Category Archives: memoir

In Vino Veritas

My friend tells me
Theres a balance
Beam metaphor

Dont she says
Don’t look down
Those people

Her nod
Imperceptible
And flavored

With two kinds
Of red wine
At some invisible

Group of
Down lookers
They she says

Those people
Look
Down

So as we
Eye our
Prize

Fix your stare
Full steam ahead
Don’t let the whines

Go to your head

Down Here, Nobody Knows This Place Exists

I think about all the conversations we’ve had on this bench, even though we’ve never sat on this bench before. Today, you asked me if we were ever happy.

Album One, Track Five

The first time it interrupts the sustain
of droning half-step dissonance, filling
the aural space with a fuzzed out wall
of sound strummed heavily on the down
stroke that supports a single voice
layered in unison with itself. It lasts
for a mere eight bars before returning
to that strange talky ambience and
the unsettling vibrations of open strings
and one more flat than it should be.

But the second time it hits that barricade
grows bigger, becoming a mighty force
of distortion twice as long as it had been.
And this time when we hear that voice above
those thrashing tones we find that it is not
alone, instead accompanied by a third and
then given a response, an answer to
the speaker’s call that first presents itself
as a savage, meaningless, but ultimately
universal howl which then transforms into
an echo before overpowering the voice
and predicting its response before it has
the chance to finish what it started.

And finally, the third time, the cacophony keeps
on building as our two conflicting voices still
struggle to be heard through that endless
cavern full of overdriven shreds, the lead
voice once again repeating its confession,
when another third enters the conversation,
offering new points counter to the claims of
the first. Perhaps it’s a direct response
from one who has suffered just the same,
in a some similar story where only the details
changed, or perhaps it is the audience that
the first one had been calling to for all
this time, finally offering an answer or
at least an argument to the initial supposition.

But no resolution is found in the end and their
voices combine into a meaningless wails that are
no sooner swallowed up by the growing sounds
that surround them, feeding back upon themselves
and finally crumbling into discord and decay.

The Book of Sega Genesis

On the 8th Day, God created the Internet. He looked to it and saw that it was good. Adam & Eve were delighted — they finally had something to waste their time on while they were wasting their time in Eden.

Then one day while Eve was poking around the Internet on her Apple device looking for more videos of cats when she stumbled upon a link to a news article. A snake appeared in the grass beside her and hissed, “Ssssssssssscroll down.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, not having seen a talking snake before.

“Passssssssssst the article. Sssssssssscroll to the bottom of the page.”

And so she did. But Eve was still confused. “Okay, but now what I do?”

“Sssssssssssimple,” the snake responded. “Read the commentssssss. All the ssssssssssssecrets of the world will yoursssss if you jusssssst read the commentsssssss.”

And thus was borne original sin. And then Adam came by and said “First!”

A Catalog Of Thoughts; Or, Sorry, Lena Dunham, But Our Generation Already Has A Voice

It’s called Every 20-Something With A Liberal Arts College Education And A Smartphone Who Was Reared On Pop-Culture-As-Literature And General Memetic Awareness With A Knack For Creative Nonfiction Who Also Probably Lives Paycheck-To-Paycheck In An Urban Environment Not Because You Have A Family To Feed Or Anything But Because Your Actual Salary Isn’t Really Comparable To The Lifestyle You Lead Because You Know Happy Hour But I Mean Who Really Cares About A Savings Account Anyway That’s So Totally Just For People In Their 30s Or God Forbid Even Older Than That But Now That You’re Out Of College Life Is Pretty Different And You’re Struggling To Find The Balance Between Growing Up And Growing Old And You’ve Started To Notice That Your Body Can’t Quite Synthesize Alcohol The Way It Used To Even Though You’re Well Aware That You Probably Still Drink Too Much But I Mean Like You Drink Too Much In Moderation Instead Of Just Binge Drinking On The Weekends (Thirsty Thursday Obviously Counts As Part Of The Weekend) So I Guess In Some Ways That’s Still Kind Of An Improvement And There’s Something About Turning 24 That Offers A New Perspective On Life at 23 And All Of A Sudden You’re 25 But It Feels Like 25 Ta Life Ya Know And You Feel Like You’re Still A Kid Or At Least You’re Not A Grown Up Unless People Don’t Think You’re A Grown Up In Which Case You Are So Totally Grown Up You Are Mature You Are Successful It’s Really Going To Start To Happen Even Though You’re Still Not Entirely Sure What “It” Is But You Can Still Talk About It Probably In The Form Of A List Or Some Other Kind Of Clever Post-Ironic Creative Non-Fiction Form In Vague Language And Terminology But With Just Enough Specificity To Make “It” Seem Real Or At Least Real Enough To Invoke Empathy With Your Fellow Liberal Arts College-Educated 20-Something With A Smartphone And A General Awareness Of Pop Culture And Internet Memes And The Technological Know-How to Share-Tweet-Tumble-Like Everything You’ve Said In An Electronic Acknowledgement Of Camaraderie That You Are Not Alone They Are Not Alone These Experiences Are Nothing New Nothing Unique But It’s Your Voice And That’s What Makes It Special Because You Are Special You Are Unique You Are Every Liberal Arts College-Educated 20-Something City Dweller You Are The Voice Of A Generation You Are Not Alone

Origin Story

It began, as most Wednesdays do, with a sojourn. The work day complete, I depart from my hole-in-the-ground and set forth along the cow paths of Massachusetts Avenue, passing by the Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool and continuing along past Berklee, up over the Mass Pike to The Otherside and within ten minutes I’m standing outside the door of Newbury Comics, awaiting the days’ haul. I enter the store and approach the front desk and without saying a word I receive a stack of fresh comic books from the cashier, the newest issues, just released that date. I thank her, then walk towards the back corner of the store to check the New Release racks to make sure I’m not missing anything.

