Monday, September 27, 2010

one cannot replace another

there's a different quality in the air as summer makes its last exertions and the pressing urges of fall arrive. i took the garbage out with a sense of surprising contentment at the intersections between these seasons. the humidity, damp of fallen rain, and general temperature were such that i found myself almost exactly situated between these two seemingly incompatible seasons. compromise is here. let's work it out, folks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

i can't carry a conversation

nothing seems to matter since i started selling scented oils. for most modern corporations, the bathroom is the one room that does have a corporately planned odor, and that speaks of a defeatist attitude we're out to change. colors, images, sounds, the touch of a hand against another body, all things about the world of the office have been packaged and regulated. it's time we got the aromatic issue more thoroughly covered. sticking on the edge of this coming changeover has not, distinctly not, been a pleasant thing. it's like changing your life for the worse in order to fix everything else. take sales calls, for example.

it's hard to talk to people when they don't listen to anything you say. it's even harder when you have no interest in correcting their indifference. for the past several weeks, i've been looking out the windows of rental cars and thinking of all the passing scenes i don't want described back to me when i get them wrong telling a neighbor or a friend about what i've been and seen. i can't get my head through this authentic experience i should be taking in. it's my luggage too, i want to say, there's always a smell coming from the back of the car, and i can't figure out how to see anything else until that stink leaves.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

all the reasons nothing happened

-someone was missing
-we got distracted
-no food
-the boarders weren't clear on price
-an engine problem of a sort
-psychologically, it was too difficult
-they had dogs
-all our supplies were gone
-no one said anything
-the map was wrong
-you told us it wouldn't happen this way
-we were tired and bored
-we lost touch with our core values
-the lights went out
-street-level issues weren't prioritized
-no plan

Monday, September 20, 2010

a relationship with falsehood

In teaching fiction writing, one central question is whether students are comfortable creating stories. Obviously everyone in such courses should have a desire to fabricate narrative, but some find this to be the central challenge while others are more worried about fine tuning stories that have been relativel easy to write. The question may be one of truth and falsehood. Anyone with a familiarity with lying should be a fantastic produer of rough drafts, because all they need to do in order to write is to connect to that spontaneous machine that builds walls around truths they wish to protect.

Those with more truthful personal lives should merely think of alternate versions of what exists in their minds. We all have idealized or imagined versions of our surroundings, I would think. What then must we do to bring these spaces into the realm of fiction writing? The first answer is simply to challenge the notion of what a story should be, fitting it to the concerns that naturally float through one's consciousness. The second is to grow comfortable with committing in the moment to what is already on the page, while being ready in revision to comb out the central elements and build structures to support them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

not for breakfast

the explosion of taste that came with the arriving forkful of cake on his tongue could not be an explosion, jack told himself, because he was still alive. healthy, if slightly short of breath in the aftermath of a single bite of his dessert. looking down at the plate, he saw the remaining pile of frosted layers almost as a challenge to his continued existence on earth. there was this moment, the consumption of a sweet concoction that wrung his neck from the inside. there was the whisper of the softness and buttercream hitting his molars. there was a cake, a fork, and his mouth. once these actors had played their final scene, jack would continue living, but everything labeled future was already packed in gray dusty boxes in the furthest corners of his mind.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

i've got it

i've got, it i've got, it i've got it.

blueberry, raspberry, strawberry

blueberry - not yellow, not green, crowned top, never clean

raspberry - point, one, two, three, pop, more, soft, juicy

strawberry - slice, chop, cut off top

Friday, September 10, 2010

you have to be careful

someplace or other, there may be another of your lookalikes, straigh off the siberian factory floor, nodding his head to the beat, but a little too gently.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

forget stars, everyone's interested in cooking

i got this idea the last week that i should start my own cooking channel. i know, it's easy to go out and say you have an idea and a lot harder to make it happen, but you have to give me this -- i mean my own channel. 20 hours a day, and the other four are going to be reruns of australian tv shows. do not send your infomercial time my way, got it?

there are forty people outside on my lawn

i don't have a thing against people in general, or my neighbors, or the person who decided to invite everyone over to hang out in my yard, but it does seem like they're littering. litter is the most bothersome thing i have encountered in my years on this earth. i feel like debris should either be spontaneous or uniform, and litter is neither. litter stands out in a natural landscape just as it does in an artificial one like an outdoor basketball court. because people playing a gave of three on three don't want to trip over a dirty burger wrapper. just like i don't want people leaving their lottery tickets and crazy colored nail polish bottles on the lawn. there's a reason people want to see my yard, ok? i mean, who's going to bother looking at the seventeen inflatable picassos if there are footprints and soda labels breaking up the green moat that protects them?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


one of my friends is currently searching for housing, and although a number of opportunities have arisen over the months, apparently none of them have been quite right. i realized, however, that a perfect situation might soon be opening up near me. i happen to be acquainted with the owner of the next-door property.

while there are tenants of this dwelling, i have also acquired a new habit of sitting on the front porch at late hours of the evening. only in the days just prior to my conversation about potential vacancies, the neighbors had begun a pattern of discovering me chatting on the mobile and slouching on the steps. this behavior, not familiar to the area, seemed like a possible cause of a rapid departure by the renting neighbors. i was dismayed, then, to discover that while they had seized upon the distastefulness of my evening presence, they countered it merely by turning on their porch light.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

why toast is good

toast is good because it is crunchy. it also requires a degree of finesse and patience in its preparation, and thus rewards the careful practitioner. then, as the toast emerges ready to be eaten, it is delightfully warm in addition to its crisp texture.

Friday, September 03, 2010


if i was a light, what type of electricity would run me?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

your life should revolve around cereal boxes

where surprise is always just a shake away