Tuesday, December 29, 2009

re: st. patrick's day, 2008, and the man i told you i wish i was

to whom it may concern...but mainly to audry,

Let’s face facts: this isn’t working. This- this entire…thing, whatever it really is. It’s done. And I don’t mean just us. Understand that that’s not what I’m saying. This is bigger. It’s bigger than us. For me, it’s everything. They’re not working. We’re not working and they’re not working. None of this feels like anything anymore. And I can’t keep doing this. This is the truth. This is everything I’ve ever wanted to say. It’s everything anyone’s ever wanted to say. I just want to feel something again. I haven’t felt anything with any worth for so fucking long. I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for just something to come along and make me feel. But now, fuck, now I’m just fucking tired of it. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of…of being scared. This is all there is and I’m so fucking terrified of it. I’m afraid of getting the wrong read, or giving the wrong look, or just feeling like I’m living in some place where eventually it all works out but, really, it never does. It never fucking does. But that’s on me. And that’s why I’m here. Because I can’t do it anymore. No one should have to. Ever. But no one has the guts to do that. Or maybe no one really cares as much as they like to think they do. Like maybe it’s all one giant façade where the only objective is to look the part enough to get by so that other people believe you well enough to not question your disinterest in them. I don’t care enough to want to know. I’m tired of presuming to know the inner workings of those I care about. Like I said, they never turn out how you expect them to. But you: I pegged you. At least I thought I did. I thought a lot of things, I guess. Now, I don’t know, now I guess I just don’t think, period. But that’s okay with me. I see that know. It’s okay. Everything, in the end, turns out okay. Because there’s no special plan, see? All there ever is is all you ever make. Of what’s around you and what’s inside you. There’s no grand secret. My whole life I’ve been waiting for the answer to some grand, unifying notion that there’s more to this then what there is. And then I woke up one morning and realized that this is it. And I’m okay with that. That’s why I’m okay with this. Because it’s not really the end. It’s just life. And if you believe it will be okay then it will be okay. You can’t go far on negativity and doubt and heartache. But can go far on hope and happiness and love. You can go all the way to the moon. But you just have to believe it. That may sound shitty and cheesy and lame as hell, but it’s the truth. And I’m trying real hard to be true here. I am. But this is all there is. So let’s be okay with that and I think that will be okay.
usually we'd go ahead and get a few words down, maybe even a sentence or two. but that was about as far as it'd get before a hard line would find its way in between the letters. nothing ever really stuck when it came right down to it. i could almost guarantee you that this entire thing up to this point has been written before. more than once, in fact. i'll find you the page. it's no doubt folded up somewhere in between two pages just like this one. somewhere deep in the closet, i'm guessing. that's where most of these digressive, incoherent abortions more than often end up. when it comes right down to it, down to the reasoning behind the discarding of thoughts, well, i think it mostly had to do with whether or not there was any honesty in it all. at least that's what i think. i can't speak for him anymore. i wouldn't want to, anyway. i suppose that if i had to submit a guess i think that, when it came right down to it, he was afraid. i mean, let's be perfectly honest, it takes a little extra something for someone to put themselves out there for everyone to see. and by "see" i, of course, mean "judge". or better yet, "tear to shreds from inside to out". am i wrong? the "vast majority" of human beings love nothing more than to lob gigantic, venomous boulders of judgment towards anyone and everyone. even themselves. it's sad, yeah, but it's the truth. digression, shit. see? this is what happens. in his case, however, we wouldn't have even made it to "hard line". and now i'm using too many quotes. judgment onto oneself. i told you. there's no ending. but him, well, he was the worst. actually, that's probably a bit too harsh. completely harsh, truth be told. but, there it is. the truth. that's what this is all about. truth. and being true. right? shit, i don't even know myself anymore. well, take a chisel to the rock, i suppose. no, i really don't.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

this is you in your winter overcoat, huddled in a bus station corner under the bright lights and muffled sounds of passing travelers. the soft strands of your blond hair cover your eyes as you try to remain hidden in the little world of you. no one knows you, but all that are see you. there is no fear in your face, no worry in your brow. you are exactly where you want to be.
this is your polariod camera, underused and rarely moved, sitting on a chair by the foot of your bed. its pictures are warm and filled with everyone. they collect in a drawer, on a pinboard near a lamp, across your desk and in a secret place under the mattress. they keep well enough and you dream of them when asleep.
this is a document not being written. its letters are fake and more like a cliche, massaged and poorly fashioned for the benefit of us. this is a love letter to those who'll never know. this is fleeting thought, bereft of anything original or pure, stymied by the dreary hands that create it. this is-

