What I Write
Momentum, and Other Difficult Things
Mass— in physics, the amount of matter in a particle or object.
This is distinct from weight which you have found easy, year after year, to ignore. After a long time, the moment finally arrives, you realize that you are indeed massive. A large body of matter with no definite shape. Wedging yourself into the driver’s seat of the school bus you drive you realize that mass rhymes with ass and decide to do something. Running is ridiculous for a man your size. Impossible. Biking would be cruel. You find a workout program online that says that all you will need is a kettlebell, which is not a bell at all but a kind of rounded sadiron—a cannon ball with a handle that you are meant to swing in many directions . The exercises have very descriptive names, halo, good morning sunshine, single-arm deadlift, Turkish uprise. You awake early and stand in your back yard watched only by an alarmed raccoon rifling through the junk food in your garbage cans. You are in the same category as all the sad heavy things—things that do not float, that displace too much of the air, water, ether which contains them. As you swing you feel a riotous panic, your body moving like a rope connected to the center of the earth. Like the playground game you once played—you, at the end of the line of children running, hand in hand, barely holding on. When you are done, you hold the weight to your chest, and breathe until your heartbeat slows and the sky sheds its dark.
Velocity— rate of change, distance divided by time.
In the spring there is an incident on the middle school bus involving a hard boiled egg, shell on, being tossed across the aisle. You see it, a bright missile, but not who threw it. The egg (you see only one) is pelted at a girl who sits close to the front, usually alone. No one willingly sits with her. Or, if they do, they mime that she smells bad, hang off the edge of the seat or force themselves against the wall. She makes herself small, stares out the window or looks at the floor. When the egg hits her, her head snaps down. The impact is hard enough to break the egg and make her hair band fall off. She is silent, hunches down and covers her face, waiting for the next blow.
You see it all in the mirror and for a moment want to say, this too shall pass. Once, you were a child on a bus too. Not “Mr. Brenner” but Mingus, the boy with a memorable first name. You had parents who did not have cancer, a sister who did not kill herself, a life ahead of you like a pair of shoes you might grow into. Shoes to take you somewhere, to make you run faster, shoes that never hurt your feet and which you never never imagined might need a new sole.
You have no choice but to stop the bus.
|What I Write||
I have an MFA in writing for children and young adults, but am not a typical YA writer. I write hybrid forms of flash and prose poetry and fragmented, unconventional stories. (I sometimes also write longer, more traditional short stories. I rarely submit, but that could change this year.
My Write-a-thon Goals
If I get into the flash group to write one flash per week. If not (or also) to work on my current project : create a series of post card fictions and mail them to sponsors. this will entail making original post card with short fiction ‘captions’ that can either stand alone or be sequenced.
To actually ask that I be supported seems impossible. But to ask that this valuable program can continue makes perfect sense. I hope to raise between $150 and $300 dollars. Each person who supports me with a $15.00 pledge will receive a postcard story in the mail from me. (Message me privately with a snail-mail address where the story will be sent…)