Scott MacLeod


a dozen delivery men pull up in noisy trucks and leave just as
I receive a dozen emails in the last week from people suffering
some of whom read this blog, bless them, but these words
these elegant, polished and witty pieces won’t affect them
if they don’t read them, their take on a dangerous dog, when
Marcy put him down, he tried to walk, and I felt sad for him, for
Air Gizzard Shad, good for you, pup, hasta la vista, head games
Hi de hi Hi de, cut your own meat into Dangerous Curves or
Dead Ends or Mean Streets, I’d die for that smile again, for a dog
outside the house again, but I put up with all this as best I can
I try to have friends or a list of people to follow at least hmmmmm
I thought, how will Marcy feel about being on the receiving end?
She dotes on Far Cry, will try anything, she needs the protein
but she wrote “New Age Payday” as "Caroline Miniver” and
the essay “So Long To Boss TV” as “Duchess,” and in some of her
“Try Anything Twice” articles, she draws partly on a complicated
and confusing anecdote about traveling as a woman alone in the wild
impenetrable Barrancas del Cobre, living among Tarahumara corpses
climbing the mountain by mule only to find herself in the middle
of two groups of people fighting over a warehouse full of aluminum
they think is tarnished silver, that’s why all her stories end with you
holding out your hand, trying to take something that’s not there.


who, out of his mind, understands
this grand chorus, all its apologies
its politics, its apoplectic polemics

you can:

- have your righteous words, your hand-
written, discarded, murderous narrative

- resolve all your sentimental problems
with anecdotes, weird songs, anodynes

- recall who escapes your sexual longings
while pretending your heart really wants
[surprising motif: “your heart wants”]
disciplined memorable relationships

- try everything, literally embarrassing
the person turns out to be a superego
astronaught & the pubic is an outer limit
of this immense, unsolved experiment

- reinvent this wheel head first
this gem of a piece we live in
crafting this long loneliness
isn’t as simple as you've read


We found the tramp in the gutter and we raised him up. From the very beginning, as we undressed him, fear grew like lichen on my anus. As we washed him with our sponges, we stared at it. Glistening mushroom. After some time, some hesitation, without making eye contact with each other, we each dipped our heads in turn to suckle it, slick nub, spitting to the ground after.

We’d been out driving through farmlands when we found him. Farmlands. Well of course the crops had failed again. If there was even anyone out here still bothering to try. But the few people who still lived out here still used the traditional words. Farm. Factory. Harvest. Things even looked vaguely the way they’d looked before. What used to be factories, power plants etc still stood though not functional. Fields still looked like fields post-harvest or mid-drought, as if it were all still part of the natural order. Which I guess I would have to admit, it was. Not Nature’s order. Part of an order that was in our nature.

Why were we out driving through all that? (a) Like everyone else we enjoyed looking for authentic articles within the pages of the disaster porn magazine we had turned our world into. (b) Where else were we going to go? (c) It was in our nature.

Scott MacLeod has been a student, humorist, cartoonist, dishwasher, ad-taker, binderyman, hitchhiker, park & rec worker, framer, concrete former, car washer, housepainter, undergrad, writer, building engineer, playwright, performance artist, video artist, painting contractor, college lecturer, installation artist, grad student, warehouse manager, audio artist, painter, facilities associate, organizational consultant, building manager, maintenance manager, engineering project manager, construction project manager, and museum preparator. Now he is trying to figure out what he will be next, starting with changing the way he does things, including changing his writer’s bio for the first time in 20 years.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home