Journal

A Tale of Judgment and Grace
This man was the antichrist. Yes, he was what the end of civilization looked like.
A Psychedelic Throb
I swear I read somewhere that your uncoiled intestines can reach the moon.
They Enter Our Minds Like Bats
In Greek mythology, dreams were black-winged demons that entered our sleeping minds like bats to deliver messages from the gods.
Someday We Will Conjure New Gods to Console Us
We stood by the window and watched the howling dark, even though this isn’t what you should do in a tornado.
Scene from My Notebook
I’ve been trying to loosen up: fast collages, illegible notes in the middle of the night, and the inky smudges of a left-hander.
A Staggering Kind of Stillness
A lone helicopter crossed the sky. The temperature dropped. Dogs barked. Birds stopped chirping.
Debris
There is beauty in repetition, the steady accretion that comes with committing to one thing day after day.
Altar
I share this because I'm fascinated by the totems and rituals of others.
Mysterium
As I left New York City, the driver played Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” several times and never said a word.
On a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe
An inauspicious flight number. The sound of the door closing. The metal roar of the engines.
Instead of Disappearing Completely
As the world becomes increasingly incomprehensible, I’m learning to find pleasure in the ultramundane and routine.
Why Am I in Ohio?
At first, I did not want to leave Vegas. Not so soon.
A Craving for Polar Horror
Polar horror is one of my favorite genres: the temporal dislocation of permanent night, the vertigo of being at the very top—or bottom—of the world.
Mirrors to Deflect Danger
Eleven years sober and another year older. Spent ten hours wandering through galleries with C., which is my favorite thing to do on this planet.
Why Does the Brain Torture Itself?
I loathe these brutal nerves of mine.
Starting a New Big Thing
I have a knack for taking the longest, most taxing route to common knowledge.
Loss Response
I loathe the moments when the suffering of others reminds me to be grateful.
Hallucinations and Routines
There will always be demands and obligations, but they do not need me before eleven o’clock.
2023 Rotation
We’re deep into the 21st century, yet I still find myself waiting for the future to begin.
Prophets
The Joshua tree was named by Mormons in the 1850s, who thought they saw their prophet pointing to the promised land.
Desert Nomenclature
"Virga" is the name for precipitation that does not reach the ground. It hangs across the desert like a torn curtain.
100 Degrees and Snow
Each year I feel a little more vertiginous, a little more overwhelmed by the belly-flop sensation of tumbling from a great height.
Lost Lake and Last Chance Mountain
Last night I stayed up late and stitched together my favorite pieces of the Mojave.
Orientation
Here I am at last, living in the landscape I’ve craved since the first time I drove across the country.
Seven Years Ago, I Placed a Significant Bet
Seven years ago, we debated how the world would end.
The Effects Are Deeper Than the Struggle to Remain Upright
Why does the wind leave us feeling so exhausted and harassed?
A Scribble, an Exploded Rocket, and an Oyster Omelet
Woke up the other day and watched a billionaire’s rocket explode.
Goddammit, I Just Graded a Fucking Robot
And it was about the goddamned work of art in the goddamned age of mechanical reproduction, of all things.
She Reminisced About the Cambrian Period
She said we were looking at the Bonanza King Formation, a lovely bit of cadence that sounds like a doomed band from the 1970s.
What Happens Here Happens Everywhere
I had time to kill at the Las Vegas airport, where it feels like being returned to a pleasant memory of 1987.
Letting Go of the Maps in My Head
The desert silence baffles my Midwestern mind.
Technology Might Have Peaked With Magnetic Tape
A delightful sense of slippage occurs when you can’t decide if something is brilliant or awful.
Suddenly We Found Ourselves Hiking
If starvation was on the table, would you rather eat your own finger or a stranger's?
Church Attendance Is Lowest in Nevada
I had no idea there was so much weather in the desert.
We Searched for 10,000 Acres of Sand
Death Valley is a place where ten thousand acres of scenery can easily go missing.
My Dithering has Reached Its Vanishing Point
We need to make robots and zombies fun again
And Entropy Makes Itself Known to Me
It’s cold in Vegas, and strange material is falling from the sky.
Towers of Red Rock Loomed Over Us Like a Beautiful Threat
Yesterday C. and I took a break from our screens and drove into the Valley of Fire.
So Much Civilization Where There Shouldn’t Be
I pondered the idea of a Vegas-themed casino until I gave myself a headache.
The Reassuring Cadence of Living in the Sprawl
These are days of shooting down unidentifiable objects in the sky.
A Landscape that Functions Like Memory
We hit the brakes and followed a dusty road past a gigantic fiberglass ice cream sundae.
