New Website!


I made me a website. It is here:

I will still post things on here, but you can find my contact info and up-to-date list of publications on the website.



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Warmth in the Whiteness


The snow is slowly looking for a place to land. The flakes find my thighs. And the lonely crow cawing in the distance sounds like a dog offering its barks into the air. The stillness of the snow engulfs this Colorado section of the world. My shoulders shiver.

More heat to be found downstairs. My white-turning-blue toes and frozen fingers yearn for the heat of the bed, the soon-to-be sizzling solace found under two thick blankets.

I have seen water instantly freeze on windows. A man commissioned to clean away the restaurant’s dirt-smudged panes suddenly finding his soapy water frozen before he could wash it away. My friends and I sat inside, watching this scene as we slurped at our Bloody Mary’s.

This is winter in the Northern states.

I move my body to the couch where a white blanket awaits me. Unable to put my pen down, I write out the moments when I have felt the cold freeze my veins.

Chicago. Winter. 4am. Outside of my apartment standing in snow boots I took drags off of a cigarette. The city was so still at that hour that I could not resist but to stand in it. And I was freezing, the snow piling up to there. And the cigarette did not warm me up, though I tried to convince myself it would. A train broke the silence as it whooshed by on the elevated tracks across the street from me. I looked up to its windows as it passed by and saw a few lonely homeless people finding warmth in the only place they could. To ride around the sleeping city, trying to grab some rest in a warm, moving car.

The winter wind blew out my cigarette and I returned upstairs to write more. Snow stuck to my boots, taking its time to melt on my white carpeted floor. Winter in the city. A blizzard would arrive later on that the day.

Years later, and I lie on my couch in Colorado, warming my toes underneath the white blanket. I am thankful to have this place I call home, though the house is not mine. It belongs to my grandparents, and I now live inside it with nowhere else I can afford to go.

The temperature will drop down to six degrees today, and I wonder if the ice will keep me from going to the restaurant where I work. Though I imagine that even in this weather, the townsfolk will want to get out of their houses in order to slurp at a Bloody Mary.

And so I lie on the couch in the early morning thinking about the cold, listening to the cawing crow as it slowly recedes, finding a warmer place to call home.

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Humor Columnist for The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review

Update: I have not been writing here as much, because since July I have been writing weekly humor columns for the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. Check out the website, as well as my columns! They are posted every Monday morning in the Salon feature.

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Mornings in the Quiet of Cripple Creek



Stomach flat, filled with the hollow of the morning. The coffee pot churns. I remove the knit hat from my head that causes too much warmth. My body slightly sweats, my eyes bring forth water to even out the overnight dryness. The yawns continue. This is the space of waking up.


I sit on the couch with a pillow in my lap and my notebook resting on top of it. With my palms I wipe away the water from my eyes, but the yawns continue, my eyes squeezing out more water with each yawp. My legs rest on the couch—one curled underneath me, one straight out. And I feel and see the blue, green, gray and black striped socks that stretch up to my knees. “Sock Guy” is embroidered on the toes in cursive lettering. The pillow is as blue as my sweater, though closer in hue to my pajama pants. I know my right foot will fall asleep soon.


There is a white knit blanket rumpled on the couch to my right. I remember how I spilled red wine on that blanket six years ago when I was here for a visit. That was when I was still drinking. I cannot find the stain now. On the blue and green striped couch I discover long blonde hairs left behind from a past lover who used to come here with me. I swish some coffee and cream in my mouth and down my throat, and think of the time when I came out here with her and started writing a novel.


Now I am writing and memoir. And like my writing projects, I have also changed lovers. The she turning into a him, a man with his own long dirty-blonde hair. He sits in one of the chairs of the dining room table all day long and reads articles about politics. He sits in the chair across from where she used to sit. Both lovers drew the white curtains closed on their first day here so they could better see the screen of their computers. The view of a flashing screen preferred over the window full of mountains.


Across the room from me is a black leather chair. I’m thinking of the time when friends came up here with me one March about ten years ago. How I have a picture of my best friend lounging in that chair and reading. She does not like to read. But in the space of this quiet cabin there is nothing else to do.


