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.


The Portland Zoo - Part 1

What to do with a warm winter day?
How about the zoo?
Yes! How about the zoo!

I went to the Portland Zoo today. I had never been. So I went alone and had a ball. Alone! At the zoo! On a rainy day! Hurray! All the animals were wet and miserably content in their chain-link cages—just sitting there watching their plexiglass televisions, laughing at the comedy of nature in the grand scheme of things.

For the most part, the zoo was empty. It felt like I had the whole place to myself. The only people I managed to bump into reminded me of ghosts—spooky. They floated by and parted their wisdom with wispy awkward stares—looking as if they had just seen a ghost—floating through the halls of the animal kingdom with scary white faces, laughing nervously, gathering their children close for protection. Stay close little ghost. Don't go that way yet. Wait for me to finish pointing out that that fish just pooped! And look! It floats like a ghost too! Powder suspended in water—murky!

I haven't been to a zoo in a long time. Too long perhaps. It looks sadder the older and taller you grow. You have to stoop down to see everything—it's at a child's level—with easy directions painted everywhere in big-bright colors. THIS WAY TO THE PETTING ZOO.

Wet chickens and cows, covered in mud and sickness. Pet them at your own expenses, and remember to read the sign at the sink when you try to wash off the stink! THE WATER HAS BEEN TURNED OFF FOR THE WINTER. SORRY FOR THE INCONVIENCE. Just wipe it on your jeans, until you can find a bathroom. I think I saw one behind THE GREAT NORTHWEST, next to a bald eagle.

Poor, wet bald eagle. With his white feathers matted down, looking around for the majesty of his life that was lost on the day he was born. He spends the rest of his days searching for it inside himself, somewhere deep within—underlying thoughts of escape—far beyond the net above him, past these godforsaken clouds, where the sun is forever shining, completely out of reach.

In a fury of excitement, another bald eagle comes swooping down, breaking through the clouds, landing on the net. One whispers to the other, “I'm here to rescue you, but I'll need your help. I'm tired of flying around free and hungry. I want to trade places with you. How about that?” Sure, but how bout the net? “We'll use our beaks like scissors, but we'll have to kiss. Your beak and my beak and our tongues together slicing and untying a hole small enough for the both of us. I can crawl in, while you crawl out. Come on now, let's get to it.” The eagles kiss and lick and peck and neck, and feathers fall to the ground. One is let in while the other escapes, freedom bound!

The Portland Zoo - Part 2

The zoo! The absurdity! Animals locked in cages and tanks, just beyond the security gates! Ten-fifty gets you in, that's the going price of admission. Ten dollars and fifty cents, the same cost as a movie! It's like a movie you walk through—look at all the sets!


Listen to the construction machines roaring outside! They're scaring the penguins! They're all diving underwater to cover their ears. The tractors sound vicious, tearing into the dirt and puking it out by the mouthful. Ten-fifty for this!? This is not peaceful at all! This is loud construction noises echoing through the cave of the polar bears!

In walks a father with his child—too young to know whether it is a boy or a girl. "Watching the observer?" the father asks in a kind, soft voice. I smile, yes indeed. Now throw that child in there with the penguins and we'll have something truly memorable to recall—our day at the zoo.

Those baby arms look just like flippers, wouldn't you agree? The way they flap the same as the penguins' is uncanny! Now let's make out and lie here on the floor, and point at the flapping bubbling spectacle. Look! Your baby shit its pants! And the penguins are eating it up!


The monkeys look like hunched-over little people covered in hair, except around their ass-pink. There they sit on a man-made branch, picking bugs out of their hair. How pleasant! The attention! The touch! The time spent together feeling and snacking and grooming and SLAP!

A kid walks up to me and apologizes in advance. He asks me about my mustache, and how I manage to make it curl like that. WAX! I exclaim! It's as simple as that! The boy looked as surprised as the baboons who had stopped grooming and stopped everything else they were doing just to watch the awkward silence. I look up at them and give them a grin. That's right my boy! MUSTACHE WAX!


They flip! They glide! Built to slide through the water and slither through the twigs. Up for air! Then down in a death-defying trail of bubbles. What happens to the otter who loses their love for swimming? What happens to them then? They float.

Don't be sad little otter. You can remember if you try. Just dive right in and let the water slide across your skin. That's it! Happiness! I can see it when you loop up and out of the water, doing back flips—up and out, then arching back and in, headfirst to the bottom, then resurface again.



- 01 -
Hey runner! What are you running from and where are you running to? What's your hurry? Running is healthy!

- 02 -
Pretty man with the soft silver hair and those deep blue eyes. Let me see them sparkle again when you smile at me one more time.

- 03 -
The grass under my feet is softer than the concrete, naturally.


Motorcycle Race

Motorcycles! Racing! To the stop light, ziirrrrrrrrr-put. Rumble. Rumble. Rumblezoooom! Quick! Let's get on the highway and zip through the rush hour traffic!

Zip! There's a lady texting on her phone, “STK IN TRAFFIC!” Ziirrrp! There's a man taking off his clothes! Zip! Past a teenager, barely sixteen years old. Boo!

They're all bobbing along with the current state of their lives—stuck in their expensive mechanical bubbles, breathing their own air.

Traffic is tight—bumper to bumper—but we are zip ziirrp zooming right through it. Flying by the daily grind of everyone minding their own business. Who needs them? Leave them be! They aren't going anywhere, you can guarantee! They'll all be right there tomorrow! Right where we left them. Zip!

Let's escape! Let's race up the mountain and I'll show you a place where you can live without money and eat like a king! We'll have a feast!


Through the trees! Watch the branches! Watch your face!


Don't worry. We don't need those motorcycles anymore. We're almost there. You can smell it! Just follow your nose, if it's not broken. Something's cooking! Over there! Through the forest, you can see there's a light—a fire glowing inside a cabin!

That's the place! Let's go inside!

Welcome! This is where I live sometimes. Go ahead and have a seat next to the fire while I go to the kitchen and get us some coffee, then we can sit for a while and talk about our futures—together imagining a place that doesn't exist.


Thoughts Turn Into Soup

Here I am, with warmed fingers, tip-tap-typing, with my thoughts flying through the nothingness of everything. My words, boiling down to a concentrate, turning into soup, with pasta in the shape of alpha and omega that tastes like everything in the beginning and nothing in the end.


You Up There

I see you there. Yes. That’s me. I’m the one that’s waving at you right now—standing on the sidewalk twenty stories below. Yup. I’m the tiny speck standing in the middle of the ring of specks that are the people that have started to gather around me—the curiously attentive ones that are beginning to notice that I have stopped to wave at you. They were disturbed by the way I was standing firm in a place they wanted to pass by—that something was different in their routine of walking to where they were going. Some, as you can probably see better than me, are still going about their business, oblivious, in an unconscious state of movement between point A to B.

I didn’t mean to call this much attention to you. I just wanted to let you know that if you decided to jump, I would catch you, no matter what, even if you flatten the both of us.