Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Tonight for the first time
I looked at the horizon and
instead of stars I saw only
rows of lights strung in the trees
and for the first time I was scared
of what might be normal
to most people

Suggested track.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Facebook Collaboration

A collaboration with imagewizard and bootist and my Facebook friend Leslie Miller. Check her out at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For Those Who Have Too Much


for Apotemnophilia

You are the owner
Of 50 beautiful acres
And all you think about
Are the taxes

The land is fertile and to the southeast
And there you are certain
You have murders and clouds
And sand the color of incest

And somehow it’s you who are out of place
You who never once asked
Why your dreams are a two-way street
Why that dotted line makes all the difference

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Call

The clouds stretched lean and pink on the skyline and looked like the last layer before blood. The sharp, cold sting found his big toe again. Fifteen years in Minnesota and you’d think you'd learn. He had some decent boots, but he always grabbed his old ones out of habit. Catch your death a cold, his mother always said. He smiled at the thought of defying her. Mother Nature, too. Even if it was in some small way neither would ever know.

“Well, looky’ here. Thought you died, man.”

Jimmy’s voice was like a poke in the ribs. A regular’s regular with the kind of face police stuck in line ups just to throw you off.

“Hey, Jimmy.”

“Heard you was in the hospital or something.”

“Something like that, yeah.”

“Well, Rick got jumped the other night on his way home. Freakin’ stabbed, dude. Pete’s back in Club Med after he started another fight at Frank’s. What else. Oh. Jen. Remember that actor guy she was dating? Well, he knocked her up then took off. She said he moved to Hollywood. She’s been closing this place down pretty regular since. You’d think it was her first abortion or something.” Something small in Jimmy’s laugh said she had it coming.

“Huh. Dave know about it?”

“Dave.” Jimmy’s smile went limp. “Shit. Nobody knows, man. After Jen got pregnant he kind of lost it. Last I heard he moved to Portland. Became a preacher or something. A preacher. You believe that? Mr. T & A, himself.”

Somewhere in their collective imagination, the hardest drinker around was screaming fire and brimstone from the hood of his Mustang with a bottle of Jack in his hand.

“C’mon man. You got some catchin’ up to do.” Jimmy already had him by the elbow.

Pete in the penalty box, courtesy of the state. Poor ol’ Rick taking a blade in the dark. Jen filling the blank space with bad gin and cheap promises. And from the direction of sunset, the sound of an empty heart slowly filling with the love of God.

“You go on, Jimmy. I ain't feelin' too good. Think I’m getting sick. These damn boots.”

Jimmy shook his head in disappointment and disappeared into the bar and he watched the door a full minute before turning and heading down the alley toward home.

Inside Jimmy took a long drink of his beer and of the soft glow and noise all around him. Over that crowd he wouldn’t hear the struggle and muffled scream in the alley, just on the other side of the wall. The sound of another story waiting to be told.

“Preacher.” He snorted, ordering another before it was too late.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Self-Portrait #284:

The network of fine lines between his knuckles look thin and gray in the twilight. He opens and closes them and imagines dozens of tiny farmers working the barren fields in vain. A book falls shut. He tastes the smoke across the ridged roof of his mouth, trying to remember the first time. But it all blends like the shades of purple and red that have painted another October sky. Wonders why you would ever look back while falling. Cars and trucks heading south on the highway begin to turn on their lights in slow, random intervals. No new sounds. His mouth moves as he caresses his fingers, as if consoling them for the existence of time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Night Trekking

Have you ever found yourself walking your home at night?
Do you look at the shadows and let your mind wander
with you in the darkness, only to see that every thought,
every idea, every event for the calendar you've already done?

For a moment it's comforting, like that loved one sleeping.
But soon something begins, a feeling that you have moved on,
watching the things that remain slowly mature into stillness.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I once knew a guy had the heart of a broken poet.
You mean the broken heart of a poet.
No, I don’t.
He would say weird shit that didn’t make sense,
but seemed like it should.
And it always made me smile.

Screw you
he’d say, and stop patronizing me.
You wait. One day it will come out
just right. That Poe or Rilke or whoever
would get his shit together inside him.
One day I'd hear it the way it was meant,
and when that happened, all the shadows
drinking at my broken bar
would finally pay their bill.
We'd all get it like a strong FM station.
I'd try not to roll my eyes,
but believed him a little more each time.

