Category Archives: Autobiography

The Indignity of Falling

It’s kind of hard to admit this
But I did something stupid
It wasn’t the last stupid thing I have done
But it was perhaps the greatest

I was at a party
Downtown, in a warehouse
Old slaughterhouse turned hipster
I was bored so I wandered

Up and up.

Seven stories until the roof.

A spectacular evening.

Detroit skyline.

Blinking and pretty.

The false warmth of
Many drinks made me feel quite cozy

Night sky, stars, the manufactured beauty
Glass and concrete creations
I thought it was all quite special
Pardon my precocious sentimentality

Took a few steps around a water tower
One step too many I’m afraid
Found myself gripping the edge of the roof
Thought I might die hard

Slipping fingers and thoughts to instinct
And down I went ass first, head second
To the fifth floor, my good sir
No stops in-between

There I lay, half-in-a-stupor
Facepalming just thinking about it
By the providence of the greater
I landed on a second roof instead of the street

Then the waiting, the hallucinating
The worry, the piss, the dehydration
The hunger, the pain, the shame
Broken hip couldn’t move no one knew

Took nearly two days for them to find me
I was a complete wreck a damned fool
Fractured bones and ego but happy
For a stretcher ride out of the shit

8 days in the hospital
10 weeks on crutches
15 years of head shaking
It’s been a while but I don’t forget

I dodged a bullet
I was spared for what purpose I
Might never know for sure
But I recognize the gift

One day my number will be called
Ticket punched and all that
A lovely service then
The trash heap

And there I will be watching
All of the events of my life
With the big bearded guy keeping
His finger on the rewind button

He’s going to want to watch this particular
Highlight more than a few times
And I will have no choice but to sit
Patiently waiting

While God laughs his ass off.

Photo Credit: bruckerrlb via Compfight cc

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The Greatest Novel That Never Was

Flashback Fridays! Hope you had a great week. No complaints on my end.

So here’s the back-story on this week’s post. Years ago, I was an Editor/Writer for The South End, Wayne State University’s student newspaper. Unlike many college papers, ours was a M-F daily. As the Entertainment Editor, I had a small staff of writers and a daily quota to fill.

My writers always delivered. I am still very proud of the staff I put together. However, on this particularly freezing February day, I found myself in a bind. It was 3pm (deadline time) and I didn’t have any stories to run. So…without much thought for ethics, I decided to write up a book review/author spotlight for a book and author that didn’t exist. I just wrote a feature about a book that I would love to read. I think at the time I may have just finished reading Naked Lunch for the first time.

Looking back at this article, I am amused by the fact that some of the fictitious novel’s qualities can be found in my own novel. At the time, I had no plans for a book. Perhaps a subconscious message sent to my future self? Not sure. The pen name on the article…Stanczyk was a famous Polish court jester. I’ve since used the title and some of the names for other writing projects.

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Book Signing – June 8 – Boca Raton, FL

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I’ll be heading down to the Boca Raton area for a Leather to the Corinthians book signing on June 8. Come join me at Docking Bay 94 Comics and Games from 3-6pm.

On a personal note, I spent 5 years teaching at West Boca Raton HS so I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my old students and colleagues. Hope to see you there as well.

 

Party of the Year

I can bring only a
Silent gasp
To this party

Volume of madness
Levels of excess
Devoid of substance

This gathering of mistakes
Which beg only
Give it give it

What is temporary
Is of the most strength
Weakness of the fleeting

Here for the moment
On standby for ruin
By your hands

All that was ever wanted
Was love but the party
Was about something else

Fuck the guests
They were fools
To begin with.

Photo Credit: Maarten Thewissen via Compfight cc

I Almost Died A Lot

When I was very small
My mother took me to the lake
Out I floated, inflatable raft
Then I slipped.

I didn’t know how to swim
And down I went. Once. Twice. A third time.
Thrice is a bit much.

But she dragged me to shore.

A few years later, away at camp
In the bitter winter, I ventured a lonely lake
I chose to walk on the ice
After school specials be damned

Through the ice I went
No one to see me

Somehow I pulled myself out (some movie taught me how to do it)

In college, headed to a party
Everyone loaded and laughing
Especially the driver, what a punk
He flipped the damn car at 90

Being drunk paid off
As I flopped out the window

Cut up, but I scraped by. I left a few pints behind.

Sitting at the bar, having a few
A downtown Detroit restaurant
Suddenly yelling, a gun
It was a robbery, hands in the air

Nobody move, he says
So some asshole moves. Thanks.

Gun goes off just past my shoulder

One night I found myself on a roof
Seven stories high, look at that skyline
It was night, and I was stupid
I fell off the back, should look when I am going
Only 60 feet, instead of 150

Broke a hip and my pride. Pride still hurts.
But survive I did

Later to be the punch line of jokes. Maybe you heard a few.

