Friday, August 30, 2019

The Anti-Gravity Gravity Belt


It’s the only thing keeping me connected to the earth. If I wasn’t wearing it, I’d be caught like a kite in a tree. Believe me, I know what I’m doing.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Vincent Price is Right

Here's a terrifying tale for you.
Also a tribute to Vincent Price.

They begged his mother to take them to the Avalon. In 1959 they were barely ready for the story up on the screen. They waited on the curb afterwards, jumpy and checking the street. They weren’t afraid of Vincent Price, they knew what they would have done. They sat in the backseat and his mother listened to them bray and when she couldn’t take it anymore, she turned the wheel and took them the long way home through the cemetery. With the headlights turned off, every shadow was leaping at the sides of the car.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Ode to Lonzo

A true story about the dog my father had
when he was a boy. Also a flat fable:

Everyone knew that chasing cars would be the end of that bulldog, but he never learned. He would hear the motor and the rubber tread and run at the street until he hit that passing blur, catching as much as he could in his teeth. Finally it happened, bit to a whitewall, taken round whirling three or four times until the car stopped and he was flat enough to fold.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Dragonfly Junkyard

Since the publication of my book Florida,
I've been writing hundreds of these short
pieces. There are two more books similar
to Florida coming soon from Good Deed
Rain. This new story I just wrote while on
my break at work, watching the dragonflies
above my bench.

A weedy lot stacked with the remains of old dragonflies. Broken wings are leaned against the fence like rows of stain glass windows. Motors with the gears pulled out. The long rusted segments of fuselage. The man who works here says to look around, there are enough parts about to mix and match and put another dragonfly in the air.

sleeping in a museum

It's been a long time since I read From the
Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Still a great book! It was especially fitting
reading this after I read The Westing Game.
Similar feel to them. And those books are
spurring me on to begin work on my 1977
children's book, my next writing project.

Friday, August 9, 2019

summer reading

Just finished reading James Tate's great
recent book, The Government Lake and
I am reading The Westing Game now.

It Conquered the World

He was my first boss in high school. I went to his house to do landscaping on the set of his spaghetti western. I became Clint Eastwood shoveling beauty bark all about the rhododendrons. I got tense and ready to draw every time he reappeared to check on my work. The second time he appeared in my life was in Reno Town, on a dead-end street at dawn. Even though the sun was up, no one else was around. I was pulled along like someone in science fiction when a voice called from a broken doorway. If I would just stay there, he’d be right back. He had the designs for a machine that could turn water into gasoline. I could have it, just wait, don’t move. “It’s all legitimate,” he mumbled. It was only last week he made a deal with Lee Van Cleef.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

horse story

When we got back from the grocery, there wasn’t enough room in the fridge so I brought a few items outside to the mailbox and put them in there. A can of condensed milk. Some eggs. A green pepper and an avocado. I thought it was a pretty good solution. Then at midnight I heard a clatter on the road. I looked out the window and I could see the big, dim shape of a racehorse beside the opened mailbox. That old nag has been terrorizing our neighborhood for years.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

another new book in the works

Since the end of July, I've been writing
a lot of new little stories. They seem to
be about famous people. Here's one that
arrived less than an hour ago:

Once in shop class I made up a brother. Some nosy kid next to me kept asking me questions and my brother grew more and more. Before I knew it, he had a name and a car and a girlfriend. He even played electric guitar. I could barely keep up with the story. I was never so glad when it was my turn to use the band saw.