I return outside to the deck, placing my knit hat on my head, and dressing myself in my winter jacket, too. It is not winter yet, though the early mornings say otherwise. The full moon is still out during this 7am hour, and I smoke my cigarette looking up at it. I am finding my own things to do here.


There is such a silence, one that at times feels deafening, crashing into my skull, my brain that at times feels lost in such solitude.


I return inside to be surrounded by a different scenery.


There is an obvious silence to seclusion. There is a stillness one must learn how to settle with. In a large city with so many distractions, I found my mind in an easier place in which to be able to concentrate. Now, with nothing distracting me, the concentration is hard, the mind wandering off to the spaces that fill the air. Their silence. The way the pink clouds crawl across the blue sky, the morning sun. The way each piece of furniture in this living room feels old and tired, their bodies left unmoved since they first arrived in 1971.


And so I distract myself with the lack of distractions around me. Check email. Troll around Facebook. Go outside to smoke a cigarette and drink coffee and read poetry. As if all of this will bring me back into my brain.


There is a poem hidden somewhere in here, one that crawls between the spaces of each word. A secret code I am trying to crack. As where “slight caesura” has slowly become my favorite phrase. Between each letter this is a stanza waiting to break through. A poem wanting to be heard, if only I can find the breath to say it. Muster up the insight in order to see it.


But these are my words I offer into the day during in this quiet morning: stay present in each moment, do not let the blankenss of the coming day permeate into my brain. Time will be filled, and I cannot make the world move any faster into the moment when I will have to move my body into the space of the city. How I yearn for something else to do.


So for now I soak into the silence, the stillness of the air, and find my way of living in the quiet mountains up here.

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Dogs on the Hills


I ran 18 miles today, good lord. It’s the furthest I have ran in over two years. And while I feel a little giddy-stoned from running for that far, at least I have my cigarettes and coffee to make me feel a bit more grounded, a bit more in my body and mind after I spent so much time just wandering through the mountains of Cripple Creek, CO. Which makes me reflect on what the hell did I think about for all of that time? I do not know where my mind goes when I run. It wanders off, singing songs and thinking about other runs and races I have done. But today, I did have other thoughts about dogs to consume my brain.

Today, a dog followed me for six miles. When we were three miles away from her house, the dog looked a little confused and lost, so I decided to turn around and run her the three miles back to her part of the neighborhood. She is a dark colored German Shepard mix, and I have taken to calling her Sheila. I do not know why Sheila, but that’s just what I call her. In the past few weeks when I’ve done long runs, she has followed me for a little bit, the returned home. Today she was waiting at the top of the May Queen Road hill for me. When I get to that spot on my long runs, Sheila usually comes chasing after me from down the road. But not today as she stood attentively, looking for me as I came up the hill. Sheila has become my companion on my long runs, and I am reminded by her of my dog Athena.

Athena was a beautiful Blue Healer/Australian Shepard mix, and I would take her on runs with me in Texas. One of the country roads behind my college was permanently blocked off from cars, because there was a small hole in a bridge that crossed over a creek. I took Athena on this road with me, and let her off the leash once we got past the cemetery and the road block. She would race ahead of me, her tail, like Sheila’s when she sprints off, swinging behind her. There were two hills in the short three mile run, and Athena would always wait at the top of them for me to catch up.

Today when I saw Sheila at the top of May Queen, I thought of Athena. And I looked down at my leg where I have a tattoo of Athena so she will always be running with me. And even though she’s almost thirteen years old now, and has a bum leg and hip from falling in a hole when she jumped for a Frisbee, and she lives in Chicago with a different family now, she still runs with me. The tattoo keeps her close by, keeps her continuously contemplative as she rest easily on my running leg.

And so maybe what I think about when I run and sing to myself is those past runs with Athena, the way we would soar together down empty country roads. And perhaps a part of Athena has found me again, trudging up that hill as Sheila waits for me, then accompanies me back to what feels like home, to those memories of Athena.


