Modern Protestantism

Posted on 1 min read

I thought the culture I was raised in was a five-hundred-year-old version of Protestant restraint and silence, which at the best of times can be described as deeply personal. For all the baggage I drag around, I did often like it, as it was decidedly non-formulaic. But now I wonder how much of that culture is actually a modern version of Nietzche in which we are constantly trying to overcome ourselves (and when it gets ugly, a bastardized version in which we try to overcome others). I thought the Catholics were supposed to be the ones wrestling with guilt? …

Southern Plains

Posted on 1 min read

I’ve always had a fascination with windmills. Including the modern ones. I don’t find them eye sores or obtrusive. They seem gorgeous and eerie to me, solemn signs of human progress. When you enter Minnesota on I-90 there is a massive swath of them. Two hundred or more. The pattern isn’t apparent, but there must be one. Perhaps from the air I could see it. …

Pine Ridge

There are two parts to the Badlands. A North and a South. The North is full of trails and has the infrastructure of a typical national park. The south is in the Pine Ridge Reservation, and there are no trails. The last Ghost Dance took place in a basin there, and you’re free to cut your way to it. There is a road called Sheep Mt. Rd. that ascends to the top of a bluff, which you can use to hike down into the Southern part of the Badlands. I spend a long part of the afternoon on top of Sheep Mt. I write a little, and there are tall …

Badlands

Posted on 2 min read

I was told the Badlands erode an inch every year. That’s a lot when you think about it. It’s a foot since I was last here. Measurable difference in a human lifetime. The Black Hills next door erodes 10,000 times slower. The Badlands are only 500,000 years old, and in another 100,000 – 500,000 years they will be gone. That’s one of the things that I love about this place. The impermanence. I always found the Rockies so foreboding. Like the ocean they felt primordial. But they were a dominating prescience. They cast a constant shadow. The Badlands are beautiful and temporary. And yes, extend the line out far enough, …

59 Minutes in Germany – Flash Fiction

They said I need a union What union An electrician’s union To install a light fixture I guess Why don’t you do it yourself I don’t know how, do you No… my father did it I look over at my daughter. She’s icing her shin, her leg propped up on a chair. Two neighbor girls sing to her in German. I need to go to the bank before it closes It’s 3-37 Yeah You won’t have much time I have to try. Can you watch her It’s no problem I listen to the singing and push open the door without understanding a word. I try to run and lurch down …

Contracts – Flash Fiction

The shattered glass is so fine that it’s almost like a powder across the floor. Tim’s already got out tack-board from the storage closet, and the new gap will take its place in the queue behind the rest of the boarded-up stain glass windows. “Did you reset the clock?” I ask. “Shit,” I hear him mutter. “I’ll climb up and do it as soon as finish this,” he says, stretching out a ladder to reach the window. I hear the creek of the door and move towards the entrance. Listening to their footsteps, I know they’re tourists: light, haphazard, without intention. I walk to the altar instead. I dust off …

Dissolution of the Mirror

Posted on 1 min read

I’ve never been able to get used to a mirror. Some of my ex’s might scoff at that. But I’ve never been sure what I will see staring back at me. This is what I look like? I can never seem to remember. It’s a continual reacquaintance with a childhood friend, often older, sometimes younger, then I remember. Lately skinnier: the stress and Shigella induced dysentery from the trip to Peru have taken pounds off me, deepened my cheeks, thinned my face. It’s a fight to get it back. Now I feel, more than I have in a very long time, the urge to know the guy. This time I …

Denver, Asylum

Posted on 1 min read

There’s comfort to being back in the regularity of Denver. I never thought that the job, the board meetings, and this city would be a comfort in my life. But that’s what it’s become. I don’t believe it’s the regularity of the days or the ease of the city. What I like are the people I see, and the way that I waste my days. …

The Day After

Posted on 2 min read

I woke up hoping to find a new perspective, that things would seem more optimistic with sleep and the light of morning. Instead the mental vomit continues, now seeping into my extremities. I knock over a carton of milk, and walked into a doorway, my body refusing to work. There’s static in all of me: my mind, my fingers, and I’m so exhausted, but I can’t fall asleep. At the Munich airport I try to board a flight to New York. They tell me I’m at the wrong gate. I stare at them glazed, on the verge of tears, until I realize what they’ve said. I run across the gates …