about how nobody should be anywhere near where he was. A category five hurricane was heading directly at me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Of Works, V

Member is directed to report no later than 1800, December 16, 1985. Failure to report could result in birth defects.

Member is directed to be carefree for not more than ten years.

The member's training will consist mostly of mistakes.

The member will be remanded to the custody of his parents from the date of his report for a period of time not to exceed the number of seconds it takes for his father to become fed up with his mother, at which point his father will detach. Member is then directed to report to his mother for the duration of his training.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Of Works, IV

This is a collage piece, and it will be the death of me.

I'm not sure if I'm finished with it yet.

In another universe, I'm still writing it, will always be writing it.

Diseases You Get Through Consumption
Prion diseases have an unknown incubation period. It can be anywhere from a few years to five decades. Maybe more.

We drove to the edge of the Mojave and started looking for a dream.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Of Works, III

Stage Magic
“If you ever want to see your blender again, you’ll call me back,” he says, over my shoulder. I turn around, ready to fire my incredulity, but he’s not looking at me: he’s on a cellphone, face deadly serious. He looks like he’s trading Brazilian teenagers for cocaine. I imagine a blender tied to a stool under a bare-bulb lamp in the office of an empty warehouse by the docks. Two neckless goons stand by, popping their knuckles, ready for the appliance to launch its daring escape.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Of Works, II

The Gears

One moment we’re riding our bike and the next we’re on our back, trying to figure out how the sky got down there. Nothing hurts, until we try to move, then everything hurts, so we lie on the ground until we can handle breathing again. We sit up and assess the damage: the front wheel of our bike is toast. It looks like a strangely stylized letter D. Thinking without thinking: Destruction. Dimwit. Derriere. We stand, heft the frame onto our back, and start walking home.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Of One Year Gone

2011 has slithered off into the nether regions of history and I, for one, am glad of it. For me, it was a year marked mostly by heartbreak (at my friends shuffling out of my life for one reason or another) and frustration (at the incessant fuckmuppetry of humanity in general and our government in particular).

It isn't that nothing good happened; it's that those moments were mere punctuation in the novella of raucous bullshit that was 2011.