Archives - Fiction

2007

November 11, 2007
You asked how we met. It was a raw night in January. I had stopped at the Viper Room near closing time. A cold martini in my hand was all that stood between me and the fog on Sunset and the steep walk home to my empty apartment.
November 11, 2007
First there is what matters.Once it matters it is measured. Measured as mass. 
November 11, 2007
Men aren't meant to be young, said the man who'd given his age as thir - forty-one. He shrugged off the false start, smiled slightly - small, borrowed, theatrical gestures that said, Had I been planning to lie? Or had I merely forgotten? He was two years into his fifth decade but not so long versed in saying it aloud.
November 11, 2007
Blake's is selected from THEY CHANGE THE SUBJECT

2008

May 5, 2008
Before he saw radiance, he saw the way we all see. He saw his wife Rachel as threatening or contributing to his equilibrium; an irritation or, sometimes, someone he loved so that touching her was like touching the source of all metaphor, making his mind gasp and his mouth open.
May 5, 2008
Lives of the Artists
May 5, 2008
And here's where I'd ask you to pay close attention, Johann, we're getting to the part where everything changes and yet stays the same, if I had a cross, here's where I'd stick it, and if I had a lollipop, here's where I'd lick it, because the smoke grew thick as glass then and smelt of mandarins, it made you think of little girls and other clos
May 5, 2008
Chapter Forty-NineJackson Miller, in the middle of one of the strangest nights of his life, felt nothing short of fractured. In a room full of aspiring writers—who the hell else attends a fiction reading—he was a celebrity. But this seemed to elicit only disdain from his friends, at least from Eddie.
May 5, 2008
Behind her house, in the back woods where the river rushed lazy and gentle, she went bathing at dawn with her best friend, Shoshana Epstein. Batya was not yet seventeen and when they undressed she still felt the excitement of exposing her blushing and blooming body to nature’s eye.
May 5, 2008
They're everywhere, these kids: Seattle, Milwaukee, Reno and Austin, New York and LA and Chicago, Atlanta, they congregate wherever there's urban ruin; Rochester, Pittsburgh and Springfield, Mass, if they thrive anywhere, it's in the rubble left behind departing industry; Lincoln and Boise and Mason City, they're as likely to linger in small tow
May 5, 2008
Dearest Eva,Do you remember, love, the summer night we spent in my uncle's chalet off Como, when we thought we heard a ghost in the parlor? I know now that it was a ghost, and, I tell you, we will never go back there.
May 5, 2008
Autumn rains spill water Upon the barren soil.Forgetting the sun, Seedlings long to sprout. I hear the wind's lament. I relive it always.
May 5, 2008
In an airplane flying west across a wine-dark sea, Spiros travels to his new country.
May 5, 2008
BottleTwo guys are sitting together in a bar. One of them is majoring in something or other in college, the other abuses his guitar once a day and thinks he's a musician. They've already had two beers, and are planning to have at least two more.
May 5, 2008
My daddy, my daddy, he got a 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme, a convertible that car is, metallic flake green with saddle interior and a three-fifty cubic inch V8 that'll churn out three hundred fifty horses and set em loose on the road.
May 5, 2008
It was in my sixth year, shortly before my birthday, that my mother took us to live with her mother, Dominique, in Beverly Hills. In my perception, we were one moment walking along the beach in Maui, the sky an intoxication above us, and the next, we were beside my grandmother's swimming pool, the calm water blue and alluring.
May 5, 2008
From GAY AVIATION TODAY, January 2004(Reprinted with permission, ©2004 GAT Media Inc.)
May 5, 2008
[Excerpt]Selection 1:
May 5, 2008
Crazy ideas come naturally from a jumper worth talking about
May 5, 2008
You sit in your cubicle on the 37th floor of a multinational pharmaceutical company, paging through a stack of medical journals. Each time you spot the name of a drug that the pharmaceutical company manufactures, you underline it, and stick a Post-It on the page.
May 5, 2008
I waited until I was twenty-one to buy a gun, although, as I learned on the day of the purchase, I had been legally eligible for one since my sixteenth birthday.
May 5, 2008
The peanuts, the coconut curlicues, sour cream, raisins, and the small bowl of mango chutney are waiting on the living room table for the boiled rice and lamb curry. My mother's still cooking in the kitchen.
May 5, 2008
prologue: crash
June 6, 2008
EYELIDS  When I was very young, my mother made me wear a clothespin at night to encourage my nose to form a salient bridge, instead of disappearing into the front of my face and emerging like a mushroom at the end of it.
June 6, 2008
PrologueMy dad, drunk again and singing.In a previous life of his, my dad dreamed of becoming a country and western singer. The fact that he'd lived this life in a concrete apartment tower in a suburb of Riga, Latvia, seems not to have mattered.
September 9, 2008
In his 7th floor apartment on , Wan Hao-hsien (溫浩賢) anguishes over his blueprints for a new kitchen god shrine.
September 9, 2008
“What the fuck was I saying? Nothing about what you were saying right?” My hand fell on Tasha's arm. We were on Canal Street going towards Broadway. We'd been waiting for the light when Natasha, in this sly way she does—with a fluttering of the eyes—she said, “When we went out this morning you were about to tell me a story.” 
September 9, 2008
Sometimes I give speeches at elementary schools. I wait backstage in the wings where they hang the discarded costumes of the four food groups, costumes that are now unused, in light of the Surgeon General's newly revised food pyramid.
September 9, 2008
[Excerpt] Even though he is across the room and reading I know he is watching me. My boyfriend likes to keep tabs on where I am so he can determine where we are. My boyfriend seems to think he has a sixth sense with me and annoyingly, I agree.
September 9, 2008
Tell the story of your father's life, and your father's father's life, and find your own, or find something altogether new, an antipodes of the expected.

