Thursday, December 30, 2010


"A las nueve o diez noches comprendió con alguna amargura que nada podía esperar de aquellos alumnos que aceptaban con pasivided su doctrina y sí de aquellos que arriesgaban, a veces, una contradicción razonable.  Los primeros, aunque dignos de amor y de buen afecto, no podían ascender a individuos; los últimos preexistían un poco más."
-Jorge Luis Borges, "Las ruinas circulares"

After nine or ten nights, he understood with a certain sorrow that he could expect nothing of those students who accepted his doctrine with passivity, but that he could from those who sometimes risked to contradict him reasonably.  The former, though worthy of love and affection, couldn't ascend to the level of individuals; the latter pre-existed a bit more.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life on Mars?

"Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.  In either case the idea is quite staggering."
-Arthur C. Clarke

finger food

Monday, December 27, 2010

Where I want to live

Somewhere where there are fireflies, there are mountains, and there is ocean.  I want my bathroom to have an open shower and a huge separate bathtub.  I want piles and piles of books and a pool.  And a breakfast room.  Somewhere where there are distinctive summers and winters - where it snows enough to play in.  Quiet, far away from neighbors (so that I can also be loud).  Maybe there will fruit trees in the kitchen.  Large windows.  A fireplace or wood stove.  A spiral staircase.  Large bed.  Lots of pillows.  A room with a nice desk and lots of bookshelves.  A record player.  Walking distance from a small town, driving distance from a big city.  A lawn that doesn't need mowing.  Tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce growing in the backyard.  Wild berries.  A very full wine rack.  Lots of art on the walls.  Walls painted bold colors.  A porch or deck or patio - probably a deck.  And fireflies.

"That is a nice short version, you wanna pick it up?"

"Was it too short?  Well, if I feel like my song is sung, I don't care if it's short.  And I feel like my song is sung."

-Johnny Cash, after singing "You are my Sunshine" on Cash Unearthed

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you have no Oscar Wilde, we won't Ezra Pound

"We need to make books cool again.  If you go home with somebody and they don't have good books, don't fuck them."
-John Waters

Overambitious and immeasurable

"Overambitious projects may be objectionable in many fields, but not in literature.  Literature remains alive only if we set ourselves immeasurable goals, far beyond all hope of achievement."
-Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the New Millennium

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working on my paper

Taking notes on Of Grammatology.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dancing lessons

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."
-Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, December 12, 2010


"Well, that's what we want.  We want people to shit themselves."
-Britt Daniel (of Spoon)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


When I got you into exotic-looking girls Quixotic with my curls psychotic when unfurled narcotic pearls hypnotic twirls symbiotic erotics give it a whirl.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Worst way to die

"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to of insects."
-Charles Darwin, age 18 at Cambridge in a letter to his cousin

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Right now

Drinking a beer given to me by my ex (cleaning out the fridge) while reading a book lent to me by my favorite professor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Throw everything in the world

"You pricks can throw everything in the world, and your girlfriend will still love me.”
-Iggy Pop, in response to audience members throwing bottles, cans, etc. at the stage during the Stooges’ last performance, Detroit, 1974

Last words during that performance:
"You nearly killed me, but you missed again, so you'll have to try next week."

Sunday, October 17, 2010


"How many people have you fallen for?"
"Too many."
"And how many is that?"


Here is the story of my parents' engagement: my mom proposed.  Or, rather, she told my dad that unless he married her, she wanted to date other men.  He went for a walk, came back, and said, "Okay, let's get married."

My parents tell this story over and over, laughing at how unromantic, how like her, how like them.  They've been married for almost thirty years.

When I told the boy I was in love with this story, he said, "That's beautiful."

"What?" I said, "No, it's not."

"Yes it is.  All he needed was a walk, and then he knew."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


No el poema de tu ausencia,
sólo un dibujo, una grieta en un muro,
algo en el viento, un sabor amargo.
-Alejandra Pizarnik, "Nombrarte"

My rough translation:

"Naming you"
Not the poem of your absence,
only a drawing, a crack in a wall,
something in the wind, a bitter taste.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


"[I]t is a salient feature of human life, as the novels present it, that it is lived only once, and in one direction."
-Martha Nussbaum, "Love's Knowledge"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Surprise & Delight

“If you set out to write a poem about two dogs fucking, and you write a poem about two dogs fucking, then you’ve written a poem about two dogs fucking.”
-Gerald Stern

I found this in a George Saunders essay.  The point being, good writing should take the writer (and reader) somewhere they didn't expect to arrive.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The cute guy at Mustard's

This is an account of the most perfect and idealized relationship of my life: my exchanges with the cute guy at Mustard’s.  I have been back home for a month and have visited my old greasy, delicious haunt once.  The cute guy was not there.  I'm terrified to go back and learn what is likely the truth: I've lost him.

