I’ve set the margins and the font, set the spacing to double, and I let the cursor sit, left-aligned and blinking. My fingertips pull up to an inch or two above the keys, my fingers wriggling like the legs of a person pulled up by their shoulders, kicking to find contact with any piece of ground, just with the edge of their toe. The cursor keeps blinking. With my fingers still flailing my hands drop, letting the calloused tips come as close to the keys as possible without actually touching them. I wonder how close I could get and not touch with my fingers just millimeters over the keys, but the tips of my index fingers brush over the top of the raised nubs at the bottom of the “j” and “f” to help reign in wandering fingers like mine and I stop, disappointed in myself. I put my hands across the keys palms down, apply gentle pressure, and make a sort of spitting, clicky noise at the front of my mouth. It’s an intriguing sound and I remove my hands from the keys entirely, seeing what different tones my tongue and my cheek and my lips make with different levels of tooth and spit involvement, clicking and smacking from my front teeth to the back of my throat. I stop. The cursor keeps blinking. My hands find their way to the top of my head, mingling with hair, palms on the scalp. My neck relaxes. My head lilts backwards, the back of it hitting the wall behind me with a brisk, authoritative and hollow thud. Out of the bottom of my peripheral vision I glance over the brief, hastily-scrawled outline I’d made earlier, chaotic, arrows and circles and underlined phrases in the margins, some written diagonally and across other notes. I glance over it and wonder who would really want to hear about any of this? Who would really care? I can’t blame them. Why should they? I can’t blame them. His hands come to me first, thick and meaty, overfilled and plump at only six years old. Glasses on my face, book in my hands, knit sweater covering tight t-shirt, me, smaller than him by forty pounds and without a prayer that he’ll keep moving or bother someone else. “What you doing?” His consonants were soft with spit. “What are you doing?” He grunted and leaned on his hand that pressed into a drawing by a student hung on the wall, tearing it. I sank into the beanbag chair, one I’d picked thinking the corner was safer. But I was stuck. “You think you’re smart, huh?” “No.&rdq
(Here's a short image-based piece I did recently.) The lights have come up in the gym as they release the beach balls, some partially deflated, falling onto the heads and shoulders of the students wearing their best, the music turned calm and deliberate as the crowds turn to leave. A girl pulls her dress off the floor with her hands at her thighs and bunches of fabric in her fingers, taking off her shoes and wrapping the straps around a hooked thumb. She’s three inches shorter. The gym was made of pairs before the lights came up, now they’ve dissolved to groups, to friends talking loudly and moving towards the doors, to boys and girls by themselves, left without their partner, to one boy sitting on the bit of the bleachers that was pulled out for a bench leaned forward and staring at the floor and his clasped hands. You can feel him sighing. There were two not dancing while the lights were down, who moved for a beach ball when they fell to everyone, and now they were swaying together just off the floor’s center to the slow, meaningful tone of the evening’s last song quietly swimming over them, their hands pressed against the other’s back. Her head is on his shoulder. She stands in bare feet, black dress, brown and curled hair lying across his chest, eyes closed and without any expression on her face. He stands straight, perfectly upright, his eyes wide and his mouth open just slightly while settling into a nervous smile. His head falls too, onto hers, and his spine curves, shoulders drop, corners of the lips keep rising. He relaxes. The two of them hold their beach ball between their other hands, the hands that would meet otherwise, suspended between their joined pressure against it. They got one of the good ones, not at all deflated, that stayed between their hands as a perch while they sway, unsure but steady, somehow, falling asleep together in a clearing, well-lit gym, falling asleep while standing. They’re hands stay on that beach ball, both of them pressing, and neither one worries whether or not the other will suddenly stop.
Ridiculous instances are my inspiration,close calls reeling kisses blown at yellow lights,I toil with truth tursting too much in its vision,fighting over nothing I live for the fights.Instigate sight my strife inside sighs bored,windows to the soul bore lazily pastthe past enters beast's future manly endeavors,eyes rave with power but always crave more.While raging citizens buy into the pursuit of apathy,children grovel for a better tomorrow,totalitarians tremor and bow to babies in baskets,good samaritans wallow in mortal sins and sorrow.Overweight pedestrians stradling rockets of crotch, the vibrations vicariously leave me asunder,and desensitize, I can smell your perception,refreshing immaturity beckons to step it up a notch.
