Monday, December 24, 2007


I will be on vacation until late January. Until then, please watch one of my favorite movies. It is available in its entirety online.

Follow this link to Wax: The Discovery of Television Among the Bees.

Comments on Wax are welcome.


You may now download a free copy of my little chapbook Creation Stories from Happy Cobra Books. I will also have 50 print copies in late January or early February.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I think maybe I have so much trouble blogging because there's no money in it. Or there's no money in it for me now. But maybe I should explore some corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Let's consider this post a sort of tryout. I'll be sending the text to the good people at Pepsi to see if they would, from here on in, act as a corporate sponsor for The Man Who Couldn't Blog.

Here goes:

The Man Who Couldn't Blog is sponsored in part by Pepsi.

Pepsi: it's that burning, searing feeling in the back of your throat that tells you that it's working. Pepsi: twice a day for the rest of your life, and at the Pearly Gates, you'll be ushered past the rest of the losers and allowed to see God immediately. Pepsi: when life gives you lemons, throw the God awful things out the window and enjoy a tall, cool glass of America's second favorite bubbly, brown nut beverage. Pepsi: when all else fails, ask your grandfather for one, and he'll likely go out and buy you one because he's a very lonely old man. Pepsi: sure. Pepsi: reasonable doubt is just a sip away. Pepsi: so much more than you'd ever imagine. And also, so much less. Pepsi: who the fuck cares, when it all comes down to it. Pepsi: wild in the streets, waiting for the last great shoe to drop. Pepsi: animals in the sun, waiting for the rainy season. Pepsi: foreigners are likely looking through your window right now, so try to act cool. Pepsi: free to the next 7000 customers.

Thank you.

Soon the money will come rolling in.


Happy Cobra Books has finally printed a real, actual book. There's only one copy. If you are able to read this post, the book is not for you. It's for someone who can't read.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


This guitar is small and blue.

This guitar is big a green.

This guitar is mid-sized and yellow.

All these guitars are falling off a building.

All these guitars are on their ways down.

There is nothing that can be done to stop all these guitars as they fall from the top of a building and make their way to the concrete below. They are, as they say, goners.

Oh, the questions.

Did these guitars commit suicide?

Were these guitars murdered?

Was this a freak accident?

How did the guitars climb the stairs?

Will the real guitar player ever be revealed?

Are these guitars in a standard tuning, or are they in some non-standard open tuning?

Will we be able to tell what tuning they are in when they hit the ground and their strings give one final ringing out?

Will the guitars be so pulverized—and so quickly—that no one will hear them?

The guitars will soon be here.

Stand back.



Monday, December 03, 2007


Here is more from the vault of drawings I drew when I was sitting on the phone talking to people who wanted to order things from a catalog produced by a very large company that produces animated films and has multiple theme parks.

Each pattern was on a little scrap of paper.

Also, this is a drawing of Brian Jones from The Rolling Stones as a television set.


Two things, one to listen to, one to watch:

Willie Evans Jr.

Jeff Devo

Monday, November 26, 2007


This is something I found on iTunes. It's a review of a Deerhunter record. It was written by someone who calls her/himself mayretta sweat. I googled that name and didn't find anything.

I just think people should read this. It makes me love writing:

"unfinished subdivision cul-de-sacs 12 on a Friday night rolling my first cigarette listening to the train roll by the square waffle house 4 am staring out the window kennesaw mountain supposed to be at school"

I didn't write that. I wish I had, though.


Someone from a place Wikipedia refers to as a "small market town" called Tring found this blog (and didn't read it) by looking for this phrase:

Dream of eggs in a fridge

Tring sounds not like the name of a small market town but it sounds instead like a sound. It's sounds like onomatopoeia.


Also, someone who wrote about Tring submitted a red/umber-colored photo of waterfowl and water and wood in Tring. The sun is there and going down, too.


I just published this post without mentioning anything about a dream of eggs in a fridge.

I should've mentioned something about it.

Like, that the phrase links to my blog because of this post.

That's something I should've mentioned.

Monday, November 12, 2007


When I forget to take my Zoloft for a day or two, I get this feeling like the top half of my head is light, and the bottom half of my head is heavy. Somewhere around my eyes, my head feels stretched.

I don't know how else to describe it. Just like that: stretched.

When I forget to take my Zoloft for a week or two, and then take it again, the inside of my head buzzes loudly. If I take Zoloft after not having taken it for a week or two, and then drink my daily cup of coffee, my body jitters for a couple of hours, and I rub my face and hair a lot, and my hand shakes as I rub it along my face from bottom to top.

And I begin to feel nauseous after a couple of hours of jitters. And I drink more coffee to keep myself from wanted to nap off the rest of the day.

I have a lot to do, you see. A lot more than you'd think.

A lot.

The Scientologists have moved in across the street, and they are looking in through my window every morning, watching me take my Zoloft, judging me. Always judging me.

I yell out the window at them. I yell: Thank Xenu for Zoloft! and they go scampering back to their homes. They scamper up the trees and into the little holes they live in.

(Wait. Are those Scientologists, or squirrels? Do the Scientologists also live in trees? Am I mistaking the squirrels for Scientologists?)

They scamper, but always they look back, and always, always they judge me.

But if I don't take my Zoloft, my face stretches. And if I don't take my Zoloft, I think all day about how I'm a foot behind myself, watching myself.

And the anxiety voice yells at me all day long.

But seriously. I would never blog about something like that.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I used to sit at a desk waiting for people to call me and order plastic stuff.

All sorts of plastic stuff. Cheap plastic stuff. Expensive plastic stuff.

I had a little script I read from. I asked people how to spell their names. I took credit card info.

I did almost all of it without any conscious involvement with what I was doing. I did this job for months and months and I worked long days. Lots of overtime. Lots of staring straight ahead.

So I drew.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of the drawings.

This week, I'll show you the comic strip I made. It's called Leadfoot Louie's further Adventures in Pomona.

I have never been to Pomona.

I don't have a car, but when I did, I liked to drive too fast.

My skills as an artist are poor.

But what the heck.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


My blog post for this week is missing. I had it in a drawer.

I left it in a drawer. It was there waiting for me. On a torn slip of yellow, college-ruled paper.

My blog post was in there.

And now it's gone.

I've checked the drawer three times, yes. I always check three times before I come and tell you that something is missing. I always check once, and then check again, and then decide that I want to tell you that something is missing. I always want to talk to you after I've checked for something twice and can't find it.

But I know.

I know.

All this time has past, and now—now—I know. Check again. Always check a third time. Always check once more.

And then I can talk to you. That's when something is really missing. After I've checked a third time. That's when you will talk to me about it. The third time is the charm. The third time means I'm committed to finding what is missing.

Three times.

And then.

So my blog post is missing. Have you seen it?


Here is a blog you can read.

Monday, October 15, 2007


When I died, I knew that what I wanted was to come back big. Big. When I was alive the last time, I was a simple beat reporter at a New England newspaper. I was unthrillingly married. I had two nice, unspectacular children. I was boring and I was small. So, I had this nonspecific desire to come back around as something big. And, I did it; this time through I’m something with some real size. I’m, in fact, one of the largest living organisms on the whole planet. I’m Armillaria mellea, the honey mushroom. I’m a giant fungus, living under most of an island.

Here’s a lesson: be specific.

