Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

interview with a vampire henchman

my friends assure me that my work is strange
compared to theirs. i ask them if they could pick their ceo
out of a line.

i know i work inside his mansion.
i ought to know his face and name.

i know the butler fine - he interviewed me -
he liked that i was ex-army, frazzled
from the war still getting used
to life with one leg

(angry all the time, i heard about
the job through a vet center, bless them all.)

i wanted something quiet. i wanted
to think, maybe study at night for an mba
that's all.

security jobs that pay well - you expect
a gun. i know it's strange that all the windows
are bricked up. i know i've never seen the boss
or know his name. my paycheck comes from his
corporation, which are his initials, and i know those
just fine. they're on my paycheck.

what do i do for him? something
quiet. he has this art. it's all insured.
they want it guarded to save money
i sit at a desk in the room with the art.
i read. i study for the g-mats.
i clean the gun. if the phone
rings, it's the butler, and he
wants me to pick up my stuff and abandon
the room for a while, with the art.

the boss doesn't like to interact with us
low folks on totem poles. that's the butler's

(one time - i knew i'd be in trouble for it -
in the servant's hidden hallway, waiting
for the boss to finish walking around the canvasses -
i pressed my ear against the door to hear
his footfall in the plush carpet.)

then, i hear the phone ringing
through the door. i return to the desk.
the butler thanks me on the phone.
i read. i clean my gun.

so many paintings by claude lorraine
all that green happiness, blue sky
and the people like tiny smears of color
among the livestock. also a monet,
a pissaro, and a couple gainesborough.
beautiful paintings of happiness.
trees and sun and beautiful women in
prom dresses, in a garden,

then nick, the second shift guy,
he shows up, and i go

home. i watch tv. i play with my dog.

what else you want to know?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

has literary poetry become nothing but elegies and variations of elegies?

is sadness all there is of merit? melancholy? disconnection?

is it only good enough if it is elegantly wan?

the evidence against literary poetry.

Did you know that the speculative folks are still capable of elegant laughter?

It's national poetry month, or something. You can be endlessly elegantly melancholy or you can go read the poetry genre mags, where elegies do not outnumber dramedies.

open to suggestions

i have most def gots to do me some more book promotional stuff.

i will be going to the local renaissance festival very soon (now that whatever grass i'm allergic to is done with the first flower of spring, and is no longer having newlywed sex in my eyes and sinuses, now it's old married sex and not too troublesome).

my challenge: how can i turn my attendance at the ren fest into a major media event, complete with helicopters, celebrities, and mainstream news all present to find out about me, or my book, or something like that.

thus, our challenge: how can i turn ren fest into a major media event about me?

anyone got any ideas?

i'm not allowed to be annoying. i'd like to go back again next year, after all, sans shame.

Monday, April 28, 2008

ten year what?

the alumni association of my local high school had no trouble tracking me down on myspace.

apparently, a ten year reunion is en route this summer.

ten years? already?

isn't it weird how it still feels like tomorrow i have to get up, put on a uniform, and drive to a high school to feel like my mind is asleep for six hours, waiting for anything that stimulates my brain in the slightest, and finding nothing but boredom, boredom, boredom.

i meet people sometimes who remember high school as happy. i don't trust them. there's something wrong about someone who found high school exhilerating. high school is miserable. teenagers are cruel to each other, and often unchallenged in their academic work. thus, the ones who remember this time as pleasurable tend to be the ones who are the dominant cruel, and the easily challenged.

