03/01 Direct Link
“Did you ever think about God floating on those clouds up there?” He had asked one day after they’d cleaned stalls and organized the gear.
“Naw,” she’d said. She was working at the diner back then too. But it wasn’t a career. The diner was a stepping stone. She was going to be an actress. She read the tabloids and watched Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. She always knew what she was meant to be. “When I look up at the clouds I see me sitting on them.” She had laughed and he laughed too, but she was serious.
03/02 Direct Link
We made inane small talk through dinner. Claudia ushered me to my old room. She carried my backpack and duffle like I’d never been in the house before. My concert posters were removed and I felt haunted as my mental image clashed with what I saw. The bed seemed to have shrunk, the dresser was dwarfed, the walls were repainted a pale blue, the window was cold and I could no longer imagine myself sneaking out through it. I felt big, huge, vast. It was hard to believe I ever fit in this room. I suppose I never really did.
03/03 Direct Link
Livia, tight lipped, hair in a bun, flowers twisted in a wreath and pinned along her brow, that old queen of Rome. She felt sure she’d be a goddess, revered and feared. It never occurred to her that it was she the public hated. She lived in a world of stone thrones and pillared halls. Her features were rendered thousands of times in busts. A god ought to be able to frighten a man to death. Aconite, though not ideal, works effectively to kill. Some say lead poisoning ruined the kingdom. The great casks of wine leached through with poison.
03/04 Direct Link
In his dreams, Lorinda would smile, seeing him as a dashing investigator in cuffed pants and tinted bifocal glasses. Sometimes she would speak, a sultry and low, “Hello, Howard,” with her lips flush to his ear. But she didn’t have to speak. He would talk and her features made her reply. They were well matched and he believed them to be joined through telepathy. In his dreams, a hawk flying overhead told him about their love. The hawk one time perched on his hand, screeching. This dream, Howard would envision again and again while waiting. And his waiting was great.
03/05 Direct Link
She purchased a sticker sheet of smiling piles of poop. She found them adorable, Japanese cute. She took them to work and gave her favorite co-workers one, small stickers of sparkling, smiling, Japanese poop piles. She was proud. “They sell these at the store,” she said excitedly. She opened her internet browser and loaded Google. She was determined to learn about Unchi. She giggled, scrolling through an Image Search: charts of different poops, cartoons of children’s diaper changes, a cardboard monkey exposing his rear. She downloaded pictures and attached them to emails. Look! Look at what I found! So profound.
03/06 Direct Link
She’s staring at me again. Damn cat. She jumps beside me with a yowl. I pretend not to notice. She stands, starts purring, and stares harder, leaning slightly so she can touch my arm with the tips of her fur. I glance at her. She lifts her chin, purrs harder, looks at me with bedroom eyes, lowering the shades, pressing closer, purring deeper, leaning to sniff at my arm and rub her wet nose along it. I look away, focusing my eyes across the room. She waits. Then she realizes I’m a rock, I’m impervious, I’m Golem. She stops purring.
03/07 Direct Link
“What’s champagne in Spanish?” The shoulder strap of her gold cocktail dress dangled at her elbow as she wavered by the counter. “In Hollywood it is not easy to become a movie star.” The bartender nodded at her, swabbing her fingerprints away. “Tempestad, torrente, rafaga….” Lindsey pounded her fist on the counter, “What’s the word for champagne?” The bartender shrugged, “No hablo ingles.” Lindsey spun around, her knees locking and her heels tipping at odds. A gentleman in suit like Bogart stood before her. “I couldn’t help overhearing,” he said. Lindsey hiccupped. “The word you want,” he said, “is ‘champán.’”
03/08 Direct Link
The Goose Hollow Inn, waiting for JL, I'm not sure why he wanted to wait here except he's a lover of old neighborhood dives. The table I sit at is gouged with carvings. Heart BUG B.A., Kimo, Helen X C.B.M., BF + SK, MA + SH, Annie, Dan, Susan, tim, jeremy + nora; mangled hearts, forgotten sentiments, stick figures making out, rock font EOFF like hieroglyphic codes, ancient hammerings into once living greatness. This plank of wood came from a huge, stately tree. It is sealed with varnish and layers of bleach bucket swill. This table is solid and waxy.
03/09 Direct Link
He’s over there watching youtube, specifically Jim Carrey as a female fitness instructor, Jim Carrey doing stand up, Jim Carrey impersonating movie stars. I can’t help but look over at him when a new video starts. The audio is just loud enough to attract my attention. People in the shorts laugh, applaud, whistle. I try to focus but every two minutes another video begins and my eyes flick to his computer monitor. I know what makes it appealing. Entertainment, easy viewing, the trade off is great. When I should be focused on my work it is a waste of time.
03/10 Direct Link
The two women were laughing, leaning toward each other.

