Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Night Bigot

The rain stopped, and I wanted to take a run. Everything outside felt solid and separate. It was like being in a shower room full of naked men, and every man was wet and slick in his own way. There were leaves on the sidewalk, but they were all from different trees. I was outside, and I felt solid, too, from a lot of eating.

Josh came with me. We were a block before a car got close alongside and a scream came out. It was a woman. The only word I understood was "faggots." She kept driving and screaming. We could still hear her a block away. It sounded like she'd coughed her voice against the ground and then picked up all the broken pieces and ate them quickly but separately. I'd heard a voice like that from a neighbor who couldn't wake up her son. She'd dragged him into the front yard and shook him. He was having a seizure. He'd never had one before. I have had a few.

One of my friends told me I don't look gay until I talk. Maybe the same is true online. I don't look gay until you read my stories. I have a new story in the first issue of Sundog Lit. It starts on one page and ends on another.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I have a pet snake. The only time I talk about her is at parties. Someone will tell a cat story, and then they'll look at Josh and me and say, "But you don't have any pets, right?" and Josh will say, "No pets," and he'll fake-frown. Then I'll remind him we have a snake. Josh will say, "I always forget about the snake."

I bought the snake from a pet store that was nice and clean. They had a tank of baby snakes. I said I wanted to buy one, and the clerk reached her hand in the tank and pulled out a bunch of baby snakes like they were gummy worms. She put them on the store counter and said, "Which one?" I picked one that was white and pink with red eyes. The clerk said, "She looks healthy." I agreed, though I had no idea. The clerk put the baby snake in a paper bag and stapled the top so she couldn't get out on the way home.

The snake bit me the first time I fed her. She was being picky, and I was being stupid. Her fangs went in like sewing needles. She chewed on the heel of my hand. I'd read what to do. I pushed her head forward with my thumb so her fangs slid out of my hand instead of breaking off inside. We have been respectful since. She's a young adult snake now. She eats every two weeks. If I don't feed her right away, I'll have dreams she's biting me. She stays in the spare room in an escape-proof tank built for venomous snakes. She's not a venomous snake.

Once upon a week in August, I guest-edited for SmokeLong Quarterly. The story I picked at the end of the week was called 'Boy Cylops.' It was written by Helen McClory. It's on the SmokeLong site now. READ IT.

You may remember Molly Laich as the writer sitting next to me at one of the off-site AWP readings. Someone came up to her and said, "You stole my seat." Molly got up and ripped that someone's teeth out. She put the loose and bloody teeth in the seat she'd just been warming. She said, "There you have it," and then she did a curtsy and left. I wasn't drunk, but I was drinking. I never saw Molly again in person at AWP, but we are Internet friends. We are both Tauruses, and we should probably only share the same physical space every once in a while. We share some video space at Story Tapes. WATCH IT.

Someone always makes a joke conflating my snake with my penis. No one who's seen my snake or my penis ever makes this joke.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hot Now

My friend was in town from California. Her boyfriend came, too. It was the first time any of us had seen him in person. He has the eyes of a Siberian Husky. His arm hair is burned deeply into my mind in neat and obedient rows. Arm hair varies. Mine is good, but there's no order to it, and that's fine. I recently found out some men use straightener in their beards. I have vanity, but it's a lazy vanity. I probably won't try to straighten any hair on my body.

I was late to the bar. When I got there, someone told me I'd gotten hot, which is one of those compliments that's also an insult. A man with a blue drink stood behind my California friend and kept his eyes on her ass for a while. Someone said a silver fox was watching me, but I didn't believe it. I'm in denial about strangers finding me attractive. My California friend's boyfriend came back from the restroom and told us he was standing at the urinal and a drunk man came up and sniffed the air and said, "Asparagus, huh?"

There have been a lot of toads lately. I picked one up and it peed all over my hand in a sort of water balloon explosion. I used to have this dream of keeping a garden and making a toad house. A toad house is an overturned flower pot full of damp moss. I did keep a garden once, but I didn't make a toad house. It never occurred to me.

I wrote a book. You can pre-order it at Tiny Hardcore Press. One of my friends asked me what you do when you finish writing a book, and I said, "You start writing another book." I have a new project going, but that's all I can say.

There are people talking in my yard. Hush now. I'm going to make a peanut butter and apple pie.