First published as a blog and now as a book, The Nowhere Special is a collection of short stories, snapshots, essays, and prose compiled from the artistic mind of Mark Searcy to champion the notion that a medium influences how a message can be perceived. Blogs read differently than books—even when the words are the same, the meaning feels different when you can hold it in your hands.


I wrote this for the person that is attached to the voice you hear when I yell, “Just picture it with words!”


If you can read this and watch yourself hold a book in front of your face at the same time then you’ll get what I mean when I introduce this book as something that was written with you in mind. If you can’t read this and watch yourself hold a book in front of your face at the same time, then your imagination could be broken and you should probably have it checked out to make sure it’s not too serious or deadly.

Now, lady or gentleman, with just a little further ado, I introduce The Nowhere Special as a book that smells like paper, ink, and glue, and now a little bit like you too.


The Modern Problem With Living In Teepees

The modern problem with living in teepees is that eventually someone will come around and tell you to leave because your teepee is propped up on their property. They'll ask where you got your teepee poles, then add that the trees you cut down to make them were probably on private property too. And where are you poopin'? Behind those trees in a pit? And that fire? Where'd you get them sticks? From around here? On my land? You're burning my sticks! Go on! Get! Before I call the cops, and they'll throw you away for trespassin' and fine you a million bucks. And if you don't pay up, you'll be in it up to your neck, and that teepee won't mean nothin'!

It's the same as the old-fashioned problem with living in teepees, except the old-fashioned teepee living people told that someone who came around to fuck off and chased him away in a big scuffle. Then war broke out when that someone who came around decided to come back again with reinforcements. And they steamrolled those motherfuckin' teepees, and divided up the land with invisible lines that they sold to gullible people—money for thin air!

But these gullible people turned money-serious and got protective of their investments with guns guns knives and guns, hiring cops and vigilantes to fight all intruders within their imaginary invisible lines. They built permanent structures where the teepees would have been, so they could stake their claim in deep and be there to proclaim “This land is my land!—from what you see here all the way to that fence! It's built along an imaginary line that cost me thousands of pieces of paper!”

Modernity! It's a money trap with no freedom! All the teepees are gone now! We killed them and robbed them and chased them away because we wanted so bad to be the only ones allowed to sit where they were sitting. I can't run to the wild and find a teepee town full of teepee people and plead them to let me teepee with them. Teepee towns no longer exist! Now, in the twenty-first century, you can't run anywhere without plowing into a fence! It's a trap! And we all live in it and say we love it because the only alternative we fought and destroyed.

And there can never be a teepee revolution because all those expensive guns and bombs are no match for a teepee made of sticks and skins. Fuming-mad gasoline trucks will run right through them while you sleep in em! And bullets from the guns of attackers defending their position with rain down with a “Yippee ki-yay motherfuckers! Hasta la vista! Go on! Get! Cause, I'll be back... to piss on your dead dirty faces!” The media will make a circus of the whole event. “Look at the clowns trying to say they are free! They squat on your land like mice carrying lice. Oooohhhh gross! Get rid of them—disgusting dirty people living in the dirt of the earth!”

What happened to the Land of the Free? It sure does cost a lot to live here. The Land of the Free is a marketing scheme! And it comes at an inflated price! What it costs now will cost even more, for generations to come!

I'd much rather live in a teepee town and rest my head on the dirt next to a small fire wondering how anyone could live so long without touching the earth. No gasoline guzzlin'. No electricity buzzin'. No cubicle filled building needed to earn nothing I don't already have for free.

Freedom! Real freedom! Not this fake talk of paper money buying advertised freedom! That's not free at all—just something to buy into like religion or fashion or packaging design! Real freedom is escape! And we're all trapped by money and fences.


Shiver Me Timbers

Stop looking at the forest through the trees. Look up or down or something, and find your way through. Climb a tree and go up—pull branches with your hands down towards the ground under your feet and push everything below you, branch after branch getting smaller and softer the more you pull and press and step and rest—pausing to glimpse the changing world view.