That’s when I discover the truth: Animal Man #16, Unwritten #45, and Wolverine & the X-Men #23 are all missing. They were not in the pile that was handed me when I walked in, and they are not among the racks with the other new releases.

Breathlessly I dash back to the front desk. “Jesse,” I say to the manager (because obviously I’m on a first name basis with the comic book guy), “There’s an emergency! I’m missing 3 comics!” Before I finish speaking, he’s at the inventory computer, fingers racing across the keyboard, clock ticking fervidly, each passing second echoed deeply in my head. After 83 seconds that feel like a lifetime, Jesse turns to me and says, “It looks like Animal Man and Unwritten were undershipped from the distributor, but they’ll be here next week. I’m not sure why Wolverine & the X-Men wasn’t in your box, but I have an extra copy here that you can have. I’ll put it in the computer now to make sure we don’t forget again.”

“Awesome! Thanks so much, man. Sorry to be a pain.”

“No problem dude! She’ll ring you up at the register,” he says as he enters the information. I handle my transaction with the other cashier and as I type my secret PIN into the code box I hear the tinny ding!ding! of the metal detector at front of the door. This of course attracts my attention, as it does the entire staff. “Let me just check your bag real quick?” Jesse asks the customer. His manner is pleasant and unaccusing as he steps out from behind the computer at the front desk, but it doesn’t matter; the guy makes a run for it, slamming through the door, stutter-stepping at the sidewalk, and bolting down the street. Jesse follows as quickly as human legs can take him, but by the time he’s hit the street, the thief has already lost himself in the throng of early-evening shoppers.

This all happens in the time it takes me to enter my 6-digit PIN to complete my transaction. Jesse walks back into the store, defeated and enraged, and immediately the phone to call the police. It was in that moment that I knew: this would be the last time I stood idly by as twisted criminal scum had their way with my comic book shop. For I was too engrossed in entering my PIN, too wrapped up in myself to take the necessary action, and because of my selfishness, my recklessness, who knows how many innocent used CDs have been lost?

As a wise man once told me, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility,” and from that day forth I have committed myself to justice. I have recreated myself as a symbol, because symbols have the strength to battle evil.

I am Regular Wednesday Comic Book-Buying Guy.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Break

Twas the night before Christmas break, when all through the web.
Not a tweeter was tweeting, not even your Aunt Deb.
The blog posts were scheduled to autopost with care
In hopes that the readership soon would be there.

The college kids were passed out all drunk in their beds,
while visions of potential high school hook ups danced in their heads.
And mama implores them to help her with chores,
but they’d rather sit around the whole month and be bored.

The news cycle trickles out with hardly a clatter
And we habitually check Facebook to see what really matters.
But everyone posts the same holiday status
of seasonal greetings and some New Years gladness.

The impending threat of the first-fallen snow
gives a nostalgic glimmer to objects below.
And then once it snows, what instead should be appear
But wet muddy roads that make it hard to steer

For every little drink driver, so lively and thick —
but really, you should have had a DD, you dick.
How rapid you spun when to black ice you came
but you’ll come out unscathed, and still find someone to blame.

“Well yeah but so maybe I had a few beers.
I was just fine to drive, there was nothing to fear.
I was typing a text to see who else was home
when I don’t know, man, I just swerved on the road.”

And the mornings you spend with your family feel quaint
but by mid-afternoon, it’s clear that they ain’t.
Your parents have so many answers to seek
when they don’t realize that you just want to sleep.

But you’re still looking forward to seeing old friends —
forgetting, of course, their own holiday plans.
So you look back to Facebook, but nothing is new,
so then you check twitter to find something to do.

But your parents have cable, so hey, that’s still cool!
With eight thousand channels, and you feel like a fool
for watching some network crap you don’t like
but that’s better than just surfing channels all night.

Then you see an old ex on the way to the store,
And she’s fat, or he’s married to that old high school whore.
And the comfort is fleeting, but at least now you’ve seen
that your life didn’t peak when you’d just turned eighteen.

So you get drunk with dad and discuss politics
and realize that hey, maybe he’s not such a prick,
and wine works much faster than cheap, shitty beer
so you start to rethink your plans for New Years.

Then you remember your plans for a productive week,
and the things that you wanted to watch, write, and read.
But instead you fall down a Wikipedia hole
and learn all about the agricultural benefits of voles.

And you watch with your parents an childhood great
which washes over you with a sentimental wave
and those annual plans you had made with your friends
are now spent at home with more emails to send,

checking twitter, and updates on Facebook for news;
you find nothing, and so open a new bottle of booze.
But when the time comes to leave, you drive off with a grin
because you can’t wait ’til next year to do it again.