Wednesday, December 23, 2009


And the last of them. Here is my final elephant words story for now. I might do another run in a couple months. This week's image was here.


Come once a month, and take that spoon out of your mouth when you are here. I like a voice that doesn’t register or agree, you can pick one to your liking from the wall over there. Set it on the table and hear what you came to hear.

The sun is coming back out now, so you should be ok to drive. Please mind the lawn when you are turning around.

‘Sorry to call when you are on the road. What was it by the way?’

‘Mooritan? Interesting. Well I will see you next month. Drive carefully.’

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Here is my penultimate Elephant Word for the year. I took the theme to heart somewhat. I've always loved the process of bognostification, which is the method of creating a new word for the purposes of literary usage and gain. Combining that function with the images Elephant Words presented, with its link to memory (the elephant, if you are unfamiliar with the idiom, is purported to possess an astonishing memory, hence the scene in Amelie).

Here is a link to the image that inspired this weeks story: Discorporeate

wait here. Incorporeality is very likely if we get any closer. If you feel yourself starting to loosen up, a tingling on the backs of your hands or the tips of your fingers, try to start digging into the sidewalk. The pain receptors will help you maintain integrity.

They are going to press the whole world into a book. It’s a hobby. Their eyes, their mouths, salival smacking shut.

Hobbies usually require the expense of that which is seen as inconsequential, the rolling up of the birth certificates of orphans held to the ear to listen for the sound of paper. Burning the last photographs of the last, final, and now deceased members of the families of Napoleon’s soldiers. Leaving the Lionels of a pedophile outside, in a box so the cardboard discorporeates into the cars, warping the tracks.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I am dashed and bashed and ready for the abuse of the weekend which will be thick and served in a glass mug, a very large glass mug. And in that spirit I have committed this affront to punctuation, pacing, and preposition, based on this past week's image at Elephant Words:


He sat there on his ass and couldn’t believe, in the same way a person chooses to believe or not believe in recycling as an act of and expressing value, that she was going to turn the music up since he hated all the music played tonight never really getting into Modest Mouse which kept playing because they all thought the lyrics were just oh so clever but what the hell did
look out the window of my color tv even mean, and so tensed up his shoulders thinking maybe he should do more than just mouth the words ‘wait wait wait I don’t think that’s the solution’ though instead he just sipped from his beer as she slid the knob to the right bringing to light more neon bars of LED-platinum illumination calling up a burst of bass compression like the air had compacted, crunched with rising density, matter spilling into an already defined space from another direction you couldn’t get sight of with simple three-dimensional perceptive physiology, gripped his beer tightly to ensure it remained where and what he expected it to be looking into the next room wondering if anyone now talking louder would comment the music was too loud and pulled his feet in closer to the couch as she set a vase full of fake flowers in front of the stereo on a piece of paper before angling the speakers at the long petals of fabric which began to quiver and wave loosing dust that fell upon the whiteness of the paper in grey abstract over which she now hung the crystal chimes off the front porch by a hook in the ceiling and directing the articulating neck of a lamp at the crystals shivering in sonic, prismatic glossening over the ever-evolving mandala of dust on the paper’s surface.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Once more round the bend, once more to upend. Time again spinning ass over head, time again to drop the Elephant Word balloon like lead. This weeks image:

Was it cold? Was it only the sensation of heat leaving his body? A negative reaction, neither endothermic, creating nothing, leaving nothing, no bonds, no connections in its wake, and not exothermic. Anthermic. Was the word just a way to relate the abstraction of lose, the loss of heat, its at times painful diffusion, leeched out by invisible forces, by things that could not be seen, could not be heard – could only be felt? What kinds of things would, could, do something like that? Where would it come from, and why?

The sunlight was coming head on, bounding in heavily and deeply yellow, packets of heat quanta nearly spent as they brushed across the world, tracing lines upon the surfaces of the room. The last few degrees of the angle that makes the day. Did the sun keep it away?

The eye tired and ready to close, the head slumping, the shoulders sunken. Shadows blurring out the form of the baseboards, the moldings strapped to the walls and now retreating from the firm lines, blending black, melting into the joint of floor and ceiling they conceal, losing the rigidity of their shape, softening in the dark. But beneath a blanket there is warmth? A force like the sun, that would drive them away, the gnawing maws on the other side of sight. But a few feet of woven cloth?

There are no blankets here. Only the stiff back of this chair. Only the feeling, leeching, like unsaturated rock, deep in the darkness. A place for fasting, retreating from the world, enduring their privations, their feasting. This place will be the seat where-in I endure them, my cave, my Alverna.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

scringer terpem

A bit late in posting the Elephant Words story from last week. Thanking Givers takes ol' Bones up into that part of NY state where when you point at a map and ask, what is in this area, your friend says "Nothing." They're not quite wired up out there is what I am saying.

Here is last week's image, and this week's image will be forthcoming in another couple days.

Diane sat herself down on the couch. She raised one leg up and rested the heel of her boot on the table in front of her, put the bottle to her lips and tipped it back. She lowered the bottle down onto the buckle of her belt and closed her eyes. She pictured her sister sitting on the edge of a dock, legs dangling over into the water, trying to hear the splash of the water over the sounds of the party, the chattering voices. Her sister in a cotton dress, a slender scarf around her neck. Dragonflies buzzing nearby. She couldn’t picture the sun in the sky, as if it were an eclipse and the world had turned diffuse with thin, sickly, dying light, the colors all fading into shades.

“Is that a scringer terpem?”

Hideous. No hair, except ratty bits at the sides of his head, brushed out and bushy like all the sad young topiaries would ever hope to be. Dark-rimmed glasses with bits of silver on the temples, expensive jeans from a trendy shop down on Broadway, a stylish sweater. His forty-ish chin and the line of his jaw was raw and red through the stubble he’d grown out since early that morning.