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I logged in tonight. Blogspot told me this would be my 100th post. I thought about that for a few moments. 100 posts starting with number 1, as I check, almost two years ago to this day. Part of me is surprised to still be using this things. Another part of me thinks about how many broken thoughts or unfinished entries I've registered in this half-journal/half-confessional. What is this thing to me? A place to share what I've created? Is it sharing when you don't even know if people are reading? Only recently have I been able to answer that question, or have felt validated by asking it. I suppose, to me, this is a place where I can externalize my own fears, my own personal desires (secret or not), or a brief dream, the components of which fly faster than my ability to take them down. Or maybe it's just a place for me to put myself up in front of it all, to be the center of attention. "Lay upon me all your critiques, be they of pillory or praise." I suppose none of that really matters if there is nothing here to read, right? So maybe I'll start there. With a fresh credo: To write more. Period. Were you expecting something more? Well, yeah, maybe I was, too. But that's okay. It's a good start. It's A start, no? And then from there we can expand to greater ambitions, stimulate the creative juices that have come down to a simmer. Let's boil that sucker back up! Or maybe we can just start first. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Yeah, I think that will be better. Finish some of these deserted shorts. Flesh them out, so to speak. That's a good start, a second place to start. Look: options already! This is great. This is an adventure. "Go forth into the unknown, young creator, for this life is an adventure."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

dear adelaide,

i wrote you a letter just the other night. in it i explained the reasoning behind certain events that have recently occurred, as well as my feelings on said instances. my thoughts on the matter are quite precise, yet still without direction. my initial thought was to express this, among other things, to you in person but circumstances have yet to relieve themselves and allow me proper permission to carry this out. i feel you, at the least, deserve an honest, face to face, explanation for my actions. instead i wrote the aforementioned letter. it is my heart, adelaide, poured onto paper by the frail, wounded hands of a man longing for its chance. yet with each passing day, as my want grows stronger my opportunities become more fleeting, though the emotion never fades.

but yet i still have the note. it is heavy with love. it is all i have ever wanted to say. i stored it away, in a drawer beneath the clock. i think i will deliver it today. i'll address it to you, adelaide, place a stamp in the corner, and send it on its way. by the time it reaches you i, god willing, will be halfway to the atlantic, on a locomotive bound for the east coast. i've arrangements with a captain there to board a cargo ship destined for the indian ocean. i hope i'm well received.

this is the end for now. i feel there is nothing left to lose. if nothing more, adelaide, remember us as friends. until then...

your friend,
connor mcginn

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

there were these two men

there are no more dreams.
no? how come?
i don't know.
you have no idea?
it's just...i don't know. i think there's no hope in it. in dreaming.
that's a heavy notion, don't you think?
not really. i mean, look around us. i don't think people dream like they used to.
and why do you say that?
because you can see the hopelessness in their eyes. in their movements. in their sad faces. i think they go to sleep with the intention of not dreaming.
i see.
because you always wake up in the end, and then you're back to the real.
and that's why you don't dream anymore?
it's not that i don't dream.
no. it's like there's an open space and when i close my eyes i see this vast plane. it's dark, or sometimes it's just light. but there's nothing there. no castles. no stars. no people. just space. i dream in an empty void.
because i don't know. hell!
let's work at it.
maybe it's because my dreams stopped coming true.
is that it?
i don't know. i don't know why i said that. it's not like they ever really did, you know. as a kid, though, i think there was a greater possibility for them to, you know?
and now?
and now, well, i guess those hopes and dreams are fleeting faster and faster the older i get. i see the doors closing. the missed opportunities. the chances that were never taken.
but you're not that old, you know. people live a long time now, these days.
but i feel old. i feel...wasted.
like how?
like i missed out on something. and my mind knows it. and my dreams, or lack of, reflect it.
you know, there's always a chance to take a chance. so long as you can breathe, you can gamble. you can do that which you dream of, or maybe used to, in your case. you can still do that.
i guess i just feel i've already overplayed my hand, you know.
frankly, that's bullshit. i am here. you see me, no?
so what's to stop you from, say, going outside and doing something you've never done before?
my job, for one.
you know, you only have one life. but in that one precious shot at living you have an endless amount of opportunities to make something happen. to go out and learn to sail, to talk to a beautiful girl, to carve your name into a statue, to be something, to be happy, to take chances. to dream.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


they were gathered in groups of three: mother, father, child. mother, father, child. if a new batch had more than three to it then the smallest ones would be sent to the "refuse" pile, thus fulfilling the "rule". if incoming subjects were a third piece short then the admitting officer would assign one of the rejected from the refuse pile to an incoming couplet, once again fulfilling the "rule".

Friday, November 20, 2009

dream of love. the unbreakable kind. the kind you wish could never be returned, because you want so bad to believe that yours is the strongest kind, that nobody else can feel about someone the way you feel about someone. you want that for yourself. to give of yourself. to receive upon yourself. dream of that love. the kind that never came. because you did feel that way, so much, so strong, so long. but he never came. love to stand on two feet. love to knock you out cold. prize fighters never knew such strength as your love. your love never knew such pain. dream of love. the kind that spreads. every drop of water is your love. every wisp of hair. every clasped hand. every blinking eye. every wanton smile. your love is your love.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Giorgio Contreras Romero cut him self from hip to hip, along the waist, and back around the lower part of his neck, just below the bone. He sat in a hut at the edge of the bluff and waited for forty-two days. During that time he bled into a ceramic bowl for twenty-three days and twenty-three nights and on the twenty-forth day his wife came to him.
“Where have you been, my darling?” she asked, a relieved tremble carrying her words.
“It’s been twenty-four days, twenty-four days that I’ve been here in this hut, sitting and bleeding. Where have you been?” he responded, looking only at the marble slab resting before him. The palms of his hands were coarse and pale, flaking away like dry paint. His wife stood in the doorway of the wood hut, eyes sunken, and said, “My darling, I’ve been to here and there looking for you.”
There was a pause. Slowly, Romero stood up from his spot. He bent low to lift the marble slab from the ground, leaving only dead skin in its place. His wife watched anxiously as Romero shifted his the wafer that was his body and began to carefully walk toward her.
“I’m sorry, my dear,” he spoke, shaking as he stood in front of her, “but this is what I have seen.”
“Darling?” was the last thing the wife of Giorgio Contreras Romero spoke before being crushed under the weight of the marble slab. Satisfied with his work, Romero returned to his spot on the floor and once more took up his ceramic bowl.
Eleven days would pass before anything would happen once again in the tiny hut at the edge of the bluff. Romero lay motionless underneath the wooden beams as they shifted from brown to cold steel, mutating into something not quite whole, converting five thousand years worth of memory into a single moment. What once was dirt and stone was now cement and metal, industrious and uniform. Romero curled in the remains of his shelter. The bluff begat paved road, the wood hut spawned something of a garage, and people sat all about this new and peculiar place.

