Thursday, September 15, 2016

A few descriptions people have given of me dancing indiscriminately in bars.

Nascar racer rather a Nascar movie starring Will Ferrell
Bob Hope on a treadmill
A young Samuel Clemens

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An abbattoir of sorts


More McGuane

I wrote to McGuane. Sent him a couple of poems Dustin and I shanedunked. I hope he writes me back. Here's him discussing the short story, a form I continue to find extremely challenging to write, but great to read:

Are you more drawn to the story form than the novel these days?
I’m a bit bipolar on this one. I do plan to write another novel, but the writing I find most interesting today is in the short story. It’s not even close. The best short stories today are written by people whose interests are literary and artistic, full stop. The form seems impervious to the ulterior motives behind the swollen quality of many serious novels. A level of immediacy, the minimal scaffolding, the prospects for lyric intensity feed the hope that the reader may be a cultivated person.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Poor Bill

“I’m a bit sick & tired of people stepping out to ‘find themselves’ coming up at last with too often, in Cyril Connolly’s exquisitely harsh phrase, ‘a cheap sentimental humanism at someone else’s expense.’”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Life as a Guard in the Contemporary

Man in a serious limestone polo, crimson moccasins, goes in front of the Rothko gets on his smart phone.

“Mark Rothko? yeah we used to be roommates” — 15 year-old girl overheard in conversation.

Monday, August 08, 2016



Dear Head Coach of Women’s Volleyball at Mercer University,

I like volleyball a lot. What may be beside the point is the fact me and my friend Dustin used to partake in spicy burgers in the beer garden at this pub called the Mash Ton in North Portland on Tuesdays in the summers. His friend Shane (yes, another Shane) one day took a photo using a slow shutter speed — many moons later this photo appeared on a website. It appeared that Dustin’s hand was huge and coming out of his shorts holding an oversized glass of beer. I'm there staring off into space in a Chug Life tanktop perfect for wearing to volleyball practice. It’s true I had no clue. I didn’t know what was going on. All in a good fun, as the kids say. I am 43 years-old. I will be sixty in 17 years. The barmaid at the Mash Ton had what you would call a volleyball player’s build. Blonde, probably six-foot-two. We struck up a friendship on a first-name basis. Sarah was her name.

Tell the girls I am out of a job and I have a big heart. A starter for Mt Hood Community College back in the day tells you I’m sporty (Go Raiders). Until one day number 24 (yours truly) tore his hamstring trying to touch his toes during tip-off. He managed to draw a charge before they pulled him and sent him back to the hotel with a bag of McDonalds in one hand and some ice in the other. He fell asleep watching Quantum Leap with his legs up.

That was 23 years ago.

Today, I remain a sizable entity, who despite an infected cuticle, has good court coverage. I have watched the sport from afar, using binoculars mainly, and I have watched the sport up close where the images of ladies in kneepads blur like hillsides from the window of a train. I know the ins and outs. A picture I rapaciously return to is that of five babes in a crouch with their knees bent. I’m like “here comes the white leathery orb, girls! Extend those arms, Bump!”

Volleyball’s a good sport and this should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wallace Shawn talked to Mark Strand

Well, when I read poetry I can’t imagine that what’s in the reader’s head is ever what was in the poet’s head, because there’s usually very little in the poet’s head. 

You mean . . . 

 I mean, I think the reality of the poem is a very ghostly one. It doesn’t try for the kind of concreteness that fiction tries for. It doesn’t ask you to imagine a place in detail; it suggests, it suggests, it suggests again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

from McGuane's The Rescue

He is a big dramatic-looking man, and he was dressed for a wonderful idea he had had the previous evening