Jess, cackled and said, “Did I tell you already about the time he went fishing and caught a dead man?”

Carrie’s mother put her hand over her mouth in shock and exclaimed, “No!”

“Pam,” Jess said, “You’ve never heard anything like this.”

Carrie scooted close to her mom and Jess continued as though she wasn’t there.

“It was a sunny summer day and he was in his little boat fishing for trout. Ibis were dipping

03/11 Direct Link
It was an interesting social experiment, having the family come together for a group portrait. My mother said Jim should paint us but no one was willing to wait around for that. Supposedly when he was in grad school he could paint fine art but now all he makes is squiggly landscapes. Anyway, we finally voted on a photographer that was thrifty but decent. Frankly, I could have taken the picture but there’s something about hiring an outsider that makes it seem official. Carol wouldn’t stand next to her mom and Rick made sure to be by his. Say cheese.
03/12 Direct Link
Look at them muscles … They’re poppin’ right out of my sleeve. Can you believe it? I’m covered in God’s good earth and filled with the spirit of the Lord. There’s nothing can get in a man’s way except the consequences of his actions. Never mind how I run the cards up my sleeve and play dice. That there’s technicalities that the Good Lord can forgive because, deep down, I mean well and aim to please and my heart is like a lion of might and virtue. No, I stand blameless in this life and I work to be deserving.
03/13 Direct Link
Life of a spectator, I flop in the double-wide with a sack of chocolate drops, a coke, chips, corn dog spinning in the nuke and wish I were skinny. Some say my legs are cottage cheese. When I was little I told myself I’d never get fat. I would sit on the toilet and tell myself that my legs could never be wider than the lip of the seat. Funny, that. Now my legs can barely part. Walking is troublesome. Standing hurts my knees. I’d rather stay here, comfortable, warm, and have my daughter take care of living for me.
03/14 Direct Link
Lois sits on the floor, doped up on Vicodin, her right eye twitches. Her legs are split, poking out from under her rump as she leans forward, clicking the arrow to the play button. Speculation video, on the entertainment website, indicates the pop star will be fine; the star’s millions will save her after all. Meanwhile, Lois leans over her double folded gut in an attempt to touch her toes. It used to be so easy, like learning how to drive and playing violin. Suddenly she feels old and incompetent, she has changed to someone she never meant to be.
03/15 Direct Link
I played for years but never considered myself any good. Now, twenty years later, twenty years after quitting, I see how good I once was. Trombone. What an instrument to choose! But I loved it. It made me happy. I had the knack. Others would try it and flatulate through the tubes, running saliva and squirting out sharps and flats. I’d slide, ease into the tones, crystal timbre of pitch perfection. My lips buzzed afterward, memory impressed on them. My teacher called it muscle memory. Yesterday I opened the case and looked at it. I pray my muscles still remember.
03/16 Direct Link
One hand loaded with plastic grocery sack, lunch box, coat, and scarf, Carol keyed her way into the back door. As the door opened, the dog shot out and pranced into the lawn panting happily. Simultaneously, the grocery sack handles distended, stretched and broke. Her groceries fell to the cement with a flat thud of crinkling plastic. “Oh crap,” she said. She realized all she’d bought was a sack of chips and a bottle of wine. She ran inside and grabbed a bowl and the dusty colander. By the time she picked up the bag, wine was pooling around it.
03/17 Direct Link
The adjacent parking lot was thunderous with motor ignitions as seniors revved their cars and peeled out, a Friday’s rebellion roar. A few minivans revolved through the bus corral, stopping briefly to pick up one of a waiting passel of kids standing by a bank of mailboxes. Abby felt alone. She couldn’t explain what her dad did and why her parents were divorced. The busses compounded the heat. Her bus was puttering hotly among fifteen other buses. Abby walked through the maze of idling motors. The bus drivers were aiming rotating fans at their faces with the AC full blast.