I need a new start. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my entire life.
This is something of a predicament.
No one says, “Predicament”.
Pass me another one of those.
Yeah, well that may be true, but honestly, what do you think will really happen?
This is the way those things work.
You wait and see, man.
I’ve heard it all before, okay? We’ve all heard it before.
People say that. People say a lot of things.
What? Open your mouth when you talk.
Shhh. Do you see that?
I’m telling you to shut the Hell up right now.
I’ve practiced this before. Trust me. It’s okay.
No, he’s not coming. He just called and told me.
You’re seeing this, right?
There should be some more over there.
Yeah, I think I’ve seen this all before.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

enter in to occular appraisal - section two: version seven - "drunkard on the withering bank"

on a mound of black dust
is the keeper who must
be of duty and goodwill divine
though his courage is clear
his fictitious veneer
is preceded by holy combine
though in separate tunes
the lioness fumes
o'er cavorting and lamenting loons
while her partner will sleep
under whispering trees
dreaming of dead and dying cocoons
their shells hardly made
in wallowing shade
while the underside melts in the sun
and the lives of the dead
never living an age
have no value to prides of the youth
they are timid and breathless today
they are silent and ne'er the astray
they are loners in god's holy day

these are melancholy times, you said. i didn't understand what the former had meant in reference to the conversation at hand. we had only been discussing the day to day, trivial in its nature. but you came out of no where with such melodramatic verse. i told you i didn't understand. no one does, you said. no one does. though the spirits begged to be taken more seriously than yourself, that much is true.

dear god what are you even saying? let's be perfectly plain here: what is it that happens to us when we die? i have the feeling that my mind tells me it's something grand, that i'll be living my life in a subconscious state, thinking and feeling freely that which i've always wanted. a neverending dream. though there's the slight chance i may spend the rest of all eternity burning unmercifully in the bowels of hell for all time. though with the latter i find myself not as worried as the normal, god-fearing man may be. for one, i know that won't be the case. it's impossible. and for two, if it is the case, well, i know i'll be spending it there with you. right? did you really think you'd get off that easily? luckily we won't have to worry about that. but what if, on the off chance, nothing happens? then what? who's the winner in this cosmic game of eternal roulette? who's the one to say, well, i told you so? does it really matter? there's been a levity in my step since accepting what i've come to believe. and, like i said, if i'm wrong, well, i know you'll be right there with me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

part one: all hands on deck (a summoning of great import)

sir walter mcgown
was a father and clown
and a writer in '73
he lived on a boat
with a pigeon and goat
and a half-hearted love of the sea
for 42 years
he hadn't a tear
or a reason for leaving the dock
until on the morn
of april 24
came word that began with a knock
at the steps of his door
walt stood on the floor
a horror awake in his head
as the messanger spoke
with a crack in his throat
"my dear sir your poor boy is dead"
said walter mcgown
collapsed to the grown
"how could something so grim come to be?"
"your boy had gone mad,"
he spoke, cold and flat,
"and hung himself from an oak tree"
and the messanger left
with mcgown now bereft
mustering only a half-hearted tear
as he lay on his back
slipping into the black
of a peace only dreams can hear.



A quaint, Chicago-style diner on the corner of two cross
streets. The lunch rush is just beginning to die down.

SAM (O.S.)
I think I’m dying.


Sitting at a table on the patio is a 24 year old man,
skinny, black hair, and wearing a plain white t-shirt and
camouflage shorts. This is SAM. Across from his is ERIC, 24,
same build but dirty-blond hair, wearing Ray Bans and a
short-sleeved button shirt and jeans. Sam sits, distracted,
watching people walk by while Eric scans the menu.

(Hearing this before)
You’re not dying.



Sam glances toward Eric then quickly returns his attention
to the passerby’s.

I said you’re not dying.

Shuffling in his chair Sam shifts his attention back to
Eric. He is now focused on the conversation.

I am. Look at this.

He holds up his hand. It shakes like a tiny tremor as he
holds it over the table. Eric puts down the menu and
examines his hand. He grabs it, pulls down his sunglasses,
puts them back on, then picks up the menu again.



A young, dark haired waitress wearing blue jeans and a polo
style shirt approaches their table. Her name-tag says KELLY.

You didn’t just see that?

Hi. I’m Kelly, your waitress.

I saw it. It’s nothing.
(to Kelly)
Hi, Kelly.

You don’t know.
(to Kelly)
(to Eric)
You don’t know anything.

Sam looks away from the table and fixes his focus across the
street. Kelly stands there, confused, but aware she’s just
walked in on something. Eric notices this.

I apologize. No, no it’s I hope I’m not
okay. interrupting. I can come

It’s not okay. I’m dying.

