"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Are there shadows? Or is it still too dark?
We've waited for the sun to rise for days, and nothing.
Almost, bear with me, as if it isn't up there anymore,
which would be uncomfortable, to say the least.
Improbable as it is, we agree it's a possibility
we can no longer ignore.
We will be investigating posthaste.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Broken Social Scene, Cause = Time

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hell and back

If the trip wasn’t almost $800 both ways, I might consider it. But unless I’m on my honeymoon and we’re going to Hawaii, no way are you going to catch me paying more than four hundred bucks for a flight. I’ll get my eternal damnation some other way, thank you.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Outkast, Rosa Parks

Friday, May 28, 2010

A cliche to end all cliches

"I guess it's time to face the music," Randall said, climbing down from the passenger's side of his father's pickup truck. He smoothed out his suit and then shut the car door behind him.

"Just bite the bullet, son," his father told him. "Better safe than sorry. And besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that if you spend this whole time lying through your teeth and they find out, that'll be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Randall made a thoughtful face and nodded his head solemnly.

"And don't even get me started on the media coverage," his father said. "If you thought it's been bad so far, trust me, just the tip of the iceberg."

Now Randall felt nervous. His thoughtful face warped into something more terrified. Leave it up to his dad to take a delicately calm situation and inadvertently inject the heaviest dose of tension possible. He waited as his father put quarters in the parking meter, and he could feel every clank of the change as it rolled into the metal contraption.

Randall's father turned from the meter and saw his son staring at the pavement. He walked over and put a hand on Randall's shoulder.

"Penny for your thoughts, son?"

"I don't know, dad," Randall said, moving his hands from his belt loops to his pockets and back again nervously. "I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here, and the only way out will be by the skin of my teeth."

"Well," his father said in a very wise tone of voice, "I won't beat around the bush, finding a simple way out of this will be easier said than done. Nonetheless, unless the prosecutor makes a killing with his evidence, really solidly convicting you will be like finding a needle in a haystack."

Randall nodded slowly and looked up at his father.

"Thanks dad," he said. "I'll play it by ear, I guess."

"That's the spirit, sport."

They walked up the steps to the courthouse, and the prosecutor was standing just in front of the stately, wooden double-doors, briefcase in one hand and Starbucks in the other. He smiled wickedly at the pair as they ascended the final few steps, then took one last long gulp of his drink and crushed the paper cup, tossing it into a nearby trash can.

He narrowed his eyes at Randall and pointed ferociously, as if redoing his stance and putting all his weight on his front foot would make the action more poignant.

"The buck stops here," he snarled. "Murderer."

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Foo Fighters, Skin And Bones

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


They were like bricks, all different colors, unsolved
and scattered like nomads. They twisted there and
back, side to side; attempts to connect somewhere
mutually beneficial. But when everything else failed,
they walked and talked backwards, wore the insides
on the outsides, fired enough heat to snuff out the
flame entirely. When in doubt, blame the humidity.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek (feat. Res), Back Again

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When does it stop being meaningful?

I don't know whose idea it was to start building monuments to people, but boy would they be sorry if I ever caught up to them in the afterlife.

Sure, you might argue that having a giant penis on what remains of the lawn of our capital city to memorialize our first president is "good for the kids, to remind them of what is important." You might argue that. And I might disagree. And our confrontation might end in me tossing you from the top of said giant penis.

The point is that yes, it did indeed start small. A building here, a statue there, yada yada yada. But now, these days, you can't even move.

They built an entire city in monument to one David Yenkoff, who invented the Materializer Microwave, designed to create entire meals out of a tiny cube of substance. They built a mega-teleporter just outside of New York City for moving massive quantities of people and objects at once, and when that broke down and the guy who built it died, they decided to leave it up in memorial to him. There are statues of people everywhere, some so inconsequential that their descendants don't even know that one of their ancestors was famous.

We have an entire generation of people who were pretty much born to walk sideways, like they are trying to get from one window to another on the outside of a building. Sure, you might argue that "this will improve dexterity and the United States will surely win every gymnastics medal at the 3016 Olympics, or at the very least the ones related to the balance beam." You might argue that. And I might agree, because honestly this country has some of the best balancers the world has ever seen.

One day someone will built a monument to me, probably, even though all I've ever done is blog and eat and work out and teleport around just for kicks. If I have any say in what my monument will look like, I'll put in a request to have it be a giant repulsor-bulldozer, so that one day my son (whom I will train to hate monuments as much as I do) can hotwire it and level every memorial on the continent.

And I will watch from the afterlife and laugh. Then, one day, someone will built a monument to honor him, and I will stop laughing.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Eminem, Despicable

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Death mask

She painted his face on the
biggest canvas she could find,
all in oil and color. The
blood seeped through the pores
and the face became a person.
She lied at times, brushed over
his faults, made him more a
saint than a sinner. By the
end you could see through his
eyes, awash in humanity, wild
with life, hope and faith, all
despite the emptiness of his form.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Circa Survive, Get Out

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is what I do when I'm sitting through a three-hour town council meeting that I already know isn't going to give me any stories: I write poems in the outline of my digital recorder.

                               Spilled out and
                       charred when someone
                balanced the upset. So sorry
               to hear it. Churn it into a
           violent rainbow built on
      warped pastels, crinkled
        red and boiled blue.
          All taste is

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Neko Case, Fever

Friday, May 14, 2010

Almost a home

Two tons of crushed sheetrock landed in a plume of dissatisfaction, showering us with dust.

