Monday, January 31, 2011

Consumption's claimed his life and we dare not miss the sight


word for word

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is the 7:30 pm train to Lowell, making the following stops in West Medford, Wedgemere, Winchester Center, Anderson, Wilmington, North Billerica, and Lowell. This is the train to Lowell; if you didn't hear it, we don't go there, and it's still not too late to get off."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free persons

Rupert will dive face-first and headlong into snowbanks sometimes, to test his own mettle, and the snow's. I'm afraid sometimes that I don't take enough time out for reflection, the moments where you sit in a darkened room and consider deeply. There's no time horizon here, just a general anxiety. What will 2017 be like? Don't let me be consigned to the scrap-heap of history. Every minute is full of getting and spending.

If I tend to wear scarves around the house, it's because I'm cold and want to be warm, nothing personal. Two clocks in the same room, second-hands each one second off from the other, so there's always ticking. I feel that I get more done when there's less scrutiny. Ben Franklin once wrote...or was that Zachary Taylor? I'm always forgetting which pigeonhole to put an acquaintance in. Did you read this? It was like an art project for a second-generation fruitseller.

The profession of scrivener no longer exists, she said. Even the walls were downed in light-brown hair. Would this be a successful enterprise for us to embark upon? The key turned in the door, two flights down.

The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home

Trains have this certain majesty that you can't deny. They're long and sleek, though they lumber. Trains have the quality of being undeniable, too. You couldn't easily stop a train, unless it wanted to stop itself (giving the train agency here, but you understand what I mean). They represent ordered grace, militaristic in clean lines of gray and chrome. Not low and rounded like the subway cars; broad and tall, noble, with long miles to go before they'll sleep in rail yards in Woburn, Melrose, Fitchburg, and Lowell. The engine's thrum and steel wheels bumping over rails accrete into a heartbeat that the train has. Long, low, falling-away note of the horn gives finality to the journey, like the trip a president's body takes home by rail. Sometimes the train will shudder, shivering, maybe in the icy damp. We spend so much time with it, we'd hope to consider it a friend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Floating around in my head

*Charm offensive
*Deadly chimpanzee
*Teetotaling in the New Year
*Buzz Bissinger words
*Cover-up letter
*Providential protectorate
*Airborne toxic event
*Jack glad-hand
*The mark of a snow-blower

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


-It's been a while since the last slightly lazy bullet-point post.

-Letters could be a really productive way of advancing my writing. If nothing else, they provide plenty of practice. Also, nearly every good writer wrote good letters. Also, they still feel special to write and send, and pretty sure it makes people feel special to receive them.

-Question: do I write best on trains, or is it more that I write only on trains?

-Trains are collectively a monolith. They have ever been and always will be.

-Listen to Orwell on writing; he was very good at it.

-These very words may someday be worth their weight in gold, except that internet words can't have any literal weight, so it will have to be figurative.

-My instinct told me don't lay it on too thick. You want to say nice things, but that can be taken too far. I've made my point, that I'm a clever fellow, that I can reference Shakespeare and Bogart almost simultaneously. Don't push your luck.

-The person whose job it is to choose the style of bench at Central Square-Lynn.

-Invasion of personal communications by business communication modes.

-Todd Barry: genius. G-E-N-I-U-S.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is my favorite coffee cup in Medford

This is my favorite coffee cup in Medford. It has a narrow base that tapers outward to a wide mouth at the top. It has a stylized leaf inlaid on one side and is devoid of any design on the other. The inside of the cup is black. The outside is faux-aged stone-gray beige. It is almost never washed, and almost always contains coffee. It sits on a woven yarn coaster on my desk.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Ate My Father-Pig

Imagine wrestling the Asian Black Bear. It is strangely human, and tries irresistibly to tousle your hair with its claws.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dens-Laps Re-Coded

-They drew first blank.
-Confusion rings when the duck flies over the glass.
-Let's disgust this.
-The pits just keep on coming.
-Oh, I think Mosby's gonna be plain soon.
-That bowl is flaky.
-Brood, you love tree brinks.
-I have grew in the fiddle of the ice.
-Big heart, get to our flame here.
-Crawling rave by Noy-Verte.
-Burning their second flower play of the period.
-Tike Wean looks to the heavens.
-Pour but.
-Is when me lathe it away at the hew line.
-We will give us cheesy buns on the get.
-Laughter the mop of the puck.
-Pat sings the iron.
-Crumb the league office din Toronto.
-We can never tell if this buck completely flosses the toll line.
-Huck grew.
-I'm milling blue hoe up to fifty.
-If the Russian gores fear, he ends the maim.
-Fooling to stay hero.
-Won't flurry about mitt.
-To fled further gown the bench.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yet another short post about trains

-I am the pointed sweatshirt hood of the hardscrabble Lynn youth. Slightly starched, and improbably towering, I have become an entity unto myself, shark-like and telling of dozens of seamy dives and two-room tumbledown apartments I have seen, you haven't

-I am the train tunnel into Salem—dimly lit, always nightbound. Too ramshackle for the gleaming cookie-cutter housing complex not 100 yards away

-I am the shining water at Beverly, bright expanse, unfrozen, spared by brackishness. Boats bob, ready for pleasure or lobstering. See the mirror of the sun, with an orange sheen flashing flat across the wavelets