Wednesday, July 22, 2015

There was a woman on the F train tonight, a fat, older woman, poorly dressed. She might have been mentally incapacitated, maybe homeless, it was hard to tell. She had a pitiable air. She held a plastic container with a solitary, half-eaten Rice Krispy treat, frosted in such a way that made it appear to have been ejaculated on by a dog.

She stood with her package clutched to her bosom, staring out the front window of the first car, the one that looks out onto the oncoming tracks. Red lights, green lights. Shadowy figures on the platforms. I thought, everyone does like to look up ahead, no matter who they are.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Infernal problems with my computer. Just as I was maybe sitting down to write, maybe. It’s like being taunted, or tested, in some monumental way. Everything just slows down, and the spinning wheel spins. All I could do was read the Times on my phone while applications on my laptop froze or restarted. And I closed my eyes and leaned back. Relaxed. Breathed.

Monday, July 13, 2015


The pilot had enough secobarbital in him for two men.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A History of FIlm

They’re alive! Alive! Alive, I tell you! They’re alive! Through smoke and steam; through windows, windshields and fog—and the hole in the bedroom door—we thought we projected our ideals. In the end we were just projecting our selves.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sitting at work, I watched them take down the Stars and Bars in South Carolina today. Who were they, National Guard I guess. The fussy ritual—the elaborate rolling and folding, one soldier stepping stiffly closer to the other—was incongruous. Really, a mob shoulda just clambered up the pole and tore it down. Just the other day they shot at it, anyway. “USA, USA!” the crowd chanted, just like they did when we killed Bin Laden. One more symbol of terror vanquished.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Enterprise - 50

Blam blam blam blam blam blam blam blam!

Just like that. Pointed. Utterly emphatic.

“That was scary,” said Sean from his easy chair.

I was eating rice and beans, sunk deep in the ass-welt of my faux Eames, feet propped up on its spinny, matching ottoman.

“S’long as they’re not aiming at us.”

“Eight shots,” he declared. As though the number might mean something.

“Yeah?” I wasn’t sure he was right. The count seemed high. But he probably was. They did come in an awful hurry.

When witnesses hear shots, do they report more than occurred or fewer? I guess more, usually. What with people prone to exaggeration. But then you hear these crazy numbers, cop shot the suspect 68 times. Doesn’t seem possible but it is. We tend to think one’s enough. Except if you’re the shooter, I guess.

It wasn’t the first time we’d heard shots in our neighborhood. But still, this seemed particularly dark. Those were purposeful bangs. And no sporadic, extra ones after. There had to be a body at the other end of them. I lifted my wine glass to my lips. In my mind I saw the arm, the hand, the gun; the body falling and the killer run.

Sean had found a poem on the street and brought it home:


It was the knockout screen from a crossing light. You know, the top two words light up and then the bottom one. But all at once, propped on the living room wall, the words together had a jarring effect. The instant contradiction was brutal, stark.

But at least it started with a negative and ended with a positive.

Made me think of the song:

Don’t you know that you can count me out, in

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I see a lot of dead time underground, everybody insulated, disconnected, earbuds in their heads and lost in thought. Many playing time-killing and soul-consuming games. Crushing candy. If they had no choice, if some tyrant were standing above them, it would appear to be the worst kind of oppression; an outrage. But they’re doing it freely.

We are our own judges, our own executioners, and our own slave drivers.


"Favor," he said shrewdly. "Now that's another matter. What kind of favor?"

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

As I stepped out of the F train at Seventh Avenue I saw a flash of white below me, nestled in the dark space below the platform lip. Something like a shroud. Enveloping a body? I had to step off, and could only look back to see my fellow travelers following across the threshold, unconcerned.

Was it someone dead? Someone alive? Some poor soul who made his bed there, in the margin of the tracks?

I waited for the train to leave and the crowd to thin out. Then I leaned over to have a look. It was hard to see. I felt myself beginning to lose my balance. But there it was: a tangled, white sheet, maybe two. Empty, as far as I could tell. At least now.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

There’s a sinkhole under the intersection of Eighth and Eighth, near us. It caused the street to dimple like a thick liquid pouring down a funnel, and the tar formed into a point that broke off down there somewhere. Now there’s a hole, right in the crosswalk. You could put your foot in, God knows what would happen next. The City put up a cone, in the hopes that cars will stay away I guess. We walk past it every day, me and Jackie. The little gap that wants to take us all into the underworld.