The forest! It's gone! It's been replaced with a field of evergreen grass! And it's vast! It sways in the wind for miles, shivering in the sun. Shivering? Yes. Shivering like shivers on a spine when you see something you have never seen before in your life and you can't believe your eyes.

Shiver me timbers.


Comparing My Writing To That Of Dave Eggers

While house-sitting this weekend, I poked around a bookcase and found a small book of short little stories by Dave Eggers (How The Water Feels To The Fishes). I have been wanting to read his writing for a while, deeper than just skimming, so I took a lazy quiet Sunday moment and dove in. They were nice little picturesque stories—warm enough to hold my attention and make me smile with applause—all beautifully written. The deeper I read, the more the writer part of me started to question if what I was doing with my writing was different enough to hold it's own. In a self-conscience comparison I came to see that yes, there are obvious preferences to the way I write and read!
1) I write close-up. I realize that I don't often write in third person because I feel further away from the visual of the story. I like to read the way the author sees, and far away characters feel too far away to me.

2) Song and dance. I like the lyrical qualities of words that roll through syntax and meaning down gory alleys. Stupid and silly and playful and perfectly capable of making the reader have a good time, even if that reader is me, the writer!

3) What you see is what you hear. This is my voice, even though it sounds nothing like me. It's something you can't hear with your ears, or see with your eyes. It's a hearsay seesaw heehaw—a party disguised with words.

4) My thoughts and fingers are not your thoughts and fingers. Even when we point at the same thing, we are pointing at something different.


Chicken Wrap

Feelings feel freshest in the morning, but tonight the dullness of the day-long day will do. A slip of the wrist and a slap of the tongue—flip-flap-flap—chicken wrap!

Unwrapping the cellophane, it crinkles. Chick-chick-chicken smell mixed with mayonnaise and cheese. Green lettuce stickin' out—showin' through the seams—as the tortilla strips with wet finger tips. Yup! It's chicken! I was just checkin' before I took a bite. Mmmmm delicious, kind-of. No not really. That was the hungry speaking before the taste of cardboard and wet juice meat was squeezed all over my tongue.

Chick-chick-chicken. Chew-chew-chicken. Doo-doo-dickin' around. Spit it out, all over my computer screen. It's sticking! And sliding! And smearing on it's own! That's the force of gravity at work. Look-look-look it. Look-look-look it's sliding down and dripping! I think it needs some more. Another bite! Pthewey! Swirly chicken fingers make a greasy surface in which I write the words, “Chicken wrap everything up.” Then I lick a part in the middle to make it read, “Chick      rap every      up.”

Nonsense. The chicken wrap was eaten in silence and the cellophane wrapper was discarded and eventually lodged in the ground where it waited and waited and waited to be discovered by future human beings—the kind that survived the mess we made and dug up the earth looking for clues as to how we could have been so destructive on purpose, knowing better.

Nonsense. I made the chicken wrap up, based on true events (cellophane future part).



Advertising really is a crazy game. Essentially, it's about making a name circulate though an audience of competing demands. You could be the most brilliant shoemaker in the world, but if no one ever hears about you and the brilliance of your shoes, then the only one to benefit from the shoes is the shoemaker. Bah! Brilliance!? Yes! Brilliance! It's only a matter of convincing confidence—brilliance also sparkles!

Advertising! A brand! Spread the word! Get out there and prop up your hot pokers on top of the already cold pokers! Make sure they are positioned purposefully, right at eye level, and in the most crowded places so they will be sure to stab everyone's attention.

TSSSS! Steam escaping skin, stinging and smoking. TSSSS! iBrand! You heard? You seen? TSSSS! Well now you have! And now you have another TSSSS! to add to the Nike TSSSS! on your feet, the Levis TSSSS! on your legs, and the Target TSSSS! marks on your sleeves. Plastic Apple TSSSS!'s steaming out of your pockets and bags, what they doin? Ringing? Beepin? Buzzin? Boopin? Charging the largest network with more can you hear me now things?

