Posts tagged "dialogue"
Gambling

Gambling

On the drive back from a friend’s cabin, on a beautiful pine tree-framed lake, on the edge of Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, we stop at a casino. Maybe we will have lunch. Play a few slots. We are not gamblers. I have been to Vegas twice, once on the way to somewhere else—neither time did...
Three Oranges

Three Oranges

I barely remember leaving work, or the transfer to the bus that takes me near enough my home to walk. I barely remember leaving the house this morning, or what’s happened during the day. It’s December. The days are short. I come and go in the darkness. It’s getting dark. A man materializes at the...
Sachiel the Tailor

Sachiel the Tailor

Another time I was talking to Sachiel, the tailor in Boston whose shop on Chauncy Street was essentially a door with a vast and impenetrable space behind it, a wilderness known only to Sachiel, who never moved from his stool by the door during working hours, and we got to talking all metaphysical, as he...

The Role of Fiction in Suicidal Ideations

I get ten new suicidal adolescents a week in my creative writing class at the psych hospital where I work. Their arms are mutilated. Their minds tortured with self-hate. Some are gothic, others only misfits who are picked on at school. They’ve been taken from their homes by DHR, betrayed by drug-addicted parents. It exposes...

Teeth

Everything belonged to Russell now. My mother was his wife, I was his son, we lived in his house—an isolated farm we didn’t need and couldn’t afford. Russell had started cutting trees off the property and selling the timber to make the mortgage payments. He was sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw on the front...

White Guy

I was in Walmart yesterday, swung around the end of one aisle where a five-foot-high cardboard-display edge stuck out about eight inches and, like an old fuck, caught it with my chest. Back up slightly, proceed on toward the Life Savers.  Halfway up the aisle (around the Life Savers) this black guy, twenty-five-ish, slightest smile...

Intro to Creative Writing

Professor Stevens dislikes donuts; the icing gets stuck in his beard. Fridays he breakfasts at Burger King before heading out to the lake, where he smokes cigarettes on the shore and ignores his wife’s phone calls. He idolizes James Dickey. He’s no good at fiction. The Department Chair’s out to get him. He strolls into...

Little Things

My mother’s dollhouse has become a constant reminder of something—what?—in the time we spend with her, if it could be said to be spent. At eighty-nine she remembers very little. She does not so much talk as chime, like a clock with a surreal burden: Do we have anything to eat for dinner? Yes, chicken....

Duplex

The person on my voicemail was a man. His voice was high, higher than most men’s voices I’d heard before, and he spoke slowly, as if reading off of cue cards. I didn’t know when the call came in. My cell phone never rang. Rather, in that late morning, the phone vibrated, informing me of...

Swerve

I’m sorry about that time I ran over a piece of wood in the road. A  pound of marijuana in the trunk and a faulty brake light—any minute the cops might have pulled us over, so you were edgy already, and then I ran over that piece of stray lumber without even slowing down. Thunk, thunk,...

Somebody Else’s Genocide

After my reading in Atlanta, Georgia, a blond woman asked me, in German-accented English, if my books were translated and published in Germany. “Ja,” I said. I studied German for two years in high school and one semester in college, but I remembered only a few words—abgehetzt, schoner, arschloch—and only one phrase: Ich habe sieben...