THERE WAS a spider in the glove. Stupid of me, I suppose, to just leave it out on the potting bench, so inviting, five long dark tunnels warmed by the sun. Hell, if I was a spider, I’d gallop right in there myself. The brown widow is not known to be aggressive but if some big pink monster pushes you up against the wall, what are you supposed to do? I’m still able to play the bass. What’s one finger more or less?


I WAKE with headache. Anchored at my eyebrows it spreads back like the tentacles of a jellyfish to sting and poison my brain. It hurts to see, everything the color of smokers’ teeth. I close my eyes, full of sand. My ears enroll a hum, a steady electric signal from the past, a history lesson I can’t make out. My fingers are lead soldiers, stripped of paint, heavy and dull. Hello! I must be dying. My chin is a stump.


THERE IS A TURD on our wedding cake, a child’s poop. Deirdre is weeping in the ladies’ while I push through the guests looking for Sheila, that loser, the only one who would do such a thing, another one of her “messages” claiming I’m the father of her ugly baby. We spent one night together. One night! And no, I won’t submit to a DNA thing…I don’t do well on tests. There she is! Grab her, someone! Stop that woman!


THERE WAS A MAN on my lawn. I saw him through the window. He was sitting with his legs straight out in front of him, hands in lap, back very erect. I armed myself with a baseball bat, went outside. “What are you doing here?” I said. He smiled and said: “ I am Right Angle Man.” Relieved that he was harmless, I laughed, said: “Where is your cape?“ He looked up at me. “ I am not a superhero. Are you with the Yankees? ”


UNDERNEATH my window is a bush. In the bush is a finch, small, yellow-breasted, sharp beaked and black-eyed. It offers up its joyous and melancholy act to the red berries of the bush, urging them to applaud, then drop and burrow, to be consumed by inky soil and stink bugs, enveloped by slugs, shit out and sprinkled over the underground sky until they blossom on the new bush, the new bird, the new window, the new me


MY NERVES are tickled up, the hairs that fill my body all tingly-tingly. I once put my hand on a hot plate, the red red coils spoke to me like a magnet. I have a hard puckered ridge on my palm, an arc, a keepsake of that day, a constant reminder. The medications work against me at times, but I’m glad you came, I like your dress, the way you do your hair now. Tell me about yourself, what you do every day, your name.


FOR-EV-UH. She had it tattooed in a little arc over her left boob, like a military patch. She’d punch me in the arm, punctuate each syllable, leave a blue mark, told me that’s how long her love would last, shouted it out. After a few months she seemed distant, took off one night for Tulsa with the drummer from a hair band. I went to Skin’N’InK, asked Mooney if he could make me a tattoo of a bruise, put it up on my arm.