Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mr. Quigley's Untimely End by Punctuation

The Rose & Thorn Journal is a classy establishment with some really decent and nice people (which, sadly, is an uncommon combination). I'm very proud to be featured here! This piece is inspired by day-to-day monotony and a walk through Chicago's Humboldt park. I hope you enjoy reading this surreal action piece. A lot of metaphor has gone into it, so put on your critical thinking running shoes and enjoy.

Check out Mr. Quigley by clicking here. It was published May 15th.

His gawky frame sat awkwardly on the cheap black metal chair—but then, his gawky frame sat awkwardly everywhere, especially so at his desk at the office. Yet regardless, each night he stayed there late, diligently pouring over the latest expenses of Sidebottom and Lamb, Inc. Today was a special treat, getting off in time to eat a meal alone before returning home for an oh-so-pleasant evening of listening to his fiancĂ©e going on about Mr. Whumple’s latest bout of feline constipation.

The Monroe Arms

It's been a long time coming, but I've fallen super behind posting on this list of publications. Published on April 1st, my story "The Monroe Arms" is in Menacing Hedge! This piece is the longest work I've had published to date, as well as what I feel is the most traditional short story. I'm really proud of this one, even if I'm sick of looking at it after editing it for so long.

I modeled the dog after Bowie, pictured below, which is my friend Jessica's dog. She's a sweetheart. I got the idea for the story from a combination of a story my uncle told me about his post-man days, and something I read in the newspaper.

Read The Monroe Arms by clicking here!
Here's an excerpt:
As he approached the den he felt like he was entering a bunker, entering the earth. There on the recliner was Will Taylor, missing a hand. There on the television set was James Cagney, smiling in the shadows. There on the floor lay an untidy pile of white bones gnawed to stubs and surrounded by wine-red streaks painted on the wooden floor, leaving an imprint that made Tommy think of tongues. There were no puddles. Fragments of bone and stringy sinews hung in clots from the flannel shirtsleeve like corpses hanging from trees that he used to see pictures of at St. Mary of the Angels. He was glad the flannel was red.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Honored to have my pulpy horror piece, "Mister Bryson," come in as the runner-up for the March Madness Serial Killer Contest, hosted by The Carnage Conservatory.

The story takes place in a nursing home with disappearing patrons. Told from the perspective of a curmudgeon protagonist, it should throw you for a loop if you don't pay close enough attention.

This is my third piece to appear on The Carnage Conservatory, and I expect many more to appear in the future. Thanks to editor Emily Smith-Miller for all her support.

Mister Bryson:
On the shelf underneath, there was a face. The face looked familiar. The hair looked familiar. Cathy. Cathy, with black hair. Cathy, who had disappeared and was last seen by the river. Cathy, whose death went down in the newspaper as a suicide, body unfound. Two wrinkled circles—a woman’s breasts—were fashioned to bra straps with clear plastic sewing line. The nipples looked like hunting arrowpoints. Beneath the face and arranged in a perfect line were toenails and fingernails. Forty of them, at least.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Emotion, Hard to Define

I'd like to dedicate this piece in Thunderclap! 8 to the city of Elgin, IL.
Look! My piece even got the excerpt slot in the press release. Give me attention! And love! I'm needy!

Heroin-junkie prostitutes, hotel room chocolate boxes, nighttime walks in a river town.
What more could you ask of some light Sunday reading?

You can download it for free here (.pdf), or buy it from lulu.com here (accepts PayPal).
Excerpt from "An Emotion, Hard to Define" as published by Thunderclap! Press:

"An emotion, hard to define, stalks Capital Street. After last call but before the puffs of exhaust from Sunday morning paper delivery--at a time when the best thing in your life that ever happened to you changes into the best thing in your life that ever could have happened to you and it melts the frost that started in your gut two days ago that's been telling you you were stupid. Stupid for jumping. That part only ever says slow down slow down or blow it after your feet have left the ground."