This mushroom that’s now me has been here for a thousand or two years, and I’ve only recently moved in, its life-wise. I don’t know whom, or if anyone, vacated it. It seemed in comfortable shape when I arrived.

I’ve lived quietly beneath my island, sending little mushroom clumps popping out here and there, for a long, quiet time. Mostly, a long, quiet time. There have been incidents: disappointing incidents. There were once herds of sheep on my island, but they aren’t here anymore. They were gentle, well-behaved neighbors, and I loved to feel them graze slowly above me. They comforted me, as much as a mushroom can be comforted.

I have trouble talking about my old sheep—though they were their own and not so much mine, I like to think of them that way—so please forgive me for only giving them a line or three. That’s how it can be when you lose something you love very much, something that means things to you. It’s all you can do at first to stop yourself from going on and on. And then, you don’t have it in you anymore.

I’ve had a long time to talk about them. I’ve used up my words. I’ve used them up railing against the little things I live with now.

A plane flew overhead and dropped bombs filled with the little bastards, one day unexpected; one day warningless. They weren’t your exploding-in-a-shock-of-fire-and-noise bombs, but a puffy-cloud-of-something bombs. Something-powdery-scatters-the-ground bombs. It covered the grass. It seeped into the dirt. It blew up the noses of the sheep as they grazed. It covered them with lesions. It filled their lungs. It made them sick, these powdery things, these particles of white.

Men came in rubber gear, face-masked. They cut up the sheep, sick and dead. And they burned the vegetation from my island’s surface. The little bastards escaped, buried themselves a few inches down to avoid the orange blaze and billowing smoke. The island stayed black for months.

I gave them a chance. I ate meat in a few former lives. I rot the occasional tree. I was willing to make nice with the new neighbor. But it was they who would not deign to make nice back.

Snobbish bacteria.

It’s been years, and we never speak. The plants have come back, but the animals will not. Signs warn visitors away from our home, and it’s not because of me. It’s my roommates who are to blame. They scare people, and they won’t leave.

It is lonely. Like, the other day it occurred to me that even though I had hoped to come back big, and had, in the grand cosmic scheme, I’ll still always be small. I could send out my body in all directions, maybe encircle the world, a few feet below the surface, but the vast universe would still laugh it off. “Little mushroom planet,” it would say if it were given voice.

Try talking to anthrax about that. They never listen.

I think next time I’ll want to come back tall. Or handsome. Or completely free.

Try talking to anthrax about your desires. Go ahead.

Monday, October 01, 2007


This week, I open up The Man Who Couldn't Blog mailbag to answer a question.

I am good at answering questions, I think. I am a person with more than thirty years experience being alive, and am happy to offer the benefit of my—I admit, limited—experience.

Here's a letter I received:


It's not cold in here. Why is it not cold in here? I specifically asked my assistant to make it cold in here, and it just isn't cold in here. Please help. Make it cold in here.

It's Not Cold In Here


It is cold in there. You are not spending enough time concentrating on your skin. Concentrate on your skin. When you concentrate hard on your skin, you will notice that there is a tingle there. That is "cold." That sensation is "cold."

I imagine that it has been a long time since you have felt that sensation. I know it has been a long time for me. Years, in fact. This is common for contemporary executive-class human beings—this absence of the sensation of "cold." And "heat," too. You probably have also forgotten what it is like to feel "hot." That sensation is sort of the opposite of the one you are feeling now.

Living within a sealed glass tube filled with a synthetic amniotic fluid kept at our precise body temperature, as people like you and I do, we forget what differences in that temperature are like. This is the trade-off. We work faster. We miss out on sensory inputs when we don't specifically ask for them.

Please apologize to your assistant. And remove him or her from the punishment cubicle.



Please buy Mike Topp's new book, Shorts Are Wrong. It's very good.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I can't blog. I really just can't. So I'm letting someone do it for me.

What follows is a very short story by my friend Amy. She's a really good writer:

Hit your drip, Momma, and stop your ranting. Go on and click that button. Let the good stuff loose in your veins. Tell us what’s really on your mind. You’re chock full of morphine, flying high after your hip replacement surgery and babbling on about how President George W. Bush is really the Apostle Paul. In the state you’re in (God, let me wipe your drool, Momma), it would be easy to make the connection between the two. It doesn’t help that your Bible study group renamed itself a “cell” because ya’ll like to think you’re part of the Holy War, too. You took down the Ten Commandments chart and put up a map of the Middle East in the Fellowship Hall. You issue your own jihads, written on the backs of recipe cards for Hummingbird Cake and Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole. Then your church lost its building when your Facilities Committee voted to sell to developers wanting to build a Wal-Mart and to send all the profits to Christian Freedom Fighters in Gaza. Now you go to your Bible Cell in a vacant storefront in a dying strip mall right smack between Dollar Dayz and Mickey’s Chicken Wings. You worship with heathen shoppers looking for bargain t-shirts or a bucket of chicken for Sunday lunch, peeping in at you with eyes squinted and hands cupped on brows. Don’t scorn them too badly, Momma. The closest you can get to God nowadays is not cleanliness, it’s shopping. President Bush believes it, and he’s the Apostle Paul, ain’t he? Besides, Apostle Paul killed all the non-believers. Those heathens see your map of the Middle East and they see your jihads on flowered-trimmed index cards taped to the back wall. They’re not so much staring in to make a fool of you. That squinty look in their eye is them wondering whether they had better start stockpiling themselves, thinking about their own war to wage.


Watch the Hobart website for an interview Amy conducted with the writer Victor LaValle.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Something has happened to me.

I don't know what. I really don't.

I went to a record store, though, and that's where I noticed it.

So, I went to this record store to buy a record. (A CD, actually. I still call CDs records. I think it's because they are still "recordings.")

I went and bought a record by a band I had seen the night before.

There was a big crowd at the show. So everyone else knew about, and were already well-versed in the specifics of the band that I was just that night being introduced to. I was behind everyone else. I apologize for being well behind everybody else.

I felt behind everybody else, but I wanted to buy the record, so I went to the record store. And I found the record. And I brought the record to the front.

And I knew I was behind. And I knew I was especially, probably, behind the guy who worked at the record store. Who can help that? We're all behind the guy who works at the record store.

So I was embarrassed to bring the record up to the guy at the record store.

I decided I would be really pleasant to the guy at the record store so I make the guy at the record store only sort of look down on me for being so far behind. He'd think, "Well, he's way behind but at least he's nice."

It's not easy working retail. So I tried to be really pleasant, hoping that in some way, that would make up for me being behind.

I did my best. I was very pleasant. I didn't ask for a bag.

And then on my way out, I said, "Have a good one."

I've never said that before. A nice day, sure. A pleasant afternoon. A nice evening. A lovely weekend.

But I've never said, "Have a good one." Because I don't like that expression.

And yet, I said it.

I went one step too far. I went beyond pleasant to something else: I went to lame.

"Have a good one."

I heard it come out, and couldn't bring it back. I said it. I said, "Have a good one."

And a couple of days ago? I said it again to someone else. At a grocery store.

Now I can't stop myself. I can't help it. I want people to have a good one.

I hate myself. I must figure out how to not do this. I won't blog until I figure out how not to do this. I won't.

Until then. Have. A. Good. One.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm just so in love with the cosmonaut. I see him through my telescope. I stare at him all night long.

He's out on a spacewalk tonight, my cosmonaut—my cosmonaut. He's stretching his communist legs after many hours of isolation in a cramped capsule. He spreads his arms out like a child.