this is a gross generalization, but it is one that clouds my preconceptions whenever i meet new people. there are - of course - exceptions. somewhere. i haven't quite met them yet.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

more poetry

i dug up my ancient tripod blog (

i found some poetry there, too, buried in the annoying adware.
i had a nightmare of my hand
a daemon shoved it
past the lips of my cold blender
i watched it grind

banana sinew, cherry blood
gore like peaches, nectarines
bone was almond in her roar
blender, blender, whirling boar

my head is quiet and I stare
among the frozen fruit
we watch, detached
through cellophane


with apologies to the victim whose e-mail i skewered

an excerpt from an e-mail:

the only things i've ever really
wanted in this life:

to be a cheerleader with
long, straight blonde hair

to write a decent poem
i have a better chance with the first

send me a poem, I'll read it
gratefully. maybe i'll share

one of mine. thanks,

(source at:

i wrote this next poem when i was a freshman in college:

how strange that emptiness is filling
like a bubble growing gas
how strange i might just up -- explode
in how my hungers last

thus so -- to fight the filling
i fill -- i fill -- i fill --
until the empty all of me
fades empty in itself

(source at:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

all the blogged poems and flash fictions...

here's a list with links of all the blogged poems, in no particular order.

so, i whiffed the dates when i was busy and whiffed international pixelated technopeasant day a little bit.

still, look below and notice that this isn't even half of everything i've given for your reading pleasure, totally free and creative commons'd on this blog.

bees don't

philly versus dallas

excerpts from an architecture textbook, translated into english for non-architects

further excerpts from an architecture textbook

further excerpts from an architecture textbook

again, excerpts from an architecture textbook

excerpts from an architecture textbook, a little longer

name him like a man

the liars

sentimental mercantilism


abandoned prose (look below the prose i abandoned for the poem.)

teenagers with cellphones

musicbox ghost (along with most excellent music video that inspired the poem.)


super dead boy

bye bye bye bye bye bi berlin

a little poem for the children about how a prince saved the kingdom from a giant spider

a very, very crappy romance villanelle that i am ashamed of composing

robot prostitute speaks

revenge of the thunderlizards II

life never stops for anyone

lovestory of beatrix fortuna

aspirin love

invisible deer

roe deer at a stream


after "the anger of achilles" by jacque louis-david

robert shirtliffe, (this poem originally appeared in tipton poetry journal #4)

three poems in a house

nyc in the bloodstream



orange suede parable

blues songs remixed into sonnets

another blues song remixed into a sonnet

the very first blues song i remixed into a sonnet

banged my head on a counter and it hurt very, very much

cowboy at breakfast

when the eggs are all invisible (this one got its line formatting messed up. i should totally fix that sometime.)

yesterday and i have all we need
(another one with messed up line formatting. must have been my fault on whatever machine i was using at the time, wherever i was at the time.)

one more night in berlin

night flight, first appearing in tipton poetry journal #7

fragment after altes pinarkotekt


what will they do when the president is gay?

snippets of half-remembered poetry from long ago

vaguely remembered fragments of lost poetry

my apologies, dearest emily

finally, the two poems i composed specifically for the holiday in question.

flash fiction: father
some flash fiction i put up in honor of pixelated technopeasant day last year: ein euro, bitte
Ooh, also here's a short story I still hear people liked called "Baboons"

In Honor of International Pixelated Technopeasant Day

Yes, that was on the 23rd, and I am late.

But, I give away a lot of stuff around these parts, so don't you worry none about exactly what day is what.

I was busy, and I wanted to produce some new, original stuff.


Two original poems:

"Pretty Ladies"

pretty ladies like coathangers with hips
sipping wine they'll never complete -
there's some trees - white christmas lights -
in spring

these bored ones - twos - and threes
speak lovers as if the man
never held a gun to her
as if mortgages aren't the same as guns
as if a child is only a child
is only a child


"New Cities"

i thought i could escape this town by train
again, then at every step i heard my city's
Name - more pretty girls in white sell tschibo coffee,
pastries, smiles and beside that
a turkish man called me by my city's
Name - i recognized his hands
his voice
his food
the money

i slept in new apartments
square walls and square windows
over streets as square as memories
fitting together in streetlamp blocks
and new furniture that, in the dark,
felt the same, fed me the same dreams

that night, if i turned on the lights
i know exactly where i'll be.

a hand turns a doorknob - both mine
behind the door, a sitting woman
blinks into her palms like mirrors
a standing man smiles, both happiness
and sadness in his teeth - he urges
me to go -
just go -
to the train station

to a new city - i can start again

i can rediscover my mistakes.

