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.