Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Crime Novel

Here's the cover, big  thanks to Audree Flynn. The book will be available soon.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

14 Story Starts



Yesterday I discovered a forgotten file labeled "Story Starts" on my desktop computer. Stories I began but never completed. Some of them were only one or two sentences, others made it to multiple paragraphs. I'm never going to finish them but I don't want them to go to waste either so I thought I'd post them here. I like vomit.


 1) I remember being in Arkansas in 1972. My grandfather took me to a carnival. I was five. I begged him to let me ride the bumper cars.

 2) I have a lot of shelves in my life. I used to keep all my movies in one room and all my books in the other. One day, I decided to switch. I needed whiskey to give me the courage to move all my books into one room and all my movies into the other room. It took me all day and I got very drunk. Finally, I had all my bookshelves in front of me.

3) I need to disappear if I can.

4) It was Show Off Your Horse Day at the hospital. I was there sucking up some good old chemotherapy when my nurse, Felicia, came into my room, leading a great brown mare.

5) My nurse was sexually attractive but she kept sticking me with needles, filling my veins with nausea-inducing chemicals and monitoring my urine output. I didn’t stand a chance. I was in love.

6) She had strange desires, fetishes that were unusual for a woman. She liked 

7) Sad Jean. We called her “Sad” Jean because she always looked so sad. Her very cells moped with misery. She always wore a tragic expression. We called her husband “Weird Beard” because he had a thick bristling beard and acted weird. He’d served in Vietnam and wore sandals with black socks. He would laugh before he said something, like “Hahaha how ya doin’?”. “Hahaha what can I getcha?”
     Weird Beard and Sad Jean worked for Sad Jean’s father at a honkytonk-type bar called Johnny Cag’s. There was no Johnny Cag. I am uncertain as to the origin of the name.

8) She kept the salamander in her mouth for ten minutes before the shock of the reveal. She came up to me, smirking, winking and then she stuck out her tongue and there it was, a little green salamander.

9) The guy just flopped down and died. Well, he didn’t just die. He had people who fell upon him after he collapsed and they pinched his nipples and made instant scars with razor blades and the guy bled real good.
     It wasn’t until his bowels collapsed that we (the audience) knew the truth.
     He was a famous chef. He swept the floor. He gathered dust. He said hello. He asked questions. He had questions asked of him. He pushed a broom. 

10) Romita buzzed my doorbell at two in the morning.  I was already up so I pushed the button. “Yeah? Who’s this?”
     “Romita! Let me in!”  
     I buzzed her up.
     Romita was a woman. I put on my pants.
     My apartment (at the time) was a tiny sculpture of a children’s hospital.  I rarely had visitors. I could hear Romita’s footsteps gaining on me. She entered my apartment, shedding forensic evidence all over the place. She coughed like a helicopter. 

11) The most hateful job I ever endured was when I worked for a small telephone company in 2003. The company had absorbed a bankrupt competitor and then laid off 99% of the dead company’s workforce. It was my job, as Inventory Clerk, to go to the offices of the bankrupt company and inventory the furniture. So there I was, surrounded by the long faces of employees whose lives had been thrown into frightening uncertainty, while they packed up their belongings. I had to go around counting chairs and measuring desks. I have never felt such hate in my life.
     “Excuse me sir, I need to measure your desk?”

12) The Captain stood musing on the deck of the S.S. Insomnia, large calloused hands clasped behind his back; a stoic, composed deportment he’d rehearsed at home. A band of small blue islands appeared along the seam between sea and sky. The islands (six in all) had been built by the Soviets in the fifties as decoys. The purpose for the islands remained a mystery. Until now.