Friday, April 25, 2008

would you eat an ent?

i have been pondering this perhps a little too much of late.

i am a vegetarian, so eating things like hobbit or manticore or the popelick monster (thank you Jeff VanderMeer...) are all quite out of the question.

but, would i eat an ent?

you remember the noble ent, don't you? i don't think i would eat treebeard. he was pretty cool. he stomped some orcs, and called out a war upon the tower because his trees were killed. he is definitely not on my table.

but, what about that other ent? you know the one i'm talking about. he's not just a little gruff; he's downright unfriendly! he messes with people, planting in their yards overnight and then moving just to make people suspicious of the trees. he isn't particularily intelligent. in fact, he can barely speak properly. most of the words he knows and uses are entian curse words. he likes to hurt squirrels. he also likes to stalk people and take pictures of them in compromising positions, which he sells for money. with the money, he buys excessive quantities of miracle gro and spaces out on the juice that burs his head.

i hate to say it, i probably wouldn't eat this ent, either.

i'm a food wimp.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Watch for "Lights, Bugs" in Coyote Wild Magazine

I just heard from MacAllister Stone.

A long-ish short story called "Lights, Bugs" just got picked up over at Coyote Wild Magazine.

My favorite line from this story is when Lancaster says "Organic fucking bananas".

I still refer to all organic bananas as "organic fucking bananas" now.

I'll let you know when the story goes live on the site.

Monday, April 21, 2008

mr sparrow

A sparrow asked me if I had anything to eat. I assured the sparrow that all I had was the most inexpensive cup of coffee available at the cafe. I apologized to the sparrow because I was quite busy trying to be a rich, famous writer - failing, miserably, too.

The sparrow introduced himself. He said that he wasn't always a sparrow. Once, he was a stone. All this flying that birds do is truly miraculous, because they each begin their lives as stones. They sit inside little round stones, in the ground. They wait and wait and wait for a bird to come along and devour them. Then, inside of a bird's gizzard, the stone becomes an egg.

Don't believe the scientists who say that birds are not stones. Sparrows, at least, are rocks that have taken flight. Sparrows - more specifically - are made from granite.

Ravens are born of obsidion. Robins are born from magma. Pelicans are from salty limestones. A magpie is hard-packed chalk. Eagles are born of coal. A golden finch was fool's gold. A crane whooping used to be a dinosaur egg. That is why cranes are so rare. The crane must first find the fossilized egg of the ancestors.

This is also why cranes are so magical, and their song is full of such weeping sorrow. We were dinosaurs once, and we were magma. We are the true sons and daughters of this rocky earth.

"We are, all of us, firebirds! We carry the rocks inside of us, that came up from the bubbling magma!"

I thanked the sparrow for his story. He, again, asked me if I had anything for him to eat.

I picked up a concrete rock from a chip in the ground. I asked the sparrow if he would accept a stone made of men.

Th sparrow bowed and refused. The birds born of concrete are pigeons, and a more awful bunch of beggars and thieves no noble sparrow has ever known.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

about interviews

i was listening to the interview i did, and i noticed that i had *no memory* of the questions, or my answers.

i did the interview a few weeks ago, and i've been busy since. i was listening to it, and wondering if i would sound like a goomba.

i'm still not sure. gabe sounded great.

i finally saw the fine piece of cinema "there will be blood", and now i finally understand this milkshake thing that everyone's been talking about. next time someone says that, i'm going to keep an eye on them and make sure they don't reach for a bowling pin afterwards.

also, i went to some museums. um... i'm not being too eloquent right now.

gurble. bzlk.

go read a book. my blog sucks.

Friday, April 18, 2008

me talk pretty someday.

Gabe Grimoire of the Tome Show called me at my mom's house and we exchanged a few words.

I don't know how it sounds right now, because I'm at a webcafe sans headpones, and I'd feel like the biggest schlorkster in the world if I sat here and played an interview with me where everyone could hear...

