A quick list of things you do not have to do

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  All that shit you hate, all the working and the laundry and the oil changes and the lawn maintenance, the picking up of dog shit, the attending of weddings and godawful graduation parties, the dentist appointments, the trip to the fuckin’ vet to get your beloved family pet put down.  You don’t have to be a father, you don’t have to be a husband.  You don’t have to set your alarm, get up before the sun, you don’t have to smile in the face of that asshole customer, the...

Better Now

There is this thing I do, where I take a feeling I have, or something I am thinking about or something that is bothering me, and I take that thing and I slice it up and I place it under a microscope, and I peer into it and there flayed on a  glass slide, lit from beneath, it looks all-important, encompassing, it looks monumental.  I do this, look at things too closely, examine them, analyze them, and see if there is some kind of truth to be found there, something to take away.  I blow these things out of proportion,...

The Moron Brothers (prologue)

What follows is the prologue for a novel I have started but never finished, before my current project took over my writing efforts entirely.  I wanted to post this because I think that the perception is that these things come easily and whole, that writing is somehow easy for those of us that do it, that a certain measure of success with the craft means that it is all fun and games for us.  It isn’t.  There are a lot of missteps and failures and garbage that has to come out before anything good happens.  Writing, if you take it...

Slam

I’m old now, and out of touch, but when we were kids we called it moshing, or slam, or maybe just the pit.  We didn’t really ever call it dancing, though that was what it really was, just a movement to the music, a release, an expression of ourselves, a bunch of lost kids, angry and disappointed with the world.  To an observer, it looks violent, and sometimes it is, if you get a drunk in there flailing his elbows around, or some tourist jock type dude that saw it on movies or something and just wants to push people around,...

Effigy

What you do when someone leaves you behind is, you dig a hole, you line it with rocks. You take the bricks left over from when you built that flower bed by the side of the house, you lay them out around the hole.  You don’t think about the flowers, you don’t think about how they died, how they didn’t get enough sun where you built the bed, how they withered and wasted away. You go inside and you gather all the things, the tiny hurtful things, the hair clip from between the cushions of the couch, the sock from...