See if you smile then,
mother fucker.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Some Grumpy's Nordeast Haiku

retro tee with vintage breasts

she slurs about carbon-based life
her jeans, the future of man

The next generation
denied at first becomes the future
old guard

father-son heart-to-heart
advice from the era of depression

save some for yourself

aging nordeast nights
seem like the tectonic version of fate
it is okay to change

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lucidity vs. Sincerity

"I'm interested in lucidity, not sincerity." ~Paul Valery to Andre Malraux (from Anti-Memoirs)

One immediately hears the record's hiss reading Valery's quote on Gide. This circular sarcasm lives just outside the music of his sentiment. For lucidity is the proposed aim of many a writer (and artist), though not at the vulgar expense of sincerity. They are not inviolate twins, but rather incestuous cousins who know all too well the circumstances of their bith. They do not show up randomly at the same parties, but rather find themselves drawn together by the nature of their features, however Photoshopped by semantics.

For me 'sincerity' speaks to a backhanded complement to the lucid. To see through the core yet present what is encountered within a soundtrack of earnestness. Translation for the naked truth. A marketing pitch to ensure the purchase is made and desired emotional investment is secured to reject the notion of return.

Sincerity, as Malraux goes on to comment, has taken a seat on the bridge of literature, as prose and poetry alike very often seem to require a caveat or affirmation of validity via the aura of good will, the assurance that the work in question is no accident and that any resulting consequences make the world a different, if not better, place.

The ambiance of Valery's remark must be enjoyed, as well. It is the kind of line one delivers in the presence of others. It resonates not in the head, not merely within the silent spaces we reserve for guilt, fear, the vagaries of love. It requires an echo off the culture at large, the individual to whom such a shot across the bow is launched for effect. Such a line is destined for memoirs and for random and invisible discussions such as this.

Just some thoughts on a line...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Enlightenment vs. Decay

Things that build up if left unattended. Books. Feelings. Chores. Fears. Dreams. Like stacks of produce that decay over time. But my fear of what they mean or bring is waning.

I am beginning to realize the strength of letting go and simply acting.

Appetites are in the hinterland, watching like cautious animals. Almost realizing incarceration as the world's response to abandon.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

dis intega tion looped

I imagined knocking over each of these facades, now cardboard and wood,
leaving me standing in a wide-open courtyard with no statues or objects
of any kind to consider or use to orient myself to size and
proximity. Judgment begins to flounder like the single pupil
determining distance without the aid of another. In this minimal
landscape I

am theonly point of ref

erencethe only point

to be

referenced. That's a tough role. I cannot help but think about the f
ace of my grandfather's horse
when you fed him. Like God somehow confident
in his sustainability through the small offerings
he knows will be given. I only
rode him once before we
both got old. In terms
of being broken, you could say we went our separate ways.

How wonderful this feeling, if it can be

of power and freedom, and this is exactly what I tell
myself myself as fear starts to set in and
I drop to the level beneath me

to let all my
pieces go

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

dis integra tion

It was while drinking an ice-cold glass of lemonade and staring out the open doorway into the street that I realized how easy it would be to just let go. Let go of everything and go crazy. I must have stared out that doorway ten minutes - listening to the crunchy ambiance of the winded leaves, the Brownian movement of birds on branches, ground and air - before the flash of a Caddy snapped me awake. Then. In that awkward moment of waking. The constructs of normalcy struck me, one by one, as strange props erected of math and color and idiomatic speech to lull me into acceptance. But now, with this dumbstruck state, I looked upon them anew, and they seemed nothing short of a malicious suitcase of lies.

I realized something else. In conjunction with this, I was suddenly floating in open water with no landmarks to guide me. Almost immediately I cycled through buoys of the old routine, the same old ciphers that reinforce the fundamental construct onto which the rest are placed like children's blocks. Now, however, they seemed like the cut-out dance steps of a ritual and stilted waltz. Frustration. Fear. I wanted to be dancing, not thinking. I tried to UNthink, to pretend I wasn't being carried down this current of disintegration. But all attempts found me carried faster, sinking deeper into the concentric spiral. They say quicksand takes you faster the more you struggle.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Tale of Twin Cities: The Saga Continues

A Tale of Twin Cities, a collaborative chapbook of poems about the Twin Cities was rejected by "Hot Off The" for the Soap Factory publishing initiative. The collection is still looking for a publisher.