Still, there it is, and I hope it sounds good.


In other news: Mysterious Galaxy Books has an extremely well-written review up courtesy of one of their staff members. If the review were this well-written, I wouldn't be upset in the slightest if the reviewer hated the book. That's an excellent review just for the writing of the reviewer! (scroll down a bit...)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

this is cool.

i've been digging through labyrinths and mazes, and this little applet has quickly decimated freecell in my addictive crackmonkey distractions.

crossing your eyes is pretty hard, but then you have to get out of the maze.

oog. headache. need more coffee.

i think i'm going to be taking a break and exploring a different kind of maze.

brian froud is an awesome, awesome artist.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ब्रिटिश पीपुल हटे मी.

For some reason, my title to this post has slipped into garbled, otherworldy letterings.

Well now. That's, uh, new(?).

I just want to ask if you know somebody British. If you do, can you ask them why the British people hate me? My amazon salesrank in England is almost nonexistant. I take this to mean that British people hate me.

What did I ever do to England to merit this? Did I accidentally say something bad about the Queen? Did I giggle when someone mentioned the infamous - very nasty -dessert dish known as "Spotted Dick"?

Was it the time I encountered a bunch of Irish Hooligans in the streets of Munich and learned to sing and dance to cheer for Northern Ireland (a.k.a. make friends with the drunk, rowdy hooligans until you can give them the slip...)? Was I supposed to cheer for Manchester? How did you find out about that? British tabloids, you say, managed to catch me in the act - me, a humble writer? Wow, those tabloids of yours are amazingly thorough.

(Found the song I sang after midnight in Munich on YouTube:

this song may seem lame in this form. After midnight in an abandoned Munich street with about three dozen screaming, hyperactive, drunken hooligans makes this song }the craziest most interesting song ever{! This song was a build-up to a mosh pit. Then, some of the fans decided to get naked in the wintry streets for Northern Island when me and the other bystanders I was with managed to slip away in the dark.

edit^2 to add: This YouTube Video is 13 seconds long, and shows the beginning of the spontaneouts street moshing of Northern Ireland fans and kind of what it is like when you, a humble tourist, discover you've fallen into a nest of drunken hooligans.


What is it about the UK that makes them hate me?

If you know a British person, can you ask them for me. I haven't been near a Brit in ages.

(This post brought to you because my Amazon UK salesrank is over one million...)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

been sick...

i've been off-line because i've been a bit sick, and not going places with wifi.

also, a computer is sick at the apartment. all i wanted to do was improve my module-building skillz on the neverwinter nights editor, and the program caused my old house compy to explode and lose system files.


well, i still have a laptop.

gods of computers urge me to write books, not video games.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

solstice flies

The solstice flies only lived for one, brief day in winter. Their razor-sharp pincers cut through the ice, and they burst into the gray sky like giant snowflakes falling in the wrong direction. We catch as many as we can in nets. We can't catch all of them, which I guess is a good thing because then we wouldn't have them the next year. The birds of the labyrinth cluster around the pools and lakes, waiting for the one day when the solstice flies emerge from the frozen water.

They aren't very big, when you smash them up. Alive, they're about as large as your palm. But, they're thin and mostly made of chitin razors and paper-thin wings. You can catch dozens of them – hundreds of them - and smash them up into a paste and cook them into a kind of crunchy flatbread. It barely counted as a meal.

Still, in the wintertime, in the labyrinth, every little bit helped.

Lucius pointed at the birds flying above the solstice flies. "We should be after for the birds, mon ami," he said. "They're bigger. They're meatier."

I was wrapped in a brown, leather duster eight sizes too big for me. Lucius made me wear it because he said that women were the weaker sex. In the summertime, I'd hit him if he said that, and we'd probably be joking with each other. In the winter, I let him say anything he wanted if he gave me his jacket because I was freezing and his duster was still warm from his huge body and it was like swimming in heat.

