I’m sitting at my desk on post-election day, reviewing eight pages of aborted paragraphs I’ve scribbled in my notebook, wrestling with the desire to communicate and connect with you, to say something important or useful or — if all else fails — something clever or entertaining. The eight pages have come up short on all fronts. I got bupkis. Continue reading
My mouth filled with keys to forgotten doors,
A 9-volt battery covering each eye,
Resting on a cushion of thrift store t-shirts
Cradling my sketchbook-stuffed corpse.
Balancing atop a shifting platform of scrap plywood,
Old books, rub-on lettering, and coffee mugs,
A choir of well-meaning friends will burst forth in joyful melody,
“Everything must go! Everything must go!”
And the mourners, bravely choking back their tears and regrets,
Will be required to take home a minimum of ten compact discs,
To be prominently displayed in their homes as a shrine
For the laughing dead man who never has to move again.
I am dreaming. I think about Lucinda Williams, and then I’m talking to her. I ask her if it’s difficult having such an unusual name. My sleeping brain constructs a dream-world where you need to possess a rock with your name written on it in order to have that name. There are name-rocks all over the place, but the polished Lucindas are rare gems, hard to find. Continue reading
The cowboy is tired and a bit cranky.
“Whaaat?” asks the spaceman in disbelief. “No, it’s cool! Like a mascot!”
They sit in the rear booth of the Stop-N-Go Diner just off of Route 28. Two cups of coffee rest on the table, surrounded by breakfast debris. Above the din of ordering, smalltalk, and determined mastication rises the tinny sound of that accursed “Life Is A Highway” song. It leaks out of the diner’s table jukeboxes, thirty-odd speakers radiating unspeakable brain damage. Continue reading
There’s an insidious monster whispering in the ears of amateur illustrators and designers, haunting Twitter feeds and blogs and tumblrs across the web. It isn’t an art movement or anything, it’s an internet trend. I have come to refer to it in my head as Stunt Design.
Stunt Design, n. The phenomenon of designers & illustrators creating gimmicky graphics purely in the hopes of ‘going viral’ on pop culture/arts blogs. Continue reading
It’s a blustery New England morning on Main Street. I inhale a chilly lungful of Monday, smug in the knowledge that, unlike west coast writers, I get to use words like “blustery.” I step into SIP for a coffee and a bagel. I’m not sure if all-capping SIP is required, but I do it because I dig their sign, which is all-caps, which is successful branding. Continue reading
6:59—By the time I make it to the bleachers, it’s the end of the second inning. The Valley Blue Sox versus the North Adams Guys Wearing Black Shirts. I’ve decided to catch a collegiate league baseball game as an excuse to get out of the house on a nice summer evening. I’m out of my element here, trying my best to blend in. I wear my Red Sox hat, so no one will point and scream at me like a bodysnatched Donald Sutherland. I sit on the bleachers, keep my head down, and write. I’ll probably get beaned. See? “Beaned.” That’s a baseball word. I know stuff. Continue reading
Before he was even out of bed in the morning, one of the first things on Jon’s mind was his bamboo plant. Not because he particularly cared about it, but because it was right there, a few feet from the foot of the bed, waiting for the blinds to be raised so it could get a little sunshine. Continue reading
It was an average night at the dead mall: the elderly were pocketing ceramic bird figurines while children were buying things with handfuls of pennies. Unknown brand names lined the shelves. The blank cassette tapes, hair scrunchies, and Virgin Mary nightlights were selling briskly. I answered customer inquiries such as “How much is this?” and “Is this a dollar?” and “How much would two of these cost?” Continue reading
We’re standing across the street from our house early on Sunday morning, surveying our grand 1/8th acre estate and discussing our yard work plans for spring. I tell Sarah I will be smarter this year and trim the hedge along the fence before it blooms. I realize that the phrase “nip it in the bud” has a real-world literal meaning. It had honestly never occurred to me before. Continue reading