Gesture//Monsters//Animals

Gesture Literary Journal published my short story, “When the Animals Turned on You,” today in their “Monsters” issue, available online here.  I wrote it last semester for a class on American Gothic, and I plan to incorporate it into the beginning of my novel.

Yesterday, Gesture invited me to read at their “Monsters” launch party in Fort Collins, Colorado…digitally!  It was a strangely lovely experience, reading from my apartment via Skype while sippin’ PBR.

Five [Quarterly] publishes “Love Letter”

My short story, “Love Letter to Lady Lazarus,” was recently published in Five [Quarterly]‘s Winter 2014 issue, available online here.

I was invited to read for the issue’s launch party this past weekend at MiMoDa Studio in Los Angeles, California.  It was my first time in California, and it was badass, I must say.

Five Quarterly LA readingScreen shot 2014-01-23 at 9.22.57 PMIMG_2299

Heartbreakin’ Cross State Lines

Cowboys don’t feel shame no matter how many gowns they rip.

John Wayne’s Honda Civic got gallup to it

and cracked headlights that don’t feel shame, neither.

The folks a man meets:

Women and men and poets and artists;

Sorceresses and thieves.

Cowboys write about tumbleweeds and necrophilia;

Got dirty teeth;

are Phillip Morris friendly.

John Wayne has nightmares:

hotel rooms, hotel rooms,

giant swimming beasts.

Reasons to be (un)Afraid of the Wild West

Perhaps it is because I have never been missed.  They have never had the chance to miss me, my neighbors and coworkers and classmates.  Two days gone, two weeks gone: nothing.  But permanence is at stake, and the threat of life without livelihood.  I am unused to being missed by anyone not strictly on the level of close family, a self-selecting club of three.  But even they have only had the option to miss for weeks at most; here it has been four months I have lived on my own,  two thousand miles from all those folks doing all that missing.

You don’t ask cowboys what they’re running from.  Not unless you want ’em to saddle up and move along.  Funny, what I miss is the place in which I was most temporary.  Ground not yet accustomed to the weight of me, weather still surprising, folks easily delighted, snakecharmer that I am.  The itch of boots is no novelty, though, and eventually I will wear through the soles of every space I inhabit.

Telephones house confession boxes and whispered sonnets but poets do not love me.  People laugh at how you talk in your new city.

John Wayne compares every city to home and likes the cut of none of them, but home ain’t home no more.

Perhaps it is because my Nana plays hide-and-seek games with the objects I left in my rush to abandon Jonesboro.  Or because the hometown I felt unfit for wants me back.  There is a reluctance on the part of the tumbleweed to do much other than ramble.  It is no ficus.