I guess we were friends. His parents were gone, but mine weren't. We lived in stone huts our tribes had built out of the walls. We had to replace the thatching every spring with long reeds we collected from the shallows of the lake. Sometimes, in winter, we got so cold that we chose houses by lots, and burned the thatching. The people who lived in those houses moved in with others until the weather broke.

We burned vines. We burned leaves. We burned feathers. We burned worn-out clothes. We burned everything we could.

Lucius didn't seem to mind the cold. Why would he? One of grandfathers was a Neanderthal that had gotten separated from his tribe somewhere deep in the stones.

Two of his grandparents had come to the maze from France, fleeing an Armageddon that flung every Catthar heretic into the cold with golden crosses sewn into their clothes. On his jacket, he had sewn a golden cross on the back, pulled together from woven phoenix feathers and spare string.

He had a chivalric attitude about everything. He believed the world was flat. He thought I was insane to talk about my great-great-great-grandmother's space-station. He told me that the flesh was the work of the devil, and the spirit was the true realm of the divine. He told me I was a weak little woman. He brought me little gifts, sometimes. He let me wear his jacket in the worst of the labyrinth winters. He let me sleep pressed into him for warmth. He told me I was beautiful, and strange.

I didn't really care that he had that squat, malformed Neanderthal hiding in the edges of his face. I was in love with Lucius.

Julie Station is my name. My family came from space. I don't know how they got stuck in this stone maze. My grandmother told me stories about rockets as large as continents floating through the stars, with people living inside of them.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Let's play MadLibs!

I will give you the following: 5 nouns. 4 verbs. 3 adjectives. 3 adverbs. 2 profession. 1 color.

Your quest? Madlib it! Take an excerpt from a news article, or someone else's blog post, or a creative commons'd text, or a project gutenberg tome, or something, and find a spot to MadLib it.

Best madlibber gets to be put up in the main post.

My Nouns:

1) Toaster. 2)Gorgon. 3)Umbrella. 4)Teepee. 5)Sea Anemone.

My Verbs (expressed as "to be", but malleable to any necessary tense by you):

1) To Yank. 2) To Explode. 3)To Joust. 4) To Fester.

My Adjectives:

1) Verifiable. 2) Stratospheric. 3) Gooey.

My Adverbs:

1) Clumsily. 2)Brusquely. 3) Slyly.

My Professions:

1) Undertaker. 2)Carnie.

My Color:

1) Aquamarine.

Go MadLib, now! Post your MadLib, and your source in the comments thread.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


when's the last time you saw a bigfoot video?

it's been too long.

i believe in bigfoot. also, trucks named bigfoot.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

desert winds

A race of caravan riders that live in the hills between the lost Persian Cities of the marshlands and the mountain kingdom of the Druzh a race of murderous thieves call the winds and sands to their vile service.

We were in between a long stretch of marshes, where the villagers fled from us as if we were slavers. We wandered the huts built among the ruins and listened to the caravan driver tell stories of the great cities of Persia in the marshlands, and the kings and palaces and intrigues there.

I expect he was mostly lying to entertain his guests.

We rode donkeys. Do not snicker at me. A horse is a fine animal here in Genoa, but on the long plains and heat among the Persus, the horses do not have the stamina of a sturdy donkey. Camels are more useful than donkeys. Still, we were lucky that we were on donkeys and not camels. Much of the caravan rode camels. We rode donkeys at my father’s insistence. He told me that donkeys were faster than camels in a sprint, though they would never charge into a battle like a camel would. Donkeys were too smart for that. This is, also, why my father insisted upon donkeys. We were not warriors in this strange land. Donkeys would carry us safely away from danger.

We rode donkeys. The afternoon air was thick with mosquitoes and biting flies and gnats. The trail cut over a ridge along a line of hills. In the little valleys between the hills grass as tall as men concealed stinking mudpits

The caravan driver led fifty camels and thirty donkeys along the ridges above the filthy marshes. He had lit torches burning carried by his slaves all around us, but it did little to dissipate the press of mosquitoes and bugs.