I’m sorry.

You’re not dying.
(to Kelly)
He’s not dying. He’s just having an
off day.

It’s not an off day.

People can have off days.

Thank you. It’s not an off day!

Sam, irritated, lifts his arm to show Kelly his shaking


You’re shaking.

See? I’m not doing that.

You’re shaking. Shaking’s not

Thank you.

Sam shoots a looks in Eric’s direction who is now grinning
semi-victoriously. Kelly also smirks.

I’ll have the club sandwich.

Kelly is caught off-guard. Sam, not making eye contact, is

Did you want something to drink?


She makes a gesture towards Eric who makes a "sorry" face at

I’ll just have a cheeseburger and
water. Thanks.

Okay then. Thanks.

She takes the menus from the two men and exits toward the
inside of the diner. Beat.

You embarrass us, man.


He shoves his arm right into Eric’s face. Eric grabs it and
slaps him with his own hand then removes his sunglasses.

You’re not dying!

The outburst draws the attention of the other patrons. A
small child walking by with his mother stops and stars at
the scene. Sam takes notice.

What do you want, asshole?

The mother, unknowing, pulls her child’s arm and they cross
the street.


Kelly returns with their drinks. She places both at the

(not looking) Thanks, Kelly.

Anything I can get you two while
you wait?

I think we’re good for now. Sam?

Kelly looks at Sam who is still staring off. His oddness
intrigues her. She waits for his response, hoping he’ll look
at her.


Letdown. Eric notices this.

Alright. Your food should be here

Kelly leaves the two men.

She’s cute.

Sam, who is staring at an older, heavy-set woman sitting on
respondsowith:ch across the street when Eric says this

Seriously? She’s pretty beat up.
(turning to Eric)
You’re always into the weird,
messed up ones? What’s up with

Eric realizes what Sam is referring to and quickly cuts him

I mean Kelly, idiot.


(pointing to inside)

The waitress?

The waitress. Kelly. Yes.

She’s kind of an asshole.

No, she’s not.

No, yeah, she is. Thinks she knows

Because she said you weren’t dying?

She doesn’t know my body.

She wants to. She gave you a look
when you were off in space, staring
at strangers.

That a fact?

That’s a fact. I saw it.

Yeah, but you are wearing


And you’re an idiot so-

Kelly returns carrying to plates, the guys’ food.

(setting the food down)
Cheeseburger...and a club sandwich.

As she sets down the latter she and Sam make eye contact.

Anything else I can do for the two
of you?

I think we’re good. No, thanks.

Alright then. Enjoy! Smiling, she


Sam looks up from his food, acknowledging his comment, but
says nothing. They continue to eat.



The two men are wrapping up their meals. Sam sits, leaned
back, with his napkin on the plate. Eric is in the same
position. Quickly:

I gotta use the bathroom.

He takes off. Sam sits there, unfazed. He holds out his arm.
It’s no longer shaking. Kelly suddenly approaches, chipper.

How was it?

(hiding arm)
Good. Thanks.

You’re not shaking anymore?

Appears so.

At least you’re not dying anymore.
She smiles, signifying a joke.

I don’t know. Maybe.

I think you’ll be just fine.


They exchange smiles. There’s a pause.

So, I, um, I think we’re about done

Oh, okay.
(removing the check)
Here’s your check. I’ll be back
around to pick it up.


Kelly exits. Eric comes around right as she’s leaving. They
trade smiles and he winks at Sam as he sits down.


Sam and Eric walk out the front door of the diner and on to
the boulevard. They stroll down the street to the meter
where Eric’s car is parked.

Listen, I’m not gonna be able to
make it to the game tonight.

What? You’re kidding me? It’s
finals. Chicago’s two wins away
from the cup and you’re gonna miss

I’ve got an interview in the
morning. Some firm downtown.

Some firm downtown? Are you even
gonna enjoy the Summer, excuse me,
the last Summer of your life?

Hadn’t planned on it.

Hadn’t pl- great. That’s good. Blow
off the game. But if they lose
tonight man, just know it’s your

They arrive at Eric’s car, a nicer looking ’96 Camry. He
opens his door as Sam continues his rant.

I hope you can live with that.

Hey man, it was bound to happen
sooner or later.

They haven’t been to the finals in
years! You act like it’s just-

I mean this. Growing up. College is
over. As much of a drag as it is, I
don’t want to be serving coffee the
rest of my life.

Sam stands there, letting the words sink in. Eric, getting
into his car, waves a goodbye. As he starts the car and
pulls away Sam looks across the street to see the small kid
from before, eating an ice cream cone and staring right at

(to himself)
Mother fucker.


Sam walks up and down the aisles of the bookstore. He
peruses the short fiction section, followed by the graphic
novel section. In between looking at books he glances up and
around for other people, particularly other women, to notice
him. He finds a book, sits down at a table, and pretends to
read when, in actuality, he’s watching for any one girl to
glance at him.


Later: Still sitting at the table, and empty coffee cup and
magazines, Sam finally gives up and leaves.


The afternoon. Sam stands in line at the shop, keeping one
eye on the few people sitting and drinking coffee. He spots
an attractive GIRL, a little shorter than he, with long
brown hair. He approaches the counter and gives his order.

Just a small coffee.



Sam, coffee in hand, spies an empty seat next to the girl.
She’s reading a textbook, "Assessing Market Flow". He sits
down next to her, a separate table but still close. She sees
him sit down, he smiles, and she goes back to studying.