2009

March 3, 2009
Ed. Note: This time three years ago, it was impossible to escape the ghost of Gary Moretti.
March 3, 2009
The ritual is the best part, the pouring of white powder from the brightly colored construction paper envelope onto the glass table, the chopping of it with an American Express card, the rolling of everyone's twenty dollar bills, the rush of fragmentary joy at the bachelor party after the stuff's been inhaled.
March 3, 2009
“Are you Middle-Eastern?”She leaned forward with her knees pressed together.“I'm Italian and Polish.”
April 4, 2009
Your little sister is late. Outside the terminal, a slight drizzle slants in the orange streetlights. Everyone else on your flight has long since been picked up or connected to another destination.
September 9, 2009
When I got to Matt's house, he met me at the door with this puzzled look on his face. There were strangers in the living room. “Who are they?” I asked. “I don't know.” “Jehovah's Witnesses? Mormons?”“I don't think so.”“Friends of Donna's?”
October 10, 2009
You’ll probably find this funny, because people usually find it funny when I tell them.

2010

April 4, 2010
one lightsoff acceleration go and he found himself moving arrhythmically across the surface of an abandoned parking lot and she was backlit by the diffident blaze of a burning mailbox at the edge of a sidewalk shattered into fragments like a bar of bleached chocolate and his brain reciprocated lik
July 7, 2010
I stub my toe on a woman. She's spread out next to the tub. Her breasts rise and fall. I reach down and rub the hair on her legs. There's a skirt over her important areas. She's got a face like a sprain. If she wakes up, I believe I can help her. I'm not a bad man. The poor girl. She's got lipstick all over her face.
September 9, 2010
Un—OpheliaShe looked angry.Her: “What did you mean by that?”Me: “Well, I just meant that your eyes are pretty, like deep pools of indigo sky.”
October 10, 2010
My mother is always losing the mates to her shoes. She returns late at night. When I get up for a glass of water, I find her passed out on the couch, one shoe lonely on the floor. 

