Scattered Notes on a Two-Day Trip

Sidewalk Siamese cat. Front yard aloe vera gone mad. The smell of red dirt on the warm breeze. Falling-down shacks, glass hotels. “I’ll buy you a drink.” “What’s your name?” “Sam.” “Sam, buy me a drink. Hell, buy me a drink right now.” “How old are you?” “Twenty-one!” The line on Congress Avenue for the new Robert Altman, the wide lanes up to the capitol building. The former lesbian bar. “That poem always sounds dirtier when I read it around alcohol.” “These are the last two poems in the book, so you know how it ends.” “We have water for marathoners when they come through.” “Apparently this water is reserved for someone, but I’m just gonna take it.” The hotel room’s cubicle-height divider. “We are very blessed that we live in an eclectic city.” “This stuff is in our blood now.” “America is a pretty weird place, in a way that is frankly infuriating to write about.” Taking a “read first, name later” approach. “I can’t be the only person who’s walked through the fiction section of the bookstore and said, ‘Oh my god, look at all this crap!'” “Just because we see differently doesn’t mean we should all stop looking.” A genre’s attempts to mask the fact of its own conventions. The work of world creation. The opening lines of Adam Bede. Girls love it when you give them anything pink. “It’s all completely organic. Like compost.” Moral hangovers. The avenues of pimping without shame. Driving without headlights, driving needing every light in town. The relative scales of ruination, the relative sizes of avatars. “I was born to write novellas. I was born in the wrong century.” Bookended entry and exit points. “His bio says he was on the New York Times bestseller list. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.” The last waves of bats down by Town Lake. The brush of their wakes as they skim by overhead. “These are my words, and this is my mouth, so theoretically there shouldn’t be a problem.” “That was the lady in trouble. The formula of this is a guy in trouble meets a lady in trouble. And then? There’s trouble.” The search for better coffee on foot along the highway offramp. The reflection of the moon on the wing, the plane in a holding pattern, a flashlight tracing the riveted seam. “We’re at the airport, looking for a place to park the plane.”