Already she was tired of thinking about him.

“A what?” she asked, wholly un-amused.

“On the table.” There were two packets there. One looked like a candy wrapper, opened and likely half empty. The first looked like a packet, but it was a guitar pick.

“What is a scringer terpem?”

“It’s a prophylactic. A condom organically made.”

Hideous and now nauseating. One in ten thousand of these kinds of guys is actually genuine, actually worth half a damn and capable of telling you something about books or music. They’ve been outsiders with two good god damn’s of a rat’s ass for what anybody wanted them to think and they are living in spectacular lofts and having dinner parties full of photographers and musicians and fashion-fiends. Some have probably even met Bowie. You can see it in the way they walk, in how they’ve dressed themselves. How they look you in the eye. How they know to leave you alone when you are sitting on a couch resting a beer on your belt buckle. If there is a universal signal for leave me the hell alone for five minutes, it is a beer on the belt buckle. This guy is two years into books on how to seduce women, on image shaping courses and more than likely a little baggie full of blue triangles. He is bloated around the eyes, newly divorced after leaving his wife. Addicted to porn, too chicken shit to skip a day of work, probably in banking and responsible for processing promissory notes. He doesn’t even have a secretary he can fantasize over in the stall of the bathroom, touching himself with his pants around his ankles. He doesn’t even have an office, doesn’t know enough to leave a body alone, or that esoterically bringing up a sexual reference in an unwanted conversation ought to be punishable with violence.

Diane’s bare shoulders flex into the couch, pushing her forward. His eyes follow her about six inches below her collar. She closes her eyes as she stands up, then opens them again when she is over his head. There is a radiator behind the lounge chairs set up in the dining room by the window.

“That’s a packet of mints. I’m going over there now.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I got all stumbling upon Elephant Words some months back, oddly enough, just about the time the daring dude behind Dead Rat's Press was gathering up a small army of ne'er-do-wells for yon Postcard Fiction Collaborative.

It's switched on, let me tell you. As is our one and fine Dilettantsia's new Candor literary magazine. They say it is a place where women can spar with text and culture. They've sold me.

But getting to the elephents and their words, I decided I'm going to embrace the burst culture a bit more fully, for a stint anyway, and elephant it up from the sidelines (and like most things, it's all Warren Ellis' fault. So once a week, from here on through the end of the year I'll be posting a story that's wandered out to the road from the dark corners of my skull and hitch-hiked its way to you here.

This week's inspiration:


He had something to say but didn’t know how to say it. He had been trying. Wandering the aisles he scanned the arrangements of the produce. Stacks of potatoes, melons set out alone. Heaps of apples on one side, and the next line over green beans. He compared the prices with the shapes of fruit. Kiwi, $.99 each. Oranges, $2.59 per bag (they were in season). The wooden racks reliably holding the cauliflower and the broccoli had the sense of a stall, a farmers roadside stand, of an outside world brought inside among the metal shelves, the plastic labels, stand-up coolers, and the cardboard displays. He got lost in the basic commerce of food, of sustenance, and when he found himself again he was still unsure. Still mute within the thing’s importance.

He read books, taking in the characters, their voices. Translating their desires into words, their words into the coded messages of their desires and passions, of their hatreds. He copied out passages that worked and passages that failed, and he wrote over then in pen where he should put his own words, stealing the cadence of the other writer out of the thought his own paces were unsuitable to the job.

Reciting out loud he addressed picture frames and mirrors, the shoulders of his shirts hanging in the closet. Notes were typed on a typewriter, outlines drawn with webbed diagrams in notebooks, but it sounded wrong. The words didn’t look right on the page, the meaning taken away with the sound of his voice.

Walks in the park found him trailing joggers growing ever distant or staring into the bottoms of the fountain.

At the movies he looked for the shoes the actors wore, the movements of their shoulders. He watched how they turned their heads when they followed their eyes or how their eyes moved after they turned their heads. How their motions conveyed the expression of their person, of their character. He listened. He mouthed along with the words once he had seen the film a time or two, mimicking the movements of their jaw in impersonation, to capture the voice, the resonance of the palette.

There was an old Hi-Fi in the closet. He tried different arrangements of the speakers. He pointed them at one another, away, inside of windows. He took out a microphone and read onto tape. Continuous sections, then fragments, then he used a dual deck to splice the material together. He felt as though each run-through the sound degraded. Each re-dub created more and more static. He put on CDs and read through the liner notes when the music played.

He tried to name it. He called it Roger. Helios. Imelicholidon. The Trigger. Cage. Belfast.

A séance told him he was the reincarnation of Robert E. Lee. He walked around his apartment with a saber strapped to his hip, and used a southern accent he imagined a genteel southern general might use. He said y’all once or twice.

One morning he made breakfast. He just made breakfast. He didn’t try to think of how the pattern of the yokes or the distance from the bacon on the plate would look and what it would mean. What the flowers he had run out that morning to buy said standing in the vase on the table. How the fullness of the orange juice glass mattered.

Last night, he had said it. Said it the right way.

He talks in his sleep.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On Promethea, and our need for Her

They posted this over on Newsarama today.

To say that Promethea sets me off is an understatement. When I write, I try to clip the very lowest edges of that story with my reaching, out-stretched hand. It is a mountain, like The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, or Blood Meridian, which I have set for myself to cross when I approach a story.

The asshole in me regards anyone who is not suitably impressed by Promethea as a story and an artifact worthy of awe in a very poor light, and the more enumerated renderings of those comments said asshole makes are sentiments I keep to myself.

I truly and utterly love this story, and I'm very happy with the comments I wrote, so I wanted to post them here as well.

To tell you that I nearly cry every time I read issue 17, at the image of Christ on the cross, would compel you to take up immediately and read the entire series (if you had ever actually met me, such would be the impression you had of what strokes of evocation it would take to induce such a reaction in a person such as myself).