Sancha Panza, OR, Dads Are Just Jerks Who Divorce Your Mom

Hello all--this piece is special to me for a number of reasons. It's my oldest piece to get published to date, it's the first piece I was paid for (token payments count, jerkface), it's my first international publication, and also, it's funny. I never thought those three things would come together and I'd be able to list them as attributes for the same thing! But there it is.

So what should you take away from this? 
Mike Joyce is varry funnie. 

Head on over to The Waterhouse Review, a mag based in Scotland and now also Connecticut, to check out my piece, "Sancha Panza, OR, Dads Are Just Jerks Who Divorce Your Mom"!

So what can I do? Knock her off? Seems a lot harder than you’d think it to be. I’d probably break a few of her legs no matter how gentle I am and she’d be stuck out in an unknown farm wilderness all ready to be eaten up by some large unforgiving male wolf spider with an affinity for NBA hats and dance music and lies. She’s just a common house spider, after all.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Want to Destroy Things (Reprint)

The second piece I had published, "I Want to Destroy Things" is now reprinted at the very cool mag RePo (Reprint Poetry).

The publication Dark Chaos, who had originally published "I Want to Destroy Things" is sadly now defunct. This was my second publication credit. Did I say that? So yeah, take it easy on me.

(All these pin-up girls are starting to make this look like a man-cave...)

"I Want to Destroy Things" - excerpt:
I want to destroy the infinitudes that lie in these long Melvillian sentences and I want to destroy you, Thomas Pynchon, and this asshole in a corduroy jacket who is "the world's largest expert on" as he sits next to me with a merlot in hand at this poor excuse for a BBQ.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slip This Skin

The Carnage Conservatory, everyone's favorite pulp horror-zine, has posted a "Howlings" collection; werewolf themed writing released on the full moon. A piece of mine specifically written for it, "Slip This Skin" is featured there--you should go check it out. But! more to the point, you should go check out the work of other great writers like Gill Hoffs, Jeff Callico, Len Kuntz, and Cheryl Anne Gardner!

If Jake would have stayed and watched, he would have seen the ancient’s skin boil and pop, would have seen the hide of the wolf-pelt respond in the same way, the bubbles exploding and reaching out, magnetic, towards one another like so many sniffing snakes–twisting around each other, twisting the wolf-hide into the aged yellow skin.
But Jake didn’t see any of that.
Jake had already turned and ran.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Godheads and Hotdogs

I'm very excited to have a piece in issue 48 of Right Hand Pointing! The flash (500 words) is entitled Godheads and Hotdogs and it's one I've been working on for nearly a year.

Here's a picture of a girl holding alcohol jumping out of a plane. Two of those three things have nothing to do with my story. But I bet you'll want to click the above link now and find out which!

He's laughing at a joke. The head is blue with big white eyes and I'm just one of his many annoyances, just a dust mote falling through the ether, soon to collide with it. Just a scab of dead skin beaten into invisibility.

Maybe I'll make him sneeze.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Your Teeth are Crooked - The Carnage Conservatory

The fantastic Emily Smith-Miller, editor of the Carnage Conservatory has put up a recent piece of mine, entitled "Your Teeth are Crooked, My Dear, and You Don't Want That." It's a bit over 1,300 words, and explores violent psychosis. It's not safe for viewing at work!

Emily Smith-Miller herself is a great poet, and you can check out her own (personal) website here. I really encourage you to do so!

–Fucking hell Johnny, spit it out.
He did. The tooth hit the wooden table with a sharp sound. White and triangular, like a fat icicle covered in spit. He gave a blank look and then defiantly reached into the stoneware salad bowl, fished out a molar with a nerve end still attached, tubular and sticky and red with a dark line inside it. Almost black, almost translucent. He stuck it in his mouth and started sucking again with a smirk.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bologna Sandwiches

Short, Fast, Deadly: Issue 100 is out!
The popular micro-fiction mag is themed off of people's famous last words this issue. All submissions had to have someone's last words in it. Badass. This latest issue is special as well, as it is their last weekly edition. I'm honored to be included in it.

Check out my addition to it, "Bologna Sandwiches."