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Learning to Read


And here are my lips as I try to figure out the page. And here are my eyes that scroll along with the finger pointing to text. It is a story of a man and a cat. The drawings of the scene I ignore to try and spell out my own understanding. Understanding now lost. As where the vowels and consonants become only sounds, and speech breaks down on my tongue. As where there is a little girl finger trying to traverse her way across the page. I remember the cover of the book was blue. And I sat between the space left open between bunk bed and wall. As where here my body contained, I hoped to finally figure out where my hands did crawl. And the meaning slipping away, and the sound now the only thing left I can recall. Here, the text is tiny and Comic Sans in my kid eyes. Here I wonder what my eyes would make of the lettering now. And here are my current lips, whetting themselves to the memory of that first taste of unconquered text.

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Submit to re-ject!


Send in your submissions!

Re-ject is accepting submission of fiction, nonfiction, and especially, mixed-media. Deadline is July 31st. Pieces must be under 5000 words, and must have been rejected somewhere else in order to be submitted to us. Why is this important? Check out our website at to figure this bit of info out. We also have a phone app, so pieces under 500 words will be considered for that. Submit your orphaned little bastard stories, and we’ll raise ’em up right.

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The Prompt About Missing


The writing prompt asked what I will miss when I die. I did this one last year, and it was really depressing. Hopefully this one is better.

What I will miss when I die.

I will miss the way my feet slip into my brown flip-flops, the soft rubber clapping with the ground underneath me. The way I walk with confidence, as if I own the place. When I die, I will miss the feeling that the ground is mine to walk upon, that there is something here I can claim. Like the way his voice laughs into my ear, the chortles that tell me he has an appreciation for what I just said.

I will miss the taste of iced americanos with a tablespoon of cream. That earthy taste cut with a bit of a cloud, how the liquid turns from dark brown to a soft tan. I will miss the color of trees, how they each look a little ashy yet vibrant with life. Like my mother, like how even at sixty-one she still vibrates with life, and love. And I will miss her smile, the way she always laughs when she doesn’t know what else to say.

When I die I will miss the way this cigarette pokes out of my lips when I type. My daily ritual of smoking and writing, the way I breath in the toxins and exhale through my fingers what memories have been building up inside. I will miss the sound and feel of language on my tongue, how I can speak what I see, can taste the words as they rise up inside of me.

And there are the runs I go on through the trails in the mountains, the way the dirt rustles up to my ankles with each step. The showers after each run I will also miss, how the hot water runs down my naked flesh. Steam fills the bathroom, expands in the air with the smell of water and sweet soap. I will also miss the scent of laundry, of clothes spinning around themselves.

When I die I will miss the excitement of seeing an email in my inbox that is a response to a piece of writing I have submitted. Whether it is an acceptance or rejection, I will miss the feeling of knowing that someone, somewhere is reading the words I have put out into the world. Which will also make me miss the feeling of creating, of typing or writing by hand, of seeing my thoughts as they appear before me.

I will miss the feeling of rocks underneath my hands, or even the fake rocks as I climb around the gym. The sense of my arms stretching, then pulling me up higher. Perhaps it is simply the sense that I have this body, this skin wrapped taught around bones, muscle, and fat that I will miss. This body that has brought my through the world, that gives me the senses to experience all that is around me.

I will miss the cliché sight of sunsets when I die. How is one not supposed to miss the pink turning purple of the sky? And I will miss the awe at all that the world has offered for me to see, even the sight of a squirrel in that alley in Minneapolis, the one that held a stale bagel between its sharp little claws and still managed to hop up onto the tall concrete wall. When I die I will miss looking at animals, any animal, any being that reminds me I am not alone in this world. That will also make me miss the stories we tell with our bodies, the language that seeps out through our pores.

When I die I will miss the way you look at me with wonder, wanting to understand what is going on inside of my brain. And I will miss the joke my friend told about hearse that sat parked across the street from us while we smoked outside in the rain. Is that for one of us? I will miss how we recount our lives by thinking about the objects of our childhood, the Legos that filled our time, even if we didn’t understand what we were supposed to create with them.