I'm just so in love with the cosmonaut, and every time I see him, I want to pull on his air hose, pull on his tether, and drag him down to Earth to sit with me on the bed. And we will talk.

(And yes. I am aware of the Freudian implications of my desire to pull on his air hose. There is no need to mention it to me. I can see, too, you know. I can see and think.)

The cosmonaut is high above the Earth, in a cramped, Soviet capsule. He is in orbit for the glory of his people. The sun hits him, and it reflects back to me. He is a tiny star. I'm so very much in love with him that I don't know what to do.

Maybe this:

Maybe I'll be an American astronaut. Maybe I'll train and become a patriotic space rocket jockey. Maybe I'll allow the government of the United States of America (the Greatest Country in the World!) to launch my infatuated ass into space.

And then I can casually bump into the cosmonaut.

He wears a helmet and a visor, like they all do, but I will recognize him. I will know my cosmonaut. I will bump into him, say out on a spacewalk of my own. We will make small talk. He will know some English, I some Russian.

I will flirt with the cosmonaut. I will pique the interest of the cosmonaut.

I will win the heart of the cosmonaut.

And then maybe—just maybe—I'll tell you all about it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007



I was at Bumbershoot all weekend. So I didn't post yesterday. But I'm posting today.

These are the things I learned at Bumbershoot:

Lyrics Born would really like Seattle to make some noise. Seattle is having no trouble scoring. Lyrics Born seriously would like Seattle to make some noise. Kids dress funny. Lyrics Born is not kidding. Make some noise, Seattle.

This is something I saw at 1am, waiting for a bus to take me home:

A teenager with a carton of orange juice in one hand and a flask in the other. He stumbled by me, walking like a toddler. Walking like he was on a tightrope, and staying on because of luck. The orange juice container was opened in a square at the top, ripped open at every seam. Both his arms were cocked at the elbows, as if he had his arms resting on a bar. He sipped from the flask. He sipped from the orange juice.

I couldn't hear the Wu-Tang Clan's rapping, but I could hear their swearing. The power of the Wu-Tang Clan's profanity cuts through the sound dampening power of concrete and distance.

I saw Roky Erickson. His guitar player is named Cam King. He looks like this. (He's the one who isn't Roky Erickson.)

I learned something Cam King. Guitar face is not age-related. I have decided to discover the neurological mechanism that causes guitar face. When I have found it, I will tell you.

Until then, if you are a neurologist, you could contact me. We could work on this project together.

All this means something. I will search for meaning. And blog, then.


Also, Happy Cobra Books (that's me) is about a week away from having the first copies of a book called Creation Stories (by me). Just buying the paper and sewing them up.

Monday, August 27, 2007


A thing you could say about June is that he was—mostly—raised right.

Another thing you could say about June is that he got nothing but hell for being named after the month of his birth.

Another thing you could say about June is that because he had been injured as a young man and lost his mouth and nose to the injury, and because the doctor had been out of extra mouths and noses to replace the ones lost, and because the doctor had instead used a curved bicycle horn in place of June’s mouth and nose—with a hole for the windpipe—June was an odd looking man.

Another thing you could say about June is that it would’ve been much better if he had been born in August.

Another thing you could say about June is that he would sometimes cover his bicycle horn mouth with his hand, and then he’d call you over. Then he’d put your hand on his belly, and he’d squeeze the bulb on his horn. And you’d feel his belly rumble.

Another thing you could say about June is that his parents loved him very very much, even after the accident made a sort of a mute of him.

Another thing you could say about June is that June loved his job, which was riding around on a riding mower, cutting all the grass of his neighbors.

Another thing you could say about June is that he loved his job because he more than anything else hated grass.

Another thing you could say about June is that he honked once for yes, twice for no.

Another thing you could say about June is that it was honk, pause, honk, pause, honk, pause, all the God damned night long.


This post was illustrated by Gene Morgan. He designs and edits Bear Parade.

Bear Parade has a new book called Compassionate Moose. It's by Mazie Louise Montgomery. I can't wait to read it.

Thank you, Gene. Congratulations on your recent wedding.


You will notice a link to something called Happy Cobra Books. That's a tiny press I've decided to start. The tiny press is publishing a tiny book of tiny stories by me. I think I'll have copies next month. I will sell you one at a tiny price.

I will do other things with the press, too, but I'm not sure what. Possibly a graphic short story by a friend. Possibly longer versions of the interviews I edit for Hobart, designed as pdfs and available free to download.

Other ideas are welcome. As are reader-submitted logo designs, which will go in a logo archive.

Monday, August 13, 2007


NOTE 8/21/07:

Sorry. I'm a little backed up right now. Please check back next week for a new post.


Hey, so here's an idea: when this whole thing ends (January 20, 2009) let's pretend it never happened.

I mean it.

The whole stupid thing ends then. All the embarrassment. All the cringing moments we have when we listen to him speak publicly. (You know who I mean.)

All the everyhing. Let's pretend it never happened.

I'll go one further. (I like to do that, sometimes. I like to go one further. Not two. Just one.) I write. I produce a cultural product. You might, too. You have friends who do. We know writers and artists and poets and painters and journalists and historians and graffiti artists and street corner ranters and all. We know them. Or we know people who know them. We are a part of a web, a web of culture. Follow that web and you'll find that we all know everybody eventually. Follow that web and I'll bet we'll find that we all like each other eventually. Even the people we hate the most. We know someone who likes them. Or we know someone who knows someone who knows someone.


And a lot of us feel it. A lot of us are frustrated or embarrassed. A lot of us, no matter how we feel about things in general. No matter what our personal philosophies are. No matter how much we disagree with our core beliefs. Etc. We are all sort of coming around. Many, many of us feel frustrated or embarrassed by the whole thing—the whole last seven years.

Our history will continue into the future and it will say what we all agree together to say about it.

Let's pretend it didn't happen. Let's just not mention the eight years. Let's pretend something else was going on. Something dull maybe. The history books could all say:

2000 - 2008: Nothing so much happened.

And then we can move on.

There are books and movies and songs and such that have been made over the last few years that discuss all this embarrassing, frustrating stuff. Let's just agree to put them in a big box. Destroying them would probably be wrong. So we'll put them in a box and promise to never open that box. And so no one finds out what really happened, we'll hide the box. We can maybe hide it in my closet.

That's what I think we could do. Pass it on.


Two songs: Go here and listen to "The Trolley Song", and then go here and listen to "Gasn Nign".

Monday, August 06, 2007


Tao Lin came to visit and read from his books in front of audiences at bookstores. Matthew Simmons was there.

Matthew Simmons picked Tao Lin up at the airport, even though a bookstore had sent a limo to pick him up. Matthew Simmons found the limo driver and he said, "Follow me," to the limo driver, and the driver followed into a dark airport hallway, where Matthew Simmons grabbed the limo driver by his ear and yanked really, really hard. He yanked the limo driver into a wall. The limo driver collapsed.

Matthew Simmons found Tao Lin after Tao Lin got off his plane, and Matthew Simmons said, "Hey, look, that guy has Ben Kunkel's book. Go tell him you are Marco Roth, and tell him you want to sign his book."

Tao Lin didn't want to do it, but Matthew Simmons smacked Tao Lin on the back of the head and said, "You're in Seattle and will do as I say! My city! Mine!"