A year later, only a damn year
A violent storm, a tornado in fact
Tears through the house
I hid in the basement

Lost everything I owned
But a bag of clothes. That I had packed for the weekend. Convenient.

It was a close call.

Then there’s the time that fell after
I don’t care to share details
I can tell you that I
Made bad choices, the killing kind

Truly, it’s a miracle that I made it
If life were fair,

I’d be dead.

Two, maybe three times over.

If I were a cat (A Tom Cat), I’d be down to my
Last life. 9 of 9. (Rough calculation)
But I fear that it might be
Whittling away

Being nickel and dimed by fate
And age.

It’s a list of nonsense:
Late onset food allergies, hives
Teeth falling apart (I get cavities now)
Plantar fasciitis.

Now I got a goddamn podiatrist.

Hemacromatosis – big word, big boy.
(Hey! There’s a cyst in my liver. They tell me this happens all the time)

Other bullshit, and bullshit to be named later.

The slow death of minor inconveniences, maladies, risk factors, possibilities.
I think that my last life will be taken by a collection of annoyances.

A lazy hatchet splintering small chips until tree
Number 9
Falls over.

Photo Credit: [ henning ] via Compfight cc

THE NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop!

jumpWelcome to the blog hop!

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore.

Here you have the chance to find many new authors. You’ll find information about me, my blog, and my book – Leather to the Corinthians. But that’s not all! Also see links below to other authors you might like to check out.

I’d like to thank fellow author SUZY DUFFY for tagging me to participate. Click the link below to find out about her latest Bestseller, WELLESLEY WIVES.

https://www.facebook.com/SuzyDuffyBooks?ref=hl

In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the title of your book?
Well…my blog is just stinking with it. Leather to the Corinthians. I am currently outlining Book 2 of the series (yep, it will be a series but I have yet to name it). The working title for the second installment is…The Scarlet Leather.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
Years ago, I wrote a short story. I liked it. What I liked most about it was the fact that it had a strange voice. I didn’t recognize it, but it was (in my mind) something special. I had been writing for several years, in many styles and genres. This was the first time that I felt like I had found MY VOICE. Geez, pretentious much?

3: What genre does your book come under?
Science Fiction/Fantasy. That’s the most recognizable. However, it’s a strange book – on purpose. It’s a bit of Naked Lunch as written by Douglas Adams. It’s surreal, high-concept satire. It’s a genre mosh pit.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The Soldier: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Scratch Microphone: Matthew McConaughey
The General: John Noble
The King: Richard Branson

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young freedom fighter struggles with his humanity in this dystopian sci-fi satire.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Technically, it’s self-published. I am now the proud owner of a Small Press: Room 1331 Publishing and Media. My book will be only one in a growing catalog. There’s many great writers that I am looking at right now.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote Leather while I was a high school teacher, and I only worked on it during the summers. Took me five years, but if you boil that down, probably about a year.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My book has been favorable compared to Ready Player One, John Dies at the End, Trasmetropolitan, and Snow Crash.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Leather is social commentary at its core. There’s so much that frustrates me at a societal level. I don’t have much political power, but I have a voice.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This is taken directly from my Amazon page: “If you are fed up with the ridiculousness of big business, politics, mass media, fast food, organized religion, et al…if you enjoy underhanded satire, science fiction, fantasy, the surreal, comic books, video games, and a good laugh — you’ll dig my book. Join me in my quest to expose the truth and fools behind it.”

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases!

Happy Writing and Reading!

The INTRIGUING Tof Eklund: http://www.tofeklund.net/
The POWERFUL Robyn J. Williams: http://www.robynjwilliams.com/meta.html
The THOUGHTFUL Allison Bruning: http://allisonbruning.blogspot.com/
The THRILLING Michelle Muckley: http://www.michellemuckley.com/
The ROCKING Robert Raymond: http://www.robertraymond.com/
The ESTEEMED Roland Mann: http://rolandmann.wordpress.com/

Photo Credit: R’eyes via Compfight cc

That’s When I Knew It All.

There will be times
When we are quiet
In the moment, sitting, whatever.
You will ask:
“Why do you love me?”

First, a guy sigh.
A lifetime of training
Tells me this could
Be a trap but that’s
The younger version of myself

He wasn’t always so bright.

This guy knows.
“You have the biggest heart
of anyone I have ever known.”
It’s truth. And as I am surrounded by
Bullshit, it’s comforting to know a truth.

But the first time?
The first thing?
The hook, the bait?
The first reason I fell
In love with you?

It was that smile.
That killer-clever, knowing
Smile.

And now, somewhere in
between
that first dimple-popping
little smirk
and the big heart

Is everything else.