Ordinary Handsome – Ghost

Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome: Available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0 Makes a great Valentine’s Day gift!


My lips, so dry. It’s hard to talk, but that doesn’t matter. Time is winding down.

The clock says 3:24.

I’m barely asleep and there’s an urgency in my blood that pulls me all the way awake. Shadows, heavy shadows, pulled in from the empty window, the curtains breathe in time to the wind.

Tonight, Jimmy, tonight is the time for confession. You’ve rehearsed, reassembled, mixed it with sly metaphors and sprinkled it with fancy colors, but at this hour, it walks naked.

A man – a man who looks like a boy, who is still a boy – walked into your room carrying a mattress. You know who is he is, what he was. He should be a ghost, or even beyond that, the memory of a ghost. But grief is the impetus of ghosts, not death. Death is silent; grief roars. And hunts.

Reminiscing in Tempo


My first wife preferred the company of gentlemen of color, with wholesome, shiny white teeth and big hoop earrings. They wore soft-soled Oxford shoes and spoke of jazz with reverent intimacy. They would know of someone who knew someone else who once sat in on a session with Stan Getz or Bud Powell. Those were the days when jazz clubs sprung up on every other block and you could smell hot peppers frying and gumbo bubbling over onto naked flame. The gin was cold and the shrimp, drenched with complex spices, taught the tongue a new language.

Continue reading Reminiscing in Tempo

Those two fellas

Hank and Pal sat on the porch, watching the sun climb down. Another hot one, a haze so thick a man could carve it up and serve it with a biscuit. Neither man spoke much. They knew each other well enough to dispense with the unnecessary.  Hank pulled out his pocket knife and started carving his nails. Pal crossed one leg over the other, noticed a loose boot lace, and set to remedy that before it got out of hand. A man with loose laces was a man who didn’t pay attention to the details, that was Pal’s philosophy.

Another hot one, and the stink of the day covered the cow field behind the house. Even the crows gave up their arguments with the hawks. Too hot to think about much. The sun settled down below the orchard, and the bloated red made the  trees look like wounded soldiers.

“Those two fellas,” said Hank. Continue reading Those two fellas

Ordinary Handsome – Museum of Modern Mathematics

Excerpt from Ordinary Handsome. Available from Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P46ZPA0.  Makes a great Valentine’s Day gift… but remember the chocolate, too!


A piece of pi

We sat in Skelton Park. It was my favorite place to go in Handsome. A couple of park benches, dogwood trees, a fountain. Families sometimes picnicked there, and the children ran around and made noise. Arlene said she liked children, but did not want obligate herself to one. She was too impatient, she said. She did not want to rearrange herself in abidance to others.

I asked her if she wanted a piece of pi. This bolt, this algebraic jolt of pain, this 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989


I said no, no children. The tears on my face feel like wax. Continue reading Ordinary Handsome – Museum of Modern Mathematics