Monthly Archives: February 2014

Word Count

He had had enough writers in his life

there were too many, in fact — his boyfriend, his aunt, his little sister

they all had blogs and galleys they’d ship out to him

and they’d all eventually be expecting a phone call or an email

concerning whether their dialogue read as authentic or some such thing

then there were his wordpress buddies

they were always writing and asking to be read

in their way

(he knew how much he missed when he signed off)

and of course, there were the manuscripts lying around his apartment

from the three publications he read for


he was exhausted thinking about the number of stories and poems that were

he was envious

how could he ever do any of his own writing?

and then he had a thought

he imagined a world in which each person was allotted only 1500 words a day

1500 words to write or even say or even text

he could live in that world

you had to choose your words carefully in such a world

if someone tried to make small talk at the grocery store

you’d have to wave him/her off

wear a sign perhaps

saying “only have 200 words left, must conserve”

if you’re aunt wanted an edit from you on the first draft of her book

you’d have to politely tell her that you could only spare about 60 words on her piece

and would that be enough?

yes, he could live in this sort of world

he could manage just fine.



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Punx in Love

On the train the night after we saw Minor Threat in the city, my shirt was so filthy. I thought I’d never smell right again. When a woman sitting next to me moved away seats, you giggled. Later, you launched into a horrid rendition of “Young Till I Die,” and I leapt up and down, applauding your efforts.

On our way out of the train, the same woman who had moved away from me earlier called out cruelly, “Fat Martha over there your girlfriend, Romeo?” 

You took a step to reenter the car, but I grabbed your arm and pulled you off again.

“Get the fuck out of here, Fat Martha,” someone else yelled.

By then, the train doors were nearly closed and I wasn’t sure you heard the second heckler.

“Fuckers! FUCKERS!” you screamed – the second epithet drowned out as the train roared back to life.

When we got back to my house and shut my bedroom door, you took off my shirt – the first time a girl ever did that.

“You smell like shit,” you told me, frowning.

“Yeah I should shower,” I said, looking around for a clean shirt in the closet.

“Noooo. Stay here. Pretty please?”



“Do you mind if I finish off this forty?” you then asked, too sweetly.


Putting bottle to lips, you announced “I’m gonna be straightedge for life.”

I laughed.

“Why did you go with me to Minor Threat — you’re constantly making fun of straightedgers?”

“Because Ian MacKaye’s hot and I like to slam dance.”

“Ian MacKaye is not hot, unless you’re into big ears.”

At that, you charged toward me, and I could feel my manhood growing in my pants. A few moments later, I was in a headlock, and I had to tickle you to get you off of me. You let go, exploding into a fit of girly laughs.

“Shut the fuck up, my parents are light sleepers,” I appealed.

You shrugged, and went to sit on the bed.

Still shirtless, I walked over and kneeled in front of you, taking hold of your face in my hands. I placed my lips gently on your own. As we kissed, I grabbed your ponytail in my hand.

“That hurts,” you said, breaking free of my lips.


Then you took my head in your own hands, and I felt your tongue, dry and rugged, searching for my own.

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Photographs are rather lovely

before they make sense

when they’re still small and grainy

and inexact

a decrepit house can be a wild mushroom

or an infallible mountain

a couple can recline by a palm tree in front of a sky that wears a face

a man like myself can sport winged shadows

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Nature Calls

When he was a boy, Lionel had no use for the outdoors or hiking

twenty years on, he still hated hikes

(traipsing around in a sweaty t-shirt for 3 hours, the soul crushing monotony of nature, the absence of a sign or two letting you know how bloody far you have left to go)

but he craved them all the same.

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I Wish I Was in a Band

On a cramped stage, the rangy bassist looks at his shirtless, stringy-haired drummer

with such satisfaction and reverence

and I think there has never been a love quite like the one that rears on a stage

between musicians

who have found with each other

a worthy groove.

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