I rode between my uncle and my father. We talked very little here because each time we opened our mouths we risked a swarm of gnats and flies. We kept our faces wrapped in cloth and wished we could cover our eyes completely and trust our donkeys to take us with the caravan. I think my Uncle did just that. My father would never do such a thing. He was terrified of the roukh of this region. He watched the skies more than he watched the world around us for banditry.

The caravan driver assured us that there would be bandits here. My father had happily paid a higher fee to move our belongings towards the front of the caravan.
I had expected the bandits to come on horseback over the hills, waving swords and spears and shouting like the wicked devils they are.

The caravan driver knew better. He watched the clouds.

Caravan drivers are a strange breed. They are thin. They are fat. They are young. They are old. They are many things. I cannot remember what this caravan driver looked like. I remember only two things about him. First, that he told all sorts of lies about court intrigues. Second, that when the sky turned black, and the drums in the distance pounded, he was smiling at them.

He shouted this, in Tartar, at anyone who was close enough to hear him: “Now, we run!”

He kicked his donkey. The donkey ignored the first kick. The second kick did nothing, as well.

Then, the bugs disappeared into the marshes like they had never been there.

The donkeys noticed this. They kicked into a loping, fearful canter.

I pulled the scarf from my face. I looked to the hills for signs of raiders. I saw none. I couldn’t look over my shoulder easily on the running donkey’s back.
The donkeys ran faster. I stood up in my saddle.

My father glared straight ahead, at the caravan driver’s back.

“What is happening, father?” I shouted.

“Just ride,” he shouted, “We are close to the front!”

“What is it?!”

Uncle Maffeo shouted at me. “They have sent living winds!”

A dust storm from the look of it, though it didn’t really look like a dust storm, was behind us. A storm of arms and hands made of swirling sand filled the sky behind us. The stragglers of the caravan already felt the sands grabbing at their heels.


Yes, as a matter of fact, I have been reading a lot about Marco Polo...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Apparently, Strange Horizons will be posting a review of my book on Friday.

I don't know what they're going to say. I was going to their website to *read* Strange Horizons, and then noticed that I'm going to also be their Friday review.

Let's put this in context: I have been rejected by Strange Horizons many, many times. Almost every story I've published this last year, and a couple I haven't published yet, were rejected by Strange Horizons first.

I'm not worried. I'm very glad they chose to review my book, no matter what they think of it. They spelled my name correctly, and the title of the book, and I'm sure they'll come up with interesting things to say either for or against my little book.

Should make for an interesting Friday, indeed.

Monday, April 7, 2008

i miss illuminated manuscripts.

how come we don't illuminate our manuscripts anymore?

Curse you Gutenberg and your technological advance that ended a gorgeous era of graphic novelization!

I'm reading The Travels of Marco Polo in one hand, and googling all the zany images that belong in the margins because bored monks were drawing what *should* have been in the manuscript but weren't listed.

Someone should do a big scholarly concordance of the manuscript illuminations of the Travels of Marco Polo, the Bible, Consolation of Philosophy, Roman de la Rose, and Chaucer, and put it up on the internet for free so us scholarly types can research things.

I'm too busy. Can you do it for me? Does anyone know an unemployed Medievalist with a strong information technology background and unlimited funds with which to create a ginormous, graphics-heavy website?

Keep me updated.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Philly versus Dallas

I been sending this little ditty around town. What do you think of her?


just once i knew the way of all flesh
texas stadium was older than the players on the field.

the design was modern gladiator.
looking at the back, where huge concrete columns,
like stream-lined aquaducts, funneled the watery
beer and sewage hotdogs up and down
the coliseum stairs

the ceiling of the stadium was open,
but the sides had these wide curves to keep
the sound of the screaming fans from spilling
on the highways, fan noise was just more pollution.

the roof had this black fiber decayed beyond repair
tiny torn fragments swam through the noise
to land on hooded sweatshirts

into plastic cups

one piece as big as a black locust landed
on my leg, and i freaked
i thought it was a bug.

