So you crank “Eminence Front” on the car stereo and cruise so that the passing streetlights fall in step with the beat. You welcome the endless parade of bouncers who gang up on you in every identical bar’s identical parking lot. You groan into a microphone and thrust your hips in the lights, turning all eyes on you when what you want more than anything else is to disappear. And man, if that doesn’t work, do it again next week in the exact same way. Because that’s how addiction works.
From “For the Sake of the System, Never the Individual: A Review of Tim Kinsella’s The Karaoke Singer’s Guide to Self Defense” in the 115th issue of The Believer.
The male comes and goes, he says, but the female stays. She has to. You cannot set and splint a wild bird’s broken wing.
From “November,” in the October issue of Spartan.
Karen had the nicest hair. Real shiny and smooth. It looked synthetic. Like brand new Barbie doll hair. Only science can make hair so nice. My hair was blue and crunched like Shredded Wheat. But Karen said it was just her shampoo, her hair was normal but her shampoo was great. I twisted a rope of her perfect hair and wrapped it around her neck and pulled tight until her face got flat and red like wax lips. She sighed and clenched around me. Then she exhaled her brand of shampoo.
From “Houdini’s Final Trick,” in the inaugural issue of Deciduous Tales.
Sure, heartache sucks and at best is only ever backstage, waiting for its cue. But the same can be said of debt. Or losing your job. Or keeping a job you hate. And just as ubiquitous are the ephemeral joys of an unexpected slow dance, of a little sugar stirred in your coffee, of being thirsty and then being given a drink.
From “This Yearning Can Be a Dangerous Thing: A Conversation with Ben Trickey & Douglas W. Milliken,” featured on the Space Gallery Blog.