Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We're In Business!

Yippy! I here by declare my new business, Ace Holiday Gift Wrapping Service, officially open! Although I did the soft launch on Friday, yesterday was the roll-out-the-carpet day, in which I blasted email, tweets & facebook posts all over the internets. And frankly, today I'm tired, but no rest for this elf! There are gifts that need wrapping! If that includes yours, give me a buzz or email - 510.408.7441 or

And here's the lovely, fancy, magnificent website!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

If I Was On Top Of Things, I'd Have Posted This For Valentine's Day

My love for you
is like a zombie.

Deep in its grave-dirt it lies
animated but unalive.
It twists, squirms, digs, climbs

until a fingernail pokes up through the daisies,
and then fingers (not quite ten),
and then the hands, wrists, arms, elbows,
and the horrible head.
And then it pulls itself out, like coming up out of a swimming pool,
lifts itself out of the dirt,
crookedly stands.
Corroded, worm-gnawed, full of holes,
the brain basin mucked with mildew,
its skin more a paste, and its eyes puddings.
Arms outstretch, and off it stumbles.

Meanwhile, back at my house,
dark, quiet, not a creature stirring, etc.
I’m asleep in my bed, covers up to my chin
Stiff zombie arms wrecking through the window,
through the blinds bending and tearing from the sill.
They clatter with the glass shatter,
the zombie crashing in.

I try the praying, the incantations, the charms.
The zombie is unimpressed, and hungry.
It comes at me with great zeal, its teeth clack, its filthy fingernails rasp,
and the smell – have I mentioned the smell?

The smell is sweet like strange fruit,
like an mango, but sweeter, so sweet its sour,
like a thousand mangoes smashed in a sour brown mash simmering in the sun,
smells like bruised cherries, chewed pits, banana peels,
like a softly rotting cantaloupe.
The zombie smell is putrid, and pervasive,
and in no time I have this wet rotting sweetness in my pores, at the roots of my hair,
under my pajamas, inside me. The smell.

Meanwhile, the zombie
bites my face,
like seriously it bites so hard it breaks the skin. I grunt and push away, push hard into the flimsy flesh hanging loose from zombie ribs. My cheek burns, spit-streaked. The zombie's sallow teeth are exposed, my blood vivid against its lipless maw. The zombie rushes at me, and I punch, I kick, I thrash, but still it rushes. I punch the bony face and an eyeball slops out. I kick it in the bony thigh, old bone splinters, but the zombie is undeterred. It has a supernatural strength borne of a singular ambition, a focused, singular intention
To eat my brain. To consume my flesh. To have all of me.

Luckily, it is then I notice my trusty chainsaw in the corner!,
and my machete!
I angle our brawl, steer it just so -
and then I have my weapons!
The chainsaw chokes to life,
the machete gleams.
I swing my arms.
The machete catches under the chin, pops off the jaw.
And the chainsaw gets an arm, right above the elbow -
off. Onto the floor.
I swing and swing and swing
and the parts fall freely.
Of course I nick myself here and there
a cut, a gash
but a gash is a scratch when faced with the fate of being eaten by a zombie.

The awful zombie is in pieces on the floor.
This is of great relief,
but now, what, a pile of zombie parts in my house?
I put it in a garbage bag, a hand, a foot, a chunk (neck maybe?).
The pieces ooze,
the cuts have opened bad pockets of puss, maggots, curdled gore, runny marrow.
And the bag is heavy. Mostly bones, some mold, some meat, but still
it weighs a ton.
I drag the bag bumping down the stairs,
across the street, through the field by the gully,
into the woods, into darkness, into dew.
With shovel, pick ax, bare hands
I dig. The ground is damp, old, cold, but the musty dirt smell soothing. I dig

dig and dig and dig, deep as I can,
deeper, there is no purpose in putting any kind of zombie in a shallow grave.
I must ignore the shuddering sack, the black plastic bag spasms,
kick the twitching bag down the hole
and cover it, reverse it, put the cold clay back,
a low, smooth mound compact as asphalt. I jump a jig up and down
for satiety, to ensure it is tamped.
No problem.

Back at home, board up the broken window,
sweep the glass away. I'll get curtains;
I never liked blinds anyway.
And anyway, the place needed a good wash, a scrub,
the smell of bleach astringent in the sweet rot.
I wash off the gore and muck,
blood, mud and moisture.
I wash off the smell, the sweet sour brown syrup.
The house is restored.
All is warm, clean, replaced, at peace.
I go back to bed, covers up to my chin.

deep in its grave-dirt the zombie lies
animated but unalive.
It twists, squirms, digs, climbs -


Repeat repeat repeat
my love for you
is like a zombie.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Leaving New York

Good morning, New Jersey! The sky is just getting light as I ride the train to the airport. I turn and look out the window, back behind us, and see the top of the mighty Empire State Building pointing like a stinger into the clouds.

It rained last night, a lot. The sound of it kept me awake. I kept listening to that rain and imagining myself out in it in my sandaled feet, schlepping my soggy bags and trying to hail a cab. Fortunately, the real walk was dry, and the cabs were plentiful.

The Empire State Building’s stinger recedes from view. Here’s a sports stadium, and a lot of old train tracks, ship yards, and machinery. This, I suppose, is the town of Newark. The sky is still quite dim and gray. The clouds are breaking a little to the east and almost turning pink. They say it’s going to be hot in the city later today. My stop is next.

In the last few minutes, I stopped writing, departed the train, made my way across the station to the little airport train, and got aboard. In that time, the clouds opened all across the sky and now day lights through. The sun hasn’t crossed the horizon yet, but it’s close.

The little airport train crosses over brown, motionless canals. The trees grow right up to the banks, and huge pink flowers on tall stalks stand in the edge’s muck. The trees and canals give way to the sprawling tarmac, and the airplanes huddle around the terminals getting full and empty of people, soon to include me.

My experience of being in New York City is like a metaphor for the whole of my experience of life. I never quite get to do everything I wanted to do, or see everything I wanted to see, or be with all the people I wanted to be with. My best scheduled plans never quite turn out because they are interrupted by the unexpected, the wild, the impossible. And at the end I’m glad to go home, because it’s home, but feel like I need just a little more time, if I just had a little more time, I could have made it all work.

The other people on my flight - my fellow travelers, my aerial companions - queue up to board the plane. They look disaffected, some of them even appear miserable. But companions, we’re going to fly! In the sky! In a few hours, we’ll be on the other side of the continent.

If I can’t stay here, I might as well be willing to go. I pack up my phone and my water bottle and, in a moment, my notebook and pen, and take my place in the line to board the plane.