Support small press and buy an issue in print if you like it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just Like Me - BoySlut

BoySlut is a great zine edited by a great writer, Devlin De La Chapa. You should be checking it out regardless of whether my stuff is there! It's got a lot of underclass feminist intersectional swank, and a great aesthetic.

A short piece of mine that I wrote in the murderous autumnal spirit was published over on there today. It's about victims, public storage units, and cockroaches.

"Her hair is dark brown, just like mine, but it’s been pulled out in clumps and I can see her red sticky flesh with little pinprick holes that look like dirty pores where the hair used to be. I can’t see her face--no one will ever see her face. Her skull is beaten in and her long hair is stuck in the pulp underneath it."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Want to Destroy Things - Dark Chaos

Today a short flash piece was published over on DARK CHAOS, edited by Jeffrey S. Callico; their slogan is "For writers and artists who only come out at night." Amen.

The piece deals with such classics as barbecues, Thomas Pynchon, academic integrity, and sex. Especially sex.

Check it out here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"On Going Blind at 40" - DOGZPLOT

A short piece of mine entitled, "On Going Blind at 40" was published today (9/16/11) over at DOGZPLOT, go check it out!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

...Dust Hangs in the Air, Charges

Desperate and hungry, the wolves have been stalking the herd. The politics between the two animals are amazing--at times the wolves walk among the bison who show no real fear at their presence. The bison merely continue to eat, stripping the dry prairie grass out of the hard ground. A nuisance so great and so insignificant that most of the time the bison do not even charge--the smallest of which sends the wolves running to the outer circles.

The wolves cajole and maneuver, manipulating the bison, getting them accustomed to their presence. Making them uneasy, making the distinction between a real attack and a feint blur more and more. They haranguer the young bison--the smallest of which dwarfs the largest of the wolves. They dog the old and slow. They harass the wounded and unhealthy. The small predators terrorize the herd for weeks, keeping them on the brink of fear.

Suddenly the grainy film pans out swaying back and forth in surprise--the wolves' strategy has even put the cinematographer off her guard--and the wolves pounce. Lean and hungry, the wolves' 80lbs seem absurd as they snap at the heels of the 2,000lbs herbivores. Yellow teeth tear at the haunches and tendons of an old bison as the wolves steer it away from the herd. The rest of the pack breaks from their manipulation of the others and turn instead to help their hunters take down the separated bison, whose wild brown irises are flailing in dysphoria and getting stuck in the corners of the skull like a skipping vinyl.

The bison have stopped their running and turn, forming a loose and weak line, a circular fortress in the enormity of the plains. Staring at the spectacle before them in some profane mix of confusion and ambivalence. The blood becomes visible on the bison's ratty, matted coat and you can't help but wonder if maybe that mix of confusion and ambivalence is relief. One buffalo breaks from the line and begins to pace in concentric, manic circles--some wolves take note and snarl and jump back and forth, others are too focused on their fierce task. The herd stares.

Violently the frustrated American bison pivots, dust hangs in the air, charges. At first it seems slow and damned to fail, but then the telescoped bouncing lens retracts and you see the speed the bison is gaining in comparison to the static wolves. Like some sort of prehistoric juggernaut the 2,000 pounds of the bison suddenly seems to come alive with purpose and power and anger. The alert wolves now fall back upon themselves and trip over their own bodies as they hastily withdraw, looking back at the hunters tearing at the old bison in confusion. The rest of the pack, heretofore unaware of the presence of the charging buffalo, is forced into awareness. Driven by hunger, the leaders among them are reluctant and do not withdraw far. It's not enough.

The diminished momentum of the behemoth is apparent as it careens around to make another pass--the old and wounded comrade tries to channel its last stores of strength and run along beside it, back to the herd, but the wolves have wounded it too greatly for it to sprint. A brown blur rushes by from the direction of the herd. Then another. The rest of the herd, old weak and young alike come stampeding in. The wolves scatter in confusion and howls--the space has changed completely. The small circle that the bison had created as their own turf is gone and now the entirety of the plains is theirs--for now.