I am many things, mostly yeti, but surely not what any reasonable person would consider a christian and sure as hell never cry, but that scene, the evocation of that image, is the most pronounced rendering of Jesus I have ever encountered, and does more to reconcile the nature of Christ’s value as a figure worthy of the highest regard than any words ever uttered by a pastor asking for a tithe.

It IS a long, drawn out essay on magic done as a comic book series. But name anything even remotely like that? “Everything is magic" is entirely the point and has never been made so completely and with such applomb.

The storytelling weaves together Moore's musings on magic and the nature of imagination, and J. H. William's pages, his layouts and paneling, and José Villarrubia's coloring follow in richness the examples set by Eisner or Steranko. They break out of any commonplace ideals set for modern comics storytelling to create something singular, something that holds up a mirror to ourselves to show we are, in fact, capable of much more than we have ever been lead to believe. I for one appreciate that sentiment.

Promethea incorporates nearly all of existence into the story. It is not a mistake that Moore uses a significant portion of the text to mirror the content and ancient role of the tarot and the kabbalah, because both of those systems served to provide a cosmological framework for a time when science was not capable of doing so. They were structured schema organizing observable phenomena into a coherence with the unexplainable chaos of life.

That Moore was able to realign these elements with our modern understanding of time, evolution, and nature I think is actual magic, because he is able to use such admittedly esoteric quanta to the effect of compelling the reader further into a story which illustrates, again and again, how the value of humanity MUST rest not in our derisive contempt of the mistakes we have made, but in how we move forward from failure, in inches by the decade at times, towards being worthy of the time we have on this world.

The christ scene, and countless others, strike at the base of what I believe, and by projection (because I have never met him but I argue he believes the same), Moore believes: that humanity has, and will continue to, attack, destroy, and punish the people who have found through their own awareness, talents, and abilities the means to make of us a better people and a better world, but that through the suffering of fools and tyrants and despots upon those who seek to remove chains and hatred we find the road from darkness up into light.

Moore exults, and I freely admit and support this, writers, as well as artists, poets, philosophers, and teachers. He exults those who would bring us light, which should be pretty obvious from the title, and I am thankful that he does, because there is not nearly enough of that in this world.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Day of Attrition

I have no juice in my gonads of creativity at the moment. I am stealing everything. I'm robbing Warren Ellis blind. I just tackled Chabon, punched him in the back of the head, and ran off with his notebook. His wallet I tossed into the bushes where he’ll never find it, just the way we used to do it in high-school. If Robert McKee wants my blood he can come and fucking try.

In the meantime, I need a crutch, to hobble on my ill-fitting writing legs up these uneven hills with jutting rocks everywhere that don’t hide any secrets more interesting that telling of how a big fucking block of ice the size of Canada once raped the shit out of this place. Not exactly impressive.

That dog is wearing a foot-brace, or a wrap or something, and he still doesn’t look as ridiculous as the fat old man in a Montauk t-shirt and running shorts. Still need to get into the bathroom seeing as how I’m not actually competent enough to drink coffe without snorting it all over myself like an idiot, like this orange shirted dude here.

You could choke on the humidity out there and I don't even need to think about a jacket for another three weeks yet that dude has a parka on and moon-boots. He is also holding an open umbrella under a dry, overcast sky and carries a plastic bag filled with what looks like rotten weeds so there you have it.

The problem is still mine, because these people are offering me gold, more shit than I could ever want, and I can't mine a fucking thing out it.

Time just to throw away the shovel, shut down the drill, and just dig my fingers into the rocks until they are bloody. Someday it'll all be interesting again.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Worn, Torn, Yet to be Reborn

Kicked in the gut today, so try as I try, there was nothing for it. A moment maybe somewhere in there, when it looked like it might come out into the light, but really all for naught. Got run pretty deep into the ground yesterday, face-first into the muck, to suck and choke on blubbering sick pooled thickly in the gutter, and all that.

I've got egg on my face, a stone in the pit of my stomach, and a stake in my heart. So no more blathering.

Go listen here: Kalpana

And we got some new stuff up for Septermber: Postcard Fiction Collaborative

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jet Boy Meets the Angel of the Odd

Think the kinda place where no one cares
What your livin for
And Jet Boys so preoccupied
He don't care 'bout before

I do well to remember this, because I look back now, at folders and files and backed-up verbal ammunition, and it occurs to me that I've been going about all of this very, very poorly. I've kept too much space between all of the buckets, when they could be closer, the little slithery tentacles and pokers and things playing with one another. What do they say these days, you have to let kids get dirty, get em all covered up with germs building those 5th dimensional ecologies where size doesn't matter. Or maybe its sixth.

I'm still trying to get around inside Ideaspace, with Alan Moore reeling up out of grain of wood and the patterns of sidewalk concrete and telling me things I can barely remember in the lower dimensions. Apparently he appears before Warren Ellis in a flying hoverchair that may or may not be capable of traveling through 7 dimensions.

Get to be my second favorite prime number today.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shoe Shows, and We're Inside the Onion

We could pretend that everyone here wants peace, but where is the fun in that. If one person wants peace and the rest all want to swing socks full of pennies into each others kneecaps, that is less fun than many things, but more fun than everyone wanting peace, or if everyone wants peace but one person, then that can be greatly fun than a whole mess of things, like wombats (wombats being the most fun animal to occur to me as I am writing this).

The funnest example of having a room full of people who all want peace is to have a small group who doesn't want peace actually, and then one or two other people who through both guile and simple apathy pretend to want peace, but are totally willing for their own amusement to foment further and increasingly vehement non-peace in the argument between the peace-seekers and the non-peaceful.

