What can YOU say in six sentences?
We leave the windows open so we can hear the surf from a few blocks away. Guests from last weekend left a couple bottles of wine so we helped ourselves, saving the trip to the store for tomorrow. Tomorrow a series of silences and the words that fill up silences.
After midnight the laughter of teenagers walking along the sidewalk, glitter and sandals and fingers entwined. You tell me a story about when you were a kid and you used to come down here with your family--I've…Continue
So in the service of attribution, I research references to the "grey-eyed governess" online, fully respecting the lyrical inspiration of Cymbals Eat Guitars' Joseph D'Agostino (iffy band name notwithstanding) but also suspecting that he'd copped the reference from some arcane literary source. I mean, it sounds like something from James' Turn…Continue
From the high branches they rain, alighting on the earth and burrowing, down and further down.
Nourished over the years by the roots of the very trees where they were conceived and hatched.
What trigger is it that calls them back into the light, to make the long climb into peril and ecstasy? Perhaps it is the song itself, tones in search…Continue
Daddy, I remember when you got me my first rifle for my birthday the year I turned 8. It was always my favorite, and we sure had fun those Saturdays in the woods by ourselves, didn't we? But then I heard about that thing over in Burkesville and, Daddy, I just started feeling real bad.
So yesterday I went and fired off all my rounds at that old…Continue
The corporations didn't take it. The government didn't take it.
We gave it away.
He didn't steal it. She didn't steal it.
I gave it away.
One fine morning I'm gonna ride out & when the table's set for dinner my chair will stay empty.
Strolling down all the old streets in search of new ones I'll see the wreckage we made, the couple of things that were worth rebuilding, the ruins we left as cautionary tales--except no one ever pays any attention.
There's something in people that loves a beautiful ruin.
On that fine day I'll be able to taste just a hint of sweetness from every pair…Continue
Dusk settled over the valley of Elah. The Benjamites took Goliath's head with them to Saul's tents, bearing also upon their shoulders the cocky shepherd, while the Philistines retreated in panic as though driven by reverberations from the giant's fall. Our commander sent us out to scavenge Goliath's corpse, as his breeches could be used to make several tents, and his sandals turned into sleds for our supplies. Joab was the first to hold up a bloodied stone the size of a fist and cry,…Continue
So looking into your eyes right now, my heart quickens, and this seems like it could be something real, something genuine that we've both been looking for our whole lives, and I want us to start off on a solid foundation, which is why I'm going to tell you right here and now that the most important thing you should know about me, before this goes any further--and I want it to go further, sincerely I do--is that I am a liar.
You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen,…Continue
Cellars full of batteries, ammo, rice cakes and gold, awaiting the final trumpet to sound the all-clear. You pray for plague, flood and famine; you'll be surprised to find your own fists reeking of blood. High-time Armageddon, the holy books and Facebook say it's nigh, the Middle East is in turmoil, the great whore capers on TV for all to see. Feast on what you're fed, drink yourself drunk on drought. A fresh start upon lawless scorched earth, you resourceful survivor you, you saw it all…Continue
The federal prison system is now considering freeing former Enron executive Jeff Skilling early (after having served only 7 years of his original 27 year sentence), since the Supreme Court has declared that the deprivation of "honest services" isn't such a big deal.
Former SC gov Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford is once again running for public office, with his spin doctors going on TV to laud the importance of his honesty, which I suppose refers to the fact that, once he was…Continue
You may feel like the world doesn't know you're here, but rest assured, it does.
It's just that you're easily replaced.
Without you, the universe will keep unspooling, slightly altered.
You will not be duplicated--there is only one of you.
Trillions have been added and subtracted before you, and a trillion more will come after.
When the calculator is turned upside down, it will spell out a crude joke--without you, it…Continue
They said rock n roll was dead, murdered by disco and radio and punk and MTV and drum machines and Michael Jackson and Skrillex.
And now they say--with great authority--that the novel is dead, slaughtered by TV and the Internet and Dan Brown and flash fiction and Twitter and dumb-phoned attention spans and the self-proclaimed cultural elite who can no longer be…Continue
The smug wiser-thans try to tell you that the bullies will grow up to be convenience store clerks and failures.
Some, maybe, but others will be the jocks who date-rape your friends; the magistrates, prosecutors, legislators and judges who keep you down by law; the executives who downsize you and raid the company's pension fund so they can buy another boat; the bloggers and commenters who have to make their petulance known, for whom "I hope you get sodomized by a gorilla with…Continue
They can't get enough. They can't get close enough. They want to be there watching, inside the classroom the office the mall the cockpit, in the rupture. They want to feel. They want something to make them feel anything.
They have become accustomed to being served.
They see it come down out of the szy like one of the mininors that falls during certain times of the year. Him and his Za find it the next morning out in the back lasture, still smoking and sparking, all scarred and crumpled, composed of some strange material with weird etchings on its outer snell.
It's not of this werlde, says Za, or else it's from some different timme altogether.
He calls the lawz and the lawzmen came but they don't know what to make of the…Continue
8/20/77--Voyager 2 launched: Bill Floyd celebrates his eighth birthday in a strange new town where he doesn't know the expected behaviors, an unfamiliarity that will cost him dearly with bullies and the popular kids.
8/25-11/12/81--Voyager 1 & 2 flybys of Saturn; Bill Floyd is 12 now, one of the last years he'll be a good kid before discovering, at age 14, the distractions of beer, tobacco, weed, and third…Continue
Dr. Sagan requested that Voyager 1's cameras be turned back toward Earth for one last photo before it began to pass beyond the borders of the solar system.
The image we see is that of our planet viewed from 3.7 billion miles away. The radio signal that brought it back to Earth, traveling at the speed of light, still took nearly six hours to reach the antennas of the Deep Space Network.
The polarization and scattering effects of light reflected from Earth…Continue
Both Voyager space probes carry gold-plated copper LPs (LPs having been state-of-the-art recorded media in 1977).
Each record comes with a cartridge and a needle and instructions for playback.
Composer Laurie Spiegel was enchanted by the shape-note music sung by religious congregations in Appalachia, and her work--a synthesizer interpretation of Kepler's "Music of the Spheres"--made it onto the Golden Record along with Stravinsky and Blind Willie Johnson and…Continue
Scientist studying panic attacks recently discovered that subjects who don't respond to external fear prompts (often by dint of damage to the amygdala, part of the brain associated with the physiological experience of fear) nonetheless suffered physical panic when they inhaled carbon dioxide. The suggestion being that fear triggered within our bodies…Continue
Neptune is the first planet to have been intuited by mathematical prediction (on account of anomalies in the orbit of Uranus, which could only be explained by proximity to another planet) rather than empirical observation.
It is warmer, relatively speaking, than Uranus, even though it is farther from the sun.
Methane in its atmosphere gives the planet its azure blue appearance, and its…Continue