03/18 Direct Link
Abby lay under the musty blankets of the guest bed. She could hear her mother in the next room sorting through her suitcase, zipping and unzipping pouches as she prepared for bed. She worried that Ray would sneak in during the night. She still wasn’t sure what had happened in the kitchen. Did he intentionally touch her or was it an accident. The look on his face, so blank, so bewildered, made it impossible for her to be certain. Maybe that was his plan. How many girls had he touched before? It was impossible to sleep with those endless thoughts.
03/19 Direct Link
Abomally rolled out of the guest bed and padded barefoot to the door. Her mother was a shroud in the dark hall, long white nightgown with frills around the neck and a blue bathrobe over it. Her face was washed, oily with moisturizer, and her hair was pinned back. Abomally knew those pins would be kicked out and twisted around by morning. All she wanted was to lean into her mother and release. To be a little girl again, crying and confiding. Her mother smiled, eyes crinkling with a shimmer of grease. “Can I see your room?” asked Abomally. "No."
03/20 Direct Link
She was sitting there with a rose in her hair and she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. Her boyfriend went out of mind and she lip-locked. Only a little wine, only a couple shucked, only a bit of cheese and crusty bread. It wasn’t like it was a date. It wasn’t like he wanted it. He was only there for the money. She didn’t know. Not until the wine drained away, not until breakfast settled in, not until she saw the picture of her boyfriend kissing her cheek did she realize. Set up, set out, completely lost her senses.
03/21 Direct Link
He writes sentences that are paragraphs and paragraphs that are pages. Two chapters in Mina decided she can’t take it anymore. She closed the book and put it on her nightstand, rubbed her eyes and considered her options. The book was highly rated. All the editors of all the papers loved it. She bought it impulsively. Twenty dollars down the flusher. She didn’t want to waste but the style was inedible. She choked on it. Each page rambling with extraneous details, lists of descriptions, a Rabelais knock-off with no sense of humor. She decided to give it away; white elephant.
03/22 Direct Link
It’s a corporation. There are manuals, guidebooks, specifications. You can’t wear perfume, you can’t have bo, you have to treat everyone like family. There are all these random rules, too. You don’t get discounts, you only get a discount on a meal after working a certain number of hours, if friends visit they don’t get discounts, no vacation until you’ve been there a year, but you can only work thirty hours a week and you have to have so many hours before you can call in sick but if you do you have to find someone to cover your shift.
03/23 Direct Link
Carl ran his fingers through his beard while looking at the label on the pizza box. Another medium double pepperoni for the 614 Lipcott address. He opened the delivery bag and slid the box in with a vegetarian plus sausage for Alameda South and saluted the pizza crew as he left. He wondered how long the Lipcott pizza had been on the rack. Every day he delivered a pizza to the woman on Lipcott. He was beginning to wonder if it really was chance that her pizza was always in his stacks or if she had asked specifically for him.
03/24 Direct Link
Not every date is a hit from the start. It may be that you find yourself sitting across from a dud. However, your reputation is at stake. It may seem easy enough to get up and walk away but now is the perfect time to exercise your dating suave. If your date seems a dud go ahead and up the ante. Start asking more questions or move the date to a spontaneous different venue, a place that expresses the real you. You may find that all your date needed was a little extra attention to turn from dull to exciting.
03/25 Direct Link
“They never put expiration dates on hot sauce.” She said.

