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Cow Juice

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Theresa stopped speaking to me because I ate cows. This made things simple. There was no conversation.

Unmailed Letter to B'go

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I really detest dating that leads to sex=ownership or to the expectation of it. The men are so quietly demanding, authoritarian, pushy. Who are these nice fuckers? Strays a'hounding. I want to tell them: I have friends, real friends with art agendas.

How Dinner With John Updike Ruined My Teaching Career

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Christmas Eve, 1989, I had dinner with John Updike.

Coping Stones

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Cahill—Dr. Cahill to those who knew him in his small town in Maine—had decided that his screened porch should be relocated. Wouldn't it be better to winterize the current porch, adding a door at the far end which would lead to a new, smaller porch,…

Things I Should Have Done - #5

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When I walked into the local police precinct to meet with a detective about the scope of my rights, I was thinking about Rocco, the adored dog of a long-ago life.

A Glimpse

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I am everything she wanted me to be. I am crossed legs, chest out; I am wearing a soft white dress—lacy and completely inappropriate to the Midwest, to 2011, to anything about my existence.

Comfort of Friends

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She drove me to radiation, to acupuncture and support group. She brewed me concoctions that smelled of twigs and dirt...

You're Gay? I'm Not Surprised. But Thanks For Telling Me!

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When I was young, my mother told me that J. Edgar Hoover was a homosexual. I don't remember exactly when or why she shared this tidbit with me. This was, after all, fifty years ago. But Mom wasn't a homophobe, so I'm guessing that what intrigued her about Hoover's…

Lay on Me

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On Friday nights I'm not there.


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"It's what being out of work does to you, " she said, with that innocent sense of the everyday tragic, that kind murmur.

From the Kitchen of my Childhood

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An ice block heart rushed home to the beat of its melt.

It's a Boy!

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Sex when you’re pregnant Is like sex when you aren’t Pregnant, but with extra people.


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"Oh, damn,” I say. “A kitty.”


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He’d kept the parking space open. She used it most often, whenever she and her husband, an old drinking buddy, came to visit.


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She pulled into the doorway. Uncertain where to spend the night. Certain there'd once been a place with food. Here. This place. She remembered. Curtains. Small tables. Coffee cups thick-handled and sturdy. Crockery. Some words came back.

Leader of Men

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"Look," he said. "Look at the knife. See how I hold it?"

Margaret & Beak Discuss Jazz for The Last Time

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He lit a slim, brown cigarette and drew on it. "But have you heard the flugelhorn? I mean, have you heard a particularly adept flugelhorn?"

I'm Feeling the Monkey Around your Neck Isn't Quite Listening

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The sky's hand's so big andso vast that it takes ourhuge sun at the end of day and squeezes it downto a perfect diamond--just like Supermanwith a lump of coal-- poof!--obliterates it. Gone.Next day it's seen floating'round everywhere againlike an…

When the Translator Disappears, the Translation Withers and Dies

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She pined for the return of the trans­la­tor who / became mes­sianic in her eyes.

Roadside Attraction

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There is a certain stage of sobriety among men who drink every night. In that stage, they are their best selves: they write novels, fix cars, care for their young. Then they change.

My Name is Smegma Jones, and I'm a Pussy: A Memoir

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The Daughters

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Their mother never teaches them to wipe front to back or to brush their teeth before bed.

The Truth Will Out

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sorry I didn't inform you (missing cap) about my trip to Spain, (comma splice)

Bone Dust Disco

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He stands at the 53 bus stop, boy shadow dust-cloaked and fading, jangling her keys in his pocket, echoes of a journey cut short.

Lettie in the Ozarks

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Lettie picks wild grapes from the vines that twist between thorny bushes. If she's really hungry she eats dirt and all the things that live in it.

Dr. Doom

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I passed out one night while I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth.


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Arise, ye masses, arise!

After this last death,

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After this last death, I lose at musical chairs. Rough strangers shove me toward the carved door. Feeling fierce, I yell, “Don't push me!” House racked with noise, smells, rushing, I turn the…


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Sylvia used his computer to write two-page stories about women who killed themselves with blue pills because the shirts came back from the laundry unpressed and their husbands stayed out late with secretaries. Every story ended with the image it began.


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We descended directly from Charlemagne