I fall into this later category, and do so in the hope the peaceful will violently pursue their goal of peace, and the violent will prove cowardly and untoward in their attitudes towards upheaval. Yes, this is the kind of person I am.

Put that in your guitar and plunk it. I've been reading Fictionaut lately, and Warren Ellis' column at Bleeding Cool, Do Anything.

Ben McCool's mercenary ramblings strike somerthing we have attempted all so often, working at the dayjob. Becacuse they are two different things. A job is fuckall of the highest order, something we do to ourselves, inflict on ourselves, sometimes as he says, so that we can force ourselves to be a little more invested in the work we do. Work therefore is something we give a fuck about.

I'm on page 96 (including endnotes) of Infinite Jest. I made a new playlist for the working a couple nights back. I called it Floorshows. I'll make another today called Floorshoes. This is how I am. New York Dolls feature heavily.

I'm working on my novel, really, except for yesterday which was a fuck of a day. Worst Saturday in quite some time. I would have rather been at the dayjob.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

MoCCa Grab Rundown and Linkage

It was all a blur. Not intentionally, or even metaphorically. Clinically, since I managed to spend some MoCCa time just at the onset of a preemptive con-cruding, clearly designed by my enemies to keep me from basking in comicdom's comforting glow.

On the upside, when I was sitting outside at one point, trying to muster enough consciousness to stay on my feet (which didn't last), I did see Bob Fingerman pass by eating some McD's, and I'll be treasuring that moment for some time to come. I made a once around pass of the place, had a few moments to talk with Brian Wood while I was hanging out with Salgood Sam, and then went on a time and pocket tightened spree.

-Kenan Rubenstein's artwork

The cream on top was:

Connor Willumsen's The Middle, which I picked up for a few skads. It's a clean, sparse surreality of a tale that doesn't waste any time explaining itself. I'll be re-reading this again and again, and looking out for more of his work.

Jon J Muth's Vanitas. I'm basically always looking for Muth work, since some of his mid-80s Marvel work I am lucky enough to call my first experiences in comics and has formed large sections of my brain. The drawings, paintings, and photographs in here are simply out of this world, and it always feels like I'm learning about how art works by looking at his stuff.

The Biographer, by Ada Price. I picked this up from the SVA student table because the cover had such a great design (she has a pic on her blog, which will hopefully continue to be updated). The story itself is lots of layers of who is telling what about who, and that works for me.

On the Beach by Kenan Rubenstein. Another skad pick-up, very nearly my last skad. I was given the choice between Hipsters in Brooklyn or naked folks. I went with the naked, and it turned out for the best (I've been among the hipsters, and while some are nice, they are still just yuppies that just happened to be born in the 80s).

Also good, for reasons I don't have the where-with-all to expound at present, were a couple more SVA products. Allison Strejlau's work, this time Kakapo, found its way into my bag once again, having earned a place there from the SVA student mini-comics show in 2008. Edwin Huang seems fast-tracking towards the big guns with his thick shadows and panel borders. This time around I picked up Yide'.

My biggest regret was not being able to now have the "Helper" statue sculptor Jesse Farrell had out there, but I enjoyed the hell out of talking with him about Venture Bros.

Since I feel I am inching ever closer to another nap, I'll have to pause here, but will come back for a rundown of the rest of the grabbage later on.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Memorizing W.C. Williams

I've never been a great memorizer. Speeches were something of an exception to this, so the art was not lost to me, just hidden more often than not. Maybe I just never made the time to do it. I've spent the last three days committing this to memory. I have typed it here from memory, and I think it is right.

This is from W.C. Williams Paterson, speaking of the falls on the Passaic River:

"Jostled, as are the waters approaching
the brink ; his thoughts
interlace, repel, and cut under,

Rise rock-thwarted and turn back
but forever strain forward - or strike
an eddy and whirl ; marked by a
leaf or curdy spume ; seeming
to forget.

Retake later the advance and
are replaced by the succeeding hordes
pushing forward ; they coalesce now,
glass-smooth with their swiftness,
quiet, or seem to quiet as at the close
they leap to the conclusion and
fall! fall in air, as if
floating, relieved of their weight
split-apart, ribbons ; dazed, drunk
on the catastrophe of the descent
floating unsupported
to hit the rocks ; to a thunder,
as if lightning had struck"

Just something to make me use my mind in a different way.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Eggs in the Light

A pair of jeans lay next to the door to his closet, where they had been left when he climbed into bed last night, and retrieving them he walked through the doorway toward the kitchen. Midway through the living room he slid his legs into the pants. He had them zipped and buttoned by the time he reached the fridge.

He poured the old coffee from the pot down the drain. If he had plants he would have used the coffee to water the plants, diluted with some water, supposedly as a way to help them grow, but he had no plants. He dumped the old grinds into the trash and prepared a fresh pot.

Cracking some eggs into a frying pan where a pat of melted butter was sizzling quietly, he put two slices of bread in the toaster. He flipped the eggs, breaking the yoke of one, swirled the pan to spread the sticky yellow goo around, and turned off the gas let them firm up. He pulled a plastic container of tuna salad from the fridge and spread a layer of it across the warm bread. He pulled a square, plastic plate from the cupboard next to his head, and set the developing sandwich upon it. He pulled a slice of cheese from the package on the door, finally slid the eggs from the pan onto the whole mess. He pulled a glass from the shelf, noted that he might want to dust, and poured himself a glass of orange juice.

He looked down at the sandwich. Heat from the eggs pouring invisibly around the edges of the cheese poking out from around the crusts.

It wasn’t really cheese, cheese food if you read the label properly. Food or product, the effect of the heat was its softening, a lightening of color, and the breakdown of rigidity and solidity, if you can call cheese solid. All of that sounded right, but Matt wasn’t sure if his lingo was solid. He was a lax consumerist.