The Games We Play in Museums
After all these years, how well do I know her taste? How well does she know mine?
Landscapes Like Scenes from Tomorrow
Messiness will be a crucial tool in the footrace against artificial intelligence.
Yet the Horizon Never Seems to Draw Closer
Time and space get wobbly in the desert. I think I’m puttering along, but the speedometer says 98.
Ten Years Sober Today
Years ago, an old man in a church basement said, "Stick around long enough, and this becomes a life spent stepping over dead bodies."
And We Diligently Killed Zombies
A few hours later, we wandered into the desert and touched some cacti.
The Sensation of Slippage Continues
The desert is littered with bizarre facts, and I often think I invented them, like a fragment from a dream or a misremembered film.
Fever Dreams Enhanced by the American Government
Here in Las Vegas, we’re catching the faintest edge of a weather event that sounds like something from a fantasy novel.
Algorithms Cannot Compete With the Spectacle of Humans
Repetition amplifies humor and pleasure.
The Sudden Lights of Vegas in the Valley Below
We drove home on an empty parkway, feeling futuristic while fireworks burst alongside our car.
2022 Rotation
This year, release dates be damned. Here’s the music that delivered an unexpected thrill while motoring through the desert.
They Say It’s the Future, They Say It’s Useful for Us
The unique scent of desert rain has a scientific name derived from the Greek words for stone and the blood of the gods.
Even if the Rewards Have Diminished
Each time I step outside, I feel like I’m on a new planet, and I wonder if I will ever tire of the desert.
All the Little Red Bubbles
As I begin to orient myself in Vegas, I know I’m edging too close to the Strip when the plasma donation centers appear.
There’s Too Much Night Here
Due to some 19th-century railroad logic, Nevada is the only non-coastal state in the Pacific Time Zone.
White Line Fever and the Higher Silence Within
I loaded a 15-foot U-Haul with our furniture and pointed it southwest.
My Screens Reflected the Sprawl
I enjoyed driving along smooth parkways to a fast food joint that served spicy Korean pork in a cup.
Vegas Architecture Hides From the Sun
Most Christian churches are located along an east-west axis, with the entrance to the west and the altar to the east.
A Dedicated Place Where I Can Tack Index Cards to the Wall
The Pacific Time Zone is turning me into a morning person, and I do not like it.
Taro Puffs the Size of Your Fist
We tooled around the city's perimeter, marveling at its sharp edges.
Fireworks in the Parking Lot of a Gas Station
We made good time and hit Vegas a night earlier than scheduled.
A Fingernail Moon Rose Over the Rockies
When I woke up this morning, I struggled to remember the state I was in.
The First Pizza Hut is in Wichita
We woke to the melancholic stillness of a holiday morning somewhere in the middle of America. Even the International House of Pancakes was closed.
Movements Are a Relic of the 20th Century
The billboards we passed felt like chapters from one big story: automatic weapon rentals, bulk ammo, Jesus Christ, and lawyers.
Synthetic Tracks for the Motorway
The road trip kicks off tomorrow, and my packing has been delayed by a much more critical matter: putting together a road trip playlist.
Faded Graffiti Like a Vanished Wish
It’s one of those days when it feels like the world’s got its hands in my pockets.
The Spirit of the Information Superhighway
It’s like some mythical creature from the past has wandered into the middle of a twelve-land expressway.
People Behaving Poorly in Glossy Architecture
We convinced ourselves our tweets were important, newsworthy, career-making, or, god forbid, agents for social change, and it made us crazy.
Another Sleepless Night for Reasons Unknown
My bedtime programming hums with the static of insomnia.
Repetition Is Where Things Get Interesting
A shift in the light on the running trail. An unexpected connection on page 172.
A Body of Water Was Named After a Man Who Was Roasted Alive
William Gibson has nothing on the Catholics.
There Would Be Less Screaming
I often imagine my writing sessions should be quiet and humble, like those stern Dutch paintings of solitary women making lace in solemn bands of light.
A House Always Made of Freshly Chopped Wood
I still have vivid dreams that my mother is still alive; I find her sitting at a kitchen table in a tiny house by the sea, living under an assumed name.
Some Faceless Behemoth Purchased It
Combing through eighteen years of digital cruft has led me down an unexpectedly emotional walk down memory lane.
The Bare Trees Reveal New Scenery
All the leaves are on the ground now, and the bare trees reveal new scenery.
Sleep Has a Moral Dimension
If someone behaves atrociously, we wonder how they sleep at night.
Sometimes You Can’t Find the Door
Perhaps it becomes self-fulfilling to imagine the future as stern and forbidding.