2011

January 1, 2011
[Excerpt]
February 2, 2011
Monday is coming to an end in Melbourne. Alajuela is in ciesta. Granada is having dinner. Beirut is getting drunk. Buda and Pest are tucked in for the night. But many are on the internet at the same time.
February 2, 2011
You’ve sweated an hour on the B train.
February 2, 2011
A city of pieces, he thought. From the helicopter, croppings of stunted trees tufted from the wreckage like sidewalk moss. Building façades resembled peeling carrot skins. The sun was a white china ball; he expected the sky to knock it and let it swing.
March 3, 2011
He paced back and forth in his Hershey-stained briefs. The muscles in his bare legs bulged out as he paraded across the carpeted floor.
May 5, 2011
His wife suggested they trade-in for a shorter fat man.Of course, he’d already investigated that.“What,” she said, “now you’re not talking to me?”
May 5, 2011
Alone in the house with his wife's Peruvian maid, his emotions get the better of him. The sun is setting in the kitchen, its last rays illuminating the fading yellow wallpaper. She sits across him at the breakfast table, listening attentively as he discusses his upcoming divorce.
May 5, 2011
On our island, no woman may cook on a fire that was lit by a man. No one may touch the foot of a chief.
July 7, 2011
According to Danish philosopher, Bernard Claw, gimcrack corncrake and give the dog a bone, the self is the self when the self is not being the self, assuming, of course, the self is entirely selfless when the self is selfsame or, at least, selflessly the self, all things being the self.
August 8, 2011
Chapter 1 - Bed Board Baldwin Wallace turned the page. It was late into the night and he was alone in bed, reading from The Book of Ash. He was also waiting, anxiously so, for Nadine, his wife of six years, to come home.

2012

March 3, 2012
There ain't shit on TV on a Saturday afternoon. My buddy Lyle and I come in here after our morning shifts and knock back a couple and bitch about how there's nothing to look at except the girl serving us drinks and the guys arm wrestling on television. Lyle runs his own industrial parts store and I work most of the machines for him.
July 7, 2012
In 1988, to see Humberto Pacheco in his homeless man's attire, overgrown coat sleeves and no undershirt, a knotted rope tightening his waist band, bare unshaven balls in the shadow of his opened zipper, is to confuse the abandoned basement where he slept, and the purpose the larger bu
October 10, 2012
He was a champion sleeper and could knock off consciousness at a moments notice to descend into dreams thick with his waking joys and sorrows. It was a skill he always had, ever since he was a child and learned to manipulate the clock through nodding off. 

2013

July 7, 2013
“Do you feel there are too many limitations placed on you? On your relationships? On your life?”Israel Benito Canseco was eleven years old and he sold personal development for twenty-five pesos.“Have difficulties facing the challenges that impede you? Want to overcome personal and professional obstacles, but don't know how?”
July 7, 2013
We called him Rob, Robby, sometimes even RPG, his full name being Robert Peter Garretson. He lived in a small studio apartment with his girlfriend in a flashier part of Brooklyn than where I lived much deeper in the borough.
September 9, 2013
“Old man,” said Youngae to her husband. “What are you doing? At your age, Doctors Without Borders? North Korea?”
September 9, 2013
Landau walks in the middle of the street. Every night he finds himself more impressed by the quietness of the ghetto. Such a disorderly place, and now so silent. As silent as the salon where he will drink his cognac later.
October 10, 2013
July 15th
December 12, 2013
Q: A:So right before the funeral, she walked in on me. She saw what she saw.Q: A:Not the kitchen. She keeps saying it was the kitchen. It was the bathroom off the kitchen, which is an entirely separate thing.Q: A:

2014

March 3, 2014
There was once a girl who went to the Emerald City (no, Linnea, they told you it's called Seattle, stop talking like it's that kind of Emerald City). She went there once, when she was a younger woman, a girl really.
September 9, 2014
If we score, I'm supposed to pull the lever inside my foam suit to operate the plastic backhoe arm/bucket on my head.
December 12, 2014
The sign for Chief's Café in Pittsburgh was a neon fireman's hat and hose. Someone threw a rock through the right side of the sign and smashed it up, but it still glowed and buzzed like an electric snake. I guessed the owner was a fire chief. I guessed this was the kind of place someone who lived for emergencies built.

2015

January 1, 2015
Careening through Paul's head are tricycles mounted by clowns. Their makeup is runny, pasty white augmented by skin tone stripes. Their laughter is malevolent, scraping Paul's eardrums raw. The shrink's waiting room is cold. Outside the temperature is 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
November 11, 2015
Chapter Two of “Gone Alaska”ArrivalElfin Cove, Alaska
December 12, 2015
Review of a Serial Ejaculator: Subway Line 7 and the Antonin Drake Method

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