He punched the sandwich.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oh Comely Kooks

The way he wore his beard, just beyond the edge of trim, where the occasional hair would stick out from the cheek revealing its successful escape from the shears, left the plane of his jaw active and moving as if it were a wave whose movements signified the tides of ideal diner sandwiches and the currents of coffee rings. Like her, he was an active cafe goer whose enterprise had to begin on the lip of full mug, as if he were jumping into a volcano.

That he winked as he passed sent her eye darting about his face, diving beneath the surface of those bristling waves down to the bed where the silt of his features lay. His mouth was lips and line across that which was hard to know but looked to have rested closer to a smile.

She had seen that smile in a dream the week before. She was with a boy from school, a face only partially known for a few years in middle school, once and only once fantasized over. They walked in the dream and found themselves in a woods to have sex. Crunching pines needles under their feet lead the way to a wooden bridge that ran across the river in their town. A railing connected up to the bridge and the sloping floor of the woods, and the other side came out on a bank toward the road. Not many people ever used the bridge because this end was far from the edge of town and there was another trail-head that let out closer by.

The bridge pushed away from everyone, from the town, and that was where he wanted to have sex, to get away from everything they knew while she wanted to do it by the railing at the trail's mouth, which wasn't over the water. She was afraid of the water, and the idea of having sex was the idea of moving away and she wasn't sure that she was ready to leave, but the thought of doing it in mid-air where the wind was blowing, over the flowing water pulled at her, tugging her away even with her uncertainty weighing her down.

They agreed to do it on the platform, and images started to spiral in the skies. They were images of the town, shapes like sculptures of the people of the town spinning in the sky around them between the silhouettes of the trees and the purple shadows on the underside of the clouds, showing her and the boy the hidden chambers tucked away behind the walls of their home. The world passed through them, guiding them through the places they'd stared into everyday whenever they saw a front door.

She saw her friend Nicole, who was already having sex, and lights blossomed showing her everything they had never been able to talk about. And how similar this boy was to her friend. Always an outsider, walking in the shadow of his name. She wanted to talk with him about the ways they liked each other, the way it could made them feel as if they knew the answer to every test they'd ever have to take, and if they had been able to, if they had risked it all and had sex then, they would have been able to draw the shape of the world.

When she looked at him she saw herself reflected as a paper toy in the center of his dark eyes, and the darkness wasn't bad, and the innocence he saw in her wasn't good. These were alloyed emotions, empathy and sorrow and loneliness and happiness all stirred together and fired into a metallic glass that reflected not the light but the consequences of their actions.

He was not someone she'd ever spoken with, but once, without knowing why, she had seen him smile and thought of seducing him. She remembered his smile in that dream and saw it again on the street with a wink .while it snowed.

He had put up his small grin just as soon as he left the subway. The smile for its own sake and for the weather and for the small falling snow. He put his hands in the pockets of his jeans rather than his jacket, where they might be cooler, but would help him feel as if he didn't need the extra level of protection. Flaunting daylight on a day off of work he pulled back his shoulders, arched his spine and raised his head, feeling as if a string pulled up on the crown of his head. He was embarrassed when, just as he passed the girl and met her eyes in a way a conditional introvert rarely chanced, a flake blew into the corner of his eye and melted just on the lower lid, and the cold and the wet tapped at his sensory nerves and shut the eye, and he knew that she had seen him wink and he worried the rest of the day what she had thought of him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mid-Week Fundraising: Writing Off of the Ass

HEEeEY Everybody,

So this is one of the best things I do, because a) it helps to raise all kinds of money for a great, great cause, and b) gives me an excuse to spend the day writing.

New York Writer's Coalition helps at-risk youth, battered women, the formerly homeless and others to find a voice. It gives them something great and he chance to create, and that's a good thing by any means.

I am going to be writing my ass off, and believe me, there is still a lot there after the holidays, so help out and donate to a great cause:


Friday, March 20, 2009

Up Up and Away

With the tip of my tongue I tack the stir-stick in my mouth against my palette and try spitting it through the beige drywall by the coffee maker.

I can see every bit of lower and west Manhattan from where I am standing in the pantry – this being a sink, a fridge, and a cupboard – as well as a good chunk north whenever I sneak into the boss office. Some important sales rep is in town for a few days and staked out a cubical on the dark side of the building, the northwest side around the corner from the coffee maker. This rep is staying away from the windows.

He looks like Toby Flenderson from the US version of the Office.

There is some of that smacking steam sound as the coffee maker fills my conveniently sized cup. Toby doesn’t look up. I pour in sugar and make sure to spill some on the counter.

This is just good business.

Spilled sugar on the counter shows visitors, competitors, and ne’er-do-wells that people are working here by gum. These people are working at and thinking about their jobs, not about their coffee, and they are eager to get back to it.

I have to walk back to my desk because we don’t have moving walkways in our office. If our office was laid out in any kind of regular sort of order, then maybe there would be moving walkways, although we aren’t really THAT kind of company. The path through the office snakes, more like a maze instead something more regular, and it becomes an experience just to use the lavatory. There isn’t a track that leads you around in a logical pattern. There aren’t uniform corridors – spaces and walkways weave around exposed, painted I-beams in some kind of hard-nosed industrial chic. There isn’t that sense of normal here.

This doesn’t create an aggressive office decorum per se, but it certainly makes things a bit edgier in an unmarketable sort of sense. We’re just a bit more aware.

I sit in a corner and try not to get so bored I fall asleep, and try not to overly invest in my work, which I find stressful. I understand some people masturbate at work. I’ve never masturbated at work. I remain detached, and can’t really see how you’d want to suddenly touch yourself pouring over a spreadsheet or project report. Maybe it’s the people on the phone all day.

Sex in the office is another matter.

If Toby Flenderson wasn’t squatting in that nook I’d go back over and take a yogurt out since I haven’t eaten yet today. It’s almost 1PM. 1 hour to go. 4 hour Fridays.

