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06/01 Direct Link
They sat on the sofa, he and she, listening to Bread’s Baby I’m-A Want You and feeling embarrassed. He wanted to feel her boob. He had never felt a boob before. She wondered if anyone could see them. She was certain there the fly banging against the starwars fabric curtain was a spycam. She had heard of cameras mounted to fly bodies. She didn’t want to ask him if he thought there was a camera. She wanted him to think she was only thinking about him. She asked, “Do you prefer coke or pepsi?” “They are the same,” he said.
06/02 Direct Link
She winked at me. Her bad eye oozing, her good eye winking; it was confusing. She licked her lips and picked up another donut, the one with pink frosting and sprinkles. Her mouth clamped down on the doughy confection and she groaned pleasantly, politely, in appreciation. “Carol,” she said, gulping. “You’ve really outdone yourself. They are fabulous!” Pink smear dried on her cheek. Her fingernails embedded in the remaining glob of greasy brown flesh. “You really should go into business. I mean it.” I unveiled another tray of donuts, these with maple and chocolate. I refilled her glass of milk.
06/03 Direct Link
He expressed his disappointment by tisking, tongue dropping from the roof of his mouth then jaw hanging lax as his eyes googled in their sockets. He was like a sock puppet, the Lamb Chop of my shame. “Girl, you can’t let that man get away with that!” Fist on his hip he said, “First off, he can’t treat a woman that way. Second, he can’t treat my best friend like that. No! No no no. And I mean No.” What could I say? He was right. Paul had been an ass but I couldn’t break up with him for it.
06/04 Direct Link
Aw, girl, you can’t be like that. No I’m-all-going-to-be-reclusive-and-shit-because-I-decided-to-hate-my-boyfriend-even-though-he’s-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-me. I won’t let you. Besides, how am I supposed to live? Ever think of that? I’m crazy about you, girl. You’re my everything. You can cook. You dress real good. You smell like vanilla all the time. You got that way of rubbing your cold feet on my shins at night. You’re always laughing at something. Man, you are crazy if you think anyone else is going to put up with your shit. Like anyone else would want your ‘not now, baby’ routine … or your ‘you don’t mind, do you?’
06/05 Direct Link
I asked her, hunched in a confidential stature, “So, what is he like?”

“He’s the worst,” she said. “Uptight, contrary, mean, and when he gets here I’m sure he’ll bully us all day. I wish we didn’t need him.”

It was half a day before he arrived. She kept sulking around the house in anticipation. I heard his car tires crunch in the gravel drive. I couldn’t help peeking out the living room window. He brushed his slacks straight and strolled down the walkway to the door. I opened the door wide.

He smiled, arms wide, “You must be Gina!”

06/06 Direct Link
Darling, you won’t believe me but you must try. I was at the Capital and talking with the Child Services Officer about our case. It seems the child we want has been claimed by another family. I wanted to see if you minded me making a decision for us or if you want to go through the whole meet-and-greet thing all over again. You see, Destiny is up for adoption. She is twelve, has limited trauma after witnessing her drug-abusing mother whore herself out, and may have weight issues as she gets older. I feel certain that she’s the one.
06/07 Direct Link
Renfield penciled in his journal: May 28th. Met with the doctor. He thinks I have a disorder. I told him of my desire to eat small animals. I didn’t tell him about my lusting for larger mammals; how I go to the zoo to watch the monkeys masturbate; how I long to feel the luxury of the vixens; vulpes femina. He suggested I stay in his sanitarium. He said it is restful. A relaxing hiatus may be what I need. Real estate is a stressful business. Clients fears and demands may have made me grow grey but won’t kill me.
06/08 Direct Link
All I ever write about is him. I wish I could write about something else. Even as I write about writing he’s incorporated. I can’t write: I write every day. Instead I write: I write about him every day. And it is true. Every day my desk has his markings; his pocket watch, his book of Latin poetry, his computer. How can I avoid it? It’s his curtain limp at the window and his Blue Velvet poster on the wall. I’m glad it’s my apartment. More than that, I’m glad he’s gone. Americorp, keep him and I’ll write my novel.
06/09 Direct Link
All these stories about people … even when a story features fictitious creatures they all behave like people. Love, hate, confusion. Introduction, suspense, resolution. Find, lose, rediscover. Stories are like muzak, protein shakes, chalky and safe and indistinguishable servings. Where did the novel of the nightmare go? Where is the acute social commentary? Why these cartoonish dinner-in-a-pill feasts? What is delicious about synthetic breasts? Even if they heave, they remain fake. False eyelashes come unglued, silicon gets moldy under the skin, we debate which rags-to-riches heroine is more deserving. I’ll show you deserving. The woman who crinkles and doesn’t care.
06/10 Direct Link
He curls next to her, his head tucked to her stomach. He imagines it full, full of child. He hears the gurgle of dinner, bile and enzymes mixing with the chicken quesadilla and green salsa. She curls his hair through her fingers. He recognizes she will lecture him about cutting it soon. The line between it being long to her liking and shaggy so she dislikes it is thin. If she had a baby he would do anything she asked. Some mornings he wakes worried that he will die alone, she will be off with another; he’ll have no one.
