Xenophobic Octopus

Oh hey.

You’re still here.

It’s been a while since I posted because…because…

I don’t really have a good reason. Maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s hard to come back after six months (or however long it’s been) and have no good explanation for the disappearance.

I just kind of…stopped caring.

Not about everything. My video gaming has remained steady, and I’m binge-watching four different shows right now. But writing got hard.

I finished the first draft of a novel in January, and promptly decided that I’m a terrible writer.

I mean, I actually still like most of it…but the opening chapters (which I attempted to start rewriting a while back) are…rough. Which is only to be expected of something I wrote four years ago, but I thought it was good at the time. Just like I think the stuff I wrote a few months ago is good…so I’m probably going to hate that in another couple years.

So now it’s hard to write. The only reason I’m writing this is I’m fairly certain nobody will see it and it will disappear into the interwebs as soon as its released.

I learned how to be good at lots of things as I grew up, but I never learned to be good at screwing up. And that’s a problem…because I seem to be doing a lot of that lately.

This video–a quote from Ira Glass about storytelling–has been resonating with me.

I can’t promise that I’ll be posting more often. I’ve made promises like that before, and broken them every time. All I can say is that I want to post more. I want to write again.

It’s just hard right now. So are titles. So…yeah, no payoff for whatever I named this. Sorry. This is me getting used to screwing up.

Posted in Blogging, Writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Little Sugar-Coated Regrets

To the girl behind me in line at the supermarket
Whose shopping list consisted entirely of
Sourdough and sour gummi worms
I wish I’d thought to ask you
If you were making

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Diatribe For A Perfect Stranger

I hate you, woman in yellow
For all the terrible things you never did
And all the horrible flaws you never showed
And all the wretched words you never said
But most of all for when, as you walked along the sidewalk
You made a skip of joy, for no apparent reason
And kept walking
Unaware of the damage you’d done by making me notice you
Stepping out of the crowds of invisible millions
And forcing me to realize that I didn’t know a single thing about you
No foul habits to let me ignore you
No rude speeches to let me deplore you
No cruel misdeeds to let me abhor you
Nothing to remind me that you, like I, are human
And you, like I, will lie, cry, spy, defy, deny, crucify, mortify, falsify, dissatisfy,
And one day die, and feed the flies
You gave me nothing to put you out of my mind.

You were, are, will be
A perfect stranger
And I could have forgiven you anything
Anything but strange perfection
I cannot forgive you.
I can only try
To forget.

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Maybe I Wasn’t Trying To Write A Poem, Okay?!

The snow goes
As the snow does
(Does doesn’t rhyme)
The snow does, that is to say, the female counterparts to snow bucks
Make footprints all along the way
While I get up and resume
(Resume doesn’t rhyme)
Resume, that is to say, create a list of my work history and credentials
So I may travel ‘cross the globe
In hopes of finding a great job
(Job doesn’t rhyme)
Job, that is to say, a person with unyielding patience in the face of suffering
Who could last an entire summer
Bearing trials without number
(Number doesn’t rhyme)
Number, that is to say, more desensitized to pain
Feelings growing in his head
Unafraid to take the lead
Lead, that is to say, the chemical element with 82 protons in its nucleus
Paint from off his old lawn mower
The effort turning him rank as a sewer
(Sewer doesn’t rhyme)
Sewer, that is to say, seamstress, that is to say, actually a person of any gender who decides they want to take up sewing because it’s a relaxing and productive hobby, and who are you to impose your gender stereotypes on entire words?!
(Whoa, settle down there, Ogden Nash)
No, you settle down, parenthesister! You’re not even real! You’re just a gimmick I’m using to very poorly hide the fact that I have nothing significant to say!
(I’d say that hurts, but then, you are just putting these words in my mouth, so…)
Exactly, so why don’t you stop judging me!
(Oh please, tell me you’re not doing another ‘I write poems for me, not for you’ poem. You did that, like, five posts ago, and it was already hackneyed then.)
I am not! And it was not! Was it? Ah, I don’t care about your opinion…wait, crap…
(Are you just sending your poem through ever-deeper levels of deconstruction meat grinders to cover up your complete lack of confidence in your own artistic ability?)
(Calling attention to any recognizable pattern or habit or cliché you rely on, trying to forestall criticism by criticizing yourself first?)
Shut up.
(That’s pretty chickenshit, man.)
Well, now you’re doing it too.
(Point. But we all know it’s just you talking with yourself here. The dialogue conceit’s just an attempt to make the whole thing come across less self-indulgent. Which, by the way, isn’t working. And  yes, I know I just did it again. Old habits.)
So what now?
(Well, you could do what you always do when a poem starts to make you feel uncomfortable: tack a too-hastily-applied punch line on to the end. Turn the whole thing into the literary equivalent of a fart joke. You’re already setting it up, I can tell. You just want to reassure everyone that this was all just part of your creative persona, that these internal monologues only last for a couple minutes at a time, pretend that you won’t spend hours obsessing over whether or not to put the accent marks in résumé.)
That has been bugging me.
(Just let it go. Nobody who matters cares.)
So what’s the other alternative?
(You can stick it out. Talk through your doubts and self-loathing. Work out your personal demons and accept that it’s okay to let your guard down. It’s okay to let people see you broken and scared. It’s okay to admit that you need help.)
Yeah…I could do that.
(Yes, you could.)

