Piece: The Numbers We Know By Heart
The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review
Mr. McFadden and I played with my train set until my parents and The Porters came home from dinner. And we continued to play with it while Mr. Porter, angered and embarrassed by his son’s behavior, went into our guest bedroom and summarily beat the shit out of him. The sound of Mr. Porter’s fist hitting Chad’s face, a soundtrack to my O-Scale train making lazy laps around the O-Scale train town, and Chad’s body falling back onto the bed, the noisy mattress making a symphony of creaking. Again and again. And Mr. Porter’s booming voice: What the fuck is wrong with you!
In the end, it was decided I would spend the night at the McFadden’s house.
It was my first sleepover.
I didn’t sleep.
Pieces: Gig Review: Frightened Rabbit at Terminal 5, NYC
Playing the Truth
But as I have already established, most writers of concert reviews probably have not been virtually ordained to write their concert reviews. This is a sad reality, and a shortcoming which is no fault of the writer. I do not judge them for it. There is simply no accounting for the logic of ordainment. Or of facts.
Which brings me to the review itself. In reflecting upon the nature of the “concert review” I felt as though—no, it came to me in a vision—that facts were of prime importance. Second to that, was documentation, in the form of photos and videos. And, thirdly, subjectivity: the impressions the concert left upon me.
We Don't Want to Play Anymore
Eating Sushi at Stoplights (Reprint — See Below)
The Good Men Project
From "The Hourglass" ... The people I love are grains of sand in an hourglass. And they’re starting to slip through the narrow curve at the center.
And I am the hourglass. And the longer I stand upright, the more the weight shifts, and the more empty I feel up top.
And every day I think about breaking that fucker. And putting an end to this slow, terrible drip.
Piece: Wherein I use Ugly Words Like Platform and Audience
Musicians in general—and indie musicians in particular—seem to be intuitively more aware of something a lot of writers aren't: that today, our art and this thing we call "platform" are inextricably linked. That we have the power to determine our own success instead of catering to the big publisher (or record label) and their interest in what will sell. If there is good writing, if there is good music, then there are people out there who will like it. Audience is just something that needs to be found. It's another word for like-minded friends with whom your work resonates.
Story: Eating Sushi At Stoplights
(Issue 7, Spring 2011)
I've been washing clothes for a woman that used to wash mine. And I've been helping her put them on right after she comes out of the bathroom all inside out. And it makes me remember one of her favorite stories to tell used to be about the time I put my rain boots on by myself at daycare. And how I came stomping out to the car all proud and smiling and with the boots on the wrong feet. And how when I got into the car, I said to her, Mom, I put my boots on by myself. And how she said, I see that.
She knew I fucked it up. But she never said anything. It probably wasn't the first time she did that. It definitely wasn't the last.
It's good to have people you can make mistakes in front of.
Story: All There Is
Filthy Gorgeous Things
(Scent, January 2011)
Mostly, Honey is a good dog. She listens when I tell her to get off the couch. When we're going for a ride and I say, Up! she jumps into the passenger seat and sits, patient and noble and alert. Like most dogs, she wants to please. But on walks, she is completely controlled by the scents that catch her nose. She doesn't listen. She walks ahead of me. She pulls on her leash. Then she'll stop and plant her feet so she can stick her snout in a patch of grass that has some irresistible smell emanating from it. She's remarkably strong for her 45 pounds. She becomes like a wooden post in the ground. Obstinate. Immovable. And the stubborn strength of her curiosity will whip me to a stop.
Story: Landing Punches
Rose & Thorn Journal
My dad bought me a pair of red boxing gloves when I was seven. I would put them on and stand on my bed and pretend I was somebody who would kick somebody's ass. Mostly I was not somebody who would kick somebody's ass. I'm still not. But sometimes I hurt people close to me by accident. I once gave my best friend a black eye with an Atari gaming apparatus. Years later, at my wedding, I got the same friend to put his hand on a scalding hot snifter full of Sambuca. He's still got the scar today. But here's the thing: I stuck my hand on a burning snifter that night, too, because—you want to know a secret that really isn't a secret? I'm best when I'm hurting myself. Pain's always sweetest when it's self-inflicted. And you do it by being careless. Or irrational. Or both. And sometimes there are innocent casualties caught in the crossfire. What I'm trying to say is, if I hurt you, it's not intended. It's just because you were standing too close. Knowing me has consequences.
Story: Counting Weights
MiPOesias (Volume 24, Issue 1)
The guy I want to become is a guy I've never met, but I see him at the gym almost every day. He's in his mid to late sixties. He carries a newspaper with him while he works out and he pauses between sets on the weight machines to read from it. He's short and built like a wrestler—in pretty great shape for his years—and he walks kind of hunched, like he's walking into a very strong wind. He always wears a baseball cap and his skin suggests he works outside. He's got hair in places he shouldn't. And no hair in places he should. But his thick white mustache fucking belongs right where it is.