Tattoo Highway. The Vols Are Putrid. Elvis. Toni Morrison. Methaqualone.

My Tattoo Highway prose poem is up. They had a contest. You looked at this photo:

Then you wrote a poem. My poem I give a 4. It feels like a 4.


My favorite team in the megaverse is the Tennessee Vols. They are The Big Orange. They play and look and stroll upside down through light bulbs of loss like this:

They spleen me.



My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984

They shoot the white girl first. —Toni Morrison, Paradise

If you don’t write great opening lines, please start. I want your opening line to have tension and trouble and knife-play and fleeing rivers and daguerreotypes bleeding bramble berries into my skull.


I just reviewed a flash collection, In the Land of the Free by Geofrrey Forsyth.

Complete New Pages review here.

Here a few of his opening lines:

“Molly McGovern and I were making out in the student parking lot…”

“First day back at public school and Maureen Groff pulls a knife on me.”

“My girlfriend’s mother is insane.”

“I was born onto a cutting board in my mother’s kitchen.”


Listen: I am Your Typical Reader. I don’t have to read your story. I am at the dentist. I am talking on the yelephone. I am watching a show where C level models compete with each other to see if they are/are not scared to eat horse intestines. I like to set small fires and inhale them. My smile is frozen. I’m drunk. I’m medicated. I would rather go get my car washed and I am not the type who carries a literary magazine in my car in case of emergencies. I refresh cleavage. I have debt and three ex-husbands. One of them is on my roof, with a bludgeoning yawp. I’m not sure of life purpose. I am wishing I could start over at age 19. I am vomiting on my steering wheel. I am taking airplane bottles of vodka into the theater. I am wondering if I did it enough times when I had all those opportunities. I am aging now. I keep secret letters from a girl in Africa. I am busy with kids. Always busy with kids. I need to sweep the ceiling and vacuum the aquarium. I am working two jobs, one with poodles that claw and scratch. The other I stack oranges. My head doesn’t clunk right. I am boring, mostly boring. I didn’t ask for your story, but now I found it…


or forget it.


I feel like this today:


4 responses to “Tattoo Highway. The Vols Are Putrid. Elvis. Toni Morrison. Methaqualone.

  1. I couldn’t agree more. the slush pile is especially all about first lines. and there are so many bad ones. so, so many.

  2. Like that prose poem of yours. Sexy, beautiful, sad. Cool.

  3. The pic was a strange one to eyeball and suck inspiration from. Are those little chairs glowing? I think CRT could pull off such a contest (I might sift through My Pictures folder and blur an old family vacation shot with Photoshop).

  4. what about chad johnson legally changing his name to ocho sinco?
    ps. im a refugee right now in pensecola

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