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Excerpts from L-Town Elegy in Wayne Literary Review

I contributed to the Wayne Literary Review from the memoir L-Town Elegy:


First paragraphs:

I offer this as memoir but with necessary adjustments and embellishments as memory is fluid, a living thing, until we die and take it with us. Mostly, however, it’s an elegy, which implies the author learns something about the mysteries of life and its dim conclusion through the death of another. I didn’t learn much more about the truth of death when my childhood friend Jay Buck was killed fighting in an Atlanta parking lot at a 2000 Halloween party by a squatter punk named Jimmy Skaggs (foot goes up, boot hits face, Jay goes down), but life certainly did change shape. Death is an inscrutable study and conclusions about it are as fleeting as the raw materials of life: a full belly, a good sleep, an orgasm.

The elegy is an ancient form dating back to my blood ancestors, the Greeks, and continued on through time by my English-language ancestors, guys like John Milton, in Lycidas, and Shelley, who wrote Adonais as an elegy to John Keats who died at 26, not much older than Jay when he was snuffed out. Those two mourned the lives of other poets, and while Jay Buck could barely spell, he lived life like a manic poem he was authoring on the fly, skateboard beneath him, coasting down the street like a mad prophet. My aim is to give chase, try to toss the lasso of language around a life of blurry action. Just as it was when we were kids, I am always trying to catch up

Here’s a link to the read the whole journal online. 

Jerry Darn Nation in the Chicago Reader

Here’s my contribution to the 2010 Chicago Reader Pure Fiction issue:

Courtesy of Davey Sommers of the Post Family

Courtesy of Davey Sommers of the Post Family

First paragraphs:

This is how my drinking binge begins. Not with booze—not yet—but in my girlfriend’s bed with another girl ten years younger than me. My tortured, pussy-juice-glazed face pops up above her muff and I look up the length of her body, past her flattened titties to her upturned chin, thinking about how my entire life—the entire world, maybe—is clamped inside a vice just like her legs. A hungry blackness is gnawing at my insides, taking over. Before I allow myself liquor, I’ll lap her up, drink her dry.

Read the whole story in the Chicago Reader. 

The Bonecutters of Bear County in Kneejerk

The Bonecutters of Bear County in Knee-jerk

First paragraphs:

Todd Bonecutter began acting out his dreams, making them true. Last night, he dreamed about a video game machine filled with oil, the kind that lubes cars, makes them slick inside. Todd was nineteen and loved video games and hated to do it, but he took his X-Box, went out to the garage and grabbed a can of Pennzoil from a dusty shelf. He knew his grandmother was watching him from the window, the nag. She could see him across the yard, strewn with shit from Terminator, their German shepherd, solid brown deposits sunk heatedly in the snow.

Read the whole story at kneejerkmag. 


Monkey Boy in Monkeybicycle

Here is a shorty short: Monkey Boy in Monkeybicycle:

First paragraphs:

They ride and ride through the woods, Monkey-Boy in the backseat investigating and comparing the downy hair on his arms with the plush brown seat cushions, believing he may really be an authentic monkey boy instead of a regular boy pretending to be monkey. He is trying to distinguish the differences in textures and asks his mother why skin is different from other surfaces. He begins with the car seat upholstery but moves on to ask her about cement, metals, water and air. To each one, his mother just says, “They’re just different, that’s all, Monkey.” 

The rest of the story.