Sunday, December 15, 2013

At the oyster cellar

S: What are the oysters tonight?
T: We have lots of oysters.
S: Lots of kinds of oysters, or just very many oysters?
T: (uncertainly): Lots of kinds.
S: OK. So... I'll just name all the kinds of oysters I know, and when I hit on one you have, you tap your foot twice.
T: I'd need to go get a list.
S: Probably.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roy Orbison

pretty woman, give your smile to me
that is an imperative
I want to try it on
and I promise
not to wipe it off
with my greaserag this time
that last incident having been merely
a confusion of identity of me
for my brother who is not me
but is often mistaken for me

he’s the one who can play guitar


Monday, July 11, 2011

One Reader Writes:

Merger merger Android startup stock option implementation deadline! Professionalize Twitter social patent network effect artificial Linux scarcity! Freedom source monetize Bitcoin buyout Microsoft strategy! Mobile ubiquitous real-time synergy! Venture cap software stack core competency.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

From the Desert

I bought some cigarettes with a coupon. I've only done this once or twice before because buying your addictive drugs with a coupon seems less than shabby and none of my other dealers even take them, but Mr. R.J. Reynolds mails them to me. Direct.

Because they're mailed to me, the coupons have my name printed on the back. The cashier, who I call Quetzlcohotl, read my name on the coupon. Now she had a name for me.

Do you know Stephanie Wood?, she demanded.

I wasn't biting. I didn't like her tone. I said, I don't know too many people around here. I'm originally from Kansas City.

Oh she's from the desert, too, explained the cashier.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ask Me About Jesus

I never answer the phone. Yet I get up and eye the caller ID every time it rings. It could say Obama or Lindsay Lohan or Marshall Michel Ney on there, I would still leave it to voicemail. But I always check the caller ID. I never check the voicemail.

I didn't name Jesus as a potential extraordinary caller because I live in Southern California and Jesus calls every once in a while.

I was smoking in the car in the Post Office lot while someone retrieved my mail. A blue Nissan Rogue pulled in next to me. It sported a bumper sticker: Ask Me About Jesus. So when the driver got out, I did. I said, What about Jesus?

She looked at me with her mouth just open and brows raised. She didn't say a word.

You're the one with the bumper sticker, I replied. She turned for the Post Office. She didn't hold the door for the exiting pregnant woman she met on her way in.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fireworks for the Fourth

I saw fireworks over Big Bear Lake. They were accompanied by the local radio, 93.3 FM. We heard Rocking in the USA by Johnny Cougar Mellencougarcampencougar, America by Neil Diamond, Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner, Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Man of Constant Sorrow from the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and Big Bear Lake by Mel Blanc, who voiced it as the mutant offspring of Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, far as I could tell. A sizable crowd at the Pine Knot landing idled and waited and wondered if the show would be more than the moving blue bow lights of boats on the lake.

Then the rockets' red glared, the bombs burst in air, and children twirled chemical green glowsticks to induce seizures in their friends. It was 68 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 PM. I walked back to the car in a sprinkle of sputtering uncertain mountain rain.