Peck’s First Raid

Peck's first hat.

 Since it’s his first official day on the county force, Delbert Peck has risen early to dress for the occasion. Peck believes in preparation, so at 4:05 a.m. he is standing (clean, buffed and shiny) before his own bathroom mirror. He lifts his new trooper’s hat out of its box, shucking the tissue it came wrapped in and balancing it on his close-cropped head. He tips the hat forward, concealing his eyes. He has to lean back to look at himself. Continue reading


Duly Noted

ISBN 978-0226102436He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.
—Charles Darwin, 1838: Notebook M

In my limited experience as a story constructor, it seems to me that every thing has a proper place. That place, however, is not always immediately obvious (to me, at least). I often find I need a place to stash particular things whose proper place has yet to become clear to me. Excellent character names, for instance.  Or serendipitous revelations in quantum metaphysics. You know, the vagrant, not-precisely-idle thoughts that make for An Interesting Day. Henceforth, said particulates shall be tagged and categorized duly noted, that they may be readily flocked and effortlessly summoned with a mouseclick.

The Happy Woodsman

A Typical CricketOnce upon a time there was a cricket who lived in a woodpile. It was cold in the woodpile and a creepy fungus grew there, but the cricket had seen worse. The cricket could *imagine* much worse. “At least no one is shooting at me,” he said, and went about his business.

Every day a woodsman split and stacked more wood on this wood pile. One day the extra load discharged a large wood shaving Continue reading

Rude Surprises

Pie?They say: disordered thinking is a sign you’ve gone off your nut. Yet: there exist finished novels, told in fragments, whose orderliness is not explicit. And these are not received as crazy. From time to time, the form is even seen as emblematic. They are tolerated, indulgently, like people one has known a long time, who are exactly predictable. Continue reading

A Walk in Moonlight

for Adelaide

Giacomond, by Quint Kunstler. Order one at www.inkognito.deA man sits on open ground, wearing a little braided bracelet coiled round his wrist. He broods. His eyes focus inward. Time passes. Night falls. Still he sits. Something glimmers nearby, on the ground. He looks at a puddle in a track. In it he sees a reflection of the moon. It shivers. He forgets his inner landscape. He watches the moon settle down as the water stills. He looks up and squints. He sees that moon hanging in the sky. He reaches out to finger its texture but his hand paws empty air. He stands up and reaches again. He points his toe and stretches himself up on a diagonal, pointing as much length as he can muster upward at the moon. His finger is extended, but he cannot reach the moon. He brings his hand down. He stands and looks around.        Continue reading