I don’t hate my job. I’m not a dick to people. Really. Like I said this isn’t an aggressive atmosphere. Some days you can’t help but feel that the patterns we walk as we move about this obstructed realm are tracing out some large, intricate cosmological pattern, and this pervading sense of the place is to wonder exactly whose cosmos we are contributing too.

Actually I feel sorry for Toby, which is why I don’t want to walk back over there. I felt sorry for him for the 42 seconds it took for my pristine little cup of coffee to brew but the journey back to my desk has altered how I view the world. He’s wearing a suit, something that cost him what my apartment costs each month, which is a lot to some people, people like me, and I’ve risen above that. He hasn’t walked around enough in here, so he looks at me disdainfully as I am wearing sandals and a short-sleeve plaid shirt, but the fact is I look –and think- better than he does.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Apartment Overlooking the Park

Her room overlooks a park with two ball-fields and the evenings pose as summer by mid spring. Basking, rich, golden sunlight glances off windows shining over the grass, diffusing in the atmosphere as if a spell had been cast, of loose churned dirt kicked up from the base-paths and hung like a web from the corners of the buildings over the whole park, while the chatter of co-ed teams cheering their mate at bat never quite dies away as she allows herself to stroll home from work. She listens from the tiny kitchen where she cooks her dinner, pausing with her mouth open wide from reading silently aloud in strange languages one worn book or another, to peer at the branches and the families walking in the darkening evenings over a lightly sweating bottle of beer. In the living room she keeps a circle of cold-wrought iron wire set into the floor in a ring carved in the dark wood and sealed with wax scented with myrrh poured from white and red candles. Among other purposes the wax keeps the dog from playing with the ring and disrupting the circle much to both creatures’ – the dog and the thing in the circle – chagrin.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Watchmen: The Good, the Bad, and some awkward Shtupping

I think, having gone in with the lowest possible expectations, that overall I liked this movie, that it was as good a film as could have been made from what is one of the best and most complex stories ever told about ladies and lads who run around in their underwear or less beating people up - but I will have to see it again to have a better sense of it (ah netflix, how I will wait for thee). The first 45 minutes were utterly entertaining. The Comedian's death I thought was exciting, and the flashback sequence that followed was excellent. Then the movie really slowed down.

In trying to make this film as true to the book as they could, they tried to cram as much of the story in as they could, and it seems like they just ran out of steam. They didn't go back in and take their scenes to task with the same even-ness. Dan Drieberg coming home to find Rorschach eating beans in his kitchen was head an shoulders above the flashback scene to when the "The Watchmen" fail just after take-off and The Comedian teaches the Smartest Man in the World a lesson. The second act, with all its suspicion building and interactions between the characters should have been building those characters up, delving into them, making them full and well rounded. They went straight to exposition instead, speaking out the plot, like so many failed Star Wars movies(PM, AotC, RotS).

I thought Rorschach, The Comedian, and Adrian Veidt were developed characters with interesting narrative arcs, and Jackie Earle Haley is firmly someone I am looking for in cast lists from now on. The problem I had was the rest of the characters - they were not allowed to develop, and this is what slowed the movie down.

Dr. Manhattan was close to be being complete, but they stayed too tight to the chest reaching toward his dispassionate level. Nite Owl was an odd miss, since I think Patrick Wilson did a really very good job with the character - he looked the part and I thought had the right tone in his voice - but his lines just didn't hit. Bad writing undid this guy. In the book I always saw him more as stifled rather than impotent, more boxed in by the events surrounding him and his desire to see his friends through it, always uncertain about what he should do. In the movie he was too often just a sounding board for plot exposition for the more powerful, more knowing characters, which was unfortunate.

Uncertainty was the great sin in Watchmen the Film, and its most uncertain character must of course be the most poorly developed. The female characters were outright neglected, but Laurie Juspeczyk gets a big, flat gray wall as her character's emotional canvas in the film.

Laurie's uncertainty was for me the strongest emotional undercurrent in the book, because it best reflects the overarching question - what does a person need to become in order to do what they must. In the book the male characters, without fail, responded to that uncertainty as if it were a weakness, as a sign that Laurie was a damsel in distress, always needing protection and rescue. But Laurie proves her uncertainty is anything but a weakness. She is decisive, choosing to leave John and then go with him to Mars, choosing to take up fighting again with Dan, and in doing so shows how the men's failure to accurately perceive her reflects their inability to understand precisely what is happening until it is too late. In that way she always seemed to be stronger than the guys, who move about waiting to know better what is happening, but the movie doesn't have that realization of her uncertainty, it doesn't get into it enough that we care about her conflict.

Speaking of conflict, the highs of Watchmen were, ironically, some of the best fight scenes I have seen since Sayid took on Kimi. A fight scene for me has a simple test - does it bring up that feeling my younger, more erstwhile self would have felt, causing me to run out of the theatre and across the hoods of cars in the parking lot, jump around on street signs, or otherwise engage in stunts I'm not sure I can manage anymore. The Matrix was a prime example, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon another. Watchmen has this feeling. And it does make for entertaining cinema.

My biggest problem with the movie was Laurie and Dan's fight scene in the alley, where they take on 15 gangmembers then slowly make love in Archie(and ruined an otherwise excellent song in the process). The fact they were able to take out so many guys just smacks of "superpowers", of some super-fu that allows them to dash evil upon the rocks of justice as unceasingly as a wave and then follows it up with a very typically hollywood, very awkward, slow, and unexciting movie sex scene.

In the book I remember them only taking on 4-5 guys and then, pardon my french, fucking. The whole point is they are adrenaline junkies who have been clean for years and all of a sudden get another taste, and all they can do afterwards is rip each others clothes off and get down to it. All of these characters need that stimulation in order to feel anything but the slowing of the blood in their veins.

