Archive for January, 2009


space-saving post!

Listen, son, I’m sure you don’t want to talk about this, but I couldn’t help noticing something you and Katy have been getting involved in lately that has me a little concerned.
You see, when a man makes a mix CD for a woman, he’s making a sacred
commitment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Continue reading ‘space-saving post!’

run-on sentence clearinghouse

(name withheld) first swore vengeance on the world when the podium his
father was standing on to be photographed accepting the (award name
withheld) collapsed and left the old man in a grisly heap in which his
femur had somehow penetrated his eye socket, killing him, though even
death’s cruel pile-on failed to pry the trophy from his grip; indeed,
the old man was buried with the golden cup clenched in his claw of a
hand, quite bluish-looking in the casket, mourners remarked, and the
award was discontinued because an adequate replacement trophy could
not be found.
Soon after his father’s death, he took a wife in a most unusual fashion, devising a plan to kidnap Susanna Melton, the heir to the Delta Sugar Company fortune, with her consent, then use the ransom to fund an elaborate, year-long honeymoon, with a hot-air balloon being the primary means of transportation. He had admired her from afar, and loved her long before it could have been considered reasonable to do so, and when he mentioned his plan to Miss Melton upon their first meeting at a debutante ball he had sneaked into, she was so flattered by the suggestion, and intrigued by the possibility of adventure this young man dressed as a busboy had promised, that she accepted his offer to marry, minus the kidnapping ruse, the first of several lucky breaks that would come to define (name withheld)’s life.
He made his fortune with a series of purported labor-saving devices that were anything but.  As luck would have it, however, it was the very inefficiency of his inventions which brought them into vogue as a symbol of the decadent, carefree period in which they came about, and ownership of products such as the (name of grain alcohol-powered motorized household device withheld) became a prerequisiste for those looking to break into the upper strata of society. 
Late in his life he became obsessed with a recurring dream in which he wandered around as the resident handyman of a luxury hotel, and in his waking hours kept painstaking details in a leatherbound journal of his nocturnal encounters with the hotel’s residents as he fixed their pipes and replaced their lightbulbs. He became convinced that these dreams were a means for him to touch the thin membranous wall separating this life and the next, and spoke of the dreams to perplexed visitors to his deathbed in terms that presumed they had dreamed the same dreams alongside him.  

how blood tastes

This steak isn’t like any I’ve ever eaten before, in that it looks like a steak and not someone’s prized family heirloom recovered from the ashes of a house fire. On elevators in tall buildings I’ve heard wealthy white men talk about steaks so tender they should serve them with a straw instead of a knife and fork, and I’m surprised to find that those steaks really exist. It’s bloody, the steak, but I’ve discovered today that cow’s blood doesn’t taste like my blood, human blood. I’m used to the metallic taste I’ve tasted every time I’ve cut my finger and sucked it clean, or bit the inside of my cheek, or had my jaw punched. If you want to simulate the taste of my blood, put a handful of pennies on your tongue, but this shit’s delicious. Across the table from me, one side of a conversation I never thought I’d have continues while I chew:
“..but as far as I know, you’re my only son,” he says. Continue reading ‘how blood tastes’


if you have not selected a spirit animal by sundown, one will be selected for you

We left lives of comfort for the cruelty of a gypsy existence.
We stored away resources and tried to warn those close to us.
We suffered ridicule, but forgave our tormentors before they were even
done speaking.
Because when the things we foresaw finally came to pass,
We were the only ones prepared.

The abandoned world greeted us with reptile indifference
As we wintered in shells of old apartment buildings,
department stores,
houses of worship,
And remarked how quickly they were falling into decay.
Water was scarcer than even our most pessimistic projections;
Our numbers fell by nearly half.

And when competing factions surrounded us,
With greater numbers,
And better tools,
We fought those who would have us join their group
As inferiors under their laws.
We hid the children away for the fight
Knowing that if we lost, they’d be absorbed into our opponents’ ranks.
And hoped that if the worst happened,
They’d remember us
And tell our story amongst each other in the dark.


paging lenny bruce

So I’m working on a piece in which the characters have relations with each other. And… unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way I can do what I want narratively with the romantic encounter unless I get a bit, uh, graphic. So graphic, in fact, that I’m having to debate which spelling to use: “come” or “cum”.

In the absence of a style manual on this delicate matter, I’m leaning towards “come”, mostly because I feel like it’s classier. My memory’s fuzzy on these things, but it seems like  Penthouse used “come” in its “I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me, but I was installing aluminum siding on my house when my gorgeous neighbor…” Forum letters, while I think I remember seeing the “cum” spelling in less mainstream volumes like Juggs or Swank in their comparable “I never thought this kind of thing would happen to me, but I was volunteering in a soup kitchen when this gorgeous homeless lady…” fake letters section.  Needless to say, using porn mags as a measuring stick for anything is making me uncomfortable. 

Off the top of my head, I can’t recall Roth or Updike using the term one way or the other.  Oh, and didn’t Quiet Riot use the latter spelling in their 1982 hit “Cum on Feel the Noize”? Because that brings the two sides back to a tie.  You can see why this is so difficult.

January 2009