(So? What’s it gonna be?)


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The 18 Best Worst Sentences from Fifty Shades of Grey

Hey! It’s Banned Books Week! Last year, I swore that, for Banned Books Week, I would read Fifty Shades of Grey.

I would like to point out that I never said I would read it quickly.

But I did finish it, and here, as promised, are the best worst sentences I could find. Some are NSFW, obviously.

*     *     *


“I am all gushing and breathy—like a child, not a grown woman who can vote and drink legally in the state of Washington.”


“I wrap my arms around myself and turn to face the road and note with relief that the green man has appeared.”


“Drinking in the cool evening air in the parking lot makes me realize how drunk I am.”


“The elevator whisks me at terminal velocity to the twentieth floor.”


“Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free.”



“I stare down at my fingers, knowing that I am turning puce.”


“Holy crap…just-fucked pigtails do not suit me, either.”



“Christian Grey just sent me a winking smiley…Oh my.”


“Ho, my subconscious mouths at me.”


“‘I’ll agree to the fisting, but I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia.'”


“I smile involuntarily as I recall being in his arms as he spun me around his living room, so unexpected, and he has my panties somewhere.”


“He moves the glass again and leans down, kissing me and depositing a small shard of ice in my mouth with a little wine.”


“…from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.”


“‘Contrary to what your roommate believes, I’m not a priapic monster.'”


“‘The woman who brought me into this world was a crack whore, Anastasia. Go to sleep.'”


“My subconscious has her Munsch’s Scream face on again.”


Fuck, this is sexier than the toothbrush. 


“His breathing is mounting, his ardor…Holy cow—his erection…we’re in a field.”


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Your Excitement About Kroger Is Killing My Dreams

This article makes me irrationally angry.

It’s an article from my local paper. It tells about hundreds of local citizens lining up on a Thursday morning.

What were they lining up for, you ask? Was it the midnight release of a new dystopian space wizard movie? Free food for a year? A magical boutique that appears one day out of every thousand to grant its customers their deepest desires?



Just a Kroger.


People ask why I hate living in Indiana, and stuff like this is pretty close to the top of the list. I live in a state that is so drowned in ennui that not one, not dozens, but huuuuuundreds of people think a grocery store opening is the be-all, end-all of the human experience.

Oh, what’s that? I’m sorry, I misspoke. It’s not just a Kroger, it’s a suuuuper-Kroger! It’s a Kroger the size of a Walmart! I could understand the impact that might make if there wasn’t a Walmart one literal mile away. And if Walmarts and their ilk didn’t have the general ambiance of concentration camps for frozen TV dinners.

And I don’t hate Kroger. Kroger is fine. But that is absolutely all it is. There is no good reason to be outside a Kroger when it is not open, unless they are promising shopping carts full of free food, or Jesus himself is offering fantastic deals on fishes and bread loaves of questionable origin.

If anyone asks, this is the definitive answer to ‘Why can’t we have nice things?’ Because you don’t want nice things! You pee your pants with glee over grocery stores! Not even new grocery stores, but slightly bigger versions of grocery stores that used to be half a mile up the road!

This is why music and art and interesting restaurants and creative entrepreneurship are dead in Indiana. Why would you try your best to make something great, when all the people here want is another fucking Kroger?


Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Chameleons of Karmic Hue are Seldom Kept in View

I’ve always had a soft, unspoken, karmic view of life
Though never voiced, it’s always burrowed down inside my mind
But as the law of averages applies to joy and strife
A different philosophy is what I’ve come to find

For long I’ve thought that doing bad will always make you sad
Convinced that happy moments come from doing what you should
But every good decision’s on the path to moments bad
As much as every bad one leads to every day that’s good

Posted in Philosophy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment