Monthly Archives: August 2010

Quarter-Life Crisis

Unless I somehow live beyond the
expected 78.4
years—74.6, really,
I was born in 1985,
and even less because I’m a male….
Okay, so unless I somehow live
well beyond predictions, this is more
like a third-life crisis, though without
the two extra lives that I should get.

So I’m

I guess that means I have a lot
of catching up to do. I should
be: confronting mortality
more; reminiscing about stuff;
realizing that my friends are
not as talented as I thought;
more lonely, more depressed, maybe
more suicidal or something.

Since I started late,
though, I think I might
kick ass instead. Plus,
that all sounds kinda
boring anyway.


She had tattoos of photographs. It was the first thing I noticed. And they weren’t Polaroids either. But her body art was framed like pictures, mostly in landscape, collage’d across her calf like a scrapbook. Frozen slivers of light and time, divided by the rule of thirds. You could tell that whoever took the originals knew a thing or two about composition. Or was it the artist who arranged the images in just that way? I thought perhaps that they were photographs that she had taken as a child with a cardboard Kodak camera. The pictures came out sloppy, clumsy, but the memories were true. In this way they were immortalized with the Lichtensteinian precision of a needle by a steady hand. These instants that once left their scars within her, now scarred her from without. Sure, the details of the moments may have changed as she looked back at them, but they were frozen now the way she knew them, the way she wanted them to be. If the pictures changed in the translation from celluloid to ink, did the moments change, too? Did her memories, or more, like a butterfly in time? Did the essence, or the purpose of the pictures change? Once they were honest and real, specific instants of light, captured and kept and then brought back to life in a chemical bath. Now in this new medium, they had become something else entirely. Did the tattoo artist play the role of translator, or adaptor? Both rely heavily on interpretation — it becomes his perception of her moments, of her memories. Of her life. The back of her leg had become a strip of film, unrolled and exposed, and I couldn’t help but wonder where the negatives were, and what they looked like in their sepia tinge. I tried to read their story the way that I read comics, a sequential narrative postulated in the panels, but she walked away too quickly and so the page was turned. I finished my lunch and went back to work.


9-ish a.m. – I arrive at work
and the first thing I do is check Facebook,
where I’m having a “respectful” argument
about the “Ground Zero Mosque.” On Twitter,
Tila Tequila’s accused an ex-boyfriend
of nearly choking her to death.  Google

News has nothing about it. But Google
Images shows Tequila hard at work
at being naked. And what ex-boyfriend?
Isn’t she gay? Meanwhile, back on Facebook,
I’ve posted a quote from Ebert’s Twitter
page about Mt. Rushmore. My argument

being – just for the sake of argument –
WE defaced the Sioux’s “sacred space.” Google
it if you don’t believe me. My Twitter
following has plunged. I guess I don’t work
as hard to make “friends” as I do on Facebook.
I mean, I’ve even got some ex-boyfriends

on my Friends List, even the ex-boyfriend
who dumped me on my birthday. No argument –
he gave me a card first. It’s okay. Facebook
is one big happy family. But Google
is great for schadenfreude at work.
I wish more people I know had Twitter

pages. Because I have found that Twitter
is just like middle school, where ex-boyfriends
get blocked by ex-girlfriends, and everyone works
really hard to be clever, and some arguments
take up your whole feed. It’s better than Google
if you’re keeping track of who’s dead. Facebook

is good for that, too. Speaking of Facebook,
someone who unfollowed me on Twitter
is still my friend there. Weird. Time to Google
for mean girls from high school and ex-boyfriends.
Are they fat? I make a good argument
for restricting internet at work.

By work’s end, I’m satisfied that at least on Facebook,
I’ve won the argument. I gained two followers on Twitter,
and found one fat ex-boyfriend, with many thanks to Google.

Staccato Fiction likes me!

If you’re looking for the once-present microfiction piece entitled “After He Stays,” it is forthcoming over at Thanks again for publishing me, guys!


Sans Roommate

Sans patience, sans money, sans
the emotional capacity to scour
the dregs of craigslist one last time,

not to find someone who’s perfect,
not someone who’s going to be
my best friend, my best man, my

heterosexual life partner during
my time in Los Angeles before I
ultimately move back home anyway,

for God’s sake just someone even
remotely normal, not a complete
fucking creeper. Do you have a

history of addiction? Mental disease?
Kleptomania? A foot fetish? Do
you like to stand over strangers

while they’re sleeping at night?
Are you secretly growing pot in
a newly remodeled loft across town?

Will you respond to my ad within
minutes and then fail to write back
when I try to make plans to show

you the apartment? Do you not bathe?
Are you forty-seven years old with
two toddlers and a dog? Would you

describe yourself as bi-polar,
or unemployed?
Do you have cats, plural?


Eyes Spy

I failed, though I tried
to look into her eyes —
both of them, you know,
like “He looked into her —”
Yeah, just like that. But I
found I could only see one.

Don’t get me wrong —
she had two, big and blue —
but I couldn’t split focus
to look at two once (both
simultaneously, not two
only one time. Get it?)

Where do you focus — on her
left side or right? What if your lines
of sight cross, crash, or collide?

How do they do it in romance novels?
Do all Fabio’s have lazy eyes? Maybe
we should call them “lover’s eyes” instead
of being creeped out every time
that we make eye half-contact.

Or maybe that’s the root
of the phrase: eye contact,
like a singular eye, where even
20/10 vision restricts your sight
line. Perhaps that’s how we Cyclops
Rock, undressed like cross-eyed

                      Her two look at yours,
your two into hers, but never the both
at each other.

Villanelle for a Zombie

Life is a challenge for the living dead.
It’s not a life that anyone would choose.
You’ll be all right if you can keep your head.

Despite whatever Hollywood has said,
you can’t know ‘til you’ve walked in zombie shoes.
Life is a challenge for the living dead.

When all who see you regard you with dread,
you have no opportunities to schmooze.
You’ll be all right if you can keep your head

and find those tasty folks who haven’t fled.
It’s simple when you know to look for clues.
Life is a challenge for the living dead

elseways. Many a ghoul has been misled
by background noises that only confuse.
You’ll be all right if you can keep your head

and hope another part gets shot instead.
It’s really not much of a pleasure cruise.
Life is a challenge for the living dead;
you’ll be all right if you can keep your head.