13) Heavy rain fell on the escaped squirrel monkey as it sat crouched at the edge of the McDonald’s parking lot. It could smell the food even through the rain. It was the summer of 1968, night. The monkey had been ordered from an ad in the back of a comic book and brought into the Brooklyn home of young Billy Hoban and his family. The monkey lived there for three days before it escaped. It escaped through a window screen. There was a small tear in the screen and the monkey just ripped it wide enough to climb through.
     The world was full of noise and movement.
     The monkey climbed to the top of the McDonald’s Dumpster. It could smell the food inside and it searched for a way in, pulling on the Dumpster lid. But it was bolted closed. The monkey sat in the rain. Its stomach raged. Finally, it warily crept toward the McDonald’s, the smell of food driving it forward, the monkey’s savage hunger imparting bravery. The monkey stationed itself by the door and waited.
     Eventually, someone came out and the monkey darted through the open door.

14) I like hazardous, abandoned places. I remember, as a kid, visiting a rotted old house deep in the woods. It had stood since the Gilded Age. It had been broken into so many times that you didn’t need to actually break anything to get inside anymore. Every window had been smashed clear. The front door had rotted off its hinges and lay over the front steps like someone’s idea of a disability joke. There was a yawning hole in the roof like a mouth with a tongue of insulation sticking out. Inside were shards of glass from the windows and the rocks and chunks of brick that had shattered them. The carpets held more mildew than fibers. The walls were probably filled with nests but the house was devoid. It was impossible to imagine anyone living there. Even its memories had been stolen in the thorough and pitiless ransacking. It was not even a home to ghosts.
      The walls were heavily decorated (violated) with graffiti and fist-sized holes. Crumbles of horsehair plaster lay scattered on the floors. 

Another regular at The Membranous Lounge 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

How We Doing, Frank?


Victor, one of the bartenders at The Membranous Lounge.

This is the sweetest setup we ever had. The following story is lead, it's cottage cheese, it's a burning sensation in your urethra. It's included in the cold, black book, LEAVES FROM THE SMORGASBORD! Available now!



FAMILY AFFAIR
Sebastian Cabot, dressed in his immaculate Mr. French wardrobe, cane in hand, strolls the summer-baked streets between Family Affair takes. It is the last season of the show and the year of the gypsy moth plague. Trees weep, stripped of leaves, hanging with gauzy cotton tents that pulse and spill with thousands of furry larval bodies. The asphalt is paisley with multihued, traffic-flattened caterpillars and Mr. Cabot studies them like a secret language only he understands.
     He stops at an intersection. His face drains. The dead caterpillars spell out a fearsome message about Anissa Jones.   
     And Sebastian Cabot weeps like the trees. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mourning the Lost Clamp of the Turtle's Jaw

Yet another denizen of The Membranous Lounge!

Kirton updated his Amazon page. Lame!

My roommate was swaddled in kelp,  his rushing lungs transmitting hot vaporous disease. Fissures under his eyes spelled out dead code. He was paying the price for eating too much deviled ham.. "The aroma itself is nourishing," he said, lacking a self.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Automatic in a Glittery Las Vegas Bathroom


The last time I was at the barber shop I found an old Men’s Daring magazine from the early 60’s. It was buried under the golfing magazines. I wondered what it was doing there. Inside was an article called How to Sin like Errol Flynn but I didn’t have time to read it before my haircut was ready.


Link to a Treasure

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Goin' Coconuts!



He wore a bitter, taciturn expression on his eighty-two-year-old face as he reached for the fuzzy brown coconut right there in the grocery store. He brought it (the coconut) up to his ear and shook it. There was a churning liquid sound inside. He placed the coconut back among the others, picked up a second, shook it. The sound it made was low, a bass sound. There was a sticker on the hairy shell. The sticker depicted a cartoon coconut with a face. He grabbed another coconut and shook it beside his ear. The fluid inside sounded viscid and dark. There was something primordial about the sound. Coconut milk from the dawn of time. This was the one.
     When he got the coconut home he lit a Camel (he didn’t believe smoking was unhealthy and he pointed to his advanced age as proof), and opened the coconut with a hammer and chisel.
     His daughter, who had perished in 1984 due to cervical cancer was inside (in curled fetal form) and he reached for another beer and began to weep.
     Then he ate the coconut.
This picture of Lori Saunders has nothing to do with anything.