It is 4 a.m. and once again I am planted before the keyboard attempting to craft words into clever sentences…and there you go, failure in the first keystrokes. The good news, based upon my dearth of hits on WordPress, is that no one will read this anyway.

I once envisioned myself a budding writer, but now I am thoroughly convinced that feeling was nothing more than insomnia in the early morning hours combined with a pot of cheap coffee flushing out last night’s indigestion (don’t worry, that’s as graphic as I am capable of writing!)

I know I could be a good writer, if it wasn’t for all that grammar and words and things. But who am I kidding? It’s all about the words…the fucking words! (Hey, I used “dearth” in my second sentence…doesn’t that count for anything?) Well, I don’t have words or ideas or pesky plots, but what I do have is way too much time on my hands, so here you go.

When I write, I don’t have a particular audience in mind. Well, sort of, I guess…I have the ghosts of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Hemingway, and Plath. Sweet Sylvia Plath. Lots of dead people who, while not necessarily helpful critics, at least show up in my head and watch the circus of confusion unfold. Sometimes I can hear the occasional clicking of the tongue, a sure sign to lay on the backspace and come at a line from a new direction. Or maybe the clicking is the melting cubes in Ernest’s posthumous cocktail. The revolver of his pistol being locked into place? Who knows? The point is, I’m often guided by the whispers of spirits.

It feels as though when I write it has less to do with me having something to say than something that has to be said having me to write it. (Wow, I just plagiarized myself..that last line was something I wrote a year ago!) But it’s true, nonetheless. I often find that it is sufficient for me to just press the keys, and somehow the story will tell itself. Don’t believe me? I just wrote everything above without a thought in my head.

The key to being a great writer, I’m convinced, is to be a great reader. There is nothing I can say now, or will ever write, that hasn’t been said or written before. But a studious reader understands that there are a million ways to say the same thing, and that’s the beauty, and salvation, of writing. You don’t have to be original. You just have to have a unique dialect. In my case, it also helps to have a really poor opinion of most of today’s writing. I continually lie to myself and say, “I can do better!” And sometimes…I do. Then I pull down a worn copy of Pushkin and think, “shit..fuck this!! I can’t write!” And again, I am right.

So I continue my early morning ritual and if it’s true what they say, that if you give 1,000 monkeys 1,000 typewriters, in a thousand years, one of them will bang out the complete works of William Shakespeare, then surely, if this continues for a thousand mornings, I can bang out something worth reading.

The Putricity of the Florida Keys


Time crawls in the Florida Keys;
minutes drip like thick molasses.
The ocean is devoid of waves
and the beaches are two feet wide.
An endless wind rattles the palms
from which graying coconuts drop and rot.
The smell of brackish swamps assaults the nose
with odors reminiscent of death and decay.

The elderly crawl slowly upon the roadways
like hermit crabs scuttling aimless and angry.
It is a horrid little place where the bars
far outnumber the churches and the overpowering
stench of cheap liquor clogs the air, lightly infused
with the strewn garbage filling darkened back allies.

Key West is little more than a vacuum
sucking money from the billfolds of sweaty
unsmiling tourists, offering nothing of value in return.
Biting gnats choke the air andleave your arms and faces
puss-filled and swollen.

Restaurants there defile the sacrifice of the
local fish by deep-frying everything
and serving it with a side of warm and wilted slaw.

Hemingway’s house is like-wise defiled;
bricked in and gated, overrun by smelly six-toed cats.
The Keys are nothing more than a dribble of piss
lightly shaken from the dangling penis that is Florida.