06/11 Direct Link
I rubbed cold cream on my face and thought about my design. I already had the clothes: pastel plaid pants, black and red polka dotted shirt, blue and white striped tie. Celeste was in the next room, a mirror propped against the headboard. I could smell the mothballs from her costume. She’d found it in the basement greenroom of her movie theater employment. She kept insisting we should perform there. “Roll up the screen,” she said, “and we’d have a huge stage to die for.” I smeared white on my cheeks and patched out my smile. Bigger isn’t always better.
06/12 Direct Link
He leaned over in the pew and touched my thigh. I wanted to skooch away but my mother blocked my escape. I looked at him quizzically instead, a look taught to me by my older sister who used it on me daily because she knew it made me uncomfortable. I could smell his age, the silver hair cementing the fact that he was my senior by many years. I knew he was in the church hierarchy but wasn’t sure what he did. He leaned closer and whispered with stale breath and a wink, “Can you hand me a choral book?”
06/13 Direct Link
I was walking through my neighborhood, residential middle-class, to the store when I overheard a young woman crying, talking to a cell phone. “I am looking for something but I don’t know what it is,” she said. I thought, Sister, we’re all looking for something. All those metaphysical bookstores, taverns, churches, pop songs, and crotch itching romances, they aren’t for nothing. It’s all searching or hiding from the search. A block later a young man walked down the center of the street. “How you?” he asked. “Fabulous,” I replied. “How are you?” He nodded, “I am blessed. I am blessed.”
06/14 Direct Link
We stand outside on break, ash dropping around our feet as we desperately suck down the last cigarette for hours. Jim raises his eyebrows and sucks his teeth as he inhales, “You know, next week we have to start smoking behind the building.” His face reads: Thank You Sir, May I Have Another. I take a final drag, pinching the cherry off so I can dispose of the filter. “Yeah,” I say, “it’s shit. This place is shit. It’s just the kind of thing that makes me want to quit.” “I’ve tried before,” says Jim. “Not Smoking?” I ask, confused.
06/15 Direct Link
Danni’s fingers navigate her loudly through a series of options until she finds the song she wants. She downloads the song, ninety nine cents, and slides it into a pre-arranged mix on her desktop. She leans back in her chair, the cushion wheezes. Her dog looks up expectantly then sighs and drops his head. A tray disengages and she loads in a disk to burn. She is self-satisfied. “Error: System Failure.” “Shit!” Danni punches the eject button on the screen. The disk remains spinning inside. She gouges at the shell but the tray stays stuck firm. The screen goes dark.
06/16 Direct Link
“Deb, you were supposed to be asleep hours ago. What is wrong?” Deb shrugged, wriggled herself deeper under blankets. She was afraid; afraid of being in trouble; afraid her mother had heard her; afraid she’d have to sleep in her mother’s bed again. She hadn’t been sleeping alone for more than a month and already her mother was worried. Deb couldn’t help it. She liked the dark, the quiet, the clear space alone. After she heard her mother’s door shut, she started. First a few whispered words. Then long narratives about her day, who she saw, and what she said.
06/17 Direct Link
We ate BBQ at a join on a formerly famously dangerous street. The street has been improved and good thing too for my relatives would have nothing to do with it otherwise. The BBQ place was good before. After the city developers built condos, induced small businesses and implemented a police patrol regiment, the BBQ place became trendy. It still has grim and the feel of impoverishment. The locals who are being pushed out by development still stop by for to-go orders. They never stay to eat. My family was impressed by the flavors. Kentucky mustards and deep smoky char.
06/18 Direct Link
He has a thing for 80s music; new wave, hard core, euro pop, top 40, lite hits. He’s shameless when you get down to it. He likes to make mix CDs and bring them to work. His co-workers tolerate the mixes only because they are something different from the usual rotation of The Kinks and The Beatles. What his co-workers don’t know is that he spends hours carefully selecting each song. Sometimes, when he feels the mix is just right, he cries. He knows the mix is wonderfully perfect when chills run down his spine and he wants to weep.
06/19 Direct Link
I first read Charles Reade nearly ten years ago. I picked up a copy of The Cloister and the Hearth for a quarter in a mixed box of books that were headed for the dump. It was damp when I bought it. As I dried the pages, carefully turning them, I noticed worm holes. Some of the letters were eaten through from one page to another as though sparks had landed and burrowed through; near perfect circles singed black around the edges from ink residue. It is interesting for me to note that Reade was a collector of classification curiosities.
06/20 Direct Link
Holger Danske lives in the deep. Son of Geoffrey, king of the Danes, his wrath was once great. Now he sleeps and waits. His sword is long. His shield so heavy no one can lift it. He wears tall leather boots hand-crafted. His helmet is the finest metals, gleaming in the light of battle. But now Holger sleeps, folded, patent in the dark dungeon of Helsingor. Some say the statue there is him, but it was made to appease tourists. Holger sleeps farther than light, past the pinched and sloping walls, where the cries of prisoners can not be heard.