I do know the cute guy at Mustards’ name. I do not call him by his name. I learned his name by accident, when another guy who worked at the hotdog/burger joint Mustard’s Last Stand called him by name and I overheard. It’s Isaac, but that doesn’t matter unless someday I come back and he’s not working there one time too many and I have to ask the person taking my order if Isaac is still around. Until then, he will always be, variously, the cute guy at Mustard’s, the cute Latino guy at Mustard’s, the Mustard’s guy, and maybe the love of my life.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

That word has been my whole life

"I like the word 'jazz'! That word has been my whole life. I understand the cats when they take exception to the name... But to me, that's my whole life."
-Dexter Gordon

Friday, June 11, 2010

Max and Therése, both age 5, meet and fall in love

“Your mom’s voice is weird.”
- “No it’s not.”
“Yes it is.”
- “No it’s not.”
“Where’s she from?”
- “France.”
“Is that where you’re from too?”
- “Kinda. We go there sometimes.”
“What’s it like there?”
- “It’s not very different. They eat different things. Where are you from?”
- “Oh.”
- “…”
“Want to see me be a ninja?”
- “No.”
“Oh. Why not?”
- “My mom tells me ninjas are dangerous.”
- “You could be a superhero though.”
“Yeah! Okay.”
- “Who’s your favorite superhero?”
- “Me too! What’s your favorite color?”
“Green. You?”
- “Purple.”
“What’s your favorite animal?”
- “Does a unicorn count?”

Monday, June 7, 2010

From the copyright page of McSweeney's Issue Three:

"Is love permanent, like stains, and some kinds of magic marker? Yes, but it changes, in intensity and hue, like toys left in the sun."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Life is like a typographica lerror

“I was typing in your room and I was misspelling so many words but I didn’t want to interrupt and annoy you with correcting things over each other. Oh my God. That sounds like a profundity to me! Life is like a typographical error: we’re constantly writing and rewriting things over each other” –Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

Friday, June 4, 2010


In the context of what’s going on in my life right now, this article I found on Nerve recently struck me. Whether or not it’s creepy or illuminating or both, I certainly thought it was interesting.

After reading it, I wrote in my notebook, “Here’s a writing exercise. If a real human connection is impossible (but anything is possible in fiction), make one happen. What would one look like?”

What is the closest approximation to actually connecting?

All I Want

Is to be a little kid with Batman pajamas. Is that too much to ask??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


“There are mistakes by the thousands waiting for writers to make them, a thousand bad ideas in ambush.”
-PF Kluge, Alma Mater

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


A half-wild peacock and a winded dog took to talking late in a hotel bar, neither as drunk as they pretended to be. The dog wheezed a hello and the peacock nodded and allowed him to buy her a drink. “I’m falling into a life crisis,” the peacock said. The dog thought that might signal an in, so he ordered another round and they moved to a booth.

The peacock wore earrings of the sort he could never buy her and a strapless sheath that left her shoulders exposed as warm, naked pearls under the lights. The hound only looked good when his face was touched with stubble and his clothes ruffled. Though he knew that she deigned to talk to him only because she was desperate, he still appreciated it. He had been desperate for a long time, and he could see that she was new to it.

“The relationship’s been bad for about two years,” she said as soon as they’d sat down.

“How long has it been a relationship?”

“About two years.”

He nodded. “He buy you those earrings?”

“You want them?” she asked. The dog shook his head.

“He’s married,” he half-asked.

“No, he was only married for the first year.”

“She die or leave him?”

“No. He left her.”

“For you?”

“For him.”


“For a while, I thought it meant things would change.” He nodded to show he was listening and had nothing to say, held his hand up for the waiter.

“They are nice earrings, though,” the peacock said, stroking one, looking at it. It was a tower that stretched halfway to her collarbone, a portal for the eyes to glide on along her neck. “Nice dress, too.”

“It ain’t money that makes a man,” said the dog.

“I prefer whiskey to champagne.”

“That,” he said, “I can get you,” and motioned for the waiter again.

She smiled, “I wonder if I’m older than you.”

“Either way, talking ‘bout that will just depress both of us.”

“What kind of girl do you like?” the peacock asked.

The dog chewed his lip and leaned back in thought. “Take the earrings off,” he said.

When the waiter finally came, they asked for the check.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hey there

I feel like I should say something introductory. Just as I used to introduce myself to the first page of each new notebook when I was younger, listing my name, my age, the things most important to me, and as I now, in starting a new notebook, try to spit some kind of “Hello” or write something brief and lame about new notebooks or writing.


I was supposed to get a blog in December, as the Christmas present for a friend of mine. I was also encouraged by a former and favorite professor to get my name out by this small means as someone who hopes one day to make money by writing.

This blog comes out of dreams that someone of some worth in the literary world will stumble upon my writing and think something not so bad of me.

I haven’t yet looked up the specifics of copyright laws w/r/t blogs, but my guess is that they’re something like, “We won’t/can’t do anything to protect the idiots who decide to post their stories/poems/etc. in a forum where anyone can see them for free.” I am, of course, loath to put any of my few literary babies up here for display, but I’m sure my ego’s too big not to share a smattering of shitty poems.