TSSSS! One more time, and this TSSSS! is from me poking you in the eyes with branded words like Next! Great! American! Writer!

AHHHH! It stings!


Pooping Pegasus

Creatures from the depths of the internet, I summon thee from atop my unicorned pegasus who poops on anyone and anything I command. Down there, quick! I see a man pointing up at us, waving his arms. Hello down there! Yes! I see you. Poop on him pegasus! And circle back so we can do it again!

He's running now, protecting his eyes, covered in poop number one. Here goes poop number two! Got him! A direct hit! He's screaming mad things up at us—curses! He's shouting up a shit storm of unicorned pegasuses to appear from above us and cover us! Plop! Splat! They're already upon us! Fly higher pegasus! Faster! And unicorn them to death!

Gross! I didn't know they would explode like balloons full of poop! Pop! Splatter! Make it rain! And that one too! Pop! Cool! That one was filled with glitter! Sparkling! Showering! Sprinkling everything with golden flakes of foil. Pop! Poop! Pop! Cereal! Pop! Poop again. I want to find another one that glitters!

Pop! That's the last one, and it's another pooper.

Looks like I need to go get cleaned off somewhere. I know just the place. The cave of dog tongues. Pegasus! Take me there! Land on the river and hold it open with your hoof so I can jump down inside and roll around the licking lapping sucking off my dirty clothes and wallow in a naked happy ending.

Still Words Unread

I just want to write, for whatever rhyme or reason that I can make of today, I just want to write, anything, something, nothing, it doesn't make any difference to me, at least not at the moment. Warming up my fingers with tapping and waiting for my thoughts to clear and something to fall from the clouds and land on my lap. I'll keep my eyes looking up, while I take another sip of coffee.

I'm writing hesitantly. I can't seem to find the focus or interest to drag myself beyond these tip-tap thought-words. How about another round of person, place, thing? Why did I stop writing those? Did I just grow bored of them, or am I tired of reading and writing pointlessly?

The latter sounds familiar to the first.

Those people. Those places. Those things.
Grow bored. Get tired. Sound familiar.

I'd much rather think of myself writing the kinds of things that people will point to and oooohh and aaaahhh over and over them for seconds and thirds—telling their friends how deep the allegory goes.

Reeds through waves reflect visions of wonder-words read through waves of thought and suggestion.

My fingers will become calloused and never type again. I will ruin them. They will type into nubs and everyone will gasp at the sight of them. "What happened to your hands? Where did your fingers go?" I wrote words I thought people would read, but sadly, I was mistaken, and here they are—still words unread.


A Pair Of Satisfactions

After a frantic morning, I suddenly found myself relieved, with the allusion that I could go about the rest of the day feeling satisfied. On a gamble that this notion of satisfaction might prove useful today, I took it with me downtown to look for a new pair of boots that I could hike and wear anywhere—something that laces up high and can step on anything without slipping. I was satisfied with at least the motion of going shopping for them, so I headed downtown on the train.

The Outdoor Store was the first stop on my list. They have boots galore—all kinds, for all kinds of uses for feet. Even if I didn't find anything in my price range, I was still determined to try on anything just to see how it feels to walk around in them—to know the difference between three hundred dollars and less than that, on down to a hundred or two. 

The first ones I saw, I loved. I asked if they had them in a size twelve. The man who was working in the room said no, but he could probably order some for me if I wished. I looked at the price and told him no, that's okay. He asked what I was looking for, and I told him a work boot—something with a good sole, that could walk you anywhere. Not something flat and slippery, or flat and gummy, or flat at all. Something like this! And I found it! How about this one? Do you have it in a size twelve?

