In the Lake – in Word Riot

Let me tell you about the time Samantha came up from the lake. We didn’t know where she was. It was long past midnight and our fire had dwindled to coals that burned orange in the wind. But it was hot summer time, August, and the fire was for a place to gather more than warmth, for something to huddle around, something to do, but we’d found other things to do by then. So had Samantha.

Some people just did shit like that. Took off. Had midnight backwoods vision quests. Figured it was Sam’s turn. No one was watching her. Surely not me. Not Mike. We were lying on the dirt looking up at the stars rapping about aliens and life and feeling the life in us like the heat of liquor going down your throat, but more, everywhere. Each cell lit up, hot, alive. We were like aliens that might find another planet someday, that some other consciousness might be imagining from their own terra firma, and we were aliens to the whole ordeal and undertaking of making a life for yourself. Such pressure in every decision. The future was ours to imagine, but we didn’t want to plan and imagine and fucking decide. We wanted to be. That book Be. Here. Now. made it all seem so simple. It wasn’t simple for us. It wasn’t probably feeling so fucking simple for Sam. . . .

Read the rest at Word Riot.

Writing Triumph – in Bleed

The year my dad died, I was taking writing classes at University of Chicago. I was twenty-two and I wanted to be a writer. But let me clarify. I didn’t want to write. Writing was hard. Writing meant sitting alone in my apartment, something I already did more than I wanted to. But being a writer — being responsible for the pages clasped in the hand of readers as they run off to catch the bus or to find a quiet nook where they can thumb through the pages and pick back up on listening to this new intimate, this writer, this voice in their heads. I wanted someone to take in my words with the same longing and satisfaction that I felt when I read Hemingway or Austen or Tim O’Brien. I wanted to be one of them, only I wanted to do as little as possible of the actual writing. Every time I wrote something in those beginning years, it felt like the most dramatic triumph. Up to that point, not writing was what I knew. I didn’t know anything else. . . .

Read the rest at Bleed.

Punk Shows Are Like That – in Hypertext

Punk shows are like that. The guys that you know just well enough to fear are all in the crowd. They’re the hookups, the ones with the weed and the acid. They rage just a few feet away, circle jerking, moshing, shoving strangers, elbowing dudes in the face. You are in awe of them. You couldn’t get in there and do that. Here’s where your women’s lib stuff breaks down. Here’s where you feel the raw strength of men, and you feel, even though you are wearing baggy jeans, a loose T shirt and not one fucking speck of makeup, here’s where you feel that, yes, they are more powerful than you. Yes, you’re a pussy, and there’s no getting around it. . . .

Read the rest at Hypertext.

Clouds in the Street – in Contrary Magazine

This medina, maybe it’s not so special, but it’s mine. I’ve seen the dust rise from my brother’s running kicks and the broom-swept clouds of my mother’s strength gather in the street’s breeze and settle in a slow, thin sheath over the pathways and the courtyards of this village. I know this place like the soul of a friend. I know the fire-colored mountains from which these rocks were taken—the rocks that built the streets, the walls, the gates. I know the lava-like settling of the mortar between the stones, and these fingers have run across its rises and dips each twenty years of my life. Hundreds of stones I know. . . .

Read the rest at Contrary Magazine.

Then There Were Three – in Hair Trigger 33

Who knew that a three-acre property with a stream in the back and a spacious two-story home with a slate fireplace and all could squinch up into hardly an inch of space and be sucked up and back into the galaxy as if it never existed in the first place? The climbing tree in front of the house folds and twists until it’s a speck of flashing phosphorescence like the inside of a firefly. The tulips along the driveway splinter into butterfly wings and retreat in a fury of flutters. Whoowit! All of it sucked away. . . .

Read the rest here.