So Tao Lin did it, but the man didn't believe that Tao Lin was Marco Roth at all, but just some guy pretending to be Marco Roth. He told Tao Lin to leave him alone. Tao Lin apologized, and Matthew Simmons laughed liked a hyena. (Exactly like a hyena, too. That was not a cliche. Matthew Simmons has perfected the art of hyena impersonation.)

Matthew Simmons drove Tao Lin to the bookstore, but he couldn't remember where it was, and didn't really want to go. Instead he drove to a water park where he made Tao Lin go down all the slides, even though Tao Lin didn't have a swimsuit. Tao Lin went on the water slides and asked when he would be taken to the bookstore to read. "Later," said Matthew Simmons.

Later, Matthew Simmons drove Tao Lin around, and forced him to listen to Bachman Turner Overdrive very loud. "It's BTO!" said Matthew Simmons. "Don't you like BTO? Why are your fingers in your ears?"

Soon it was dark and Tao Lin had missed his reading. Matthew Simmons took Tao Lin to his apartment. Tao Lin had a nice hotel room waiting for him, one with a sauna and a full mini-fridge filled with raw, organic, vegan food and beer. Matthew Simmons told Tao Lin the room had been canceled, and that he would be staying on the couch in Matthew Simmons' apartment.

Tao Lin said this would be fine, as long as Matthew Simmons did not have a cat, as Tao Lin is very allergic to cats.

Matthew Simmons has a cat.

Tao Lin was very hungry but Matthew Simmons only let him eat a banana. Matthew Simmons ate a hearty, warm goat cheese salad and tomato soup. Tao Lin finished his banana and threw the peel to the birds.

Matthew Simmons drank nine beers in a row, and started shouting into the phone.

Tao Lin tried to sleep, but he was sneezing a lot because Matthew Simmons has never dusted or swept his apartment.

Matthew Simmons passed out while shouting into the phone, and Tao Lin tried to sleep.

When Tao Lin finally fell asleep, Matthew Simmons snuck up to him and held his cat over Tao Lin's sleeping body. Matthew Simmons shook his cat, and cat dander snowed from the cat all over Tao Lin. Matthew Simmons took his cat to Tao Lin's bag, and he rubbed the cat all over Tao Lin's only change of pants and extra book tour shirts.

Matthew Simmons laughed loud, and Tao Lin woke up. But it was dark, and Tao Lin didn't catch Matthew Simmons.

In the morning, Matthew Simmons listened to more Bachman Turner Overdrive to "help me wake my ass up," and told Tao Lin he would have to leave. He pointed in the general direction of the nearest bus stop

Tao Lin walked in the direction of the nearest bus stop.


Illustration for this post by Tao Lin. Tao is the author of three incredibly wonderful, weird, messy, funny, sad, wild, imperfect/completely perfect, beautiful books. That is to say, Tao has made some really interesting art.

Buy them. If you don't like them, write (happy dot cobra at earthlink dot net) and we'll discuss them. I really think you'll like them. And think I can tell you why I like them. And infect your reading of them, making you decided that you like them, too.

My impression is: you will like them without my speaking on their behalf.


Monday, July 30, 2007


There’s no such thing as angels is something my little brother once said to me as we were standing on the roof of the house and thinking about jumping.

There’s no such thing as angels, and if you jump you’ll break a leg or possibly an arm. This is what he said when he continued talking.

Me, I tried my best to ignore him. This is not always an easy thing to do because my little brother has himself a really loud voice.

Abnormally loud, I mean. When my little brother talks, you can here him all around the neighborhood, like as if he was a tornado siren. He’s that loud, voice-wise. When my little brother—let’s call him Leon—let’s out a high-pitched screech, like say if I were to pinch him on the thigh or something, that noise would break windows in the house. That noise does break windows in the house, actually. Not just would. It does.

And then I have to pay for all the windows with the money from my allowance, which is nearly enough over a month to cover one pinch-related window breaking.

There’s no such thing as angels is what Leon says.

We can make little halos, though, and that will make it pretty much like we are the angels that Leon doesn’t think exist.

Of course, there are other choices we could make, too.

Like say I take the boy that we are calling Leon by the belt loops of his jeans, and say I get a little running start, and say I swing him back and forth and back and forth, and say I see if I can throw him far enough that he lands on the windshield of our car. Say I do that.

Say he goes right on through that windshield, and scatters glass everywhere, including in his mouth and up his nose. And the blood comes out his nose.

And the blood floods from the cuts in his gums and on his tongue.

Say that’s the choice I decide to make, him hollering and waking up the neighborhood. (Did I mention that it is 3am?)

And his holler making the ground rumble. And the house next door falling down.

Say I make that choice. What happens to you, right there watching?


The illustration for this post was done by Ellen Kennedy. She recently read Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine and recommends it.

She said I didn't have to link to anything else, but I will link to Bear Parade, where you can read a book of her poetry. And a bunch of other really, really good books.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I got me this new job working for a man who sells land on clouds. It's a pretty good gig, and I do a lot of traveling.

Like, yesterday I went out to appraise a cloud hovering over West Seattle, and I thought it was a fine piece of airborne real estate. So I called my boss, and I gave him my estimate, and he put it up for auction.

And it sold nice and quick.

Land on clouds is what they call primo. It sells nice and quick. Houses are built on cloudland as quickly as can possible.

Families move into homes built on clouds minutes after the home is built.

And then they have to hurry through a lifetime of living—a whole lifetime full of all that living one is supposed to do when one is a homeowner with a family and a dog or cat and a car and a job and all that other stuff.

Families live their lives as fast as they can when they live on a cloud. Because before you know it, the cloud will blow out at its edges, go soft and slack. A cloud lets go of its ends. And then the new ends and edges blow. And scatter. And drift.

You have to live your life—your whole damn life—in days. Because clouds twirl and blow and disappear.

And your house falls to the ground. And your dog or cat runs away. And your kids go to college. And you retire from your job. And you die. And the cloud is gone.

I work for a man who sells property on clouds, and I spend my days traveling and appraising.

It's a good job. It takes up all my time.

I don't have time for other things. Like family or fast living.

Or blogging.


This post is dedicated to mammatus clouds and a band called Mammatus.


Also, if you would like to illustrate a post on The Man Who Couldn't Blog, email me.

Monday, July 16, 2007


We bought a dog made out of sand.

I know. Buying a dog made of sand. Bad idea.

We bought the dog made out of sand as a gift for our son.

I know. Having a child. Bad idea.

Our dog made out of sand liked to run in the backyard. And it howled at the squirrels in the trees. And it lounged on the couch next to anyone who lay down there. And it ate the dry kibble we fed it with enormous gusto.

In this way, our dog made out of sand was just like all the other dogs in the world.

We were unable to wash our dog made out of sand because when we did, we lost parts of him.

The first time we tried to wash him, we poured water over his paw and watched a bit of it melt away and spin down the bathtub drain. He walked with a limp until we went out to buy more sand from a hardware store and repaired the wound we had caused with water.

So we knew not to wash him ever again. And we never let him out in the rain.

When the rain came, our dog made out of sand howled at the sliding glass door. He wanted to go out. He wanted to run around in the rain and gallop through the wet grass. He wanted to roll in the puddles.

But we could not let him out. We did not want him to fall apart, piece by piece. We loved and wanted to protect our dog made out of sand.

Often, a story like this will end in a sad way. Often, a person who writes a story like this will decide that in the end, the dog made out of sand would somehow get out of the house in a rainstorm, and melt into the grass. There is a tradition in a story like this of sad endings.

