There are questions not even a child would ask. There are dependencies so dependable no doctor would diagnose them, chemicals so addictive, none would name our need dependency.

The first day that didn’t happen, we resolved not to worry; these things, we told one another, have a way of righting themselves. Our children were more resourceful, more inclined to see the advantages. They climbed out their windows under dark of afternoon, kissed in parking lots in full compliance with their curfews. We grounded them for all we were worth, but as ever, their urgency was wisdom. They understood how little time had to offer them.

This was before the new ordinances, of course, which were themselves before we lost any will to enforce them.


[ Originally Published in Sun: A Collection of Vignettes about the Sun, Edited by Joseph Carlough and published by Displaced Snail Publications in Frenchtown, NJ. Below is the transcript of the Facebook chat in which Joseph requested my contribution, which I think is more illuminating than anything else I could write about this delightful anthology and the exuberant manner of its genesis.]

[ Origin stories, below the fold. ]

truth be told


[ buy this print. ]

at the age of ten, madison was still drawing.

in and of itself, the fact is oddly significant. by her age, most kids seem already to have identified the visual arts as something they do or don’t “do.” or perhaps something they do or can’t do.

it’s a perplexing phenomenon. most of us are pretty mediocre writers, and yet i’ve never heard somebody say, “oh no, i don’t write,” or “i only do tweets.” to be fair, drawing is less closely associated than writing with one’s appeal to potential employers, and so we are allowed, well before the age of employment, not to pursue it.

but i was among that endless stream of heretofore tone-deaf ninth-graders who decided to pick up the guitar (which remains, sixteen years later, one of the great pleasures of my little life). once sedentary college friends found devotion to intramural sports or modern dance. who’s ever started drawing in her early twenties? “i only do stick figures,” people will assure you.

[ continued below the fold. ]

thunderbolts and lightning

lightning duck pin-up

the worst consequence of missing mecaf this year was forfeiting my spot alongside hugh tims, a delightful artist/self-publisher/gent who lives and draws and farms and teaches yoga and various martial arts in rural maine. ancillary perks foregone include the pleasure of his company, getting to soak in his wood-burning jacuzzi, and getting my hands on the new issue of lightning duck.

[ i fulfill a lifelong ambition to draw anthropomorphic ducks, below the fold. ]

the district sleeps with its phone

counting the cars

i don’t have an iphone or whatever. a “smart phone?” a “data plan?” my phone just does phone stuff. and i wonder how many years i have before this paragraph is utterly incomprehensible (rather than just largely incoherent).

[ babble on, below the fold. ]

the comicization of grego’

representational grego

there are certain hazards, i’ve learned, involved in the creation of autobiographical comics. some of them, like managing secrets and otherwise sensitive information about one’s “characters,” are probably common to memoir in any medium; from even just my undedicated dabbling in various forms of ‘bloggery, i’ve become convinced that if i’m not pissing somebody off, or creeping someone out, or revealing something i’d rather folks didn’t know, then i’m probably publishing worthless dishonest crap.

[ more worthless honest crap below the fold. ]

always having dirt to play around in.

dirt to play around in

“the fact is, i don’t know either,” johan replied. “but this sunday night i just thought, this week will be pig week.”

[ continued below the fold. ]


sleepy hands

it was almost 3 o’clock in the morning, and i was drawing to keep myself awake. it’s a trick of which i made frequent use in both high school and college classes, and it never once worked, so why i thought it would be any more effective on the 7 train is not entirely clear.

[ more below the fold. ]

things to come

the aprilview

some day, i will tell you a story that happens here. or else i’ll build, open, own, and operate the place, and let you come see for yourself.