The lack of any allure in that scene is kind of telling the story of Watchmen the film for me, because Watchmen is a lot like sex - it doesn't have to be as good as the book to enjoy it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Wave

This is the only wave, breaking with the blood and all its’ substantive nutrients, its calcium deposits and the flecks of oxygen and iron together racing past purple to black, drying beneath the skin, the split open heart of the knuckle, like the faces of wood that you can peel away from one another. It’s terror that you can swallow up hoping it’ll choke down easily enough.

It’ll be forward and together until it strikes the wall to hand itself out as flyers on the street, it separates so easily you’d never even know one side was not near the other anymore. The pain left you and there was only the absoluteness of clenching your fist that helped you feel the pressure inside where all of it was just waiting, storing itself up until you decided to test it out and see if the whole system worked.

You curl up your fist in front of a smooth concrete wall, or brick since their roughness does feel that much better, and you let it fly, without pistoning, without that posturing cock of the arm, just the snap back you should be striving for beyond the surface. You let it run, a bull out of the gates speeding with that willpower to bring your world of flesh and bone through to the other side, or to feel the pieces of it separate and go off where ever they might, to leave you with that broken, silly wave.

Friday, February 27, 2009


She lets the book drop through her fingers to the floor and stares straight ahead watching the red lights streak by in the darkness. The train rocks her away from the seat and back; she rolls her spine along the plastic to absorb the motion, taking it away from the train. She watches him, in the seat across, his gaze shifting from the book, to her, and back to the book. His eyes rising and falling but never meeting hers like a dawn never reaching noon.

He waits for movement in her shoulders, a muscle twitching or contracting, but they are unmoving. His dark eyes come up from the book on the floor to her chest, inches below her neck, where the first indication, a pull or shift beneath her shawl, would signal that she is bending forward to pull the book from the floor. He feels sparks bursting beside his ear and feels them popping through the shirt covering his shoulder, as though sprites and fairies were setting quarks to spinning or playing jai-alai with neutrinos. They were spitting out plasma which would cost him a loan later today, when he couldn’t think straight while filling out the application. The shawl was pulled tight around her neck; realizing he is staring at her chest he looks up and feels awkward seeing that she has been watching him.

She does not change her expression when he turns red and sheepishly rubs together his hands covered in wood-stain. The train stops and she rises from her seat, walking smoothly through the doors onto the platform toward a stair with the string of elves trailing behind her in the air. He looks back too late to see the girl - head wrapped in a hive of dreadlocked hair, hemp twine, and beads, - waiting, shaking with anticipation, dart her hand out from beneath a dark poncho to grab the book, and all he sees is the dirty floor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Momentary Disruption

Sorry, nothing to see here, move along. (Ok, it'll be back at some point, so come back then).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If the System Were Named Sampson: A Venture Brothers Fan Fiction

Deftly swinging a broom has only limited applications but in the instances where those applications come into play they really do make one stand out.

The point of Brock grabbing the broom was to try not to kill the cat, but to swat it enough times that it wouldn't want to fight anymore. To punish it, without termination, what with all that business of mice and men concerned with their plans we find that despite thought towards the path action leads down strange paths and suffice to say intention does not too often find itself getting the better of the outcome, as it were. It could not for instance overcome nature. For nature decreed in making graceful, sleek and often strikingly beautiful the cat, and with those gifts the cat was made arrogant and haughty, such as it is that through this, the cat's own natural enmity for all non-cats other than its master, it has become legendary for ire. They are species known for their spitefulness and outwardness of hatred.

This is simply the way of things after all.

So after Brock first brought the broom down on this particular cat's skull, he was, as a cat lover, affected, though by being Brock, he was not affected as another might. His affect processed according to his nature, which much like a cat's, is contrary often even to being unkind. Perhaps this explains some reason for his affinity for felines; their reflection of his self. Brock's response is entirely after the fact, in the reflection, in the brief moment of account Brock takes with each life, discerning insight in conjunction with the application of power, understanding the balances that scale within the universe.

Brock crushed the skull of this cat without too much psychological transference, so what, if anything, can really be said about contrariness without entering into wormholes of tangential causation is not a line for this page. He modulated the speed of the swing while the broom already arced through the air, seeing a murderous lack of restraint in the eyes of the cat and the scent of an acid boiling in the cat's mouth, twisting the broom from the flat to the outer edge where the metal guide would stave in even a coconut.

The cat's skull cracked under the force of a broom being swung which is impressive to say nothing else, and Brock stalked off through the train to find the cat's owner for some thoroughly justified retribution at being required, per his nature, to terminate the cat. Of course the largesse of this cat was a nature fueled with enmity and a modified physiology, so its' skull did not so much as repair as filled in the splayed, fractured portions, widening the cat's head and in the process its' maw, and shuddering its' body as a cat will do when stretching the thing got bigger to accommodate its bulkier and toothier anterior, to stalk after the non-cat it was most spiteful toward at the moment. This of course being Brock.

The cat tore the leg off a porter who was changing the bedding in Brock's cabin. The porter died hearing a Door's song in the cabin nearby, and the cat waited for Brock, waiting to tear his face off and claw out his eyes.

Brock found the cat's owner and held him by the jaw dangling between two cars of the train, letting the man's bare feet knock against the ties and stone beds of the tracks. He said nothing while staring into the man's eyes, letting the wind of the moving train spread cold against their faces and finally whispering to him harsh and menacing as he lowered him onto the tracks in front of the wide steel wheels.

The cat leapt out at Brock as he entered the cabin, going first for the eyes, scratching at Brock's arm as it was caught in mid-air, hissing and spitting while Brock stuffed it into a sheet and beat it against the walls of the cabin. It grew and its bones knit together once more larger and stronger as Brock carried it towards the front of the train, struggling to tear its way free as Brock reached the engine room. It tore free of the bag as Brock grabbed the back of its neck and clamped a jumper cable run off a line to the train's diesel engine to its spine.