More as the search continues...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Strong Hands in Seat 4-C

Last week I saw the race of man exposed in a casual gesture. It was like watching two maces tenderly wielded so you would forget what they're for. An athlete or a soldier, and I blushed at the way he used them to steel through the red hair of the woman beside him. Her eyes said clearly that she loved the suggestion of power they possessed. They were more than any of us, and I held them in a kind of bored contempt.

And, just like that, it was over. I felt it, even before the plane lurched into a dramatic pause, then into a future full of terrifying poetry. When the masks dropped from their holes like an toy accident, I couldn't help but laugh, because every part of this was together we were suddenly the same scared flesh with a common goal that would never be realized. And as I watched those strong hands in seat 4-C shake the air like dizzy maracas, the race of man changed inside me. Even now I am convinced they could have done more to save us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Sound of Crickets Chirping

"Handed Down", an ambient piece of short fiction, has been published at Dew on the Kudzu.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 Poems Published

A couple of pieces published over at Poem2Day.

Reading Carson McCullers and realizing what I don't like about her writing is what I don't like about my own.

Submitting more work lately. Prose.

If you are on Facebook, feel free to Friend me. I update my status with any new publication more often than I do here.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The woman at the table was about two-thirds.

With that I mean to indicate her place in the social order of table #8 in the restaurant. Directly before her sat all that stood in her way between her and prime matriarch status. One could easily discern her place through the hairstyles which were clear descendants of one another, as well as the very specific look she used against her elder when she spoke.
We're no stranger to it.
A mix of pained devotion and weedlike envy. It speaks of many things the tree of life lets you grow untended without question. Two-Thirds, in reply, idles at her awkward pole position. First attendant at the suspended casket not yet upon them. She rations respect and rebellion in measures dictated by convention. Mouth full, she offers value-added statements to meant complement the mother tongue. She is afforded a number of practiced motions that imply her place in line.

The cut-off:
by reason of youthful insanity in the presence of the crone

The addition:
empirical proof that education is not always laid to waste against the rigors of real life.

The dismissal:
risking disrespect, this tactic leverages familial closeness and the playful dynamic that speaks to the former this late in the game

Seated some feet away behind the elder, I have a clear view of Two-Thirds. Her face reveals everything by necessity. It smiles and winces with grey adjectives rooted deep in the lines that make her face 'complex' in the light of my simplistic Gestalt understanding. Some forms are blessed with large eyes and a supporting cast of minimal features. Together they offer the viewer an easily digestible set of shapes to engender closeness. Think babies. Think Bugs Bunny. Think any one of a million Anime hotties. Eyes, lips, nose. These intentially basic features are often used in film to depict beauty and, thereby, goodness. There is nothing complext about the visage of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, Bambi for that matter. Complexity, on the other hand, is the domain of darkness, as if only the simple shall win or be saved. However, Two-Thirds is beset with a number of unfortunate equations. The distance between eyes and nose, divided by the circumfrance of the cheek, multiplied by a lip-chin metric that makes me uneasy about life. Her head metronomes at even left and right angles of 45 degrees of understanding, with all horizontals of her face seemingly elongated. Think artificial horizon. Think overcompensation. Think early figure sketches to illustrate perspective. They are all here fully manifest and sharp enough to slice through the years left before she takes her place on the other side of the table, watching her own daughter's face lose its virginity to the passage of the torch.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hard Pressed Colors

He slumped into the water a couple of inches and let his lids fall shut. He felt the heat of the water suffuse his legs and the water itself cool in response. He drew his hands up and onto his closed eyes and enjoyed the sensation of wet heat on his cheeks and checked vision. He pressed, and the day began to lose credibility. He pressed, and blues, reds, and yellows exploded like Dr. Seuss dandelions before a dark tan backdrop. It was small, but it was his. He pressed so the heat would crawl from the legs up to his head and into his brain, warming all thoughts moving forward. He pressed until he was sure he controlled the the sound of colors all over the world, save for the shade of sorrow he knew to be but one room over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Tale of Twin Cities and More

Local poet Alex Stolis and I are finishing up a chapbook of poems on Minneapolis and St. Paul

