OPENING LINES TO STORIES I HAVEN'T WRITTEN
"My father was an undertaker."
"I knew a girl from Purgatory, Maine."
"He's going to retire and play trumpet in churches around the country, jam at the Second Coming, get out of the house more."
"Joe mixed moonshine and Mountain Dew and pushed their child in her stroller until she fell asleep."
"She tried to kill herself with a .22. She had a .45 that would have done the job."
"They took Drury's legs while he slept."
"Jacqueline and me driving to see the world's largest cigarette."
"Every night my wife cuts me open to check on the honeybees hiving in my spleen."
"When I was 16, my dad's mistress took me shopping."
"Elvis is alive. He owns a bridal dress rental store and plays checkers with Grandpa Saturday evenings."
Tony Jorgenson and I made a socially conscious fashion label.
If I knew how
I'd sit on the
lip of the roof
of your building
and play the guitar,
sweet and dumb
about your eyes
and how they look like
the piece of the river
I can see from here.
And later I would
to your apartment
with some sangria
and highway fumes
in my shirt for you
to pick out and braid
in our hair
while the kettle boils.
I have a friend who is a forensic scientist
for the sheriff's office. Once the body
is found, taped off, buried, mourned for,
he sits at a computer doing math problems
to find the reason.
No one asks him to do this.
I mean this in the sense that the body
and the house it lived in is scooped out, left raw
to the wind of condolences
from half-remembered acquaintances.
Does it make a difference
to the father, son, sister, mother
if it was carbon monoxide, oxycodone,
blunt force, barbiturates, bad genes,
that did it in?
It must matter to someone,
my friend is well-paid and does not want
to change careers, ever.
At dinner last week he was paunchy,
laughed loudly, ordered tequila for the table
and wiped salsa from his chin
as we toasted to what a good life
it had been.
In case of power outage
until the generator kicks in.
A video about the end of the world.
Art Director: Casey Phillips