For years, I tried to read Don Quixote,
Revering the Spaniard writer in me,
Skimming a thin abridged edition,
Sophomoric in World History.
Later, greater windmills.
Exotic becomes quixotic.
The bookmark stops.
Dare you go on,
Know the ending anyway,
Some will never get their day.
Tee box talk
Green Room gab
Chiefs of Staff
Middle and/or Senior management
Presumptive press secretaries
Heads of security
Surrogates (sex or otherwise)
For years I tried to start smoking, scurrying out before theme parties:
Bad Taste Ball, Red Light, Pajammy Jam—to pick up Pall Malls,
Only to find the shreds of tobacco slipping past my lips.
Tonight, some fifteen years later, I rushed out for a walk, alone,
Minus wife, kids, mother-in-law,
Left a flat cauldron of beef stew to roast in the oven for an hour.
I cook now. I follow recipes. I make up my own.
“Be back,” I said. Like those fathers you hear about that say,
“Be back. Just going out to pick up some smokes,” and then never return.
What if I kept on walking and left for good?
When you’re wired for guilt and depression, this is what you think of.
You’re surrounded by light, yet spend your whole life,
Looking for shade, just a slice.
at my thinking place,
Where Mark Twain sits in bronze,
Forever reading Huck Finn to anyone who will sit next to him,
A few drunk hopeless fans smoke their consolation cigarettes.
We lost again tonight.
I want them gone, off my bench,
So I can sit next to Sam,
Breathe in some fresh air,
Clear the muck upstairs.
I sniff their second-hand,
Let them have our moment,
If we don’t win, it’s a shame.
Your life ended up going to shit,
And what did you do?
You kept floating down the river,
Smiling at it,
Your dial set to happiness,
If only for a bit,
Now you sit,
In front of the IHOP,
As you did then,
at your birthday party,
At the end.
For, who else,
Were you going to celebrate?
We’ve all been there: staring at a blank canvas, that perfect first line taunting you. Sometimes the entire story spills into your head. You see it all play out before you. It’s going to be marvelous.
Then the words come. And this is what you get. False starts. Doomed beginnings.
Traces of fat around his cheeks and jawbone had layered outward in the past few years, swallowing the distinct features of his once angular face. When Samantha didn’t recognize him, he said, “Hey, I’ve been hungry, okay?”
There was a huge difference between “Could you sweep out the crematorium?” and “Please sweep out the crematorium.” The former suggested Ricky might be physically unable to do so, yet that wasn’t what bothered him; he preferred to be told what to do.
Greg flung his paddle into the mosquito-infested stream. “That’s it,” he said. “I’m done with this shit.” Liza gripped her paddle until her knuckles turned white. She knew, after all these years, fundamental differences with things like religion and politics wouldn’t break them. Setting up a tent. Parallel parking. Folding laundry. Kayaking, however, would.
On January 1, 2000, I woke up in the cargo area of an SUV, hands bound behind me, duct tape over my mouth. I was still wearing all my clothes: khaki pants, white T-shirt under a green wool vest, and boots, all of which reeked of booze and spit up. The night before came back to me in flashes: waiting in lines at dive bars on Galveston Island’s strand, whiskey shots, cameras flashing, standing on the beach around a bonfire, then nothing.
And while we men with big brains might desire those women that love men with muscles and money, we tend to be satisfied with the women—those few women—that go for men with intelligence.
Baby name trend expert Nameberry* and the efficient record-keeping, lovable government office the U.S. Census* have released a rare preview of the top baby girl names for 2015.
Names based on nouns, adjectives, or poorly crafted adverbs:
Male names soon to be appropriated for baby girls:
* Nameberry and the U.S. Census did not release these names. Purely a joke.