Sam drives down the boulevard. Lights are just coming on in
preparation for the night. He is indifferent.


Sam parks his car. Two neighbors are out walking their dog.
He waves, then heads into the complex.


Sam approaches his apartment marked 776. The paint is
peeling on the door and the handle is rusted. He unlocks the
door and moves into-


The living room of his one bedroom apartment. It is scarcely
decorated. A couch borders the opposite wall and a t.v. and
stand sit across from that. A sliding glass door to the
patio is a adjacent to the couch, the kitchen across from
that. Sam throws his keys down on the kitchen table and
walks into his bedroom


Same as the living room. A bed, some clothes, and a desk
with a computer accompany empty space. On the desk are
several books, short story anthologies, and magazines. The
closet holds a few boxes of comic books. Nothing special, at
least not to any one but Sam. He sits at the desk, checking
various things online.



Later: Sam sits on the couch and watches the game, beer in
hand. A couple more bottles line his floor. Score: 3-2


Sam sits at his computer desk looking at pornography. He


Later: Sam changes clothes. He’s wearing a button-western
style shirt and jeans.



Sam sits on the end of the bar, drinking from a mug and
watching highlights from the game and other sports. There’s
only a few other people.



Sam sits at the couch, watching "A Goofy Movie" and eating a


Sam lies in bed. The clock at his nightstand reads 2:27. He
masturbates, falls asleep. Then:


A dream. Sam sits at the table from earlier, next to the
same attractive girl from earlier. This time though, she
notices him, he smiles, she smiles back. Then:

(raising his coffee)


You’re very pretty. Did you know

Thank you.

I like your eyes. Wanna see my

She nods eagerly. He stands up. WE FOCUS on his face as she
slides down his lower half. We hear her SLURPING as Sam
MOANS and his eyes ROLL in his head. He’s in unparalled


The attractive girl stops and looks up, eyes wide. Sam is
bright red. Beads of sweat are beginning to form. He looks
back down at the girl. She’s wiping her mouth. Sam goes to
wipe his face only to find his hands resemble Disney
character hands, big, white gloves. Sam lets out a BURST of
a SCREAM. He looks back at the girl, only instead of an
attractive young girl he now sees Bobby Zimmeruski(Pauly
Shore’s character in A Goofy Movie).

(in the voice)

He then sprays a long pile of can cheese on Sam’s penis as
Sam watches, horrified. The character raises his eyebrows at
Sam right before SMASHING his face into the cheese.

"de los sue?os del pasado y presente..."

mary made the best of it, but we'd still only gotten so far, enough to make ourselves feel half-decent. and this was only the beginning, but i'd gotten used to not finishing something i'd start. hanging out with mary all the time took its toll. listen, i'm writing this drunk off my ass and half-coherent to my own thoughts. frankly, it's kind of sad. but i'll make this up and force myself to be honest about the situation because it's been far too long since i've put something down on here. most days i'd rather just leave a blank thought and let the rest work for itself, but the subconscious powers within force it upon myself to expose these terrible and heinous truths to open eyes.if only we knew the things we'd speak. if only we knew the things they'd seen. and then there was the forest hill beyond benson's point. we'd only gone there a few times, mostly in the summer, and most of the time it wasn't all that special. the point of even continuing with this charade? haven't the slightest damn clue. you play the sad fool so well. play it and play it again. like jim on the hill. goddamn you. never the spine of you. play it so goddamn well. that's why they turned out the way they did. you could cry, a thousand times over, you could cry, and cry, and cry, but it's just the part. there's no real sense. son of a bitch. but there was a sun that day, and it set like the rest of them, over the hilltop, laying down like bedsheet, bursting with color and hope. this was what we'd always hoped for but never saw. this is what we'd always thought but never showed, never wrote, never said. you sorry piece of trash. these are what's within the will-less, the fearfull. there was nothing ever there to hope for. such a dangerous thing. but those suns returned fresh and beautiful skies, and their stars were something special. but it made no sense, it made no effort, at all...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"the fracturing of conscious thought, further buried and often forgotten..."

eva dreamed of a terrible crash. middle of the freeway, 90 miles an hour type shit. the kind that you feel in your nerves under miles of sleep. the car in front of her just smashed into a motorcycle. the young man, an asian fellow, was sprayed across the center divider. she watched from the front seat as the driver came up to her side window. oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit. calm down darling. oh shit. calm down. just give me the i.d. cards. the picture of an old high school professor. the asian guy is getting up, dripping all over the pavement. some kind of fucked up dream. she's freaking out. can't move. stumbling for the bedroom door. can't speak. i tell her it's just the paralysis that takes over your mind. but it's so real. yeah, it's real. not moving. not speaking. it's all real, baby. ever got that feeling? sure i have, i say, many times.

when i was seven the master of fiction came to my school to give a speech on the importance of education and self-improvement. i don't remember all he said. i do remember the bartering of fruit roll-ups and gushers and maggie mendoza passing love notes in the back of the classroom. she eventually grew up to have two bastard children. the father spends his nights in a county cell.

