One-Third Begging/Piss

I’m not saying that certain people don’t canvass for NYPIRG because of the greater good. I’m just saying that I was not one of those people. NYPIRG stands for New York Public Interest Research Group—it’s essentially a progressive lobbying organization. They’ve been heavily involved in fighting the natural gas interests that have been trying to…

The Horror and Beauty of Beds

The Darkcamp The 12 levels of the subworld Must look like a cross-section of ant tunnels I am reverse-birthed downwards every night, one choice at a time through the plasma womb into greater worlds —the haylight and the ocarina’s harmonies but the fanged proprietor makes me forget every morning— —the trick Down to level 11…

Demiurge 24

Based on Kandahar 24 Phillips jetted up through the levels of sleep and was reversed-birthed through his mattress. He laid on his limp, sweaty sheets for a moment. It was still the middle of the night—he could tell by the thin air’s harsh edge. His clock had hit midnight—the new hour, the hour for new…

Kandahar 24

One boot: apply pressure to the ground, slightly shift the sand-silt away from the heel, the sole presses to the earth’s center (way down there, oh way down below)—the earth pushes back and the body overhead moves upwards. Right foot: lift it, quadriceps kneeing the desert air. The arid heat descended down from the stars…

Poor Man’s Cocaine

An extremely short conference table squats in the middle of a cavernous corporate board room. Three men in their early 30s, Carter, Binwald and Vince, enter, all wearing stylish suits with the collars open. They are all coked to SHIT. Vince: …so I says to the stripper, ‘you should be tippin me!’ The three men…

The Short Ballad of the Live Brothers

Live Pete was in trouble with the authorities again. Whether they were the City of Newburgh cops, the Group Home monitors or the Social Services people, authorities were always giving him shit. The current shit that they were concerned about involved his little brother, Live Deshawn, who had recently gotten into heroin. Though the authorities…

Schizo

Logic told me that Bart hadn’t poisoned the gum, but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t. He had offered to it me, after all, and had never offered me gum before. I felt my heart twist and grow black, the paranoia sliding down the slip in my chest, down into my bowels, my intestines. I…

Motel Party

The torn sheet from a real estate catalog floated downwards, flipping its corners on the eddies of air until it drifted onto the frizzy hair of the kid sitting across from me. He didn’t notice it at first, but then snatched it off his head, tore it in half with disdain and deposited it on…

Strange Sex

Fully cocked, 6 or 7 Olympia brand dollar-beers in, I tipsily swiveled back and forth on my bar stool with temporary abandon. 30 minutes till the end of happy hour, which, at the downtown gay- and homeless-friendly pub, stretched from three to nine. I swiveled again and almost tipped off. I looked up without embarrassment…

Scenes from Yosemite—Pt. II

Scenes from Yosemite—Part I The hybrid shuttle’s engine whirred down to a hum as it reached Stop #16 outside Yosemite’s Nature Center at Happy Isles. I could see several people already standing over the seated passengers, gripping the overhead rail, and there were more than a dozen people waiting with me at the stop. Room…

Scenes from Yosemite—Pt. I

The septuagenarian’s Swisher Sweet curled blue smoke under the brim of his trucker’s hat. He pensively exhaled, and the early-morning sun caught the cloud’s varied thickness as it laid itself across the edge of the blank parking lot and pooled into the fir trees. He was staring slightly upwards, as though making a study of…

Crackhouse

Sometimes you have to push yourself for a good story. Sometimes, the push is alcohol. …the thought I awoke to late one night while sleeping on the couch of my sister’s bougie Mission District Apartment in San Francisco. I had seen people hitting stems outside the Mission District’s thin hotels, their punched-up faces sucking scalding…

No Shirt

After a glorious, soul-warming morning spent hiking the verdant topography of Pacifica, some problems arose. I had ran down the mountain trail, and had apparently ran too vigorously, because the shirts I had taken off and stuffed in my pocket had been jogged out somewhere along the way. The only other clothing I had (other…

Hit Up in The Bread Desert

“Heeey. Hey.” I turned from the queue leading to the greasy bullet-proof partition that separated the Vietnamese cashier and her products from the customers. A 30-something black woman with short, blonde-tipped dreads was close enough to my face for me to smell her booze-breath. “Hey,” I responded. “Could you buy me a dollarbeer?” “Uh…” I…