My speculative story “No Ordinary Gift” is forthcoming in the Adelaide Literary Award Anthology.
– improvisational reaction to a word received in my In Box from Dictionary.com
- Insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents.
- Insincere talk; claptrap; humbug.
Au courant these words of the day senders are. Just a beautiful word. The dictionary has so many of them. And this is one. Insincere speechmaking by politicians is so present tense. Though it doesn’t require a great imaginative leap to think it’s always been that way. Even if what’s going on nowadays feels extraordinary. Past the point when putting out a little b.s. for the voters back in Buncombe County, North Carolina, or any county anywhere, would get much attention. It’s unlikely to get a roll of the eyes now, never mind a dictionary entry. Everyone’s doing it. The birds. The bees. Even educated fleas. So much so I’m thinking we may have crossed over into a post bunkum environment. We may be beyond bunkum. That’s right, your average dole of claptrap might be passé. Over with. We’re used to it like we’re used to wearing shoes. That’s all you got for me? Some puny insincere crap to try to trick me with? To distract me from the important stuff. Nevertheless, in these inglorious days if you’re not humbugging you’re probably on the other side of winning. Like those folks that work hard and pay taxes and obey the law. Who won’t reach out and grab a hunk of chocolate cake whenever they get the urge. There’s a lot of that going around. Not chocolate cake. We’re all done with those idyllic times when Kings and Queens would dispense some to the wider populace to keep them from raiding their palaces. And if not that, then to let them believe if they’re good obeying members of society eventually some will be on the way. But alas, there’s no going easy on we the people. Now the bigly chocolate cake eaters gorge themselves with impunity. They don’t even pretend to want to share. And they seem pretty sure we’re all right with that. Which suggests the time to storm the polling booths en masse is once again overdue.
– excerpt from speculative fiction published in Overland, “False Documents” issue, 2018
SUMMARY REPORT TO THE COMMITTEE BY THE PROCUREMENT
GROUP OF THE LOST VOICES OF FRESH KILLS LANDFILL AUTHORIZATION
ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2082
APPEAL FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO CONTINUE MANUSCRIPT
TIME FLIES, MONEY GOES FAST
– 9 marbleized covered notebooks taped together in packs of three (numbered 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18), total number unknown, dated by month 1983 to 1985, a story about the life of a New York City taxi driver on and off the job
Note: These notebooks are all dialogue; conversations between drivers and their fares, and among themselves and others. There is no description.
“That day I made $450.”
“Every day you make that much?”
“No, just that day. When I made $450.”
“I got to get me a cab license.”
“And I should have made $249 more.”
“You made $450 and someone beat you out of $249.”
“$249 more. It was that much more to Washington. I didn’t know it.”
“You went all the way down to Washington?”
“Yep. $749 round trip to Washington. That’s by the book, but I didn’t have it on me at the time so I didn’t know.”
“You told me you made $450.”
“That day I did.”
“And the trip to Washington was $749.”
“That’s right, by the book. But I didn’t have it on me.”
“It don’t add up. $450 and $249 ain’t $749.”
“I made $500 that day.”
“You said you made $450?”
“He’s got so many lives he don’t even remember what he told us two minutes ago. Yesterday he said he was taking college classes.”
“Yesterday I was taking college classes.”
“Just yesterday or today too?”
“Just yesterday. I don’t take them every day.”
My chapbook of four stories A Nice Place to Live is forthcoming later this month from Cyberwit.
My story “Champion of the World,” about an aging boxer being interviewed by a magazine writer, has been accepted for publication by Aethlon, a journal of sports literature.