The Reading. (Excerpt)

I’d been sent. As if I was a person in need of being sent someplace other than where I was. Where I was was with a woman I thought needed me. What she said was come home with me. She only said it once. It didn’t bear repeating, or she couldn’t bear to repeat it, it comes to much the same. I thought maybe I was a writer. She thought I was a person in need of advice. She said go see this guy Jack read at the bookstore. “He’s a writer” she said, in a tone that implied maybe I wasn’t.

The bookstore is jam-packed. Just the fact that there is a bookstore is surprising, that it’s filled with people adds to my surprise, and my irritation. One more example of excited people gathered to see someone who is not me. Like I need more examples. There are far more women than men. I figure this Jack guy is one of those handsome writers. F*ing handsome writer I mutter to myself, although no one has yet appeared. Many in the crowd seem to know each other. There is that contagious whisper of anticipation. Hate that.

A lady in a floral blouse, black pants, and masculine looking shoes arrives at the podium. First thing that pops into my head: if she is going to wear shoes like that, why not dispense with the flowery top? Where’s the consistency? I’m angry with everyone. You can be pissed off at a literary reading in exactly the same way you can be pissed off in stop and go traffic. I keep making discoveries like this. It is not up-lifting. The woman starts gabbing about the wonders of this Jack guy, telling a story of being at a workshop of his, where he forbade her to leave until she put down on paper her real and true feelings. Feelings about what, she doesn’t go into, and for that small mercy I am grateful. The whole thing sounds sexual to me, like he’s the literary dungeon-master and she’s the enslaved wench, clutching her moleskin. That might just be my weird perspective. I’d like to be free of weird perspectives but I’m not. She goes on to explain how the restriction was in force for twenty four hours, and…


Also, should you find it in your heart, or your head, or really anyplace that gives rise to commentry, verbal entanglement, critical gestures, or plain old coffee shop quips, I would deeply appreciate you LEAVING A COMMENT. Somewhere, anywhere, on this ol’ blog of mine.


excerpt (from Confession)

I’m never sure where things belong. In many situations this poses a problem. And the situations are indeed many, given the amount of things that must be placed in their respective homes, nooks, crannies. For example, a person may be handed a dish, by another who has just finished drying it, in a stranger’s kitchen, say while a raucous party is in full swing, and like a dog with the well established powerful nose, will place it in the correct cabinet. Not me. I’m as likely to walk that dry dish into a bedroom on the second floor, where the hostess is engaged in an indisputable act of infidelity, with a person I’m going to assume is unknown to her, until fairly recently, since she is requesting intimate acts of offering from him that he seems ill acquainted with. She gives him lively little instructions that don’t sound as if they are entirely in English, but mostly do, such as her oft repeated phrase “My toe, my toe.”


(excerpt) from Unglued

I suspect it was the coffee.

I was exuberant, a touch un-tethered. I wrote Bob a letter telling him a simple truth; that the sight of his wife’s ankles caused me to swoon. But not to the point of passing out, which of course he would have noticed, since he was standing by his wife at the time. For some reason, I thought he’d be glad to hear an honest, unfiltered confession from me; that it would draw us closer. And I meant the whole thing as a compliment to him. He had chosen her. Well done, I wanted to say. Bravo.

In the letter, I neglected to mention his ankles, which may be why I did not hear anything back.

whole story can be found on:

Is That What She Did? (or was it something else?)

She sends intensely brief emails that say something along the lines of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. It’s all I can do after seeing such an email to keep my bearings, steady my heart rate, curb my hyperventilating. Others can’t understand my reaction. They stand outside this intoxication, chatting with neighbors. Who knows what ‘others’ are up to? Why, they themselves are often bewildered. It’s not as though a missing piece of underwear implies a testy round of negotiations with a hostile entity, or a well-dressed extra-terrestrial for that matter.

It’s both that she never comes over, and is ever present in the new brevity of her electronic pronouncements. “Well,” Albert says, “showing up may be overrated.” Albert is who I have a beer with. I’m sure you can see why.

Who’s Albert? my wife wants to know.

(excerpt) Walk

Here he comes, a little wobbly. I knew him before when his step was steady enough. Steady enough that you’d never believe it would be as wobbly as this in no time at all, a handful of years. I spoke with his girlfriend back then. I don’t think there’s one now, but there might be. Just not one for public viewing, one tucked away maybe, where a wobbly man can find her. Anyway when I talked to the girlfriend I know for sure existed, the one from the past, when I spoke with her, she told me she really liked him, that he was a grown-up. That he wasn’t one of those men who needed a mother. I was impressed because I needed a mother. She was full in the hips that girlfriend, sexy in a can-do way. I like a can-do way you know, but it can be frightening. She had the way without the bells and whistles. Here I am, a woman. She was sexy in that kind of way, if you know what I mean. She was short, not too short. Just short. Is there a too short? Just so you know, I’m not saying there is. Anyway, shortish with the hips, plain spoken, intelligent. The kind of woman I’d like to meet now that I don’t want a mother so much.

(excerpt) Night Out

The young man is from a small town, not the romantic Americana version, not John Mellencamp’s version. Or maybe it was and he didn’t notice. But couldn’t this or something like it be said of all of us, inhabitants of small and big towns alike? You see what you see for the time being. And then that shifts, and you see something else. I’ve heard it referred to as travel. After a while you may get downhearted and not want to see much of anything, or you might swing the opposite way where your eyes and heart get so big, you can no longer measure the size of the town or anything else, and perception zeros in on no particular thing, just roams in easy pleasure across a landscape without a border. This border-less joy is not known to the young man, or perhaps it is known but he is forgetful, and like a person who can never remember where he left his keys, the young man likewise loses track of his uninterrupted happiness, which you may think is hard to do, but is it?


Every time a bra strap is adjusted, I plumb the depths of meaning. You call this exaggeration but you are in the other body. The view’s not clear from there either. We inhabit the same smoke and this touches us. From this touching the yarn is spun. Look at it as sweet mist. Wrap it around your unknowing. Have me hold the other end.






stray thoughts

Huddle of girls almost squashed together, diligently working, not sullen, purposeful. Arms above their heads, holding the great plate, the saucer of good size from which later, water is due to rise. I want to get to know them. It might be possible. In a way I cannot properly describe, we are already friends. They are made of stone. That’s a fact. There are three of them. I hear three is a number that matters. No combination of numbers has yet to deliver me.