06/21 Direct Link
I was looking forward to hearing from him. Barry told me X was back in town. When X and I were in high school, close to twenty years ago, we had formed the Melancholics Society. I’d heard he’d come out gay while in college and that he couldn’t keep a job. I wasn’t surprised. Back then he would screen print his own tee shirts, agitating the Swedish exchange students because they’d never seen disobedience in school before. As Co-Presidents of the Melancholics Society, X and I smoked a lot of weed and listened to Pink Floyd in his parent’s basement.
06/22 Direct Link
Carmichael dangles his feet over the edge of the pier. Puget Sound rides easily against the pylons; barnacles dare to live at surface, reminding Carmichael of a picture his grandmother showed him of her arthritis in a medical dictionary. Across the harbor is Tacoma, rows of lights, stacks of mansions, a million people he’ll never know. His periphery is salt water, sparkling and darkening with passing clouds. He grew up here, a few miles down the road. There is no magic in the scene. The crabs under the shore rocks are a bore and Carmichael dreams of big, urban cities.
06/23 Direct Link
His father subscribes to magazines: Fashion, Art & Design; Metropolis; Re-Search; Bizarre. Carmichael secrets the magazines to school with him and brags to his friend, Ray, about how he’s been to New York and that he can’t wait to go back. He says he’ll live with his uncle, though he doesn’t have an uncle. He insists he’ll dye his hair, carve a Mohawk and pierce his nostril. No more damn seagulls. No more putrid air. No more upper-classmen shoving him into lockers and calling him gay. Until then, Carmichael is careful to return the magazines exactly as he found them.
06/24 Direct Link
She looks old, too old to have this child. The boy is heavy on my hip but I want to comfort him. He started squealing anxiously when we knocked on the restroom door. The boy didn’t want us to enter. Tim got mad, unclipped his gun and banged on the door shouting, “We’re coming in.” She was on the floor, skinny legs poking out from the globe of her stomach. “Another loony,” Tim sneered to me. The boy was pushing at his mother, propping her up, so small behind her. “Come,” I said. He obeyed. I didn’t bother with questions.
06/25 Direct Link
I heard her in the bathroom, rustling. I imagined the flowered makeup bag on the counter open, her fat fingers turning over eyebrow brush and lipstick, the compact already unhinged for detailed application. She always came out of the bathroom over done. Lips too rouge, cheeks speckled, cousin to a clown. I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up. I only asked to please her. I didn’t have any interest. It took too much time for something that turned out so ridiculous. Still, she would walk into the kitchen like the golden carriage had arrived and I would gape in my appreciation.
06/26 Direct Link
Petunia asked Captain a question. Captain responded, simulating intellect to the best of his abilities and as he talked he used the slope of Kim’s bangs as the resting point for his eyes. Most people look away while making a point they want others to hear. Usually they pick a neutral location; off to one side, nothing in particular, their finger feeling a divot in the counter from an over zealous knife. His punctuation point was the top curve of Kim’s head and Kim was insulted. Petunia was, shall we say, riveted. So it was, Kim did not interject dissatisfaction.
06/27 Direct Link
Origami Saxophone did not like spaghetti. She was a petulant child. Fortunately, she grew into a charming young lady with a taste for sophisticated silk-blend suits and blond American boys. On Thursdays she called home. Listening to her mother, the phone grew hot against her ear. This always irritated Origami. Her mother’s references to old neighbors and the school friends Origami left behind made Origami feel pinched. On Thursdays, after she disconnected her call home, Origami took a taxi to the Clay Gym for the Cybex Eagle Abdominal Machine. She liked her personal trainer. She liked how he said, “Trunk.”
06/28 Direct Link
Here we talk about breaking down in process; falling off and having to get back on the horse. I came up with a great analogy: I feel like I'm working on a sculpture. But my tool is a toothpick and the stone I have to sculpt out of is a huge monolith. Here I am, bent over, "tink, tink, tink." Tiny flakes of dust swivel softly to the floor. The stone towers above, dark and mysterious. It feels like I'll never even get the toe of DAVID defined before I die, let alone make a half-shaped, malformed copy of it.
06/29 Direct Link
He shares the death of Enkidu and expands it into an examination of gender in society. The choices Gilgamesh made are choices that we are asked to make every day. Because Gilgamesh chose to mourn Enkidu and give Ishtar the shove, we as descendents will forever know grief. If Gilgamesh had accepted Ishtar’s offer to marry, we would know the divine feminine joy of life. John Remer urges us to see that the complexity of Gilgamesh and of all great writing comes from what is missing. He says, “Culture is a mirror you see yourself in. Our mirror is broken.”
06/30 Direct Link
They talk about craft, about finding a deeper meaning, about using concrete context and earning the emotions. As writers, we meditate, imagine, and pick a suitcase from the pile. We call it unpacking. We pick the clasps, hoping they are unlocked, and sort through the contents: a child with a crooked haircut, an old boot, a pink scarf, a blue ping-pong paddle with a book of Buddhist prayers under it. These things are easy to describe, easy to put on paper. As objects unorganized they lack meaning. Dusted for symbolism, examined for pulse, the suitcase holds more than the universe.