Human

Posted on 3 min read

On the way to Amsterdam I watch a movie called My Generation. It’s a movie that I simultaneously love, and that twists me into mental knots, because of the narrator: Michael Caine.   On the way to Amsterdam I watch a movie called My Generation. It’s a movie that I simultaneously love, and that twists me into mental knots, because of the narrator: Michael Caine.   In the absence of flesh and blood role models growing up, he was one of the replacements. I used to watch and analyze his movie scenes: how he would move through a room, where his eyes would go, and the words he would use. It …

Gravity Fails

Posted on 1 min read

I’m at a coffee shop in RiNo. Looking up from my notebook I notice half the room is taking a picture. The room loses gravity. I’m slipping through the air. They’re not even here, these people who are more concerned with how they look than what they’re doing. It’s like some sick Instagram satire that I’m unwillingly a part of. I look left and right for the cameras. Come to Denver, take pictures, and then leave. Beyond the picture, it’s not clear why they wanted to be here in the first place. They don’t seem to realize that someday the servers will go down and whatever permanence it seems to …

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 …