Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I haven’t been sent to bed without any supper, I haven’t been restricted to bread and water, I haven’t lost $0.50 of my weekly allowance. No, I’ve lost my White Privileges. The Committee decided this in private, and then, in a demonstration of thorny solidarity, delivered the edict at the round table, their eyes averted, arms folded. “But I’m an adult”, I protested. “Which privileges are we talking about? You’re white”, I added. They went about their day—the application of sunscreen, the resistance to cultural information, the receipt of emails about god’s intent. A man came to the door with a package from a retailer. Before he left, he discovered a second package from a second retailer. The clock neared 4:00 p.m., the air about us darkening to sterile gray. We sat again, this time with a soup babbling on the stove, the burner on simmer. I expressed my sorrow with a number of hand gestures, facial gestures, and catchy phrasings, a genuine attempt to express my aimlessness, and The Committee relented, restoring my White Privileges. We ladled soup; we slurped soup; we dined together in an atmosphere of plenty.

This week’s double issue includes WHO PHONES THE BIG FELLA?


Ring tones rouse the Big Fella in the four-seater, windowless. He’d fallen asleep with his lunch in his lap, after rainy day fliers boarded at the airport station. The train hustles toward a mid-route, step-down stop. “Oh no!” says the Big Fella. He refers to an interpersonal crisis. “I’m off tomorrow,” he admits, offering fifty percent of a solution. Maybe it’s Reason on the phone, maybe it’s Diminutive on the phone, maybe it’s Bad Mouth calling. The Big Fella nods. Every time he nods, he tries to interject, but his words sound like a finger rapped by fan blades whizzing on medium. The Big Fella resumes his lunch. “Mmmm,” he says, to the food. The phone sits on the seat-cushion beside him, gargling in digital dialect. The workers who sewed the Big Fella’s tremendous white shirt and his ballooning black sweatpants already envisioned a world of exaggeration. The train’s through-whistle clobbers the corridor of its through-action, claiming to be the baddest brute for miles.

This week’s double issue includes LOST MY WHITE PRIVILEGES.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


You know the holiday season approaches when songs like “Jingoism Bells” play on the radio. Whatever the sky a cloud field. How can I tell the difference between a Category 2 and Category 3 wet dream? A policeman will “tail”, he learned to “tail” from his Theories of Tailing course, he once fired a large pistol at a non-menacing paper target. I called the automated service, BoxerFone, for information on nearby bouts and rings. Lightning that enters the human body through the left foot always exits through the right thumb. If a drug made you impotent then you must’ve dropped flaccid. One could travel a distance to effect shorter jail sentences—i.e., commute to commute. A skill set for this (current) world or a skill set for a world in ruins: what’s the difference? He masturbated to online questionnaires, yeah, he spanked the Survey Monkey. Joking, smoking, de-cloaking, poking, evoking royalty. When a herd of cattle eats marijuana, the steaks are high. The Italian restaurant brought a bib for its patrons who ordered soup, a gazpancho. Whatever the sky a cloud field.

Breaking news: WHEN THE WORLD ENDS


When the world ends, I think the thermometer will read 45 degrees. I don’t imagine lava eddying with 7-11 debris aflame, the sun any closer. No, I imagine a panel of bewildered American Idol judges, then television fizzling forever. Only, we’ll have to trudge around in gray daytime and gray-black nights that will, for many weeks, offer quiet impenetrable as gray-black. The temperature: 45. Which fits, since it’s the opposite of the opposite, it’s the lower end of the opposite of the opposite, to be technical. The skies will stall. The oceans will stall, if “stall” equates with concentric decline. To be technical, “stall” equates with concentric decline. If the thermometer read “40” I’d question the finality of the catastrophe and if the thermometer read “50” I’d question the finality of the catastrophe. What do you think? When the world ends, I think the temperature will be 45 degrees. At first, we’ll be standing in circles, in the parking lot, as for a fire drill. We, shivering in coats, will be looking back toward a structure we can no longer inhabit.

For the latest, tune into WORD NEWS ROUNDUP.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


A street slopes downhill, an acute drop, forcing me to govern my stride. (Maybe this isn’t my town, after all.) The kind of second-story flats people wind up letting after they’ve suffered a few disappointments. Trees built of heavy stones, pale and papery skin molting. A moment before evening when sky and pavement equal water, when a bird and wire equal water. Everything singular, like the numbing aspect of a lamp’s worldly crown. I’d sat with a friend at a spot where every third table accommodated a plate for a diner—she and I the only pair. Silverware on poor china there, and there, as an orchestra built of the same instrument. What she’d been saying, my friend, her pattern of stress. (“Maybe this isn’t my town, after all.”) The electricity, on credit, that animates an entire grid. Assumptions of utility and wastefulness—the way some guidance plays to the empty theatre of a wide intersection. An illness weakens a handshake; an illness within a handshake; the handshake equals water. February will end in a while, I don’t know who I’ll be in March, maybe afraid.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


A rare, early photo when the five militants were seven.

There are five people and they are militant but mostly it’s just raw militancy the kind of militancy you like to see as a connoisseur of militants but little organization so there needs to be a head militant a militant in charge of the others if there is to be any militant progress at all it’s usually obvious who this should be as she or he is the militant who’s accomplished the most militancy plus she or he usually wants to be head militant (plus she or he excels at the administrative aspects of being a militant) so this person is head militant of the five militants now she says stuff like “stand at attention” and “police up those coffee grounds” and “what’re you lookin’ at punk militant?” but it’s good for the other militants to have a leader and a role model militant in their lives it’s good for them but they don’t know it’s good for them because at their hearts they’re militant so they plan to overthrow the head militant with elaborate poisons or booby traps but eventually one of the four under-militants tips off the commander they meet in secret away from the militants as they sleep their smoldering campfire visible at a remove like the glowing coal of the villain’s cigar the commander makes the tipper-offer a lieutenant and now orders go through him who changes them a little bit like for example one order (“write a five page paper about how you see yourself as a militant several years from now”) becomes something else (“write a three page paper on which lieutenant has most influenced your militancy”) perhaps it was the lieutenant’s plan all along muses the commander but soon enough the under-militants regard their situation as a classic labor vs. management  struggle and decide to unionize by joining a manufacturing union which welcomes these new members by noting that a proud tradition of polemic has existed in its ranks for years but when the under-militants seek signs of change (one of them becomes a delegate for the local chapter) they have a hard time seeing it through all the militancy they’re expected to perform every day and this really leaves just two of them as the true grunts seeing how two are officers and one’s the delegate and pretty soon owing to the need for complete regimentation one of the two is promoted to corporal (he made a cracking bean dip one night) which leaves only one true under-militant who feels marginalized “the union does jack nabbit” she thinks “the corporal’s a huge douche and the officers are off engaging in cordial trysts with the officers from the very group we attack with our militancy!” so she stands in the mirror dressing in thrifty risqué outfits reciting self-help compliments like “I’m hot” or “I’m the one” but she can’t change her abiding mindset: “there is no militancy—only institutions that squander my love.”

Too polemic? Want domesticity? Click on TOAST STORY.


You can’t find the toast. Where could it be, besides the toaster? But you’ve checked the two slots, their orange-hot wires cooling. The toaster might’ve propelled the two slices high into the kitchen, clipping off cupboards or refrigerator. If so, there would be a circumference of outcomes, and you’ve checked, and you’ve found no seven grain organic, with spelt. You stand there dumbly bearing condiments: butter, salt, preserves. Those were your final two pieces of bread. You return the butter and preserves to the refrigerator. Maybe it’s better to face the world with salt, coarse salt. Should you scatter coarse salt about you, while screaming wordlessly? The sun has tumbled off the edge of the earth, and all colors of lights, a wasteful pointillism, kindle across the city. There must be 1,000 breads—5,000 breads!—within walking distance. Knowing what you know, who’d bring a new bread into this kitchen? The toast—is toast. Its mysterious disappearance powers a certain vigilance on your part, unable to sally-forth from the domicile. Out the window, the night has deepened, the color of a dark wooden-brown piano, its sounds not unlike piano keys banged every few moments. Have you overlooked something? The toast could’ve lobbed behind the stove, in that crack between stove and wall, where a mouse chews the wood every few midnights. If the toast landed there, the mouse soon enough will discover its good fortune, there, where small fires kindle and rage at intervals more predictable than the spontaneous delivery of sustenance.

Too domestic? Seeking intrigue? Click on A TALE OF FIVE MILITANTS