One wonders, then, how I will end it.


This post is dedicated to a really good writer who thought the dog should be made of cotton candy.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I'm here to say something:

Always trust me with the night.

I’m here to tell you that this night makes much less sense than you think it does, you. Trust your uncle. Trust me with it.

I’m here to tell you that the word is spoken louder than you imagine it can be. Trust your nephew. Trust me with it.

I’m here to tell you that the dogs are much harder to train than you are convinced they are. Trust your father. Trust me with it.

The night is the word and the dogs are the night and the word is a whine in the evening.

The teeth are still buried. They sprout speeches. Families pick them. Chew the stalks.

Talk for hours.

So always trust me.

Make tea:

Bury teeth. Water them. Wait for sprouts. Care for them. Bring them to a young bloom. Pull the ivory-colored leaves from the stalks. Dry the leaves in the sun on the window sill.

Boil the water. Get a strainer. Pour the water through the leaves. Infusers make it too strong.

Then, there will be words. Blog with them. I would.

If I could.


Going on a two week vacation. This blog will most likely not be updated during that time. Maybe. Most likely. I don't think I'll have time. I'm pretty sure I won't have time. Maybe on the 16th, though. Maybe. Possibly. Maybe not, though. Definitely after that.

But not next Monday. No. Certainly not next Monday.

I don't think.


Probably not.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Sebadoh has this cover of “Everybody’s Been Burned,” by David Crosby. It’s on Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock. It’s one of those songs for me.

Those songs that help me.

I’m like lots of people. Sometimes, girls kill me. Just kill me. Used to happen a lot, in my 20s. A girl would be with me for a while, and it would end, and I’d fall into a tailspin.

And, then I’d find a song that would help pull me out. That cover of “Everybody’s Been Burned,” was one of them.

But, the one I want to talk about is “The First Part,” by Superchunk. And I want to thank my buddy Zane.

Zane knows an insane amount of information about Rush. He loves them. We played this game, where I would say, “Fourth album, third song,” and Zane would say:

“That’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ on 2112. It’s 3 minutes and 19 seconds long.”

And then, he might tell me a bit of trivia, if he knew any. Or, he would just quote a lyric.

Maybe you think that it’s kind of weird, being able to do that. Maybe you think it’s a little over the top, being able to do that. Maybe you’re laughing at my friend’s passion for a Canadian prog rock band.

Shut up. Admit it. You totally wish you could do that. You totally wish you loved something so much, you could do that with it. We wish you were that devoted to something. To anything.

Point is, my friend Zane loved Rush, and I had just had my heart removed by a girl, and I had just heard this song called “The First Part,” by Superchunk, and I bought the CD. And we went for a drive.

“The First Part,” gets right into it. A chord gets struck and the guitar line hits. Four notes, and then this part where it goes up. That happens a couple of times. And then the singing. And there’s this break. When Mac sings something about the clocks winding down, there’s a bit where the strings on the guitar are muted as he hits them. It’s all tension, begging for release. The strings want so much to vibrate freely, but his palm covers them. And then, he lets go.

Foolish is a breakup album. Mac and Laura, guitar player and bass player, had broken up. The whole album is drenched in the break-up.

And, man, “The First Part.” That one really got to me.

When you’re in a girl-related depression, and your stomach has sort of lifted in your chest, and you’re 20, and your head buzzes all day, and every time you forget you remember again, and you have to carry it all with you wherever you go (because you think maybe going out for a walk will get distance from it, but it doesn’t), you grasp at anything that offers a moment of pure, ecstatic glee. That tension, tension, tension, release of muted guitar strings did it for me. It’s a three-minute song. I needed an hour of it. I needed two hours.

So, I played the song, over and over. I played it over and over in Zane’s car, on his stereo. He drove. I played the song. He drove. I pressed rewind. I played the song. He drove.

And he really didn’t complain.

The man just wanted to listen to something else! Anything else! Rush, maybe. But, he listened to “The First Part” with me. Over and over.

Zane’s the best.

Thanks, Zane. If I could blog, I’d blog about you.


The illustration for this post was provided by my very talented friend Michael R. Sanchez.

To hear his band The Way It Is, go here.

To see him perform stand-up comedy, go here.

To see short films and a trailer for an upcoming feature film he is making, go here.

I'd recommend: At the Party, My Molly, The Donut, Up to the Minute with Brandon Ivey (Bicycle).

Also recommended: everything else.

A warning: once you start looking, you will spend all day with him.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


As the rest of us waited in back, pulling at our laces, and thinking about our next meal, she walked confidently out onto the stage. Applause flooded the areas behind the curtains, hurting our ears. “What must it be like out there?” we wondered. "Loud," we figured.

She began with simple tricks, pulling Arbor Day treats from the air, spinning silken webs to capture the worries of the folks in the front rows, floating off to the ceiling to retrieve a helium-bulged stuffed cat for a youngster in the middle. “A plant. Obviously a plant,” we thought, but we were jealous and wrong.

The Dawn of the Aerospace Age moved into the meat of her act. A projection screen dropped behind her, and a film began: the wonders of the modern world, explained.

“A flashlight works like this,” she said. “The battery is crowded with wild light horses. When the button is pressed, they spring out, and run full boar, straight ahead, as the crow flies, direct to what you want to see. The clomp along the water molecules in the air.”

“A toaster works like this,” she said. “The bread is inserted, the button is pressed, and the filaments crowd around and tease the bread for its softness. It is embarrassed. It tries harder. It hardens itself to the cruelty of filaments. It heats from the inside with self-righteous anger, and that's why the butter melts.”

“A baby works like this,” she said. “You buy one at the hospital. It has been spit out, like a watermelon seed, by the baby machine seen here. It grows in a glass of water on a windowsill. That's why hospitals have so many windows. Babies do not need food. Babies do not need water. They are self-contained. Anyone who says otherwise is quite likely mad.”

“A treefrog works like this,” she said. She did not speak. She let the film speak for itself. The audience marveled at the steam engine, and the bellows.

“The aerospace age,” she said, “is a marvelous time to be alive. Look at all we have.” And she showed all we have on screen. It was over in less than an hour. “Thank you,” she said, and left the stage.

We waited for the applause to die down, and took our positions. As she walked by me, I stared at her. Marvelous her. Wonderful her. How I loved her.

She smiled at me, and I thought maybe it would be nice to live in the here and now, in the present, the two of us together, a baby machine baby drooling in the corner.

And then, I returned to my position, ass-end of a juggling horse costume. Spot, the dog in our dog and pony act, waggled his butt as she tickled his back.

She was good to animals.

The Dawn of the aerospace age wore a man's shoes and slacks onstage. She wore a white shirt, suspenders and a bow tie. Burgundy. The tie and suspenders were a deep burgundy.

I wore the back of the horse.

“How indoor plumbing works is this,” she said. “The pipes dig down, down, deep down to the freshwater ocean at the center of the world. Plumbers are required to be both expert spelunkers and expert deep-sea divers. They have the most dangerous job there is. That's why they go to school for nine years, are paid so well, and are thought of as heroes.”

The front end of the horse, Lopez, did all the juggling. We lumbered onstage, and I lifted him onto my shoulders. I tried to move a bit, but Lopez discouraged most forms of tap and soft shoe dancing. He needed to concentrate, he said, because it wasn't easy to see through the horse head.

