Tag Archives: prose

New Fiction Out Now!

I have a book out today! It is called The Supposed So: A Fictional Memoir in Five Parts.

I started writing the first novella in the series just about exactly 10 years ago, and the subsequent four followed in waves until I finished the last one just this past Fall. It’s about a lot of things, perhaps the most obvious thread being the tenuous nature of reality, and how the mind, full of ideas, ends up placing importance on subtleties and details in its persistence to somehow find meaning in life’s strange currents. It’s about love, confusion, the confusion of love, the love of confusion. It’s about mental illness and music and friendship, failing, failing then succeeding, succeeding then failing. It’s about the general sadness we so often feel just because of nothing in particular.There is a bit of avant garde strangeness to its narrative structure, but it is very much a coherent piece of work. Its writing was a labor, edited, reworked, and rewritten countless times over the years. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the book I needed to write. I’m excited about its possibilities. And am quite glad it’s finally finished.

Because of the nature of print-on-demand services, it’s more expensive than a book should be. So, if you’d like to own and read a copy while saving about 15 bucks, email me via the contact link at the top of this page and we can arrange for you to pay just the cost of printing and shipping (bout 22 bucks). Otherwise, check out this link to see and read more about it and to purchase at list price.

Thanks for your support. I hope if you’re reading this that you’re continuing to survive our weird existence, and that you know I miss you dearly. If you aren’t reading this, I miss you too probably, and I hope that that vibe floats through the space between us and reaches you in moments of quiet.

First Lines II

It makes me sad to look up at the crest of a building and see washed out names. Like the tug of the past is only too faint to make out. Squint if you can at that worn lettering, and imagine a past with glamour and bombast. Was it a ballroom? A jazz club? A corner bodega? Was it grand? A staple of the neighborhood? How long was it there, in its way? How often did they clean the windows? Were they open on Sundays? Did the staff welcome their customers with open arms? Or were they rude? I’ll bet they could’ve cared less if they sold any damn thing. And I’ll bet that’s why they closed in the first place. Or maybe not. There’s not much to know, but we wonder. It still makes me sad to see the washed out names. But no matter. A new place will open soon. Or perhaps it will stay vacant forever. The location isn’t great anyway.

First Lines

For the sake of my Father, certain things must be done in a certain way. Certainly not carefully. He was never as careful as he could be. I make it a point these days to be so. But I can only be careful for so long.

In intermittent droves, my canceled plans go drifting, and I am wont with pasts benign; pasts that shuffle through my mind like winged beasts. There is memory that seeks to sink me – there is regret, yet also tried insight. Indeed, there is only a busted door at times; at times but an open window. For the sake of my Father, in a certain way, I am hoped for casual depictions of care. Any care in the world.

For the sake of my Mother, certain things must never be done. We must never lie, sisters. Mother hated that the most. Better to come clean with any wretched deed than to try and hide it. I never did. It got me languished to my room sometimes, and a talking-to sometimes as well. But never a slap of the tongue – never the wilt of distrust. My Mother and Father both trusted me. Yet indefinitely still, certain things must be done, or Neve done, in a certain way.

Coddled Winter. Tepid Spring. Too warm Summer. Autumn leaves and returned so. Better each time. With each season, my eyes go crying, no – they go laughing. Laughing and then crying. Laughing until I cry. Or crying until I laugh. Certainly both. Certainly both.

A Trick of the Mind

Tripped up, forgotten, begotten all plumes for a way into a sinister land of lagoons, to be placed in preparedness, caustic and choosing no hope for a handgun–peace is our rule. And laughter is switched by a birth of insanity playing about a version of Sean Hannity. Plucked and bruised is my thoughtfulness, plain. You are worshiped by royalty. It’s strange now to blame anyone with a wistful sigh. You are pekid and wild. You are danger personified. You’re cryptic and smile now. Now with a passion. Now with a stand. And even if patterns depict your sad sack, there is no reason falling beside yourself couldn’t be packed with a warming of temperatures, global and then some. Years could fly by and you’re not wrong to have said that humanity’s sinking and dodging itself when its happiness is derived from a feeling you get when you gaze at the shelves in your corner store, wishing that the prices had gone down since the last time you visited. You glance into your billfold and find nothing there, so you escape from the aisles to grab some fresh air. And even as oxygen pierces your lungs, you are hoped for a cigarette, but you haven’t the money. To reiterate backward, you’re plain and undone but a stranger looks past you and asks if you’re having fun. But you’re not having fun, ’cause fun costs too much. So you look at the news of the day and get worried– worried of what is a line much too dear: You worry about everything, and it’s worse with the years.

