Dusty Around the Eyes

Names change colors when you are dusty around the eyes. Watch a gerenuk at sunset while listening to a Walkman. These two odd sentences are mnemonics I constructed to remind myself of chains of thought that occurred to me while learning to do anthropological fieldwork in East Africa. Searching the forests of the Semliki Valley… Continue reading Dusty Around the Eyes

Xanax and Legumes

The vasectomy doc named Buzz prescribed Xanax and legumes. “The Xanax is for before,” Buzz said. “While the pharmacist counts the pills, grab a couple bags of frozen peas for the swelling after.” “I’ve got ice packs at home,” I said. “Ice packs won’t mold to your body,” Buzz said, holding up a cupped palm.… Continue reading Xanax and Legumes

New Dreams, Reason Unknown

My dreams have changed. I don’t know why.  They’re harking back to my childhood—to the bad-old school days—dredging up long-nurtured hurts, and mashing them up with more recent pain. What’s weird is the mood. These dreams feel good—like my psyche is tearing crusted-over scabs from the edges of old wounds and then sewing the freshly… Continue reading New Dreams, Reason Unknown

Mayan Colors

The Mayans assign a color to each of the four directions and one to the center. So the guidebook says. The color assigned to the center is blue-green. I imagine an enchanted isle where everything makes sense. I conjure soft breezes, a warm ocean. I wish for a compass that points the way. I imagine… Continue reading Mayan Colors

After That, We Were Just Playing Out the String

“I’m telling you this now,” my wife said, “since you’ll find out eventually.” It was still dark outside. I set my coffee down. “I used your Gmail,” she said, “to contact a vasectomy-reversal surgeon.” “Why?” “I thought it’d be weird to use mine,” she said. “I didn’t mean that part.” “Oh,” she said. Then she… Continue reading After That, We Were Just Playing Out the String

The Bus Driver

From my perch next to the window, I look down on the bus driver — a small, tidy white man with a bald spot and a collared shirt. Cradling a complicated novel on my lap, I tell myself that his small head surely houses small thoughts. The bus driver’s eyes roam the rearview mirror.  He sees me… Continue reading The Bus Driver

A Horse Named Special Take

A red stallion, iridescent in the sunlight, stands on thick rubber mats. His coat shines like sequined cinnamon. Raw flesh, days old and drying, dangles from a wound on his chest the size of a shovel blade. I lanced the abscess, says a tall, rawboned cowboy—proud, somehow, of the carnage. The cowboy squints through a microscope… Continue reading A Horse Named Special Take

Somebody Tell Me

I used to change towns every time I changed girlfriends. These days, friends say I change plans more often than they change lanes. Never gonna get anywhere like that. They say. They’re right. Problem is, I lack the guts to trust my dreams. Somebody tell me how to change that. © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Somebody Tell Me