Our act was not popular. It was not easy to follow the Dawn of the Aerospace Age.

But, she suggested I learn to ride a unicycle with Lopez juggling away on my shoulders. She said she knew how, and could teach me sometime.

I wanted her to hold me in her arms, and tell me about air conditioners and mass transit, but this would do.

“How the cure for cancer works is this,” she said. “You swallow a live Australian tumorphage centipede, and let it work. To keep it happy, you must stay drunk while it searches your body for food. The alcohol loosens your muscles, and it doesn't have to struggle so on its hunt. Scientists were amazed to find how easy it was to cure cancer after all the work they'd done, and issued a formal apology by handwriting letters to everyone on the planet. You probably got one.”

She had her own unicycle.

“How friendship works is this,” she said. “Two people meet, and they purchase a ‘friendship’ crucible. They each remove a lock of hair, and burn them together, and must keep the fires going for as long as they intend to remain in the contractual agreement called friendship.”

And when it finally did happen, when we finally spent long, tangled moments together, I asked her questions, and she answered. And it wasn’t perfect. And it was better for not being perfect.

The act was never perfect, but Lopez and I put on the horse costume, jumped on the unicycle, and did our best. And she would wait for me.

I wondered how motorcycles worked. I wondered how the moon worked.


This post is dedicated to those who donated:

Miz Minton
Brad & Allen
Mom & Dad
My dearest A

and, of course, it is also dedicated to


It was written on her birthday and first appeared on Reinventing the World, a much-missed online/email literary journal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I wore me one of them eye masks.




I wore one of those eye masks. One of those black eye masks that you wear at night or in the morning. It was morning for me.

Morning in America.

(Remember that?)

But, still.

So I wore one of those eye masks, like the Lone Ranger without the eyeholes kind. I thought probably it would be weird. Because I'd never worn one. I thought probably it would be uncomfortable, and being uncomfortable, it would defeat the whole "I can't sleep for light, so on goes mask to block out light, and down goes me to the bottom of sleep." I thought the straps and pressure on my face would defeat the purpose.

Didn't, though. Went right to sleep, me. Right down to the bottom of sleep. For hours, in the morning, down to the very comfortable bottom of sleep.

Like I'd been wearing one my whole damn life.

Whole damn life.

This proves to me the concept of collective memory. You know? Memory that is shared? By all humanity? Proven. It's proven by the fact that the eye mask was in no way uncomfortable and allowed me to sink way down to the bottom of sleep.

How else? I mean, really?

Collective memory lives at the shallow end of sleep, I think. The shared threads of memory live at the shallow end.

Or, better, the shared currents of collective memory run shallow. I put on the mask, felt the weird pressure on my eyes, and the pull of the straps behind my ears, and yet managed to sink to the shallows of sleep. And at the shallows, collective memory reminded me that "I" had many times worn the mask, many times felt the pressure and the pull of the mask, was familiar with them, didn't mind them, and so let's go, all of us—humanity—we'll go deeper and deeper to the bottom of sleep, eh? Let's all go together, eye mask in place, right? Sure.


Pardon me while I re-wear the eye mask and see what else of yours I remember. I'll blog when I know everything else.


This post is dedicated to Mini. She's mere days old. And lives in the shallow end of sleep. Think of all she must remember! Think about it!

Sorry for the day's delay.


Saturday is the Seattle Race for the Cure. Donations appreciated. Also, words of encouragement. Comments section opened temporarily.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I woke up this morning to see my cat pulling a plug from the wall. A plug.

The plug had a cord, and the cord led all the way up to a foot. My foot.

My plug. My cat was unplugging me from a wall socket.

I looked at my cat, and he said: Oh.

He said: This.

He said: I bet you're wondering about this. And he held up the plug—my plug?—and looked at me.

Yes, he said. I'm betting you are wondering about this.

No, I said. It all makes sense, really. A robot. I'm a robot. I run on electricity. I'm plugged in at night. You plug me in and unplug me because you need me to do things for you.

I go to work five or six days a week. I make money to buy food for you. I clean your litter.

You made me to do all this. You, and cats, made me and people like me to do all the things we do. We care for you. We have jobs. Our jobs are a part of larger economic context that you invented. You invented the economy, and the culture, and the world we live in for the improvement of your standard of living. We are advanced machines who work and live and fight and mate. We make more little versions of us to take care of you and your kind. We are a system. Humanity is a system created for the care of cats. We are cogs in a machine that was made to care for you.

And at night, you plug us in.

Sure, I said. It all makes sense now. You created us to make your lives easier.

He said: Ego. And he laughed at me. Ego, ego, ego. He curled up the cord, and opened a little door in my foot. He put the cord inside my foot. Ego, he said.

You're a heating pad, he said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


ME: I see that you are once again wearing a wig.

MAN WITH WIG: I don't know what you are talking about.

ME: You have a wig. On your head. There. Above your eyebrows.

MAN WITH WIG: Really, no idea. No idea at all what you mean.

ME: You are wearing a wig. Like you did before. The same wig, I think.

MAN WITH WIG: Hmmm. Whatever you say.

ME: So, you continue to deny that you are wearing a wig, or what?

MAN WITH WIG: Can we talk? Over here? Where other people can't hear us?

ME: Sure.

MAN WITH WIG: Thank you. Okay. So.

ME: Yes?

MAN WITH WIG: I would like to ask you not to do that.

ME: Do what?

MAN WITH WIG: Point out the wig. Please.

ME: So you admit to wearing a wig?

MAN WITH WIG: Here, please. I would like you to not mention it in public. I would like you to stay mum about the subject of wigs in general and my possible wig in particular.

ME: Are you uncomfortable with the fact that you wear a wig?

MAN WITH WIG: That is neither here nor there. This is about something much, much larger and broader. It's about civility.

ME: How so?

MAN WITH WIG: A man—or woman—in a wig (I'm not saying me, mind you, just referring to a hypothetical bewigged person) has entered into a sort of social contract. They have donned a wig for a reason. Like, say, lack of hair. Or an embarrassing haircut. Or a little piece of hair sticking up in a place where it shouldn't.

ME: Oh, yes. I know about that. I had a terrible cowlick when I was a child, and spent long minutes obsessing over it in a mirror before school. I would add lots of water to a comb, and comb and comb and comb to try to get it to stay down. Sometimes I'd use a foaming hair product of some sort, but only on that spot, so that I had one little crisp lock of hair that invariably stuck out anyway, only in a clumped bundle instead of a more natural, loose spray.

MAN WITH WIG: This is not about you and your weird thing. This is about wigs.

ME: I'm sorry. I got distracted. Please continue.

MAN WITH WIG: As I was saying, the bewigged have entered a sort of social contract. They have worn a wig to keep away from embarrassment of some sort. The wig covers the embarrassment. It should also cover the bewigged from having the wig pointed out to them. The wig serves both functions: it covers embarrassment and it says to others: "There is something embarrassing below, so please do not mention me. I am standing—or sitting, or lying—here in place of embarrassment. If you point me out, it defeats the purpose."

ME: But a wig is a wig is a wig. Your are saying that to point out that a wig is a wig is wrong and that a wig is not a wig but sign of something else. I will allow that a wig is both. But I will not allow that a wig is not a wig.

MAN WITH WIG: But don't you understand that you must? What the wig stands for is more important than what the wig is!

