Friday, April 28, 2017


They may have joined the human pack thousands of years ago.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Everything that happens happens underground.

The world is falling away.

Some people walk against the light, right out into traffic almost. You find yourself following them for a second. Thin guys with baseball caps. Untied shoes.

They put a couple of speed bumps on our block this week, one right out our window. A couple days later, giant white letters appeared on the street before it:


Saturday, April 15, 2017

As I gave our address to the guy at the appliance store he began to laugh. He turned away from the receiver and I could hear him laughing, coughing, laughing. When he got back on I expected an apology or something. Nothing. As I recited my ZIP code to him I could hear in his murmurs of acknowledgment the spasms of another fit. But he thanked me and we said our goodbyes.

There was a tremendously tall man on the subway today. It seemed depressing that he was so tall. Depressing to him, depressing to me. Though he was young and handsome he wore a vexed and weary expression. The laces of his boots were loosely fastened, like it was too much of a chore to lean down to tie them. What a ceaseless string of travails life is after all.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The ganja dealers always walk awhile on the beach with their marks, or their johns, or whatever you call a drug tourist customer. A paunchy white American and a young, fit Jamaican, walking side by side: It’s not a gay couple down from Baltimore. You could see the white man trying to play it cool. Listening and nodding and laughing a little too hard at the dealer in the middle of his habitual rap, not even thinking. Then the dealer would nod toward an alleyway or a parking lot and the pot would appear out of the trunk of a car or the hand of an accomplice, or maybe it was just rolled up in the guy’s shorts the whole time anyway. What was the purpose of this runaround, in a land where the sale of marijuana had to be considered an essential part of the economy? Maybe the theatre of it was essential. Make the buyer feel like he’s engaging in an illicit or even risky act. Where we going? Who’s that over there? Make scoring feel like a personal victory. They won’t even think about the price. The dealers seemed to know they were selling ritual, not just product. A ritual of connection and belonging, of peril and survival.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On opening weekend at Coney Island everything was already like it always was. An empty hot dog box and a handful of napkins blowing along the ground ‘cause their owners didn’t give a fuck. A gimpy old man shaped like an S, walking along Stillwell Ave. You can’t imagine where he’s going in but he’s in just the right place. After exiting the men’s room at Nathan’s I observed a man in a gray track suit and ludicrous blue-and-white high-tops as he stood eating curly fries with the tiny little plastic fork. He seemed determined and cheerless, like someone taking nourishment before some kind of travail. The little kids and the trannies and everyone else was out already on this glorious day. I walked over to the edge of the Boardwalk. I watched the waves slam down raucously on the empty beach. At least something wasn’t ready yet.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

On the train to Coney Island today I hoped I’d see something memorable on the streets or through the windows. Something in between the weird businesses in Borough Park, the weedy lots and alleyways, the graveyard and the playgrounds, the misspelled signs and school bus depots. It was all beautiful but nothing caught my eye. Then, among the debris on a windowsill on the top floor of a dilapidated rowhouse, I saw a trophy. A modest one. Maybe wings sculpted at the top, I don’t know. Who had won it? What had they won it for? Who had put it on display.

I thought of something great to write about the other day. Some episode from my distant past I think. A weird drama I was witness to, involving someone’s reckless behavior, I think. I remember thinking, that seems like a nothing story, but I can make something of it. That thing happened—that funny thing. So telling, when you think about. Revealing about the protagonist. Revealing about the supporting players. Revealing about the writer himself, and so revealing about the world. The universe. But I can’t remember what it was to save my soul.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

It never feels quite as cold as when Spring starts and the heat won’t come on anymore.

Someone managed to spam my dream blog. A robot evidently, that somehow guessed the address to post by email. It reminded me of checking my mom’s email account in her apartment, after she died. Her inbox was contaminated with spam, like flies or vultures on carrion. Here and there were signals from the living—an old friend, a bit worried that they hadn’t heard back. Something related to work. The stream goes on and on forever I suppose.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Motor Oil Memories

I took a sip of my cold coffee at work today and the taste of it gave me a powerful memory of motor oil. I was at the garage in Storrs, Connecticut with my dad getting the oil changed on our VW Bug. There it was up on the lift. The wheels, relieved of their burden at last, hung down on the axles. Now the mysterious bottom was revealed. You could see the weight of this thing. The potential danger. And yet the mechanic strolled around under the car, unconcerned. He rolled up the waste oil drum, unscrewed the plug from the pan. A stream of thick, black liquid arced into the funnel as he wandered away. All there was for a while was that smell.

I took another sip of coffee and it didn’t taste the same.

Thursday, April 06, 2017


“It's been a while, Your Majesty,” I said, which was simply all I could think of to say.