Brock now regretted only having already dispatched the car's owner.

This is the first time I have ever written fan fcition. It will likely be the last.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I'm Not Saying I Attained Enlightenment at New York Comic Con but...

Well, I am the burning elation of exhaustion and excitement. I dare not actually try to make anything at this point, since I am far too overcharged, but nothing a nice day of the job won't cure (ok, that's a lie, I did write for about an hour or so last night, but it was just mind-garbage).

I used to feel like this after my residencies in the Grad School days. We'd burn through 8 or 9 days, talking about books and writing, just a pack of little Prometheus' and Promethea's in the woods of Vermont spinning in circles as we carried the light down the hill, and when it was all done, after 6 or 7 hours on the road, always glad to be home where everything was soft and warm the only thing I'd feel was that we'd burned, held over the coals and our minds flashed, cerebro-spinal fluid glowing with the luminosity of imparted wisdom and the shared passions, spent and delirious and washed in the rains of a rebirth.

NYCC was like that for me this year, for the first time really. I went in raw and tired, stressed on too many fronts, and unsure of what I was going to do. Which is perfect sometimes. It is the state you have to be in to summon angels and demons, the state Gautama reached under the tree when the wheel opened up and he saw himself at its center. In comics, it is the place Jack Frost reached when fighting the King of All Tears, stepping out, but coming back having seen it all. You empty your cup and wait for it to be filled.

I'm not saying I attained enlightenment at New York Comic Con, but I came out the other side to stand in the rain and knew it was good.

For the first time in a long time, I am happy to have been royally screwed over and out of two jobs I loved. One was simply a political game I hadn't known I had to play, one was because my bosses boss was an asshole. Both times it knocked me flat on my ass, because I still had the Kool-aid in me, and that tends to turn to poison when it sours. So I like my job now, but this job is just a job, and I am going to do it well for a while, and then I am going break free of it and I am going to write, and that is very encouraging thought. Because if I hadn't been screwed over in those two jobs that I loved, I wouldn't presently be more determined than ever cut my own path and work on the things I want to work on, not the things someone else tells me to.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coveted Nails Comic

For some time now, I have slowly and determinedly been writing an epic pop cultural poem. Wait, no, it's a Pop-Cultural Epic. Yeah, that's the stuff. It is a sprawling affair that comprises 13 episodes, and skews determinedly across media structures and character archetypes to tell what is a simple story: two-people trying to figure it all out. I've written nearly two-thirds of the book, so there is still much more to write and certainly a good deal of editing yet to do.

I am calling the book Coveted Nails.

The book that this will become was always designed with a fluidity into and out of itself, and so I decided a couple of months ago to try and offer something from the book in another form I've been a fan and pursuer of, comics. Here is the first page of Coveted Nails: The Comic, drawn by Dominic Salerno-

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wait, Twelve Monkeys What?

Never mind. Twelve Monkeys say what. Got you again.

Ooo, hmm, beh. So the weekend skaned (because I didn't go) and writing was sporadic though it did happen. I was not several floors up in the dead of night though. That would have been preferable. Still. Still. Stillness (also didn't go due to attendance at an enviro film festival, but you should check out Tim's stuff here).

Wrote a Venture Brother's fan fiction this morning, which is odd, because I'm not a fan fiction writer for the most part. I only rarely wrote Spider-man stories growing up, and I've been working toward and holding toward any success I have as a writer I would prefer come from ideas I've worked up myself. I've always spent far more time creating my own worlds, my own characters. At most, I'd prefer to follow a trajectory like Gaiman or Moore, and work with or completely transform earlier creations into a more rich and nuanced form. Maybe I am. Maybe I can't. We shall.

My Brock Sampson fan fic more specifically was really my way of coaching an essay on the limited wonderment of an individual who can deftly and martially wield a broom. That's how I play that.

There is a spec of dust on the screen that suggests to me it is a period where I'd not want one. Specifically at Brock fic

I have no use of a period there. But I am hopeful I can find a way to make sure of this essay I have written. And then find the time to finish writing this damn novel, although I do actually have many pages of the story written out in ink on paper, in ye olde fashioned way. I am troubled by the fact that in a script I am writing for a comic series, the spell check doesn't like the work Old-fashioneds, as in the drink plural. But I like me the old-fashioneds, and it shouldn't not, if there is any justice in the universe, be long before I have aforementioned cocktails. But aside and away there are pages yet to write, novels to enrich with the tears of people who've never had bodies, and the smattering of instants to craft into a series of pages with art hopefully drawn by people far prettier than me, and so I leave you. Do as thou will.

PS. If you do draw and are prettier than me, and possibly want to draw things I may write of which you would have very little idea except a vague sense based on what I have assaulted you with here on this page, please feel free to contact me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Molly was, very clearly, a mastiff. A Bordeaux. She thought she was at times a lapdog and she loved to hunt woodchucks, and always looked happy or bashfully cute despite weighing 175 lbs. I'll post a picture as soon as I get a chance, but it is agreed that we loved her very much and she had land and woods and hills and a pony and her companion Bruno.

I won't be able to go home again for a couple more months and it will not be until then that I feel I will really feel the true impact of the fact that she is gone.

She was very special. Rest in peace girl.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

This is the Post Where I Post Nothing

Give me a break. I've been holidayed, and as such, required much time to read. See Goodreads blurp on the side. I've twittered, and been working on some of the fiction. I have much fiction, and I want more.

And because I am still very keen for it, I found out, after happening upon a free copy of Thomas Bernhard's The Voice Imitator, that Jenny Boully used one of the subtitles from that for her book from Tarpaulin Sky Press.