the morning we found robbie tankarsky lying face down behind behind the baseball diamond at fallbrook park i remember thinking to myself, "well shit, i guess the kid got what he had coming." i mean, i would have never expected something like this to happen, or even wished it to happen. none of us would have. but i'd have found it hard to believe that none of us weren't thinking that exact thing once we saw him. ziff had flipped him over with his louisville and we all immediately took a step back, covering our faces. the was a hole the size of a softball where his right eye would have been and several deep gashes along the left side of his face, all the way down to his thigh. pieces of clothing were missing and the rest were dyed a deep red. marty was ghost white. we all were. i couldn't believe what i was seeing.


father never wanted to be that kind of man. mother warned him, however, that he would become just that and, within time, we all saw that her words were truth.

mother spent most of her time in the garden, tending to leaves and ferns and the like, most of which she kept hidden in the corner of the backyard. father never cared much for these things or her hobby for that matter, hence the reason for seclusion.

father had better things to do, in his mind at least. one, and probably most important, of which was the tending to his antique guns and pistols. he boasted over one hundred different kinds of firearms, most of which being antiques from the world war two era. these were his prize possessions, often taken priority over his own flesh and blood.

we all saw it coming, albeit in our own twisted and skewed ways. as i said before, mother was the first and, as the priest said, she paid dearly for her foresight. i remember that quite well. it sticks with me to this very day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


dear simon,

i had a dream the other night. in it we were driving down the highway, passing cars at subsonic speeds. the overpass suddenly gave underneath and became a massive piece of wobbling concrete and metal, unhinged from the earth itself. but we stuck to it. we kept flying past the other cars. we drove, upside down and everything in between, like riding a giant snake. i don't know where we were trying to get to, but we certainly had a purpose.

and then i was in a bar somewhere. you weren't there anymore but there were several other people in the bar and we were all listening to some broadcast on the radio. there was a trailer somewhere in the desert, the kind that you see people living in sometimes. anyway, underneath this trailer, the radio said, was some kind of alien sack. there was a team there trying to disarm it or disable it. no one really knew. what we did know what that if the device, as they were calling it, went off then that was it for us. for everything. forever. so we all sat there and listened to the radio as it narrated what was quickly becoming the last few minutes of our lives. then it went white. fast. and then back. and we all sat in the bar still. a man next to me asked if this was it. i didn't know, i said. and then the dream ended. that's all i really remember.

so that's that. i'm gonna try to finish the rest of it tonight, the dream i mean, but in all likelihood i'll probably end up dreaming about those giant fish again. talk to you soon.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


When Thomas left Wisconsin it wasn’t because he was forced out. Far be it from me to speculate on the reasons behind his departure, the reasoning behind their decision to send him away. Only Thomas and the elders can answer that. But he wasn’t forced out. At least that’s what Thomas told us. He made quite the point of it actually, to make sure we understood that it wasn’t that way. “Understand when I say there are no hard feelings,” he had told me. I suppose at that moment I understood, albeit somewhat confusingly. It seemed odd though, and the more I thought about it the more it made less sense.

We had talked the night before he left. I went over to his place in the evening and we spent some time together while he packed his things. He lived in a small, one bedroom apartment on Lane Lane across from the elementary school. I always thought it was funny that the city named it Lane Lane when they could have just as easily named it Lane Street or Lane Boulevard or even Lane Court. Thomas would tell people he lived on Lane Squared, as in exponents, but then he’d always have to explain the reasoning behind it. “You see, because there’s two Lane’s so it’s like it’s being multiplied be itself. Lane Squared. Get it?” He found it funny. Most people didn’t. That was just Thomas’s sense of humor, I guess.

I sat in the corner of his room, watching as he packed his things into a duffle bag no bigger than a corgi. “Seems awful small, don’t you think?” I asked him. He stopped for a moment and I could tell he was gathering his thoughts, trying to think of the right thing to say, as if to give nothing away.

“I suppose so, yeah.”
“Well don’t you think you’ll need a bigger bag? A suitcase at least?”
“This should do,” he said with a heavy sigh, and I could tell he didn’t want to discuss it any further. So I stopped.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


you wake up from a dream, sweating and gasping, reaching for the nightstand, swatting at flashing reds in the dark, landing on a switch, lighting the fear, thinking, rubbing, sobbing, dripping, kicking at the covers, wiping your face, swimming but not, unknowing, breathing deeply, looking, seeing, watching - a spider on the wall, spinning his web in a corner, and realizing this has meant nothing.

dear caroline,

i was in love with you five or so years ago. just about five years. maybe a few more. in secret as a matter of fact. you didn't know then. none of them knew, actually. i loved a lot of people back then, you see. in secret. all of them didn't know. at least i don't think they knew. maybe you were the one to come closest. to finding out, i mean. maybe one other, but i'm not entirely sure. well, that's about it really. i'm not sending this. they'll find it long after i'm gone. so long, caroline.

j.c. beckwith

we haven't a coherent, concrete thought in days. days!
i'm aware of that.
are you? because fro-
i'm aware.
i don't know. you tell me.
tell me.
tell me!
go on.
i was just think-
see?! see that?!
see what?
that, asshole. that right there!
god damn you.
i'm tired.
god. damn. you.
i just-
no. no! you just what?
i just-
okay man.
okay what?
okay what?
so listen, about earlier.
what about it?
well, i was just tired you know.
so i was tired.
so i'm telling you now.
i don't care now.
of course.
of course.
that's convenient.
i know.
god damn you.
you started this.
me? you!
you, you slick bastard.
alright, man.