ME: We will have to agree to disagree. I don't believe either of those things—that a wig is a wig and that a wig is a sign—trumps the other.

MAN WITH WIG: And this is why you are evil. Good day.


Illustration for this post is by my lovely and multi-talented friend Brittain. Thanks, darlin'!

If you are an illustrator, and you would like to collaborate with me, send me an email.


Don't forget about the band Tao Lin and I started.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Can't blog. I am healing and creating melodramatic popular songs.


To prepare yourself for the next post, please familiarize yourself with this old post. There will—possibly—be a test:

ME: Why is it that you are wearing a wig?

MAN WITH WIG: Aren't we all wearing wigs?

ME: No. I'm not wearing a wig. You are, and just you. So, why are you wearing a wig?

MAN WITH WIG: But, aren't clothes a kind of a wig? And you're wearing clothes.

ME: No, clothes are not a kind of a wig. Wigs are, probably, a kind of clothes, maybe. But clothes are not a kind of a wig. So, no, I'm not wearing a wig because I'm wearing clothes. Again, why are you wearing a wig?

MAN WITH WIG: Maybe, in fact, I'm not wearing a wig and you are!

ME: No, because a wig is a wig. And not a wig is not a wig. And that thing on your head is clearly a wig. Why are you wearing it?

MAN WITH WIG: Aren't we all, metaphorically speaking, wearing a wig?

ME: If I allow that we are all, metaphorically speaking, wearing a wig, will you tell me why you are, physically speaking, wearing a wig?


ME: Then we are not, metaphorically speaking, all wearing wigs.


There will not really be a test. This post originally ran on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Oklahoma won't check my blog.

Shut up. I'm serious.

I've never had a visitor from Oklahoma, according to Google Analytics. There are other states, too, from which no one has ever looked at my blog, but Oklahoma! Oklahoma is the one that truly bothers me. It's the one that I'm most frustrated by. It's the one I'm most disappointed in.

I'm disappointed in Oklahoma. Very disappointed. In all this time, they've never once checked my blog.

I'm disappointed.

Because they said they would! They totally said that they would, and I'm quoting here, "check that blog of mine real soon." That's what they told me. That's what they said. They were, according to them, going to come out to the internet at some point soon and check my blog.

To see what I was doing. To see how not being able to blog was going. To maybe check to see if they could figure out what it was that was going wrong, and maybe give me a couple of pointers. They said they were going to help out. But, instead, this:

We talk, is what I'm saying. Oklahoma calls. We talk. Even after all that stuff that went down, we still talk. I've forgiven Oklahoma, Oklahoma has forgiven me. Etc.



But then, this!

What am I supposed to do with this? Really?

No blogging today. Gotta go call Oklahoma.


Thank you.


You can buy a t-shirt to prove that you read this post. Your friends, who will also read this post, will be impressed.


Getting closer.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I was walking from a bar to my bicycle. On the way there, I saw a man walking his dogs, crossing at a light. The red hand started to blink, indicating that it would soon be dangerous to be out in the middle of the street. So the guy sped up.

And the dogs sped up. The one on his left bounced to a gallop. A gallop! Suddenly! In the middle of a walk, when all that was promised the dog was a walk. He got to gallop! And he was happy.

And I think maybe that moment there, that dog getting to run for a moment, was the happiest moment on the planet. Just for a couple of seconds, no one anywhere was happier than that dog. It was the planet's moment of greatest joy by any living, thinking, feeling creature.

Like, I imagine the planet from a distance, and the creatures on it as little three dimensional bar graph bars, and the height of each bar represents how happy they are. And I stop time, and I flatten the whole planet out, and hover above, looking for the tallest of all the bars.

(Sad people have bars that dip under the planet's surface.)

And the tallest bar is the bar belonging to that dog who gets to run for just a few seconds.

Staring at my chart, I realize how mad I am at God that the dog gets to be the happy one at that moment. And how mad I am when I realize that if I start time back up, and monitor all the happy bars, a dog will always have the tallest one.

But that's just jealousy. It's an emotional state that comes on before I have a chance to think it away. My jealousy is like that dog's happiness. It bubbles up from a part of my mind without language, without tool-making, without opposable thumbs.

Staring at my happy planet chart after I have shooed away the jealousy, I realize how happy I am with God that God has allowed me to see the chart, and empathize with the dog.

And then I try to remember whether or not God exists, and if he or she or it has called me lately. Or emailed me lately

So I need to go check my voicemail. I don't have time to blog.


Your help is appreciated.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My parents, they live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. (Or on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.) It is very cold there. It is so cold in the (or on the) Upper Peninsula of Michigan that there is a permanent layer of snow.

Some people will tell you that they have seasons in the (or on the) Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They will say that, for example, this is a photo of the Upper Peninsula in the fall, and then say "See, no snow. Sometimes there's no snow."

Those people lie. Those images are as faked as the images of the moon landing.


But, actually, now there are places in the (or on the) Upper Peninsula of Michigan without snow. Because of all this global warming you've been hearing about, seeing about, and Oscar-ing films about. Or, about which you've been hearing, seeing, or film-Oscar-ing. Something.

The permanent snow has, in some places (or on some places), melted.

It has melted and poured away, and left, and traveled through lower Michigan, and settled in Indiana of all places. There is a lake of melted Upper Michigan snow in Indiana (or on Indiana). They call it Little Lake Michigan because the water came from Michigan, but the lake is not as big as the regular Lake Michigan which, as you know, is a Great Lake. And also a great lake! It's a great Great Lake—possibly the greatest.

Indiana's beautiful, clear, blue Little Lake Michigan: it allows for boating, and for fishing, and also for water-skiing. The good people of Indiana (or on Indiana) have passed a resolution thanking the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for their generous gift of a new lake, even though the lake came there of its own free will. It seemed like a nice thing to do. People in Indiana are polite.

There is a problem. This problem is Wisconsin. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has been attached to Wisconsin for as long as anyone can remember. Wisconsin has always been friendly to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, even letting them root for their sports teams.

They have a very nice bay in Wisconsin. They have some nice, little lakes in Wisconsin. But they don't have one as nice as Little Lake Michigan.

They have stopped talking to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They have declared war on Indiana. The Wisconsinites (or Wisconsonians) are marching through Illinois on their way to Indiana, where blood will be spilled over this lake affront, or this lack of new lake front.

Many people will die in this war. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan will break free, swim out to Canada, get a job in Toronto, and never be heard from again.

War is probably not the answer. I will look for the real answer. Until then, I won't be able to blog.


Please help, if you can.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I just bought World War I. It's available on DVD now, so I went to the Wal-Mart by my house and I got a copy of the war to end all wars. It's pretty good, so far.

One of the things I like is when I watch World War I with the commentary track on. It features Alfred Graf von Schlieffen. He was, in a behind the scenes sort of way, responsible for World War I. I think it's nice that they called him and asked him to do the DVD commentary track for World War I.

It shows a healthy respect for history. And a healthy respect for people like me: fans of Alfred Graf von Schlieffen and his part in World War I.

I don't own any of the other wars on DVD. Just World War I. I'm just not as into the others as I am this one.

It might be that I enjoy trenches.

I enjoy trenches.

I wonder who will win. I didn't experience World War I when it first came out, so watching it now, I expect to be surprised by the ending.


Help is appreciated.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


My band was asked to make a tape.

Do you remember those? Some people don't remember tapes. So I thought I'd explain them to you.

This is about evolution.

