What can YOU say in six sentences?
The sands are soft as powdered babyfat, stretching interminably to either horizon. Above you hangs a starless sky, just this side of black; beside you the waves fold into themselves with a susurrous that evokes oblivion, the longing kind.
You are compelled to walk, although sometimes your legs won't hold you and you go down on all fours, sinking in the oily sand up to your elbows. Some nights you encounter sleepwalkers like yourself, and you try to speak to them but their…Continue
The neighbor's yard is a drain on the local power grid, a cornucopia of tackiness that magically appeared at the end of November and promises to stay in place well into 2012: a full dozen reindeer made of multicolored twinklers; a manger scene with complete with magi, each of whom look suspiciously like Samuel L. Jackson; a faux snow globe with life-sized mannequins of Frosty, Rudolph, and that Heat-Miser dude, all huddled together like they're passing a doobie: a ten-foot high Santa whose…Continue
So I come across this 2002 essay where Jonathan Franzen responds to a reader who's criticized him for being overly erudite and ostentatious and reader-unfriendly and, God help us, elitist, not by mounting a defense of his own work but rather by lambasting the singular and transfixing novelist William Gaddis, whom Franzen first praises for his early novel The Recognitions before denigrating him as a snide,…Continue
--while you wreck it all? --while you lie and smile and they all go down on their knees? --while you frack up my backyard, imprison the innocent, coddle the cheats, defend the plagiarizers, enshrine the cynical, glaze the eye, spread the falsehood and lock down the playgrounds? --what do you think it will take to buy my silence, my honor, while you flail away at this quixotic quest to bend the world to your will?
--what else do you have to…Continue
Something is screaming in the trees outside the window, some small animal irreparably wounded. I wish something bigger would come along and silence that alien screeching. Eventually, something does, something with heavy footfalls, the high branches parting around its lumbering progress. A rooting sound follows, a ripping tearing commotion, workmanlike.
Those footfalls approach the window, and a shadow covers the curtains.
I call out for you, high panic rising…Continue
Imagine if all those kids just chucked their cell phones and iPads instead. Imagine them realizing an eternal drum circle isn't going to do the trick.
Imagine if the cops had treated the Tea Party gatherings the same way they treated these kneeling, defenseless youths.
Imagine the epiphany of one single day trader who comes to grips with the fact that his innovative numbers games are corrosive and destructive, and that he's already got enough money to last him…Continue
"'Cause it's a terrible scare, but that's why the dark is there--so you don't have to see what you can't bear."
--Wild Beasts, "Lion's Share"
"And high above the water, the eagle spots the fish/Every martyr in this jungle is gonna get his wish."
--The Mountain Goats, "Estate Sale Sign"
"I wish that every time he touched me left a mark."
"And if all we're taught is a trick, why would this…Continue
I prescribe a strong sedative for immediate injection, and then watch as the orderlies strap Mr. Ferguson into restraints, still shrieking about metaphysical conversions and technological exorcisms.
In Dr. DeWitt's office, my boss is sitting with a detective from the Raleigh PD, and they listen anxiously as I describe Ferguson's intake interview and my diagnosis of acute onset delusional psychosis. The cell phone in question is sitting on top of DeWitt's desk, both of them…Continue
Wild applause. The bedlam wonderswarm of so many collected together and giving throat at once. Simultaneous assertion and surrender, my individual voice added to the multitude, a brief singular living event, swelling and then fading, a congress where sum > parts, an exaltation freely rendered because a performance has moved us to cry out aloud.
Is this what the good ones hear at the end, as they're being ushered off the stage? What about those of us who get booed or…Continue
I got you now. The sheep in the meadow are inky dark, their coats heavy and awaiting the shears. But the field hands have gone down to the park to drink and watch the girls, anticipating nightfall like the dream of inaugural cream. The ram watches me press the button on my laptop, oblivious to what I've set in motion, the mal-virus that will cause this whole virtual entanglement to come undone. I hack up great clots of black wool from my throat, laced with crimson. The first satellites…Continue