He said yes, that's it. That's a twelve. You can try it on. And I did. And it fit like a glove! It was soft and snug and surprisingly the lightest thing I could have ever expected. I walked around the store in front of the mirror looking at how they looked on me. They looked fine! I looked at the price and didn't flinch—with the boot on my foot, it all made perfect sense. I was satisfied yet again. Twice in one day. I walked back home with a pair of satisfactions in the bag, and a new pair of shoes to boot!

Pretty Strange Words

I like the idea that words are like paint. I see them blending together with descriptive thickness and scraped across a blank canvas in the form of a mountain sunset behind a small little cabin in the woods nestled next to a stream of consciousness so shallow you can hop across it in one leap and bound onto a path that leads you back to the vanishing point of an appellation trail. It looks like Salvador Dali and Bob Ross had a baby, and that baby had a baby with Jack Kerouac and Richard Brautigan's baby—pretty strange words.


Monster Fucker

I had sex with a monster because I'm monster curious. I don't often find a monster that does it for me, but when I do, of course it turns out to be a nightmare. Some say it always does, and it always will, but I don't believe it, because, well, I'm a monster fucker! That's just the way I see it, naturally. I convince myself that the next monster will be different—that the next time I go monster, it will turn out less of a nightmare and more how I daydream. But I guess only the kind of people who can fall in love with monsters will be able to know what I mean. It's uncontrollable.

But this time the nightmare included a half-monster half-me baby. I woke up to find it howling in a cardboard box that was left on my doorstep with a note attached to it that read "This is your problem!" It wasn't signed, but the half-monster part was a dead giveaway.

I found it there, and as a reflex, I kicked it. I couldn't believe it. I KICKED IT! I kicked the shit out of it and the box exploded like a hornet's nest! What have I done? I'm a monster! A MONSTER!

The box hit the back fence and fell to the ground. It was quiet, dead quiet, for about three seconds, then the screaming began, and my blood curdled, and my hair stood on end—each and every hair on my body stood up and grew in gobs, covered my toes, and burrowed themselves into the ground, deep down, pulling off my skin. It ripped my skin off in pieces and chucks. I screamed until my cheeks were pulled off, then gargled at the top of my lungs!

I fell to the ground a bloody mess of muscle and exposed nerve endings. Everything felt, all at once, like ice cold daggers and volcano heat. My monster baby crawled out of the box, over to where my ear would have been, and whispered, "That's what you get when you fuck with the monster inside!" Then he spit something wet into my ear-hole, stood up, and vanished.

COMMENTARY: I was curious what would result while writing and feeling feverish-sick. It appears a dark place would make sense of these sore muscle aches.


A Figurine Of Speech

Serious writers have to answer questions about where they get their inspiration and how long it took them to write their masterpiece. How long did it take? Only three weeks? Bullshit! No way! I don't believe you! That's not writing! That's not the answer I was looking for. Give me something that I want to hear. A year! Yes. That's better. A year and maybe a few months more. Time well spent on a book that is a whopping forty-eight pages. Forty-eight! Forty-eight in a year? That's weak, and thin, and okay then, three weeks sounds better now that I can picture it, but it still sounds like a bit of a stretch back in on itself.

Visual verbal somersaults! You read them with the ease of your eyes washing twisty thought pictures in a waterfall of words. Splashing! Crashing! Falling on the rocks! Cold as ice buckets filled with a heavy mist, hanging from the branches of fir trees that catch wind of the matter and dump the rest upon the both of us. Writer and reader playing together in a waterfall as it is being written.

How do serious writers get inspired? They dive in! They know the water will soak through their clothes and drown their cell phones down Gadget Creek—and their shoes will fill up with water, soak through their socks, and sag them toward the bottom—yet no matter how serious this realization is, diving in's the only way! To dive in and be swept away, knowing nothing can be brand new until it hits you in the face! Gurgle! Gurgle! Glug! Glug! Glug! Tumbling through the rumbling troubling waters, clinging to the branches and rocks, gasping and grabbing for air while being torn apart! All the serious writers eventually wash up on the shore and either cough up gallons of inspiration or drown and lie face down.