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Awe in Austin



Austin Days


I awake with a bit of dizzy lingering above me, and a rib cage that is sore from a too-soft bed. My emerald green robe hangs on its hook across the room, the white plain wall a stark backdrop to its regal pose. The mornings in Austin are crisp, hold the knowledge that it is still spring. I robe myself and shuffle across the white carpet and out onto the small balcony. The sliding glass door opens me to the hazy outside world.


There, my eyesight zones in on the two plastic green chairs. My body travels to their destination. Here, I plop down in one, raise my feet up to the edge of the other. The maroon metal railing borders my view as I look through its bars to the damp leaves of the tall trees. I do not know what kind of trees they are, but they are dependable in the way they sway in the wind.


But this morning it is not windy. The remnants of rain linger in the air, on the metal railing from the night before. Small brown birds and strong-voiced crows sing and cackle themselves awake. The mornings here are still, are in a reprieve from the muggy heat of the day before. It is in these mornings that my brain opens up to the world, that I bring my blue pen and expectant notebook out onto the porch with me. They fill up with my morning ramblings, with the words that start to crawl themselves out of my body.


I sit in my green robe, in my green chair, by the damp green leaves, and I yawn into the day, twirl my fingers around my knotted hair. This is me waking up, considering what all I will do with this day, the words I will face as I continue to spend my time writing, searching for the phrases that feel right on my skin.




The day has gone by in a swirl of writing and napping. It is now early evening and the experience of a morning in Austin feels so far away. What lingers from each morning is how the air hangs much cooler than I expect it to be, and the walls tilt in my head as I stumble out onto the porch constantly dehydrated. I have a cigarette first thing when I wake up for no other reason than routine. That, and I feel as if the nicotine will help to push my eyelids open just a smidge faster.


I realize in the evenings that there’s also a speck of dread that fills each morning, one that wonders what it is I will do with my day. Sometimes there is a sense of awe here, that I can do whatever I please. But mostly it is me looking up at gray clouds, wondering why I spend so much of my time working on something that does not financially pay. Words to keep me going, my day that always makes me feel dumb and useless by the time the sun goes down. I question what it is that has been achieved.


This is the dread with which I start each morning. Then I go buy coffee and plunge into writing—any words that get my hand, my head moving. And then I am at the small black table, smoking away at a cigarette, letting the blue ink drip words out of me. The chair is wood and metal, always stiff and rarely comfortable. Like my body before it runs. I tell myself each morning I will run before it gets hot, and each morning that thought lingers in my body until the sun is sweating and I force myself to go to the gym in the afternoon and strap myself to the dreaded treadmill. I move in the afternoons when the words begin to feel stifling.


But this is about morning and feeling the oncoming day hover in the air around me. This is about the morning expectations of some such and such thing which never feels quite clear. This is about wondering what will come out of me that day, how many hours I will spend reading my words on the page.




It is more into the evening, and I try to settle down to sleep. This could be the light of the gray early dawn, but it is the haze of the night stepping forward. I end my day considering the next morning, how I will sleep for nine hours and then wake again. And again, I do not know what it is I will do with my day. Decisions hang indecisively in the muggy air.


Perhaps I could say what Austin is like at night, how the day seems to stretch out later here than in Minneapolis, how the birds regain their nightly quiet. And the frogs continue to make their presence known, the strumming thrum of something that is awake with me.


The night descends, and I loose sight of these lines as I sit out on the porch with a pen, a cigarette and an expectant notebook. What I accomplished today was giving myself a break—only working for an hour to write these words. Instead of writing for ten hours, I read a book. Took 168 pages into my eyes. A love story processed in the brain. It reminded me how each night as I lie down with my lover, I think of all of those past loves, the women who have slipped out of my life. One loudly, one silently who is still slipping. Each felt like a scream.


