May 13th, 2022
No one person will bear any responsibility, but the sum total of your actions will result in the execution of an evil person.
You will become a democratic Rube-Goldberg device of justice.
The GoD Gig
October 31, 2020
My life was destroyed by a film. Yours might be too.
New Haven Review
April 1, 2019
Now there was a young man named Renato Buendía, a secondgeneration Spanish-American and doctoral candidate in comparative literature at a prestigious university in a more or less dignified city located somewhere in the drear of New England, who, sitting across from a fair-skinned, lucid-eyed rascal of a woman at a trendy downtown eatery (Café Nonchalance), arrived, rather elliptically, at an epiphany: he was in love.
Pages Discovered in the Effects of Arthur Wayne Prince
The Saturday Evening Post
April 30, 2019
To whom it may concern,
It used to be that when your reason left you, or rather, when your children or executors or what have you decided that was the case, you were run to an asylum and laid in a white bed until your eyes rolled back in your head and your soul rolled up to the clouds, or down, to someplace less respectable. Now, in this, the 21st century, wonder of wonders, they bring the asylum to you. It’s called hospice. I’m laying on a white bed in the living room, crisp hospital covers up past my waist, writing this on a bunion-yellow legal pad. In the next room the nurse is reading some Harlequin romance novel with a cover to make Venus squirm in her clam. She’s waiting for a little amber light to flash on the monitor by my bed, which will mean I’ve passed on and she can pack up her things and go wait for some other old fool to quit burdening society.
It’s an odd thing, watching someone watch you die, or rather, watching someone grow increasingly exasperated that you haven’t died yet. She’s been here over a month and brooded her way through a couple dozen of those books and a few others, less trashy, which she seemed to be reading out of obligation. I’ve been reading myself — old philosophy mostly. Started with a survey of the pre-Socratics and just finished The Republic yesterday. I kid myself that I’m a late-to-the-game intellectual, but I’m also reading these books because I know it makes my nurse embarrassed of her glossy, Thor-covered drivel. Her name is Quintessa, which is an awful name.
December 20, 2017
He encounters the dog about two blocks away, near his car (Matthias never parks too close to Susanna’s flat, for propriety’s sake). The dog is large, covered in patchy shag, like an old carpet, and stands in the open back of a meat truck. His face is buried in a soggy mound of ground chuck. He is utterly delighted with the good things that surround him. On his head, sitting slightly atilt, is a bright red fez with a golden tassel.
The Story Is in the Soil
September 14, 2017
It was on a Tuesday that we discovered blood in the earth.
Our miners were down deep—carving the bedrock with their machines, sniffing the air for the tang of copper—when they found the first vein twining through the stone like a calloused worm. They pressed their ungloved hands to the tough fleshy tunica adventitia and felt within it the rhythmic surge of fluid. They were mesmerized in their fear, believing they had uncovered something fell and antediluvian, a blind god in subterrestrial repose. Even so, it was not long before the vein was tested and tapped. Those first men who nearly drowned in the hot blue flow never forgot how it tasted, like a mouthful of dirty pennies.
Stories We Can Never Tell
Flaunt Magazine Issue #148
August 18, 2016
A lone monk stands in the library of a medieval monastery, holding a candle whose flame sputters beneath his quiet breath. He pulls from the stacks an ancient manuscript, the only one of its kind, setting it alight with his small flame. He smiles as the pages curl and their sacred letters transmute to smoke. A story passes from the world.
Is his sin greater for not having read the story?
Flaunt Magazine Issue #142
July 22, 2015
It seemed the peephole must always have been there, that even if the girls’ bunkhouse was never built, there would still have been a nickel-sized hole six feet off the ground, a window into another world.
The tradition was so old that it didn’t need to be spoken of. It was to happen on Thursday night, the second-to-last night of camp. All that day an electric anticipation thrummed the air. Then, long past lights-out, we would slip out silently, solemnly and pad along the tree line behind the mess hall to the back of the girls’ bunkhouse.
Gods and Spiders
Amazon's Day One
February 11, 2015
It’s a mystery that has haunted Drazen his whole life: How did his mother die? And why can’t he recall a single thing about her?
The Flesh Cannot Please
August 14, 2014
The world became terrible to behold. There were wars and rumors of more wars. No one wanted to bring children into such a place. It would have been barbaric. But it would also have been barbaric to refuse our children existence.
So our women conceived and held their babies inside themselves for nine months and then nine more, and then nine years more.
Their bellies swelled like zeppelins.
Not My Blood
Gargoyle Issue #60
July 15, 2013
The sound is piercing and echoes down the alley. It raises the hair on your arms, defying the warm summer air, the warm booze swishing through your veins. You’ve been out most of the evening with the other residents, offering libations to the great god Asclepius, celebrating the end of three years of frenzied, sleepless devastation at the hands of St. Vincent’s Hospital, and now you’re alone in your freedom, walking off your drunkenness in an unfamiliar part of town. Curiosity, impulse, that appalling Hippocratic sense of duty—these compel you down the steaming black alley in search of the screaming infant.
Three-Lobed Burning Eye Magazine #20
October 1, 2010
Is it not beautiful? I acquired this piece from the Museo del Prado, nearly a decade ago. I say “acquired” not simply for the word’s broad connotative relevance or for its gorgeous Latinate ancestry — birthed by quaerere, “to search for” (I having voided so many years on searching). Rather, the word has the quality of a dampener upon my conscience. Art, according to the great blind man, when it is good, belongs to no one — it attains the universal. Here, in this most tantalizing of Dance Macabre, the eo ipso universality has achieved something even higher in its public dissemination, an, as it were, triumph of The Triumph of Death. What then have I achieved? More than a simple theft, that is certain, for I am more than a simple thief. And might I add that my pilfering of Peasant Bruegel was not pilfering, per se. It was given to me quite willingly by the proprietor of the Prado; but, of course, most men are willing to do most anything when they’ve received small pieces of their daughters in the post.