Gack! Hack! Vomit! Here, I found this stone at the bottom of the river. I thought you might like to see it. So I gobbled it up and Hack! Gack! Kack! There it is. It was the only way to bring it with me. To gulp it up. The current was too strong to do otherwise. Look! It tore off all my clothes! I'm naked! And my fingers were too busy trying to find air to be able to hold onto something as silky as a water rock. So when I saw it, I quickly imagined that I had swallowed a small statue of Jonah who was swallowed by a whale. For four days and three nights, I thought I would crap it out. But it stayed inside me so long that I forgot about it until now, when I coughed it out, naked, wet, and happy to be alive.

Please take it. It's yours. I coughed it up for you, specifically for the moment when I'm asked about inspiration and taking myself seriously as a writer. I'll say something like "inspiration is inside you always for at least three days, like Jonah, peeing in the corner of your stomach." And you'll know exactly what I mean, literally. It's a figurine of speech!


Loose Marbles

My eyes are vibrating from the friction of thoughts darting past each other through the same thought-portal—squeezing themselves together into long stringy strands of knowledge—intertwining thoughts into threads. I lick them, and curl them around my tongue, tying them into mouthfuls the size of marbles and spit them out. Plop! There goes the tiniest insult and the biggest dick I have ever seen in my life! Wound up tight in a thought-string memory ball! Plop! And another one, spit out on the table, rolls onto the floor, and Pop! Opens up in a poof of string! It’s green! The strings! Flying everywhere! A puff of silliness and a moment of laughter bursting to know what it feels like to vanish into thin air.

The Beep Boop Generation

Beep boop bip!
Now text this!

We communicate in ways only a few inspired entrepreneurs ever thought possible—and we bought it up! Doo-dads and rechargeable batteries sucking on extension chords, all plugged into rows, feeding from the power strip.

We spend all day beeping at each other and booping back the loop. iBought a new computer! It sits on my lap and we tickle each other! It’s funny because it’s true. We’re all scared of what this is doing to us, but excited by the way it feels. We’re connected, all of us, for the first time, like never before. With just the touch of a button we can beep boop our thoughts of loneliness and isolation to each other directly, instantly into the palms of our friends where they beep boop bounce onto complete strangers through association.

We are the beep boop generation! The next chapter in the long-winded book of history! We wear blue jeans still, with plastic coats—plastic! We plug plastic in our ears and pump plastic static through cables and cords and Bluetooth technology—beep boop blinking in the blue flickering light—the dazzling display—tapping on plastic screens with our thumbs feeling nothing but numbness.

What to buy? What to wear? And even how do I get there? Just tap it in and wait one second!? What just happened? Another beep! Another boop! Another! And another! And another beep boop this and beep boop loop after another.


There Is A Person In Pittsburgh

There is a person in Pittsburgh who is going to read these words and know that I am writing to them personally. I don't know their name or their personality, or even them personally, but I do know that when that person reads this, they will exclaim, "That's me!"


It turns out that the person in Pittsburgh is really a program that has been pinging my page periodically. So replace the word person with a program that was written by a person to pretend it was a person in Pittsburgh and it makes more sense as to why I even thought there was a person in Pittsburgh at all.


Money's Worth

There's money in these words—golden money glittering next to a sleeping dragon. And there's even more in the darkness behind them, lot's more—money for miles and miles in piles of dragon shit. Toxic. One touch, and it will make you sick.


Infinite Loop

You can reach through time and space and past the past to the end of the future by imagining a long piece of string tied in an infinite loop.

I Need Your Eyes

I need your eyes for a moment. I need you to take them out of their sockets and roll them around in these words, really roll them around, grind them into this and that and these and those and smash them into eye-popping ovals. Flatter! They’re not eggs! They won’t burst!


Oops! I was wrong. Sorry about that.