Category: journalish

I was tired. All we have is this moment, and, at times, I was sick of more or less mechanically asserting the liberating quality of this fact, each time proffering it as something new, fresh, vivid, like a sad small town huckster, which I suppose was due to the default sense of that fact’s terrifyingness […]

An old man approached me at the gym as I was catching my breath between sets on the leg press. As I pulled the tiny speaker from my left ear to give him precisely half of my attention, I more than half expected to hear something about the amount of weight I had on the […]

Filling page after page with half-thoughts is both an affront to writing and essential to the practice of it. It takes time to cook up something good, and sometimes we have it, sometimes we don’t. What spooks me is a certain flatness, apathy, lethargy, whereby the impulse to pursue an idea or sensation or line […]

Last night was the last night in that apartment I’d tell people was down by the Stadium and the Convention Center when they asked “where do you live” because the Stadium and Convention Center are landmarks and most people wouldn’t know the cross streets anyway. Now comes relief, and I don’t mind saying that. New […]

Here’s an idea: Write the story of this move we’re making to a completely different neighborhood, different part of the city that’s technically not even part of the city where city people go to be out of the city but still close to it because that’s a natural progression and a better way to raise […]

So I got the job. At first I was mad, as if some principle had been violated, as if I’d been slighted, as if it was an offense or an affront or a dis. Then I was sad, as if I’d been uprooted, or would have to uproot, leaving the home I finally made for […]

Not enough, not enough, not enough, not enough. Never enough. Work-life balance. Work-life integration. That’s all well and good but. What about. You should. Why? No reason, really. It’s just what “what we do,” just how “the world works.” The Path People have always seemed odd to me, even misled. I’m talking about the ones […]

I was sick. Sometimes I think it’s too bad I don’t really write poetry. This may or may not be one of those times. Sometimes I think it’s too bad I find such pleasure in simple ambiguity. It’s like finding freedom in the lost and found. True to irregularity, the cruelest joke to play. The […]

Make it sound. Sounding is being, and he must be other than some slight linguistic variation of me. He’s from there but not from there. He’s a late arrival and they get him. They came of age together. They welcomed him in despite his streaks of otherness, streaks they ascribe to personality more than birthplace. […]

Yesterday was a long day and that thing I wrote was not. It—the thing—was written several days ago, mostly, so all I did was stare at it for ten minutes to see if it would change, then posted it because it didn’t. It felt darker and more negative than I did—I mean it felt like […]

But I write how I write and say what I say the way(s) I want to say it. Too many fucks, though, perhaps. You think? Perhaps I should clean it up some. Perhaps. Did you know a cop was shot and killed downtown last week? A commander, in fact, right on fucking the sidewalk by […]

STOP WRITING SO MUCH ABOUT WRITING. It says that in my notebook and it has a point. Who wants to read writing about writing? Writers, and people who want to be. I am both of those kinds of people, so it does make some sense that I’d write what I’d like to read. But what […]

Rather than finding reasons to dismiss, keep finding ways to contribute. Don’t pull away and judge from a self-made haven of dissatisfaction and personal ire. Instead, remember to see these people as people, as simple, regular, ordinary people, no side-taking. That was my note to self a few days ago. Then, Friday, I woke up […]

As a prosaic poetics would posit, B would not have happened without A (with A being negative in the realm of outcomes and occurrences and B being positive). We tell ourselves these stories all the time. But it’s not a matter of one singularity leading to another. It’s multiplicity, with a single person in the […]

I don’t want to hear any more about “fast-paced, high-energy environments.” These job descriptions make the experience sound like being locked in a bucks booth and forced to grab frantically at all the fleeting, flying, maddeningly fluttering cash. Maybe I don’t want your damn cash (I do, at least some of it, but not at […]

Work for a man with no sense of past. Another thought about time last night but I can’t recall. It was a good thought, in another register, not my usual. Anymore, these only come in dreams. Short prose-poetry cuts in and speaks a demanding Dostoevskian poetics of opening. At least as much is revealed through […]

The Midwest isn’t as charming as many of its inhabitants seem to believe. It’s insular and folksy and nativistic. It’s welcoming to newcomers, so long as they’re willing to incorporate themselves under a mutual disdain for/dependence upon the weather and a vital middleness in nearly all its forms. Placement, outlook, class-identification, cuisine. It looks in, […]

In my first full week of unemployment since, I don’t know, maybe 2010, I applied for roughly 7,000 jobs and realized I should start titling these little dailies. That’s about it. If any of you out there want my résumé, you can’t havé it. Unless, of course, you’d like to cut it up into a […]

Well, I suppose this is the gist of it. Some stuff on weekdays and other stuff on the weekends. And audiences. People who read my weekday stuff may choose to also read my other stuff. Or vice versa. It’s the versa I enjoy, though a little vice can too be nice. The problem with writing […]

The reading list is getting longer and stranger. By “the” I mean “my.” How about a list? Everyone likes lists: The Idiot, Fyodor Known and Strange Things, Teju Cole South of the Border, West of the Sun, Murakami The Complete Fairy Tales, Grimm The Great Enigma, Tomas Tranströmer The Captive Mind, Miłosz Guermantes Way (for […]

It’s good to take a vacation. On a vacation, writing might happen. But I was just away. When you’re away, so is writing. I could blame California, because that’s where I was a few weeks ago. Los Angeles, specifically. I hadn’t been there in years, and never before spent time in downtown LA. I was there […]

When the universe says jump, you a) hesitate, b) stumble, c) stand still and wait for it to tell you why, or d) fucking jump. My friend and I were abruptly fired from jobs we disliked with different companies at the same time on the same day. Yesterday, around 10:30 a.m., to be precise. We […]

Since it’s the last day of the current month and we’re on the topic of great ideas on Sunday mornings, let’s flash back to the last day of the previous month. On the morning of Sunday, December 31, 2017 I had a thought as I listened to a Paris Review podcast in bed: I should do podcasts. […]

Today is Tuesday but the other day it was Sunday, and morning. I woke up and said “let’s have some Irish Whisky,” but I spelled it -ey in my head and she didn’t notice. It was about taking back some kind of control. The whiskey, I mean. Like a little ante meridian drunkenness would really […]

Tomorrow is my birthday. My birthday is tomorrow. Either way, I’ll be older than I am today, just like today I’m older than I was yesterday. They call this logic, yes? Or rhetoric. I haven’t learned much over the years, least of all to worry too much about counting them. There was a time when… […]

Not long ago I read that prize-pony book by Junot Díaz and found myself feeling a whole heritage I don’t remember and couldn’t possibly, a language of life not my own and yet so infinitely recognizable that I’m using it now as a long way of saying you showed us what kindness and hope and […]

From chaos and conflict to harmony. See chaos and know the underlying harmony. Connect with it. The path, the way, they say. Maybe it starts with that bad story I wrote a few years ago about a sidewalk encounter, the one I once upon a time shared with my long lost friend in Mexico who […]

I think sometimes of her parents. How her dad was a public defender and her mom a schoolteacher on the southside of Chicago. But more like “that,” though, more “that” than “how.” I know the that and can only make up the how and now feel compelled to apologize for the “ “ but this […]

Some might say I lack enthusiasm. To some I’d say I don’t wanna. There are two rails on which my life runs, academic (ha!) and artful (double ha!), linear and squiggly, but I tend to end up straddling the third and we all know where that leads, treading lightly fearful falling from where I belong […]

Not sure why I do this, why I keep coming here to make words thinking they’re worlds or might be if rightly strung together. It’s like thinking if you throw shit at the wall long enough it’ll eventually make art as long as you learn the right size handfuls and angles and velocities and distances. […]