my father picked the thing on my leg.
he held it up. i told him that the sky
was falling.

just once i knew the way of all flesh

the black fibers sank in little strips
from the concave stadium roof
the stadium lights like noise
and the crowd still because the players
sank in little strips into their cups
of gatorade. (Philly kicked our
Cowboy asses that night)

a young woman held a sign
limp in her hand from the 30-yard line
an hour ago she was calling out to her own,
private gladiator, an hour from now she'd
sit in her car in a muddy field and yawn
behind her headlights’ twin yawns.
her sign on the stadium floor
all the lights off like muted choirs
the little black ceiling fibers like black snow
and empty cups
and moonlight

just once i knew the way of all flesh

my father has trouble climbing stairs. he looks
up at the distance between the guard rail
and the row of seats. he has a look on his face
like he's an old man. he gets to the top just fine,
but i'm thinking about how in another ten years
i'm going to have to hold his arm. ten years ago
we were in martial arts together
beating the shit out of each other
beneath kickboxing pads.

we climb over the legs of the people on our row.
we take a picture of the crowded stadium for my mom.

he tells me about the last time he went to an nfl game.
he and my mom lived in Denver (“This was 1975... 76?”)
and they went to a game between Tampa Bay and Denver.
he couldn't remember the quarterbacks' names.
all anybody talks about
these days are stars, but he tells me
what he remembers about the snowy hooligans
in parking lots and the magic time
between weddings and children.

birds fly around the stadium lights, hunting
for the flies of winter.
black insulation from the roof
falls through the sky like moths. birds dive for the black strips
like taking bait.
“the last time i was at a football game,” i said,
“i was at a college game with a sousaphone on me
like an octopus in love.”

a whistle blows.
i almost miss the kickoff.
and that's why the whistle blows:
everyone will stop talking - look up!


just once i knew the way of all flesh

some of the black bits are bigger, like large crickets.
most are just light black dandruff,
jarred loose from the stadium’s scream vibrations,
they drift into your cup of beer.

i recommend - until they build that new stadium –

drinking from the plastic bottles for sale all over.
or holding your hand over the cup’s drinking lips
while microscopic flecks of your own skin,
jarred loose in the vibrations of the screaming
blood inside of you, falls into your cold beer

tiny flecks,
can’t even taste them.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

In Dallas April 5? Bored?

I know what you should do. Go to this address:

Lonestar Comics
6465 E Mockingbird Lane

Head there right about 2:00.

Pick up a copy of my book. Or, just get me to sign yours.

Also, free chocolate.

Friday, April 4, 2008

too many people haven't heard of this...

my two favorite books of medieval literature are as follows:

the Lais of Marie de France:
Up at Project Gutenberg

Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy:
Up at Project Gutenberg

Go, read them, and bask in the awesome. Find them in stores, in used book stores, in libraries and garage sales.

I have mentioned these two texts many places since this weekend, and far too few do not know of these texts. They are lovely, and wonderful, and full of the proverbial "win".

Thursday, April 3, 2008

a subgenre of a subgenre?

I was perusing "Shadowbridge" by Gregory Frost, and was thinking about another book I picked up recently, by Cat Valente, about an orphan telling the stories tattooed to her eyelids.

Then, I was thinking about the Illustrated Man.

Then, I was thinking about Saints and Madmen.

Then, I was thinking about a cat that took a boy through time.

Then, I was thinking about - even this one - The Name of the Wind by Pat Rothfuss of stories inside stories inside stories.

Then, I was thinking about Laputa, and the man who loved the mare.

Stories within stories within stories.

I don't recall seeing these kinds of stories inside stories inside stories in other places - just fantasy.

Is this a subgenre all its own? What do we call these? They aren't collections of stories, exactly, because they have a framing device that provides narrative arcs above the stories. They aren't novels, exactly, or, at least, they aren't *usually* novels.

