Tag Archives: art

A Fair Price: A Poem About Underselling Your Art

I drop a pocket watch
Into the collection plate
Because I’ve got
All this time to donate
I pay to play
Live at a loss
Tick off the days
And shrug off the cost

I’m a giving tree
Money grows on me
I make it rain gold
Roll in my debris
I work for free
Free space, free time
Free rein, free mind
Free verse, free rhyme

“But how do you get by?”
She has the nerve to ask
Artists really only need
Some ink and a flask
You’re the one getting
Something for nothing
The least you could do
Is pay attention

I got prizes inside
I’m spitting diamonds
Holster your checkbook
And open your hands
Who cares how these jewels
Came unstuck
For all you know
They fell off a truck Continue reading A Fair Price: A Poem About Underselling Your Art

The Inspiration Killers: A Story about Monsters that Prey on Creativity

Most of the symbols on the crime map were self explanatory. The blue men’s room signs with guns represented armed robberies, green cars were thefts of motor vehicles, baby blue houses were residential burglaries, red fists were aggravated assaults, purple R’s were sexual assaults, and green dollar bags represented thefts of businesses.

The symbol for what happened to me was black. The image was a floating phantom with a pointed head, winglike robes, and a curved trail for legs.

This phantom symbol covered the map around the liberal arts schools, the downtown design firms, and the bohemian blocks in Uptown.

Zoom into the map and you’d see phantom symbols across the street from the bookstore that hosted poetry readings, on the bus stop outside of the improv comedy club, and the lot behind First Avenue, the concert venue.

If you scanned a crime map of Texas you’d find the greatest concentration of phantoms were in Austin. In Oregon they were in Portland, and in Minnesota they were in Minneapolis. That’s where one got me.  Continue reading The Inspiration Killers: A Story about Monsters that Prey on Creativity

I Am Fire: A Story about a Game of Truth or Flare

It was the last semester of senior year and all the cool kids were boycotting prom in favor of something better.

Why rent a limousine when you could make an entrance in an art car shaped like a pumpkin? Why break the bank on a pastel dress when you could wear a piece designed by one of your friends? Why go to a twerk-a-thon in a hotel ballroom when you could go to a masquerade in the Hollywood hills?

Moira promised carriage rides around her estate, vaudevillian cabaret dancers, and a hard rock cello quartet. She promised sword swallowers, contortionists, and devils on stilts. She promised a magician with body modifications who did tricks with his magnetic hands, a pain proof man that hammered nails into his nostrils, and a death defying woman who escaped coffins buried underground.

She promised memories worth making, which was more than our school was offering.

Moira came from wealth and fame. She was the queen bee of our hedonistic hive. If she wanted to live out her Victorian carnival fantasy us drones had, to lace up our corsets, and come a-buzzing.

Tonight we were going to party like it was 1929. Continue reading I Am Fire: A Story about a Game of Truth or Flare

Symptomatic: An Album to Write To

SYMPTOMATIC is my first full length album. This LP is the soundtrack for a science fiction fantasy that’s playing exclusively in your imagination, featuring sound FX sequenced into dance floor beats over video game melodies. It’s the perfect score for writers working on action scenes. Stream it here or buy it on Bandcamp.

Shadow People: An Album for You to Write To

SHADOW PEOPLE is my second full length album. This LP is a soundtrack for daydreams and nightmares, filled with somber synth soundscapes, industrial rhythms, and eerie atmospheres. It’s the perfect score for writers, filled with meditations for ideation. Stream it here or buy it on Bandcamp.

Dream Detective: Audio Short Story Collection

Here are 8 Dreams and Nightmares turned into 8 works of flash fiction, all in 18 minutes of audio. Each one is something straight out of the Twilight Zone: haunting, surreal, and filled with twists. Stream for free or download and pay whatever price you want.

DESIGN GALLERY UPDATES

Check out Tree Face and the rest of the insanity in my design gallery. Continue reading DESIGN GALLERY UPDATES

Grieving in Reverse:  A Horror Noir

1.Blowing In

In 1895, Robert W. Chambers wrote a horror collection called The King in Yellow. Each entry was about a person who had the misfortune of reading a play called The King in Yellow, a play that had the power to drive each of them insane.

H.P. Lovecraft was so inspired by The King in Yellow that he fabricated his own tome of forbidden knowledge called the Necronomicon. The King in Yellow went on to inspire John Carpenter’s films In the Mouth of Madness and Cigarette Burns. Its influence can be felt in The Ring and most recently True Detective, which references the king, the yellow sign, and Carcosa by name.

While True Detective referenced Chambers’s symbolism, the show left his premise alone. I wanted to tell a detective story where the cursed text took center stage. Enjoy. Continue reading Grieving in Reverse:  A Horror Noir

The Virtue of Risky Ideas

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Why writers should continue to challenge what literature can be.

A Confession

I have a confession to make, now that the statute of limitations has passed: I’ve committed academic fraud. In the second grade, I was awarded a Pizza Hut gift certificate for reading more books than any other student, when in fact my mother had read them to me. Mired in guilt, I ate my ill gotten deep dish pizza on her behalf. Continue reading The Virtue of Risky Ideas

Demon Drinking Contest

Bottoms up
Bottoms up

When Father Higgins heard I was calling from a bar, he recited the serenity prayer. When I begged him to repeat the blessings of salt and water, he thought I’d fallen off the wagon.

“No matter what you hear, I need you to keep repeating.”

Setting my phone on the table, I aligned the speaker with a glass. Checking my watch, I poured some table salt in, praying O’Brien still watered down his drinks.

The demon Naromach leaned over my shoulder.

“What’s all this?” He nodded toward the lines of shots.

Sweat trickled down my brow. “A drinking contest.”

Naromach sat. Candles flared. His talons tapped the Long Island Iced Tea at the end. “And this?”

“Something to wash it down.”

Naromach’s forked tongue licked his lips. “What’s at stake?”

“My soul.”

“We have your soul.”

“My soul, tonight.”

“And if you win?”

“A reprieve.”

Naromach smirked, “Agreed.” Without warning he swallowed the first shot.

I raced his demon constitution, downing my drinks with one hand, making the sign of the cross with the other.

Naromach was sipping his Long Island by the time I was halfway down the line. I kept on until he slurped the last drop. I was seeing two demons by the time he clutched his throat.

“What was in those shots?”

“Whiskey, but the water in that Long Island Iced Tea, was just sanctified by a priest.”

Naromach tried to grit his teeth, but his jaw dissolved before he could.