A Tale of Twin Cities, Vol. I

Here's a sneak peak:

Walker Art Center

all that matters is that you’re okay baby

The gallery will close soon; its cold and our coats need to be rescued
from the coat check. Her hand slides into my back pocket, as our hips
sway together, she turns her head to kiss me. She’s a wanna be lover,
nobody’s child, an artist who don’t look back. Her smile reminds me
of the time we spent at Aqua City. I was out of cigarettes, flat broke
and blinded by a charred sun. We were hypnotized by the slow ballet
of our bodies. Left the room before shadows could lengthen and stretch
the story into third person versions of bleeding. The sculptured garden
offers a view of the downtown skyline. We are bound and determined
but too far apart to be together.

Working on putting together a release event, finding a publisher, and ways to make it value added. Check back here for more information. We expect it to be May.

Other News:

"Song of the Alley", a short nonfiction piece of mine will be featured in the April issue of Eclectic Flash (

A chapter of my work-in-progress, Still Life, will be submitted to a Barry Hannah short story competition ending March 31.

I leave you with a line from Robert Green Ingersoll, Civil War Veteran and noted orator in the Golden Age of Freethought.

“Heresy is the eternal dawn, the morning star, the glittering herald of the day… It is the perpetual New World, the unknown sea, toward which the brave all sail. It is the eternal horizon of progress…Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy, a coffin.”

—Robert Green Ingersoll

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On Fiction and Reality

The reason I have trouble crafting stories is simple. I have little concept of how people react in a given situation. This is key in creating meaningful stories with believable characters. To do this one needs to do what seems almost impossible: fully live in the world while having the cognitive distance to observe and retain the nature and form of its machinations. My attempts have manifested as false reality or, at best, experimental.

I want to whisper this to strangers on a train. I want them to understand without pity. I want to feel something other than egoism for worrying about it so much. I've always thought treated field recordings possess a certain breath that overly produced songs do not. White noise that improves. It should be a balance. I've no desire to sit and warble in the kudzu. Nature does that well enough already.

I want to see a light somewhere up the far end of the street, a light that shows me exactly the new form this work should take. It has to be a new form that fits, not a consolation for inability. I want this form to be so perfectly timed that the whole of me can gush forth in fearless orgasm that wants to beget, validate all hidden explorations, actively seek out hand-crafted effigies and take them to town as proof that the hills are good for more than just retiring.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Paper Darts Writing Contest...Not too Late

Just wanted to let my few blog followers know about a writing contest I enter occassionally over at Paper Darts Magazine's Facebook page. They provide a prompt and conestants submit an entry up to 1000 characters on the page's wall.

This time the prompt is to write an obit for an inanimate object. Those who know me well could see the wheels clunking in my brain. Yes, I wrote about killing a beer.

There is still time to vote on my or any of the other entries. The voting stops at 11:59 p.m. CST today, Feb. 4, so head on over now. Here's what you need to do to vote:

1. Go to the magazine's Facebook page: .
2. Become a fan of the page (required to vote).
3. Scroll down the page's wall and read the entries.
4. Vote at will.
5. Mine is entitled "Local Beer Killed", and is located about halfway down the page.

Thanks for your consideration. I hope you find it enjoyable. More next week.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New, Leafy Vignette Published at Paper Darts

Newish local literary magazine.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Year. New Energy. New Focus.

Truth: I had meant to write a long piece here on January 1 on my new sense of direction, of energy. I blinked and January is gone. I see. That's how it is going to be. Okay, I'll just have to pay closer attention.

I will not bore you with the activities of the previous year. Suffice it to say that ducks were aligned, energies stoked and stored away. Muscles stretched and warmed appropriately.

This year is the important thing, is the year of doing. I have plans and am taking steps to make these plans come to fruition. No excuses. No fear. One of these plans is to maintain this venue of writing more committedly. I write by hand nearly every day, however, so little finds its way here. I want to share my thoughts and creative works with you, and I need to show it.

Starting today, I will update this journal every week with new material. Flash fiction, poetry, essay, meandering thoughts. It will all be here. It will be the best illustration of what is going through the errant circuitry upstairs. I will update on publication and on insights. Should I manage to chat with Buddha, I'll pass along his best wishes.

That said, Happy New Year. Let's make this the best one so far.