Dead Labor

I’ve been writing a lot. In between stories when I felt stuck I sometimes wrote a short piece to get my mind onto to another topic and let it stretch. This piece is the outcome of one of those mental exercises. I revamped it for this post, while also taking inspiration from the political happenings in the U.S. and the larger world I share with the rest of you. Its theme is similar to the novel I’m currently writing, which will make me rich and famous maybe. Hope you enjoy this little bit of philosophical and/or/nor political prose.
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I leaned against a display of computer towers and computer printed price tags, while on my fifth day in a row at that place that I didn’t want to be in. A bank was holding me hostage. If I left they would kill me; they would starve me; they would let disease consume me; they would have me freeze under a bridge; they would turn me into food for vultures with bad habits.

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Happy 2012 everybody (my blog’s 2011 stats in review)

Happy 2012 to everybody who’s concerned about that. For those who aren’t, happy wonderful day to you in general. This is unimportant, but just in case some of you wanted to know who else is looking at my posts you can check the 2011 stats that Wordpress prepared for me. The link is below. One thing that surprised me: Some one from Nigeria visited (and hopefully read) my blog. One thing that didn’t surprise me: people who found me through search engines “came searching mostly for Korean Sex.” Maybe it was the Nigerian, or the guy from Brazil…

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

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Something Missing

I always practiced writing, even when I sucked (an arguable point in time that may still exist). When I wasn’t practicing with fiction, which was too often, I made a point of turning everything else into a writing project.

Years ago I wrote an email to a loved one who was far away. I liked it a lot and a year after writing it I made it into this prose poem. I go to it every so often and change this word or that word. It’s finished now so here it is. If you feel so inclined please share it using the social media tools below.

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Took the subway this Thursday instead of driving. Wanted to avoid the traffic and nasty weather outside (the day’s snowstorm would’ve blinded me on the road). Got there, and I saw this obnoxiously loud group on my uptown ride on the E train. They got on at Continental Avenue, and were talking in that language/code that I could never decipher.

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Catching Butterflies

There is a story behind my writing this short story, but I won’t share it unless you ask me in person. What I will say is that this was the first short story in my life that I wrote with ease. It broke some mental barrier that I had put up and I was able to write without feeling an awkward and anxious agony, like I was trying to paint with my feet. This story did it. I thank it, and I thank you for reading it.
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I knew it was the wrong decision when I saw the butterfly.

It was dirt brown and amber, and fluttered an inch away from my face. If I had grabbed the thing I imagine it would have fit neatly in my palm. Instead I simply let it fly past, passively observing it as it flew from my left to my right, then into the bushes where it disappeared.

With it gone I had to focus again on my dad and his friends as they played basketball at our local park. No, that’s not true at all. I wasn’t really focused on their game, but my anxiety about being next up to play. I didn’t play sports – I still don’t – but my father brought me along. In his words, “I just think you need to move your body a little more.” There was no meanness in his words, but they hurt nonetheless. I was standing on the sidelines of our local park’s basketball court out of guilt for being a quiet boy who watched life from his bedroom window and drew pictures of trees and hummingbirds. I was standing there because I told my dad I would play, but when I saw that butterfly I knew I made the wrong decision.

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My Eulogy

Wrote this during a writing workshop prompt earlier this week. Thought is was pretty good, that it was pretty sad, and unfortunately, that it’s probably pretty true.
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What can I say about Alex Clermont that everybody here doesn’t already know. He was 5 feet 7 inches. He was brown. He loved comic books, shrimp, and any joke that could convincingly fit the word penetration into it.

Alex was also a sucker for love. He loved the idea of love, and shared himself mind, body and soul with several of us crying here today. Love with Alex, however was never permanent, with every relationship of his having in it a fatal flaw. He never found what he was looking for either in love, or in life in general, but I think he was okay with that.

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Life Inc.

I wrote this piece as an exercise in writing in the second person. I had to think for a while about a subject. Something that I knew so well that I could walk you through it and point out details that bring out the point I wanted to make about consumerism in America. I have a bit of experience in retail so that did it for me. I hope this does it for you. If it does please let me know.
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In the middle of Main Street stands City Center Mall. It’s a relatively new mall, only having been around for a year, but business is constant, and its stores are always filled with shoppers. You walk pass the mall’s entrance and notice the huge banners hung on the front of the box shaped building. Words written in steel blue ask you to “Find What Defines You.” Along with the inviting words are images of happy and pretty people holding cheap and pretty solutions to their life’s problems. You take the invitation and walk in.

By far the mall’s most popular store is Widgets, an electronics franchise that prides itself on being the place where “shopping is fun again.” Entering the mall you head for Widgets by way of elevator. The first thing to catch your eye once you’ve reached the top floor is a huge display of the company’s logo. Positioned above the entrance the sign violently grabs your attention, and for a few seconds your stare is fixed.

The Widgets logo is a yellow star burst set against a navy blue background and containing bold black letters that spell out “WIDGETS.” According to consumer psychologists three is the optimal number of elements for a memorable logo – in this case a star burst, black letters and a blue background. It’s a conscious attempt by Widgets to invade your unconscious and stamp themselves into the consumer’s brain. After being stamped you snap out of the gaze and continue walking towards the automatically opening doors.

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