He shrugged, “That’s because hot sauce never expires.”

“But it has to.”

“No.” he examined a green bottle “It’s mostly vinegar.”

“I don’t believe you. I’m throwing these old bottles out. We’ve had them for, like, four years.” She pulled two bottles from the fridge door.

“Throw them out? Aren’t you going to recycle them?”

“No.” She hovered over the garbage.

“But they’ll go to the landfill.”

She smirked, “but washing them out will waste and pollute water.”

“But we can recycle the glass.”

“Either way we kill the earth.”

03/26 Direct Link
His art is slabs. Large orange slabs. And people like it. He gets paid for this, for arranging large orange slabs, for hogging up space with his slabs, for creating tonal variance. He makes a very good living at this. People respect him. He has fans. People want his signature, pictures with him, coffee table books featuring photographs of his slabs; as though the slabs were worth remembering. His large orange slabs are on display, for a limited time, at a university gallery. He will speak about his slabs; why they are orange and the deeper symbolic and psychological meaning.
03/27 Direct Link
Hyon wants to sleep in but there’s no hope for that. Already the bike messengers are ringing their bells and the garbage man strained grunts echo down the block. Her upstairs neighbor is yelling at his wife and her down stairs neighbor is loudly making love. Hyon resets her alarm, scrolling the arms off time by ten minutes and pulling the bottom button. She lays there, thinking about her dream, feeling cold. It was another dream of trouble, being evicted, her parents angry, expelled from school and she knows if she died then she would not have an honorable burial.
03/28 Direct Link
Her left eye is gone, like a peach without a pit, yet she winks at you with her good eye while you purchase your ticket. Her hole so vacant you wish you could see your reflection instead. You pass her the coin and she rips a two-sided red ticket from a spool. She rips the half that reads ADMIT and hands you ONE. You are grateful to look at something other than her hole and run your finger on the jagged edge of the ticket. “Have a nice show,” she says, and you notice an incisor is gone. “I did.”
03/29 Direct Link
I listened as she rattled on, her breath stinking and her body slumped in the electric chair. “I’m disabled and my roommate thought he could take advantage of me. He took my cell phone and rang it up and now it has a four hundred dollar charge on it that I can’t pay. I mean, I’m on disability. I can’t afford that. He told me he was fixing to screw me over but I told him I’d scream so he packed his bags and left, left me with three months rent due and a four hundred dollar phone bill. Bastard.”
03/30 Direct Link
Sun steams, blinds drivers and renders stop lights ineffective. Windows are down, toes tap the accelerators, impatience reigns. If you want this love of mine, goes the song, treat me gentle and treat me kind. His fingers wriggle on the steering wheel, sticky hot plastic. The fan blows but his Freon is out. A girl sits at the bus stop with her backpack in her lap, clung close, hiding her body. Someone across the intersection honks. That line of traffic moves in a trickle, cars peeling banana skin left and right. He can’t imagine a world without cars, without heat.
03/31 Direct Link
The gallery was located in the heart of Kristianstad, off the checker cobbled square with the spires and steeples of Christian IV. In the square, street lamps dangled from hooked metal and pedestrians strolled around cars. The gallery featured the work of Christo. Raymond bought our admission and we cut through the bookstore and into the main exhibit. Images of orange umbrellas, bilious silver wrapped trees, red-padded islands, and the wrapped Reichstag. I stopped transfixed by a payphone strapped with the poly, canvas, rope wrapped payphone; the way the rope knots over reminding me of a crib put to sea.