The past is nothing to run from or fear. Wholeness, they say, and I think about it. Nothing back there to fly from in fright, nothing apart, nothing to meet with shame or trepidation or run from like a monster threat in knowing silent lurking hot pursuit down a long dark corridor around the corner of which you’ve just turned and you think you can hear him back there breathing, hear his sneaking footfalls, feels how he knows you, hoping there’s a room to duck into and a door to lock forever before he sees you. None of that. Be there, be here, be with all of it because it’s all with you. In the open, in the light, in the shadows, for that matter, and most of it doesn’t.

Somewhere back there you said hello and I told myself it was ok to dream.

In the past are things like this, too, I remind myself.


This is what Oscar says, and it’ll be in the book.

I sometimes wonder if the people in my life exist—if I bring them in—so as to afford me objects from which to hang my arguments and perceptions and narratives. To hang entertainments, really, and to stand around me as mirrors as I try, vainly, to see and understand myself.

Continue reading “sketch”


I worked in a suburban office compound building replete with floors and elevators and front deskmen and cube farms and conference rooms and soullessness and on our floor there was a bathroom and in that bathroom there were stalls and in one of those stalls was a chipped floor tile.

Continue reading “concord”


Falling into a diametrical opposite, into what is diametrically opposed to that out of which you’re trying to climb and separate from, not realizing the dialectical arrangement is itself the snare. Don’t mind the grammar here, it’s inessential.

Continue reading “inordinacy”


The Cadillac got broken into and ended up in an auction. Just filled the tank that day. $39.67. Thought that was a lot but then thought one day it’ll seem dated, just an arbitrary side-marker of the times. Went there—to the auction—saw her, of all people, just said hello, and tried to get the car back but couldn’t provide documentation. Guy wouldn’t let me have it. Laughed at me for insisting it was mine. Thought: word counts for nothing. Been trying to get away from there though anyway, out of town, as usual.

Continue reading “register”

on the train one day

Bearded young man, late twenties, early thirties, in a dark forest kind of green Marmot jacket and clashingly green cargo pants and green-brown knit hat with a brim sitting beside a blonde woman in a black top and gray pencil skirt and I wonder which is more uniform and what their first encounter was like. She’s to his left and they’re talking—though he talks most, fast but measured, full of intention—to another passenger, a man, older than either by a good twenty years, to the young man’s right, with straight, back-combed salt and pepper hair and an expression that says he’s heard shit like this and even his most genuine interest is ambiguous. He reminds me of Martin Sheen. Not perfectly, just something in the cheeks, the shape of the face, and I wonder how it is that we see people in others sometimes, known and strange. Martin wears a black coat, a neat-patterned button-down under a gray sweater, jeans, brown leather oxfords. A lull in the conversation ensues and all three check their phones in unison. The bearded young man continues his spiel, yammering about collateral, what’s different this year, sell, sell, sell, he says, and she looks on, at the ready. He’s so serious, full of himself. She’s so placid, pre-programmed. Then he busts out a box of brochures and their attitudes instantly align in perfect unison on an unspoken internal chorus of “yeah, show it to him, bust that shit out,” self-satisfaction radiating from them like stench as they inwardly acknowledge reaching this little scene in their little play, these little ancillary thespians. Martin takes the brochure he’s handed, turns it over and unfolds it politely and seems gracefully unimpressed.

Continue reading “on the train one day”


If you wrote me a letter I promise I’d read the greeting and closing first at breakneck glancing speed and then scatter my way through the rest to shake it down sifting till all the pieces fit more or less stuck snug together and then maybe I’d write some poetic-esque reply that started out fine but turned calculated once the poetry ceased and I ran out. And there, there, you know what I’m all about.