I found this old piece this morning, one that I used to try and get myself into a class taught by the director of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, Lan Samantha Chang. Somehow, this weird little conversational piece got me in, but they split the class in two and I had the other teacher. Best laid plans, I guess. But that's beside the point. I'd encourage anyone to go take a look back at their older writing, as you'd be surprised how much there is to be proud of. If you're just starting out, hold on to what you're doing now and check in on it from time to time as you progress. Always somethin' to learn, even from your weird "Writing to the reader as if they were part of the dialogue" phase. I lost my virginity in a motel about a mile outside Columbus, Ohio. The Stardust Motel, if I remember correctly, which chances are fairly good that I don’t. There’s a lot I can’t remember about that evening, and a lot of things I can, not things, though, people typically remember from that particular experience. The things people remember, though, they say a lot about them as people with priorities. There are girls who tell you how romantic it was, even if you can still see the Honda insignia in their back where the steering wheel was digging in, these girls whose lives have been forever changed by their introduction to the world of sexual activity. There are girls, too, and just as many, that will tell you that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, that it stung for a little while and then it was ok, they guess, but they didn’t really FEEL anything. Then there are girls who the first, I mean the VERY first thing they tell you (whether you’ve ever talked to them extensively or not) is just how big his dick was, how defined his pecs were or what they could’ve fit in the groove on the outside of ass, because, c’mon, you’re a bit curious, even if you have no idea who the other party involved was. So what’s the first thing I tell you? That it was in a motel about a mile outside of Columbus, Ohio and I don’t remember much. Now, I don’t remember much for a lot of reasons, good reasons, none of which involve alcohol if you can believe that. First off, I find myself among the ranks, at least somewhat, of the second type of girl, the nonchalant. I waited 19 years. Have you noticed that’s always what it feels like? Your whole life you’ve been waiting for this one thing to happen, conveniently forgetting the years you didn’t know or didn’t want to know what sex even meant, much less what it was like. 19 fucking years. That’s probably how I would’ve put it, too, if you’d asked me then. I would’ve said, “It’s been 19 fucking years! The hell’s wrong with me, anyways?” That whole si
A draft of an idea that I've been playing with for a while about a guy who wakes up to have his world rocked a little bit, and then a whole lot, both times because of a young lady.
Welcome to the new and improved XRIVO, writerly friends. Powered by endless supplies of kit-kats and chocolate milk (it’s an obsession), Alex and I have managed to implement these new features to make XRIVO simpler and more intuitive, while working to bring you cleaner, fresher designs. There’s a lot of work going on in the comforts of the XRIVO headquarters, and we’re excited to show you exactly how they work to make your stay at XRIVO relaxing, safe, and simple.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your wonderful feedback. It’s made this process of refining XRIVO’s writer’s tools easier and more fun. For those of you who don’t know already, XRIVO’s been featured in a number of publications in the Illinois-Iowa area. It’s exciting to see the name going around.
Anyways, writers, we kind of want to show off the new XRIVO, and the way we’re going to do that is to give you three simple instructions: Write it, workshop it, share it. Think of XRIVO as that simple tool you use to practice writing. Akin to that journal you always have tucked into your jacket pocket, XRIVO is meant to be that safe place where you can share what you want, when you want, to who you want. The security and safety of our writers’ work is our number 1 concern, which is why XRIVO has a number of elements in place to make sure that your writing stays yours.
Your Copyright Protection
Once you submit work to the site, you will receive an email with a timestamp verifying you own the writing that you just put on XRIVO. Keep track of these emails! This is your copyright protection. Think of it like the easiest way to obtain intellectual property rights over your writing that you can manage. We are constantly optimizing the security of the writing our users submit to the public community, and work to continue to bring you the finest security available. XRIVO isn’t designed to share with a public community only, though, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember, when you’re experiencing that little itch to share something…
Write it down
Free Writing is the most direct method to begin exercising your literary muscles. Think of it exactly like that: free writing. There’s no bars held against you, here. This is your place. Want to keep it as a simple journal entry? Perfect, click ‘Save’ to keep it private. You can access this work from the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the page or by clicking ‘My Works’. Try sharing a couple journal entries with the community sometimes, too. It can be a lot of fun to get honest feedback from the community on something as simple as a journal entry. Just click ‘Publish’ and the work is readily available on the Discover page.
Workshop it with your Peers
The Writing Workshop on XRIVO is tailored to be like the writing classes Alex and I experienced at the University of Iowa. Thorough feedback is what we gave and what we received, and this is exactly what XRIVO’s tools are prepared to give you once you click ‘workshop’. Be sure to
like a wave
end over end over
throat knots and
she/ her/ you know,
nouns and adjectives.
could you believe it
still turns my stomach?
quickens the beat of bitter
and ripens resentment;
it doesn't matter,
blue fluxes navy
in effervescent splash dances
complacent with your words,
skin pigment laced pink
stains and tinges grey
while trails of liner treadway
fade with your name
still, my head mimics
dramatic scenery within film strips,
of horroresque cinematics
so sluggishly shaking horizontal
still, after weeks proceeding months
in the near completion of one-hundred-days
strings frayed garrote my heart
in utter asphyxiation
and still, my breath undulates
I tiptoe into plasmic veils
and now my shadow seems less vivid,
always careening to outline behind
I don't need a replica,
I just want a friend
Some minimalist poems that I have been writing lately. I'm trying to better at concision.
An old poem revised about the Luddite's place in the digital world.