from MOTHER TONGUE (3,004 words)

My latest fantasy is to take over the army. We’ll flood it with women and pacifists, bleedin’ heart fruits, singers and teachers and dancers. Why abolish that wretched institution when we can just take it over and make it cool? You always have to approach from the angle of doing, not undoing. Physical strength, camaraderie, hypnosis techniques, money and resources up the ass, dedication and discipline. Why shouldn’t we appropriate a few of their resources, and fight for our dreams?

Discipline is the foundation.

As I sat in bed sucking on my pen and contemplating my army, I heard several rifle shots and a machine gun megablast down the road.


from SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS: A Traveler's Tale

I drink in the hush of colors – not the colors themselves so much as how they blend, bleed, shade and grain together on a single fish.

“Why bother making all this erotic, ridiculous beauty?” I asked God.

A lionfish appeared, a tough-looking motherfucker with a poisonous spine and brown stripes and 24 fins in all directions, each as flittery and light as skin on cooked milk.

I discovered an eel, your standard sick green moray. It slithered from behind a rock, beady eyed and needle teethed, opening and closing its jaws in slow, cruel rhythm, its neck wrinkling and puffing like a rotten apple.


I stooped down and I imitated the eel, who looked like he was putting on a performance, his ugliness so frivolous and radiant and bombastic I couldn’t stand it.



Rosy Cowboy descended into the decaying autumn earth in his mahogany box, but I didn't see it. I was home, sitcoms blaring laugh tracks, waiting with Bobo for the vet to come. I held my cat while she died, a rubber band tied around her leg, belly patched with pee. I watched her corneas crinkle and felt her turn to matter.