Why don't these sorts of cascading frame stories seem to exist anywhere else but here?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

If you met me last weekend

and got a dangerous, deadly, sharp business card...

Then found this blog...

Drop me a line, add me as a friend at MySpace/Facebook, and otherwise make contact.

Be not afraid. I don't eat babies. Unless it's baby carrots. If you're a baby carrot, I will eat you and all your friends. All other babies are safe.

sometimes you write something you think is awesome

sometimes you write something you think is awesome. then, you look at it again the next day, and it is kind of... strange without being awesome. then, a few more days pass, and a few weeks, and you realize it's the worst kind of self-serving darling-ish tripe.


In the beginning, there is a production company. Silver letters flash out of the black void like kabbalah calligraphy. The earth appears from the black void, and gets closer and closer while the music plays us to life. Cheerful synthesizers plummet down from the stars. A dance beat thrums over an ocean where dolphins jump into the sky like blessed things.
The production company displays the names of all the stars brought into alignment for this project. The camera swoops over the continents. Cosmic, happy music plays while a million people stop and settle into one stretch of green grass, and then it isn’t green grass anymore. Timelapse into Indian camps and then two cowboy country forts growing up to be two cities. New rivers of concrete and mud flow over the grass from a million concrete trucks, and construction companies. Buildings climb up on top of buildings. Track housing spreads like the petals of an insane flower. Downtowns grow up and out like steel mushrooms in the blur of day and night and day and night and all those car headlights scurrying like the blood of those luminescent deep sea fish.
All these colors of people in a blur, in a blur, in cars, in offices, in a blur, in a blur, in restaurant bathrooms, fucking like porn stars, in a blur, in a blur, rushing to hospitals, in funeral processions, in a blur, in a blur, to work, to home, to bed.
Then, a pause...

Fuck literary fiction. I'm going to write about zombies. And a hot chick that turns into a panther.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fragments of a living box

Do you have any idea how lonely a thing a Living Box is?
I bought the box in my favorite Curio shop, and Zola told me it was a Living Box and all it did was sit there, waiting. It looked pretty in the store. It had a fleshy, squishy look to it - all pink and a little fuzzy like a square peach. It felt like a sausage patty with a heartbeat in my palm, but it was a box. I felt its heartbeat. I watched the spidery blue veins beneath its skin pumping blood through the whole, little box.
I tried filling the box up with other things, because it looked lonely. First, I used loose change to fill the box. The change left a strange, copper-dust residue all over the leathery sides. I didn’t like that, because that couldn’t have been good for its skin. Afterwards, I tried to fill my lovely box with other lovely things I had accumulated like bits of sand in the soles of my shoe.
There was a large, brass button I had stolen off an old lover’s jacket imprinted with a cheerful anchor that always made me melancholy. (Beth lost it in my car, and I had lied to her for weeks before the end came that I had looked for it beneath the passenger seat. I never did until I was looking for a piece of her because she wouldn’t return my calls. Did I ever tell you about Beth? I will. I promise.) There was a fossil seashell collected from the side of the Anthropology building where I had spent days tugging loose my prize from the limestone wall beside my desk my senior year. I’ve kept that with me for years. I have no idea where my diploma went to, but I kept the seashell. (I’ve never been to the ocean, you know. We should go, you and me. We should go before we forget about what we haven’t seen.) Finally, a snowglobe assured me - every time I opened my Living Box - that Rock City was awash in holiday cheer and small bits of flowing white plastic. Everything was happy underneath the lid of the box. I checked from time to time, and beneath the lid, my little accumulated bits looked fine and dandy inside that strange, little box.
Still, no matter where I put it, when the lid to my box was closed, my box looked quite depressed.
I gave up trying to put my box somewhere happy. I placed it on a high shelf between a ship-in-a-bottle that my father had given me for my birthday once and a picture of myself from when I was young.
This, too, just made me sad. My father has been dead for years, and my smiling girl’s face had collected new wounds in the canvas, and I would never be so beautiful again, with such smooth, white skin.