Thursday, June 12, 2014

an excerpt from the hypothetical blockbuster: "in stile moderno"


MILES’ car pulls up in the parking lot outside the duplex unit where ALISON and TIFFANY live. The boys get out of the car and COLIN looks at MILES, who is finishing his chocolate milk. As they walk up the stairs and toward the door of TIFFANY and ALISON’s apartment, they perform a duet.

I feel good…

(to the tune of “I Feel Good”
by James Brown)

I knew that I would, now…


I feel good, now…


I knew that I would…


So good.

Dum dum.

So good.

Dum dum.

I got you.

Friday, February 1, 2013



It’s later and I’m at a bar, alone in a booth, drinking beer and watching a cowboy movie on the TV hanging from the ceiling. I pick my nose, getting the finger way up in there for a hard-to-reach straggler. Vaguely self-conscious, I look around and realize no one in the bar notices. An immense loneliness wells up inside of me at the realization that I’m the only person on Earth who is aware of the fact that I’m picking my nose. I become paranoid that a gang-related shooting is about to occur right outside the bar and a stray bullet will shatter the window’s glass and drive itself into my brain. Michael Jackson never would’ve been a victim of random violence –the force of his personality was too strong. It’s always the nobodies who get rubbed out being innocent bystanders.
The next time the bartender comes around I order a double shot of whiskey straight up, inspired by the cowboys in the movie. By the time I order my third I’m seated at the bar, calling men ‘sir’ and women ‘miss’, and explaining to the bartender how much I want to defend someone’s honour, maybe in a duel.


I find myself in a movie theatre, alone, watching some loud and ridiculous movie starring Mark Wahlberg. It begins with him being chased through the streets by tanks, helicopters, a heavily-armoured SWAT team. I think at this point in the movie I’m meant to believe he’s been framed or there’s been a mistaken identity or something of the sort. He’s giving a voice-over in a weary tone. Eventually they catch him, his hands go up, he surrenders peacefully. The last thing I remember is the courthouse scene, and big stern judge with a phallic nose shaking his gavel at Wahlberg’s character and promising “a quarter of a million years at least” behind bars.


I wake up in my bed, fully clothed, clutching an empty bottle. My radio is blaring, stuck between two stations that clearly cater to different demographics. I turn it off. I don’t remember coming home from the theatre. I recall the line about “a quarter of a million years at least” and it sounds completely absurd to me now; not even the most mindless Hollywood film would have included that line.
I go to the bathroom. Claire bought me a toothbrush with a suction cup on the bottom when we first started seeing each other, which I’d stuck on the mirror above the sink. Now every time I go in there its disgusting yellow handle thrusts three-dimensionally out at me, like an accusatory finger. It makes me uneasy, but for some dark and complicated reason I can’t bring myself to take it down.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

days of living

woke up at 2:30 yesterday. went to rumors, tried to flirt with blonde girls over $3 long island ice teas. it's possible i was laughed at. ran into the crack dealer from my birthday outside - vaguely terrifying, awfully amusing.

the girl who punched n__ in the eyeball because he couldn't remember her name before they had sex is coming over tonight. nobody at the house knows her name, still. i don't know how this happened. i think some of us have a crush on her now, cos she did some damage to his face and we don't know anything else about her.

some kid shot himself in the head in the arboretum the other day, and my discman goes through batteries way too fast.

seems too obvs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Sal might’ve given Lucy herpes, but she’d been fucking a junkie before they started dating, so it was all pretty up in the air, disease-wise. In any case she began complaining that her lady bits were sore after they had sex, which she chalked up to Sal’s abnormally large member; Sal thinking this was rather charitable of her. Nonetheless, he couldn’t resist the temptation, while going down on her, to covertly play doctor and check for any unusual rash/bump-type business on or around said bits.

Aside from this niggling concern, the fucking itself was, after a brief period of calibration at the start of the courtship, very satisfactory to both of them. As it turned out, Sal and Lucy preferred a fair amount of spanking, choking, ass-to-mouth, and other reasonably kinky activities which had scared off or offended a few former partners but which suited them just fine.

A similar trend could be found elsewhere in their relationship: traits which had led to a quick end to their previous affairs – Sal’s excessive drinking, Lucy’s kleptomania – further endeared them to one another. For what it was worth, they were in love. But Sal could feel the other thing too since he’d come back, the inverse of love: Sal felt fear.


                 What Sal had realized in rehab was that blacking out was the closest thing he had to time travel. There was sleeping as well, of course, but Sal hated his dreams, so he preferred to black out. And it was the best sort of time travel because it only travelled in one direction: towards the end. If he lived sixty years, he wanted to remember thirty at most. He didn’t have it in him to just end it outright. He had known that for a while.

                This was the thing that Sal kept from Lucy.

                Needless to say the past few weeks he’d spent with her constituted something of a relapse for Sal, who had been struggling mightily with the drink until an incident involving taking a shit in the back of a taxi led him to check in to the clinic a few months earlier. All in all Sal had found his time there rather boring, and occupied himself with attempting to consume more coffee than anyone else and finding time to sneak off for illicit fucks with a fellow alcoholic named Claire.

                This was the other thing he kept from Lucy, and the reason for his fears of crotch-rot.

                He’d taken the first bus back to Chicago after checking out, not giving it much thought. He figured he would resume where he left off, and his family thought he was re-applying to school like he told them he would when he was done at rehab. Lucy was the only one in the world who knew where he was and he liked it that way.


It was November now, and the weather had turned from the sunny, crisp days of October to the traditional drizzle and gray of early winter, and at first Lucy jokingly blamed his gloomy moods on the old Midwest standby: seasonal affective disorder. He had forced a laugh.

