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.