Wake up, Charles.
Who-what is this?
It?s time to start over. We?re starting over.
It?s time.
Who is this?
Who do you think, Charles? This is God.
Where am I? That?s impossible.
It?s not, Charles.
I don?t believe in God.
I know. But that will change. It all will.
What the Hell are you talking about? Where am I?!
I?m talking about the Universe, Charles. Life.
What about it?
It?s going to end. We?re going to end it all?

[Some time ago?]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


this is a summer adventure: a trip through under-explored woodland areas, rafting in toxic waters, a night or two spent in over-heated garages, swimming in alcohol and liquids not yet known to most 4th graders. this is forced, let's make no qualms about it. fact is it's been clear near a month of fractured thought, the most of which, at this present time, gets scribbled down in a forgotten notebook on years old paper next to doodles of fish and coral and an unfinished self-portrait of a cow next to a windowsill. to be perfectly frank, and tim will agree with this to the limit, nothing comes near the apex of what is motivating to a man with little-to-no self worth nor appreciation for the misgivings around him than the feel of a cool hand against his own. to be perfectly honest, as i mentioned before and, again, tim can attest to the true severity and honesty in these words, this is forced, straight away. nothing in a nutshell save for that slight hint of warm spirits and methane mixing in the fluorescent light of this place. we had to put it down to paper - the trips to the moon, our concerns about what may and what could have been, that unsettling aroma between the sofa and the fern, a matchstick's duration in a vacuum, what i had said on january thirteenth, piano keys and what the strokes meant to not only you, but the older gentleman we purchased it from, single-syllable words strung together to make beautifully awful poems about past misfortune. we put it all down. to remember. to preserve.

i recall sitting near the back of the room. it gave off a sort of normalizing feeling, the walls, the ceiling, the armchairs and the table towards the center. this is where it took place. i sat there, coffee in the left hand, a book, the illegitimate fowl meets mother self-depreciating goat, clutched in the right. this was something else, i thought. sitting in the leather chair, it's arms coming up higher than a normal chair would, nearly as high as my shoulders. i feel like a child, i said...i thought. did i say it? the older fellow to the left seemed to hear me say something. his reading glasses removed, he shot me a curious look, as if to say, don't you dare think about even thinking about fucking my daughter. he wasn't even with anyone. crazy old coot. he turned away just as quickly as he began. for the best, i thought, i'd be a shame if i'd have to make another example out of a foolish old man. but that's what i get. i suppose that's what we all get.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


i dreamed my finger landed on cookeville, tennessee.
"this is where i'm going," i said, dragging the syllables through the thick of disappointment.
"i don't know where that's at."
"consider yourself lucky."
"why are you going there?"
"because i have to."
"because why?"
"because that's where the finger landed."
he paused and studied the globe, the great decider resting reluctantly still on my new found destiny. i watched him as he placed his tiny hand upon the deep blues and dark greens, tracing the lines of the rolling mountains with such precision, a skill uncommonly familiar to this three-year old soul, like some master craftsman creating and molding a fine piece of art, or even something more magnificent, something beyond this young child's imagination, infinite and pure as it may be.

dear fran,

you were right. this isn't going to work. why i thought it might, shit, i really don't know. i mean, it seemed to be a good idea, in theory at least. right? it was simple enough. but i don't know. i'm just tired i guess. tired of trying to come up with different ways, different answers, different...

i woke up this morning and there was a rat in my bed. a goddamn rat under my goddamn sheets with me. what kind of shit is that? well, it was the last kind of shit i'll tell you that much.

you understand right? it was doomed from the onset. i see that now. but what does it matter, right? i mean, somewhere someone is sitting down and writing or typing or whatever the fuck, painting, these same exact words in some same exact self-deprecating, fucked up tone like what the fuck is so wrong with my life? right?

kip says not to send this letter. but that asshole took my last beer so screw him. the fuck does he know anyway, right? so...well, heh. adios then.


i read a line in a book today. something to the effect of the best love letters being encoded for the one and not the many. something like that. you think that's true? but what if you don't know that it's meant for you?

Saturday, July 11, 2009


i started five lines and then stopped, then took an eraser to them a moment later started again, this time only four, and again i took up that eraser.
we stopped believing
in all things
in man
in brother
in neighbor

these were the unwritten words. four more, as i had mentioned.
paul abbott stopped believing in god.
he recalled his initial feelings in a
letter to his sister annette who was
backpacking through the swiss alps.

there was a lack of rhythm, i thought. or maybe just a lack of emotion. so again to the paper i took.
the sun came out today.
for that i am thankful.
as i write this there is

if your mother could see you now what would she say? there she is on the porch, sitting in the wooden rocking chair your father built for her years before. he had sanded it down and gave it a varnish finish. it fades now in the morning sunlight but that doesn't stop your mother from using it. she loves that chair, just like she loved your father. but your father was a man tempted, wasn't he. you remember. the whole god damn block certainly remembers.
she was never that way.
none of it was ever that way.
none of it was ever true.
it was all just a

what does it feel like to dream of fear? in your worst nightmares are you dying? is something terribly, terribly awful happening to you? to your family? to your friends? is that the fear you feel? or is it a different kind? we'll see in the end that there is no end at all. a far more dreadful fear? a fear of the end? a fear of there not being an end? does it haunt you to know there is none? do you dream in truth? is that the fear far too horrible to dream?
we see you
your family