“I wish I was like, one of those sitcom parents,” she said. “They could say two sentences at the end of the show and everything would just be fixed.”

When she said things like that Sal would kiss her and head to the liquor store, blowing the last of the money he had saved up from his summer job. The days after he had returned from rehab passed by like lights on the highway. Lucy could not, or would not, see any difference in him and he did his best to keep on as if nothing had changed.

She’d lost her job at the thrift store for stealing merchandise, and the weather was so bad there wasn’t much for the two of them to do but stay home, drink, fuck, and whisper absurdities to each other, Sal slurring his words until he passed out.

“I want to ride bikes with you,” he said one night while they held each other under the sheets, “and smile like we’re the first people to ever ride bikes together.”

“I wish I had a pocket-sized version of you,” she smiled back at him, “so I could carry you around with me everywhere, like a little pocket Sal.”

                And for some reason that was what finally undid him: how good she was, how she actually wanted him around, how badly she needed them to be together. It had been about three weeks since he’d been back and he was feeling more guilty and afraid by the day. So he told Lucy about Claire, everything he could remember, and before long she was crying and screaming and pushing him, but by then he was already time travelling, blind drunk, falling from the bed.

                “This is so dumb… You’re so dumb…” she said from beneath the sheet.

                “I know,” he said, and finished their bottle on his way out.


                Later Sal found himself sitting alone at a bar, watching a muted cowboy movie next to a woman in her late thirties and drinking doubles of whiskey at a rapid clip. He picked his nose, not bothering to hide it, and took a look around the bar. No one seemed to notice. On the TV, some poor patron at the saloon fell victim to a stray bullet during a gunfight.

                “You know who never would’ve gotten killed in some random act of violence,” Sal said. The woman turned slightly towards him, looking nonplussed. “Michael Jackson. The force of his personality was too strong.” He waved at the bartender, and shook his empty shot glass with a grin. “It’s always the nobodies who get rubbed out. The innocent bystanders.”

                He went to the restroom and found a man standing in front of an automated paper towel dispenser, waving his hand up and down trying to get it to work. Sal walked up and gave it a try, the paper towel immediately rolling out. The man regarded Sal for a moment. “I’m a ghost,” he said, grabbing it from the machine, wiping his hands, and walking out.


                Sal didn’t know how he’d gotten home when he came to. It was dark outside, and he was laying on the cool linoleum floor of the kitchen, with a half-full pint of whiskey held over his heart as if he were solemnly swearing to tell the truth and nothing but. Lucy wasn’t there and the lights in the apartment were all off.

                He wondered if when you were hypnotized, maybe you could remember things you’d done or said when you were blacked out, like those people with repressed memories. He stood up and looked at the clock on the oven.

                “I think I’ve been in this kitchen for four goddamn hours,” he said out loud, and took a sip from his bottle. When no one asked him how he was doing, he replied: “Just great, thanks.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

another dream

I get home from a long trip and find V and M living at my house. I vaguely recall telling V to house sit for me while I was gone but am surprised to walk in on them in their pajamas, eating popcorn and throwing it at each other. She tells me she got lonely in the house by herself so M has been keeping her company. He smiles widely and throws a piece of popcorn at me. We watch their favorite show on TV and they make jokes. She laughs a lot at almost everything he says. I fail to grasp the appeal of the show. M is in the bathroom and V is making a meal in the kitchen when she asks me what’s wrong. I see my neighbors in their yard through the window and wave to them as I reply. She turns to me. M walks in and asks what we are having for dinner. Later, M and I play a game on the computer. A text box appears on the screen showing a correspondence between M and V. M quickly clicks out of the text box. All I saw was the phrase “what are we going to tell him?”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

a dream

I am lying in a bed, and I do not know whose bed it is. There is a girl next to me, and I am terrified because I cannot remember who she is. I sit in the darkness trying to find something I recognize in this room but nothing looks familiar. I pick up my cell phone and think of calling V. I feel I have things to say to her - apologies, or explanations. It's late and it seems inappropriate but I find myself dialing her number. We speak briefly, and the conversation goes poorly. I say bitter things and hang up. I realize that the girl in bed next to me is X, and she has woken up during my phone call. She turns to me and asks if I had called V. I say yes. We start kissing and then dry humping. She has a big tattoo on her right side, which looks like some sort of aquatic flower. I suck on one of her tits and she tells me to rub the other one while I do it. I try putting my dick inside of her and she pushes me off, pulling a condom out from her bedside drawer. I sink into the blankets away from her and she keeps saying, "This is so dumb, you're so dumb," and I keep saying, "I know, I know...."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

three seconds looking at someone in a laundromat

i'm going to smear chocolate ice cream all around my big spooky grin under sunrays lay facedown on our lawn then leap up with a sudden moustache of gum wrappers and grass and as you laugh i will chase you like a b-movie monster on a blind date as my heart unchanges like shiny petals of fake flowers under sunrays in cities made of skin i will take your hand like the ocean takes the sky under sunrays your eyes wide like a baby in a shopping cart your kisses are the paw prints of hyena's paw prints on desert sand under sunrays i sit grasschocolate grin fixed i will draw our faces on the wings of paper airplanes and when the planes crash i will eat all the ashes under sunrays i will invent a new religion in which the only rule is to not believe in you and convince the whole world that you don't exist so i have you all to myself and if you were a square on a monopoly board i would buy you then build a hotel and drink whisky sours on your roof under sunrays i find pieces of you in my pocket and in the teeth of my grasschocolate grin you are the journals i would burn before i declared my last day under sunrays you smile