Nonfiction


OnSpringsteen and Other Fathers

(first published at Vol 1 Brooklyn)

"My father dies towards the beginning of a year that ends with the release of Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix. He loved the Boss, the E Street Band, and especially Clarence Clemons, so this is just one more thing that he would have really liked…would have. But he’s never going to see it, just like he’ll never see a post-Trump America or the end of Game of Thrones.”


Poetry


Anthony Bourdain died just after my father and now nobody is left who can teach me steak

 

(first published at Barrelhouse)

The cook time is evolving. The time
is constantly evolving. Do not fucking
touch it. 
Skin
like the buckling of old grass. No food
isn’t a poem. Pepper

and the chili shell. Broken beans. Evolution
is the cook time. The cook
time is the evolution. Meat thinks

how flesh thinks, how body
thinks, how leather remembers the stink
of the barnyard, how integrity needs
an initial lie, how I can force my hands to work
when they’re bloody, how prisoners
and the dead recall the way they liked their eggs. Please,
grab the world and never ungrab

it. Please, slice
into steak too fast and turn the whole world
red. Do not

fucking touch it, and I never did. Touch me

and I’ll touch back. One day, a man I loved
was muck and clay. The brain is a devastating
accident. Nobody ever had a mind
too fine to feed buzzards
and worms. Meat

can be so live it doesn’t get cooked. Tonight
I dine on kidskin and calflings. No I haven’t fucking
touched it.


Things I can easily imagine Elon Musk doing

(first published at Peach Mag)

  1. Internally critiquing the performances of the other guys in his Improv Over 40 workshop with great viciousness, but then totally choking when it’s his turn to do a scene with Rhonda from Toluca Lake

  2. Researching the relative merits of Rogaine vs. Propecia in an incognito window

  3. Buying a $75 hair straightener from a mall kiosk and then getting it home and scolding himself for buying yet another thing he doesn’t need from a mall kiosk

  4. Bringing a 30-rack of Natty Ice to befriend the undergrads during homecoming weekend at his alma mater every single year

  5. Singing along extra-loud to the “I’m a joker, I’m a toker, I’m a midnight smoker” line in that one goofy Steve Miller Band song

  6. Subtly flexing his arm anytime a woman touches it for any reason

  7. In the course of an hour, without realizing it, opening 17 tabs of Wikipedia articles about women being kidnapped, tortured, or murdered

  8. Saying “earn this dollar” to a stripper while holding it just out of her reach in what he imagines is a flirtatious way

  9. Eating peanut butter out of the jar while sitting on the toilet and reading his 401k statement

  10. Losing a drunken fistfight in the Las Vegas Morimoto

  11. Saying “I’m sorry, I just can’t taste the saffron. I need to be able to taste the saffron” to his server while sending his risotto back to the kitchen and then saying “see, that’s better” when she brings back the same risotto, untouched, and he tastes it

 

Love song for Dick Wolf

I prefer

that I don't know

what you look like

because you are,

therefore, beautiful. These

are not their stories,

but mine: did you know

that when men

have given me drugs, it's because

they've needed to force

something into me? Is this what

you're tired of,

from women? Forgive

my troubled

everything. Kiss the knuckles

that would've gone raw

if I'd dared to punch back.


Schnitzel

(first published at Pine Hills Review)

A priori: All meat
is tenderized the same way.
Good meat is beat lifeless
before you eat.

I know I am good
meat because men say it. Bludgeoned
plum by the hammer, I am tender.
Bludgeoned by ten thousand

tons of my own kidskin, I
am tender. All meat is tenderized
the same way. Good meat
is beat lifeless before you eat.

The pyloric jowl of my gut,
mucking me tender. Lucky
in the sun, gutless, plumb on a hook. Agèd
& tongue-perfect.

All meat is tenderized the same way,
all good meat beat lifeless before you eat.

The conquering hero and the blushing damsel

(first published at Glass Poetry)

I feel me lamenting

the joke of my body.


I laugh

when men


say I have a nice body:

who is she nice to? laugh


my tinny

laugh, rise,


cactus knees to not much

height. In fantasies, I


am able,

I am


strong. Big-armed and ruddy,

a steak eater. I save


the girl.

Laugh


a bony laugh: crickets’

legs beating sound

from each other.



Fiction

Rivka and the Jew Strangler

Drunk Monkeys, 2019

"Rivka turns murdered daughters and sisters into television by researching (in this case) the Jew Strangler’s victims and then finding their families on the private database that costs her boss Shelly $24.99/month. She then cold-calls these family members from her office phone, which smells like old popcorn, and tells them that they seem like the sort of people who would like to make a real difference. Some family members grant her interviews for her miniseries. Most don’t…”