This is night, when dreams run rampant and I do not know what else to do with my brain but just try to let it be. The night here is still, quieting. The apartment is dark, the bed hiding itself in shadows. How my knee always finds it, runs into the black metal bar.


But not tonight. Tonight I am couch-bound. Letting my sick lover reign over the bed, I will lie my body on the black leather couch and drift into something that hopefully feels like dreams.




I cannot sleep.


Here is my night as I yawn into its silence. The candle is lit because I know of nothing else to do. I write in the quiet that sweeps through the apartment, as if it is 4am and I am just now waking. The dark is what draws me in the most—the time when the world hides itself from curious, listening eyes.


I feel my pen glide across the page, and my eyes adjust to this rhythm. There is the hum from the refrigerator, one from the chirp of frogs outside. The sound of my sick lover is whisperless, his fever deafening out all sighs. He rests. I write because it is the only thing I know how to do.


And I worry about money, because I’m good at that, too. Between now and a potential publication, I must continue to settle into my thoughts, to nestle into what nudges me to continue this writing, this belief in myself. And it is not the fact of money. That is not what I hope to gain.


There is much here that has been lost. Life, love, body, mind. But the writing persists through the strength of the soul, pluralizes itself with each word recorded. I do not know what all I have done today but witnessed the world turn another page. Tomorrow I will read back through all I wrote and search for at least one word that will push me into the next.


I am surrounded by clutter on my desk, and it is clutter that feels like me, like the things I use to continue on with me. Music and cigarettes. Candle, water, books and computers. Something here tells me something about me. What it says is that I am still searching for this. Perhaps I always will be.

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The breeze tickles through my legs. The rain cleared from the sky hours ago. It was rain that kept me home from work today, the wetness that told me to stay put. Knowing that if I did this, if I didn’t go into work, then I would not have my job, I threw down my bag that I packed for work, and picked up my pen. This is what I was meant to do, to write. And so I search for meaning outside of the burdens of work.

I need a job in which I can call in with creativity. As in: “I’m feeling creative today and need to stay home to write.”

In this afternoon sun which no longer hides behind the rain clouds, I sit comfortably in my own work clothes, the clothes I threw my body into when I decided to not go to work. My uniform for my own workday: brown tattered cut-offs, and a navy blue tank that hangs loosely from my shoulders. The tattoos are not covered, the leg and armpit hair waves freely, and I have yet to put on shoes today. This is how I work: comfortably in my body, staying present in my thoughts as I work at not tuning out the world, like I do whenever I am at a job.

Perhaps I am not wired correctly to have a job in the outside world. And perhaps this is okay. I have found my niche, my writing desk I sit at for over eight hours a day, and work at my unpaid career of writing. There are words I jot down that will never be published. The nonsensical meditative bits I open my brain up with every morning. Still, I write. But there is meaning here. The meaning being that I am writing.

The job I quit today was one that I actually hadn’t been hired at yet. I was to come in for two test shifts totaling eleven hours to see if the job was right for me, if I was right for the job. The job: taking care of dogs. Something I love to do, something I’ve been paid to do before. I knew I could do this job well, would probably even enjoy doing it, too. But the rain told me to stay home, as in: Wouldn’t it be nice to stay inside all cozy today and just write? Yes, yes it would.

And I’m financially in the space where I can do this, because I have loved ones who believe in me, who support my work. Thanks, guys.

But perhaps I’m just spoiled.

Thinking about spoiled, though, makes me think about what is rotten. For example: making someone work for eleven hours in which you will not pay them. Rotten. Taking care of wet dogs who are unhappy and snappy. Rotten. Walking in the pouring down rain to prove myself for six hours that I can work a job I’ve done for many years in the past. Rotten. As in: hell no.

Perhaps, though, I’m hiding. Instead of telling the boss I think it’s rotten that she’s making me work for free, that she’s spoiled to get my skill set donated to her, I hide behind these words with the hopes that she will never Google search me and come across this blog. If she does, well, then, oops. Because maybe these words were meant to be read. Maybe she’ll hire me on anyway, seeing that I did spend my day working for free. Such tenacity.

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