“Wasn’t that going to be our bedroom?” she asked, looking backward toward the finished part of the house. I motioned my unhappiness to the driver. He peered out the side window and shrugged.

“Sorry bro.”

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Daft Punk, Around The World

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The wedding portrait

My parents had a portrait painted of them on their wedding day, and it had been hanging from the wall in the downstairs hallway for my whole life. I remember the one time that they took it down when I was seven - the entire rest of the wall looked unhealthily faded compared to that one bright spot, an upright rectangle of untarnished, lined wallpaper, almost as if their love had protected that spot from the usual wear and tear of a home with two kids.

That portrait never really held any significance for me as a child, other than to prove that my parents were really in love, no matter how much I heard them fighting over whether or not I really needed those fourteen action figures I had asked for on my birthday.

Now, at twenty-two and desperately searching for a way out of here, that portrait follows me everywhere I go in this house. The completeness of my parents' marriage - almost 30 years long - is scarily impressive, a stark contrast to the ups and downs of my own relationship history, a constant one-up to every date I go on that asks, "Why isn't yours this beautiful?"

Patti Andrews, three months. Sam Moore, two weeks. Andrea Jenkins, a year. Jordan Bradley, seven months. Mel Jameson, forty-five minutes or so.

And now, Kristie Rooney, going on a year and a half. And that might be as far as it goes judging by the conversation I'm having with her on the phone right now.

"You need to stop getting jealous every time I hang out with people! I need to have my own friends, Ryan."

"I would stop if those people weren't your exes, babe."

"Don't call me that. And no you wouldn't! You know as well as I do that if there's another guy around, you get all territorial and whatever and everyone notices and you pretty much ruin the evening."

"Yeah, sure, if you haven't ruined it already by flirting with all those guys right in front of their girlfriends."

"Talking is NOT the same thing as flirting, god! Whatever, I need to shower for tonight but we are not done talking about this. I'll call you back when I get out."

"Fine. Call me back."

I hung up and snapped the phone shut, dropping it onto my pillow as I reached for the beer I had brought upstairs with me. I took a substantial quaff off the liquid and as the slightly bubbly alcohol fizzed down my throat, I wondered. Where was our portrait? Where was my proof that we really loved each other?

I glanced over at the phone resting on my pillow and my muscles tensed as I tentatively reached a hand toward it, hoping it wouldn't ring before I got my hands on it. I flinched and lunged my hand forward, snapping it up and flipping it open.

I stared at it for a moment, contemplating the results of what I was about to do. I moved my thumb over the power button, pressed down as hard as I could and watched the screen cycle to darkness.

I finished the beer and got up and left my room, walking downstairs for another, or maybe two. As I walked down the hallway an uncomfortable heaviness settled in my chest, and I felt anger rising up inside me until my fist clenched around the empty bottle.

I walked past the portrait and put my hand up to the side of my head like a blinder, eager to avoid whatever judging gaze my 30-years-ago parents had in store for me this evening. In the kitchen I opened the fridge and took out two beers, popping one open on the countertop.

I stood at the entrance to the hallway, alcohol in hand, unable to move another inch forward. I stared at the side of the wooden frame hanging from the wall, and finally decided it might be a better idea to stay in the kitchen.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
The Roots (feat. Kweli and Malik B.), Lost Desire

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Bruce flipped the stove light on, crouching next to where Jeanie sat with her face against the glass. Inside, the plastic container sat quietly in the growing heat, not melting as they had expected it to.

“Good thing we’re in love,” he said, “or this would be really, really boring.”

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Curtis Mayfield, Move On Up

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Commencement Speech, Final Draft

Good afternoon. I am Brilliance Personified, but you regular jackoffs can just call me Danny. I spend my time doing whatever I want, because I am basically the single greatest human being who has ever lived. All of you folks are graduating from college today, and many of you probably hope to one day live up to the impossible standards I have set for every other member of the human species. I'm here this morning to tell you that it's never gonna happen. Don't like it? Tough bananas.

I had to do literally nothing to get to the point in my life where I am now. I was born rich and educated at the finest schools, where I excelled thanks to my naturally absurd level of intelligence. I graduated with my Masters degree at the age of twenty - and yes, I could have done it sooner, but I decided to spend two years on vacation in Hawaii instead. Don't know how many of you have been to Hawaii, but guys: hot chicks everywhere.

When I became CEO of my father's company at the age of twenty-two, the entire world banded together and decided that my tale of rich to richer was somehow inspirational, and that is why this is the thirty-second graduation speech I have done since last year. I still have yet to figure out why anyone thinks I am a good role model. I spend my free time drinking, reading Playboy and sleeping with every woman I see. But I guess that one time that I donated some money to my alma mater so they would build an awesome club on campus counts for something.

So since I'm supposed to leave you hopeless saps with some sort of inspirational sendoff, I guess this is the best I can do: try really hard, or be really hot - ladies - and you might get a job working for me, and then I might pay you an outrageous salary. Peace.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Incubus, Are You In

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Right turn on 43-degree heel
sped up
and fed to the brick wall.
We drowned
in splinters of the palace
we built to keep us safe,
coerced to burn
in frigid torchlight.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Black Thought, The Professional

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cross ways

Lines like fat white chalk beckoned, but the flashing orange “HALT” said stay put. Patience, he thought. Consent came, and he minded his path with face-down attentiveness. A shadow halted movement, turned the white to gray, and he looked into the face of familiarity.

“I still hate you,” it said.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Fashawn, Ecology