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NonFiction: Meanwhile…

I am still here.

I am still breathing, as hard as it may be sometimes.  I have cold onset asthma. To live in Iowa in the winter means my lungs go into spasm and I stop breathing when I step outside.

There are steps I can take to try and combat this…iowawinter_cuteversion

…but it is ultimately a losing battle. Breathing through the bandana is nearly just as hard on my already taxed lungs as breathing the cold air outright.  The ears are supposed to suggest that I have a sense of dying in the sub-zero temperatures.  Whether or not they do their job, I am unsure, as it is tough to gauge people’s reactions when my head is down, trying hard to notice where the black ice is as the dark spots on the edge of my vision get darker and darker as the air gets less and less. Continue reading NonFiction: Meanwhile…


Dream Journal: Febuary 16th, 2010

I am part of some sort of Olympic sports sub-committee along with my friend Heather C.

It is winter and there is snow and ice everywhere, making travel difficult. A crazy eyed blonde helicopter pilot has to get Heather and me to where we are staying. Through dream montage it takes a range rover, two helicopters and a strange ATV vehicle that resembles a bull shark with wheels that is able to burrow under the snow – like a snow submarine – to get to the run down administrative building where we will be staying for the duration of the Olympic event.

Other residents include Robin Tunney, Jeff Goldblum, Timothy Olyphant, Vin Diesel and someone who looks like Charlize Theron but is not (the feeling is like looking at an image of Charlize Theron with a post it note placed next to it saying “this is not Charlize Theron” – shrug – dream logic is dreamy).


Continue reading Dream Journal: Febuary 16th, 2010

Dream Journal: Febuary 14, 2016

Dream Journal, February 14, 2016

We are here to work. We are good workers. We do good works.

My wife, Cat G., and I are in a local Holiday Inn conference room. Boring reddish brown carpet, chintzy faded wallpaper of fake oak wood paneling in a very cubical room, 40 foot wide, tall, deep. Fluorescent lights flicker above, giving the room a flat, dead light. The room is flanked by two sets of double doors, to the east and to the west.  There is no furniture, there is only us.  We are the last ones.

We are both wearing conservative corporate wear.

I have my red lacquered ukulele.

There is a monitor station set in the ceiling of the room. It looks like a fire alarm with a pink orb set in the middle of it and a tiny orange light, blinking on one side.

I take my ukulele and begin to play, carefully monitoring the orange light blinking. As I this I am explaining to my wife how the monitoring stations work.

Continue reading Dream Journal: Febuary 14, 2016

Fiction Short: Bricks


And here (ahem) here we see the STRA-tam of the distinguishable ages of the brick.

That is to say internally consistent characteristics (i.e. color, texture, TASTE) that distinguishes it from contiguous layers. Individual bands may vary in thickness from a few millimeters to a kilometer or more. Each band represents a specific mode of brickmologly (the Portuguese call this Tijology, which some might find easier to say or remember, this will get you extra credit on the final exam) wherewithall the brick, being exposed to variances in silt, hydrogenation, virgin blood, and/or high level doses of travieso radiación can cause the brick matter to blush more and more of a “brick color” as shown here.

Yes, Pepe?

No, TRA-vieso, with a “T”.

Looking to this fine photograph, we see many distinct beds. We have the gravel at the bottom, which of course is what all brick aspires to be, without form or color. It is released from the confines of brickdom and at last can evolve to the higher state of rock…which is concrete! “Blessed o fabricante do misturador!”

Continue reading Fiction Short: Bricks

Poetic Interlude: Sleep is a Stranger

Sleep is a stranger to me


We met in a bar once, sleep and me

I bought him a drink

He bought me a Turkish coffee and a little stale danish.

We laughed a lot, though I can not remember now what we actually talked about

(It was a little while ago)

I do remember the patterns in the wood of the bar, the way the old coots down at the other end were having a replay of a bitter argument that had been going on for a good forty years; something about wives and children…and loyalties there-in, absences and omissions.

I remember the smell of stale cigars and cheap whiskey, though there was no one drinking whiskey or smoking cigars that night.

And I remember the teeth of sleep, looking remarkably bright and sharp in the dim amber light, flashing easily with smiles and laughter.

Song Lyric: Crazy Gato

Gato Gato Gato
Loves the red couch-o
she pretends that it isn’t there
Yet it’s covered in white cat hair
Crazy Crazy Gato
She attacks it ’cause it ain’t dead yet
Causing my wife great lament
Good argument for furniture of cement
Crazy Crazy Gato

Gatoooo Amour
Gatoooo Amour
She loves so thoughtlessly
Shows her belly and purrs
She loves a good scritch behind the ears
Gato! Amour!
Sleeping on the window sill
Everything is fine until
Crazy Crazy Gato!

(Audience participation part)

Climbing up the window screen (Gato!)
Leaping on kitty trampoline (Gato!)
Attacking at my bare feet (Gato!)
Singing for the Tuna Meat (Gato!)
Hunting down little ghosts (Gato!)
Who’s the Cat I love the most

~fiddle solo~

(During fiddle solo, band members attach large foam helmets that have giant cat ears and crowd dive into the audience)

We pray that Gato has Nine Lives
But man my couch is compromised
The curtains have been ripped up too
The fake fichus is held together with glue
There’s catnip catnip everywhere
and the hair, the HAIR!!!
the hair, the hair
el Gato!


Crazy Gato!

[yes, it is rather silly, but it has a special place in my heart] inspired by this flickr photo by Jim Skea

Dream Journal: August 3rd, 2013

Cristen J. and I are working on board a research vessel. A ship devoted to something about undersea pet recovery and medical research (pet rescue, or medical research to employ on pets in order to rescue them). Stacy D. is also on board in a managerial capacity. Cristen and I wear old 1920s style heavy duty underwater suits. Lots of beautiful underwater footage of exotic animals under the sea – bright, vibrant, striking color – it is like Jacques Cousteau footage retouched by Peter Max. Sea anemone, dogfish, clown-fish, seahorses with double and triple tails and ornate crowns made of living coral.

The colors and vibrancy of the undersea world was in sharp contrast to the drabness of things topside.

After a full day of work, there is a formal dress party on the ship deck. Ship officer uniforms in crisp white and khaki. Champagne. Paper lanterns. Seventies era organ music pumped through the ships PA system. Speeches are called for.

Continue reading Dream Journal: August 3rd, 2013

Fiction Short: Last Tuesday

Last Tuesday the devil bought me a cup of coffee.

I had found myself caught in one of those fierce summer storms that seem to come up out of nowhere and I had taken shelter before it got really bad, “storm” and “bad” being relative terms of course.

I stumbled in right when the hailstones went from bad to apocalyptic…baseball sized, which was doing a number on the cars in the parking lot based on the crash and boom of dented metal, cracking safety glass, and dull roar of car alarms going on as the door closed behind me.

The “please seat yourself” sign was on display at the front by the cash register, so I went ahead and found a booth pointed away from the ebb and flow of the parking lot destruction. A flickering television over the sundae bar was flashing an extreme weather advisory.

Continue reading Fiction Short: Last Tuesday

A writer needs to write…

A writer needs to write.

I feel driven to create, characters, stories, dramatic scenarios, song lyrics, poems, stage plays, musicals… I have dusty notebooks and file cabinets full of work. Some finished, some rough. It occurs to me that this work can just sit there, or it can go out into the world and maybe, just maybe, inspire or move someone. Maybe.

A writer has got to write. Sure.

But a writer also needs to be read.

Thus begins an experiment. As I post these missives – will you read them?