with you.
in the ground.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


at first i didn't really know what it was i was looking for. but i had this feeling, this urge to find it, something!, but what? it was strong, too, the urge i mean. like a powerful, invisible force that came from nowhere and forced me to look. to just look. so i started looking. i began under my bed. i pulled out everything from beneath that rickety, worn-down twin frame, an old pair of tennis shoes, the box for that old pair of tennis shoes which was actually one of those diorama-like constructions i think i remembered making back in the first grade. there was a man, small and brown and made of clay, sitting at a table made of popsicle sticks with a single candle on top and in the corner it looked like there may have been another clay figure, i couldn't tell, only guess by the two, faded oil spots across from the man and the candle. this isn't what i'm looking for though, i thought. i don't know why i thought that. how could i have known! but it didn't feel right, that much was certain. so i kept looking. an old binder filled with baseball cards, a superball, a couple stranded socks. i pulled out everything, but what i was looking for wasn't there. dammit. but i couldn't stop. there was a nudge, a soft, little push, forcing me to continue. keep looking. why? because you have to find it. okay, so i kept trying. i don't know why. i really don't know why...(i really hope to finish this one)


aaron fucked up once. fucked up real good. never really was the kind of person to go and do stupid shit and get himself into a situation, but i guess they do say 'go big or go home' right? the perfect summation to a terrible experience. it's funny to think about now, for me at least, looking back on it as the two of us split another pitcher. never the hard stuff, he always says. and then what does he go and do? you guessed it.
no, this time i mean it, don't let me fucking do it again, he says. sure, i say as i watch him suck down the last of another beer. i know it won't last and next time we'll be sitting here looking back on something that hopefully doesn't involve aaron in another police car. well 'wish in one hand and shit in the other' right? that's another thing they do say. come to think of it i never really explained what in the sphincter hell actually happened to him.
it started with a shot, that much was certain, although it could have started much sooner than that. of that i'm not really sure. could of started weeks earlier come to think of it. shit, well anyway, for me and him and that night it started with a shot. aaron's situation was straightforward, really nothing much to it, just enjoying the life. but one can only do so much, you know, before it all comes crashing back down. 'burning the candle at both ends' well there's another fucking thing (speaking of which, i always found it a bit condescending to always be using the same goddamn cliches all the goddamn time. patronizing assholes. but then i realized, well shit, they're cliches because it always happens! obviously. can't begin to tell you how long it took me to come to that realization but fuck me if i don't use them all the time now. and balls to the people who think otherwise. sorry, something of a sidenote) sums up perfectly what aaron got himself into that night.

Friday, June 26, 2009

some are better than others

i read a short story, and then another, and then decided i didn't much like quotation marks anymore.
why? someone said.
i like the way it looks.
i think it flows better, too.
i suppose.
you don't think?
makes it kind of hard to tell.
tell what?
who's talking.
you really believe that?
yeah, sure.
that's a load of bullshit. i'll tell you right now any thinking person, any person with a sense of perception can tell the difference between two people talking. besides, i told them, why should i be creatively confined by some stupid rule, if it really is a rule, when one could argue that operating "outside the rules" (notice the quotation marks. what a goddamn hypocrite!) is definition of writing creatively?

for the record, that sort of thinking is a load of shit spewed by some would-be writer who's nothing more than some hack who read a few good stories by a few good contemporary writers suggested to him by a few not-so-good writers subscribing to the same hack writer's philosophy and decided that he'd do right by the rest of them to best replicate whatever goddamn story some pretentious asshole in borders said he saw in the latest issue of the new yorker because that'd be the best place to start. honestly though, i've no fucking clue what i'm talking about.

the beginning though is all true. i can, and prefer to, function without quotation marks. i do like the way the words look, out in the open, floating in the white space of unused paper or, in this case, word document? those single words forming ideas, the beginnings of thought unrefined, free flowing, unedited. the things we truly mean to say before we rethink and reload and tiptoe around the unspoken barriers that too often prevent any one from truly communicating with another. the things we want to say and the things we never speak. just words. thoughts. emotions. secrets. desires. admissions. reflections. the truth spilling out into the open.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"just a one minute messiah..."

when scott and the rest of them left for the mountains and they left you sitting on the floor of your room, leaning back against an old, metal fold out chair, and the tears began building up in the corners of your eyes because they didn't invite you, it wasn't the fact that none of them really cared to extend any kind of olive branch your way, and it wasn't because scott went with tanya, that girl from the grinder shop who wore her hair up every day you and he went their for lunch after bible study, with those glasses that trapped the little wispy strands of brown behind her perfect ears, it was because you realized that no one really, truly liked you. period. that was it. was it because you would never close your mouth every time you ate that cold cut sandwich? was it because your nose arched in a funny, unnatural way that made your eyes look like sunken treasure chests in mounds of sand? was it because sometimes you laughed when you weren't suppose to laugh, at the fucked up things that certain people cherish with a passion that you could never comprehend? you were cold, like that chair. it was sad for people to see. for people to be around you it was more of a chore than a joy. sweetie, it's okay, she says. no one is more important than you. no one is more special than you. god has a plan for you. you're in good hands. her words are soft and soothing. they envelope you and hold you and warm you. this is good, you think, this is okay, and you start to believe it too. you share a prayer with her and she says, god give her the strength, give her beauty, it is your will, lord, it is your plan, god, we are in your hands lord. and again her words hold you up and cover your face and wipe your eyes and you feel clear and quiet and motionless in the blanket of her words.