The good girl

Compelled to stir the ashes, of what was cruel, what was unadorned. And still I reach for those extinguished minutes and years, and walk into the smoke, shoulders broke, bending to grief’s provocation, aroused by what could have been. Elani was the most gifted of us, but it was hard to watch her subtract herselfContinue reading “The good girl”

Maggie – A novella

I got all these feelings bundled up in a snarl, all the should-have’s and supposed-to’s and unfair verdicts of past mistakes. There are all these bricks of grief and regret and wondering if I could have changed just one moment. Just one. And when I try to build something out of them bricks, they crackContinue reading “Maggie – A novella”

Revised cover

The big dreamers weren’t anywhere to be found in my bar that day. You know the kind, if you’ve ever been in a saloon. The big talkers who like to think they have life by the throat. If they were just a little luckier, or if fate was a little pluckier, they could improve theirContinue reading “Revised cover”

Brother Efrim

Ah, brother Efrim. He never told his story well. Everything about him was submerged. He wore both masks, the comic and the tragic. When he drank, he was the best goddamn drunk he could be. Sober, his heart was larger than anyone she knew. Elani loved him and she understood the depths, the wear-and-tear ofContinue reading “Brother Efrim”

Ordinary Handsome: An excerpt

Though it’s approaching two years since I published Ordinary Handsome, I still have deep affection for it. I still think of it as the benchmark of everything I’ve written since.  It’s the simple story of a thief, a mistake, a dying town, and the ghosts, real or imagined, that haunt the town of Handsome. IfContinue reading “Ordinary Handsome: An excerpt”

The father of children

The move to Wishing was the best thing. Frank Cobin wasn’t a big shot in town anymore, engorged with bravado and insolence. He was the stranger in town, and had no favor with the thin-faced men: the corner-men, the hustlers, the scammers, the casually dangerous. The move to Wishing was the worst thing. Marooned fromContinue reading “The father of children”

Sirens

He still listens for sirens. He doesn’t hear them, not exactly, but he waits for them, waits for the whole damned thing to come down. A police siren, a plain blue warble, and you don’t know if they’re coming for you or heading somewhere else. That town, swear to God, moved and breathed, and theContinue reading “Sirens”

Academia

The funeral was simple but elegant. There were few in attendance, other than his father’s former colleagues whom David barely remembered. He recalled dim dinners with them, and the unappetizing fare such as oysters and fowls that were not chicken. There was wine and cognac, and peach-based desserts. Sometimes there was a sweltering ham, slicedContinue reading “Academia”

A change in the weather

David showed up with a knapsack on his back, a big grin on his face. “What’s with all the mystery?” he asked. “Note in the mailbox? Ya’ll can still come to my door.” Efrim shrugged. He didn’t want to explain. It seemed too complicated and he didn’t want to hurt David’s feelings. Elani smiled whenContinue reading “A change in the weather”