Doctor of Deliverance

Waltz with high periphery beside no faded fantasy, as rain befalls no pretence on your lawn. And as you pass a blind man on the road speaking in tongues to no one, just don’t look and he won’t bother you. He is simply well involved in something else. And what? is not your problem. So, saunter through his aura and know well that he could be enlightened beyond your dreams. He could be a standard Buddha, waiting for someone to ask him anything about anything. He could be the way out of your pain and suffering. He could be a savior to your sleeping servitude– the thus-begotten haze upon your lips. He could be a sailor on the wind. He could know your future and your past. And he could very well be pleasant enough, though mysterious. He could be noble and grand. He could be the reincarnated spirit of a woman up your family tree. He could tell you secrets of yourself you never fathomed. And even in thinking all these things, you know you’ll never approach him. ‘Cause he could be strange. He could be dangerous. He could be so insane he’d stab you in the neck, and you’d be left alone on that deserted road, and you could bleed to death with no one holding your hand or telling you everything will be okay. You could die afraid, which is the worst thing. One must die happy. It’s better if you’re outside, and your soul can escape from your body and reach toward the heavens. It’s better of you’re at peace. There is no peace on the side of the road, bleeding to death from a stab wound performed by a doctor of deliverance. And all because you thought that maybe – just maybe – he was what you were waiting for. Maybe he was.

North Facing

Distracting no difference to mean in the shade or deliver cold shadows through heavens abiding no distance from Babylon, tried and be true, like the canvas I notice is yellow and blue, and the worm in the soil can’t think thoughts I am sure, but you are no different and I’d tell you if you were, drawing your pictures aloud for a crowd and past my disturbance– I’m salient and proud, and like a pear tree to springtime, I’m blooming through sunshine and rain side by side like an old honest Abraham shifting no lies on a calendar open and scribbled upon– it is wrinkled and worn and I can’t look anymore at the days all crossed off and the days all forthcoming, my head is unstapled and my neck is alarmingly high as a hat tree that’s coats all hung down and reaching the floor like an old dressing gown caught by whittled maneuvers, asleep on the lawn, as you shiver me timbers and cackle and yawn while I’m telling you stories that you wanted to hear, but your ears aren’t open and the weeks turn to years as we sit ’round the fire and I spin every yarn that is tilted and teething, and fussing about like a foghorn to mist, I am yelling and shouting that you are an infant, and I am your son, and for awhile I was juggling, but now I’m all done with the writing from memory, my heart beats too fast, and my breathing is weak from inhaling burnt gasoline, from years I was driving an old rusted boat down a river I dug myself, and refused to call a moat because it separates nothing but the east and the west and I’d laugh if my castle’d build, ’cause I am at best a figure of speech or a candle wick burning– I am tough, I am dirty, but I am strong and not sorry for what I once did when I was less than a kid, I was a broken down heap of iron melting down then to a molten mess, shaping myself up again until morning delivered my east once again, across rivers, through mountains, and I stop writing and

The Greatest Album of All Time: The Stage Names by Okkervil River

Our life is not a movie or maybe. Beyond what contrives to be able to be a cold wreck of dawn when the cities were towns. Just forget what’s begotten aloft and brought down.Unless it’s kicks you gave me. Unless it’s tricks you played me. Unless it’s patter with the crowds. Unless it’s mixed to shame me. My goodness. Is there a hand to take hold of the scene? Or are we wilting on the screen? Or are we tilted on a dream? It’s always complicated. Never orchestrated.

But I find myself in Georgia or Carolina in my mind. Savannah smiles either way, and pulls the veil of night over my canopy drifting, and shifting all the time. Plus ones would fade the mystery, and then knowingly move on. And a girl in port could use no sorely advocated mile, but a shortening of choruses belie a frightened pornographic panic, yeah you can’t hold the hand of a rock and roll manic. With the stage names all embarassing, you dribbled for the chords. To title track John Allyn Smith would have him raise the sails forever off to other shores in some form or another, I’m sure.