Music was once a thing that only existed when it was played by people on instruments like bongo drums and electric guitars.

And then music evolved to exist even when there were no instruments around.

LP's are the evolutionary precursor to "tapes". They can be used to dispute Intelligent Design, and, strangely, some of the foundations of natural selection. You see, before the LP was a vinyl cylinder. Music was recorded on it. The needle passed across it.

The LP is round. The needle moves from the outer part of the circle to the inner. As it moves out to in, there is an inevitable lean that warps the sound. It's imperceptible. Or, nearly. It's perceptible to some.

The cylinder's system was direct. Hill and dale, they called it. The lean was much, much slighter.

The round record is an example of a successful and yet inferior species.

If there was an intelligent designer, we'd still be using cylinders. They are superior.

And also natural selection is supposed to select for superior species.

I guess this is an example of mankind picking its favorites, messing with natural selection.

"Tapes" were the evolutionary stage between long playing records—made of a vinyl polymer—and the currently, slowly going extinct compact disc, which is also made of plastic. The "tape" first emerged from the trees in which long playing records lived. They were big round spools.

They evolved: a smaller size and exoskeleton made more sense, so they grew an outer shell through mutation, and the smaller, faster members of the species were selected out by nature. They ran quicker. They were better protected.

They thrived. For a while.

Now everything is ones and zeros, and exists in some sort of form without a body. It's all information.

Just like us. We'll be all information some day. Just like music.

Soon, I will try to explain the 8-track. Must study first. Until then, I won't be able to blog.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Didn't post Monday. Told you I couldn't blog.

Told you.

Told you.

But you didn't believe me.

I blame the egg for this. There's an egg. In my fridge. Around the egg, a chariot race is run. An eternal chariot race is run around the egg in my fridge. No one wins the chariot race that runs eternally around the egg in my fridge. And yet they continue to race. They continue, even though no one wins the eternal chariot race that runs around the egg in my fridge.

What happens when the egg cracks open? Will the eternal chariot race then suddenly stop? Is the cracking of the egg in my fridge around which the eternal chariot race is run in fact the end of eternity? And whose eternity? Whose? Not mine, surely.


But someones. The racers? Will eternity end for the racers? Will my eternity end, as well? Is the inevitable cracking of the egg in my fridge around which an eternal chariot race is run a metaphor for the end of my very own little eternity?

It is mine.

Egg. Unholy egg. Unholy cracking egg. Unholy split that ends the eternal chariot race. That changes my notion of eternity. That ruins eternity for all to see. See and know that eternity is a less definitive concept than we think it is.

Unholy egg. From an unholy chicken.

I dream about the egg cracking. I dream about what comes out. Out of the cracking egg. In my fridge.

The tiny racers do not notice, will not think about, cannot conceive of the cracking of the egg. They race and race, and the horses never tire, and the whips never lose there sting, and the wheels never fall to pieces with age—extreme age—and the track never seems to be worn into grooves.

The race goes on and the racers see no end to it.

This is because the light in the fridge is rarely on. Because I don't leave the door open long. Because my father would yell at me if I did. He's not paying to cool the whole house with the fridge. And he doesn't care for racing. Or eggs.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


There was a man with two hands. (And I'm telling you, I'm telling you, I'm telling you, it isn't me, though I, too, have two hands.)

Because his left hand employed an extremely competent intelligence agency, and because it used the latest in cutting-edge, shallow-orbit satellite technology, it was always fully briefed on what the right hand was doing. And it snitched, constantly. He was, you might imagine, right handed, and his left was forever making power plays. Leftie had it figured if he grew offended enough with the shenanigans of the right hand, he would one day cut it loose, or at least promote the left to the primary hand position. Left envied the responsibilities.

As he was a tolerant man, he humored the left, but favored the right. The left never got anywhere. Its ambitions, wasted. It couldn't even blog.

Like me.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I remember the dark theater, and how cold it was in there. That was always the best thing about going to a movie. The temperature. In the middle of the summer, I went to the movies and always brought a jacket. I always wore long pants when I went to see a movie.

And I remember them. I remember all the movies that I went to see, midsummer.

Even if others don't remember the movies, I remember the movies.

Admit it, you remember the movie as well as I do. It's stuck behind another memory, in the gates of your neural pathways. Your synapses, chain lightning bottled up in your skull, like the electric fence I walked by on the way home from the movie that I went to see at the dollar theater near my house, are hiding your memory of the movie and making you lie and say it never existed.

But it existed. The movie existed as surely as you exist. In fact, you exist because the movie exists, and because all movies exist.

Even the ones someone made up.

Don't blog, I say. Go see the movie instead.

Walk by the electric fence. It's raining. The fence buzzes a little. Slap at the fence with your hand. It isn't powerful. It's a light shock. A single, electrified wire is all it is. It keeps a horse in the yard of a house. In the suburbs. There's a horse in the suburbs, and single electrified wire holds him at bay.

If that's true—and that's true—then, certainly—the movie exists.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I went on vacation. I was online and I found a travel site that offered competitive rates. The site was:

According to the site counter, I was the third person ever to look at the site. According to the email I got from my travel agent, I was the only person ever to book a trip to Milledgeville.

I took a bus. I rode to Georgia on a big, grey bus. No one sat next to me. The driver hummed quietly to himself all night long, and it helped me sleep.

And then I got to Milledgeville, and I checked into a bed and breakfast. I unpacked a few of my things and put them in a dresser. I only used the top drawer, because I only had a couple of days worth of clothes.

It was early afternoon, so I decided to go to Andalusia and look around the farm.

At the farm I saw a peacock. And the peacock was the reincarnated spirit of Flannery O'Connor.

It told me. We talked all evening, until the staff asked me to leave. I asked if I could stay the night outside, that I would sleep on the grass and talk to Flannery. They repeated the request for me to leave.

And then they repeated the request again, but this time, one of them added a shove. So I left.

And came back the next day.

And the next.

I quit my job on the phone a week later. I got a job in Milledgeville, busing tables. I bought an old, used car, one that doesn't run much. It's parked near Andalusia. I sleep in it.

I go to the farm and talk to Flannery O'Connor. She does most of the talking and I've learned a lot from her. Like this:

Flannery O'Connor hates it when kids on the street swear and everyone can hear them.

I have always hated that, too. Old people can hear them. I hate it when a young person says a curse word, and an old person gets a painful grimace. Flannery and I have that in common.

Flannery and I have a lot in common.

I go to the farm and talk to a bird. I don't blog.


Monday, March 12, 2007


There's this creature I know who is having himself a lot of trouble with the present tense. The creature is spending all its time trying to figure out the present tense, and that is a real problem because the creature was created in the past tense, but lives now in the present tense and wants to do its best to figure out the tense shift that is its "figuring out" life. You know?

So, this creature having trouble with the present tense looks out at the present tense and always sees it like its through an old glass window, even though "looking out" is sort of a weird way to describe the way eyes or seeing or something like that work.

But. Old glass. Glass is solid, but also, even though it doesn't seem like it, a liquid, and very very very slowly it is pulled by gravity, and glass warps. That's why it looks like it does when it's old: it's flowing to the ground.

And that's what the creature sees.

I am a teacher of sorts. I am the sort of teacher who tries to teach the creature how to understand the present tense. So, I am busy teaching.

And cannot blog.

(I'm back. Sort of. Maybe once a week. Maybe Mondays for a while.)