It Feels Like a Video Game
We spent a fair chunk of the ride debating whether laws were necessary.
A White Honda with a Crumpled Fender
Maybe they’ll wind up on the evening news someday.
If We Can Rearrange Time, We Can Do Anything
Changing the clocks should be the year's biggest celebration with fireworks, parades, and gift-giving.
A Bright Daytime Moon Hung in the Sky
I’d like to live in a world of apologetic gods and talking satellites.
My Brain Has Run Out of Sleeping Juice
These summery November days echo my sense of losing the rhythm, of being out of time.
A Mumbled Conspiracy Feels Wholesome These Days
And my mind turns gullible in the small hours, ready to believe anything.
There's a Thin Line Between Vigilance and Neuroticism
The leaves have fallen, and we crunched over them while dressed for spring.
Tighter Pores, Fewer Toxins, and a Sharper Mind
C. and I celebrated her birthday at the Largest Korean Sauna in North America.
A Secular Approach to Home Improvement
I took an afternoon drive through Indiana the other day, and it was clear that America is not doing well.
An Urge to Tear Apart the Sky
I ran from my screen like someone in a zombie movie.
Saturday Night Terrain
She hummed with the nervy energy of a talented yet unrecognized mind.
Good Fortune
I keep this one in my wallet.
Someday We Will Invent Kinder Gods and New Miracles
Yesterday in twenty-first-century America, I idled behind a jeep with an InfoWars license plate.
Night Station
I stood in line at the Gas ‘n Go behind a man with a pistol tucked into the elastic waistband of his sweatpants.
Room in the Air
The real heroes of this blessed land are the short-order cooks at Chinese takeout joints who manipulate fire, oil, and steel like gods.
The Throwback Special
I have zero interest in football, which can make it challenging to move through American life.
Plaza
Service plazas are modern works of art where I can eat slick food next to twelve lanes of humming traffic, lording over a glittering river of steel and glass.
The Haunting of Hill House
Hill House, famously not sane, bothers the soul because Jackson describes the perception of horror, not the horror itself.
The Moment Dots Become a Pattern
I've been stuck on the last 20% of a story I'm writing about a haunted frequency, so I went to the museum to shake some ideas loose.
I Need to Make Mistakes
The first thing I do with a new notebook is write something stupid and messy on the first page.
The Fifth Child
Maybe I was primed for horror because I woke before dawn on a Sunday morning.
Pictures from a Bad Dream
This morning I fed a robot a few sentences from the novel I'm writing, and it generated some startlingly accurate pictures.
A Fascinating Little Ailment
I sneeze whenever I glance at the sun, which I’ve always taken as proof I am a night owl.
Fires
The Rockies appeared through the gloom, slow beasts moving across the continent at the speed of time.
The Corners of the Ceiling
“Science shouldn’t explain everything,” she told me.
And Thank God, Soon We’ll Be Making More Night
A heat dome has settled over the Middle West, the moon was extra bright last night, and I saw a rainbow in the parking lot yesterday.
The Weather Lady Looked a Little Freaked Out
Clichés Are Learned the Hard Way
Acid Camp
"Only in a rerun."
More Americans are Unraveling Behind the Wheel
The sun went down at 8:49pm, the moon is in its last quarter, and tonight I'm wondering if the health of a society can be pegged to the nerves of its motorists.
Like trying to retrofit an 8-track player.
Tiny Figures Among the Stones
A floppy-eared dog gnawed a bone while a clown smiled above the bed.
I Put a Lot of Faith in Office Products to Solve My Existential Problems
My map is upside down, inscrutable, and probably for a different planet.
Before I Die
"Can't kill the world."
A Fleeting Shape Glimpsed From the Corner of the Eye
My first memory of God: I was five or six years old and feverishly rubbing a white crayon into a dark blue piece of construction paper.
I Need to Rethink How I Spend My Dwindling Time on This Planet
Greenland
I’m always in a heavy state whenever I see Greenland, usually red-eyed and emotionally shredded.
Last Day in London
April 14, 2022
York
Bath
Somnambulist
Violent Light
I still find myself stopping in the street, stunned by how low the clouds hang on this island.
A Fair Chunk of Our Time Was Spent Pacing and Sighing
Stone
They’re Making Video Poems About the 1990s
Evensong
Feedback Loops
The photograph of my mom refuses to leave the auditorium. We jiggle the cords, but she’s still there, twenty feet tall and gazing at the water.
The Faces of His Subjects Melt in the Rain
Gaps and Threads
Midnight in London
We Tuned In to Watch a Livestream of Airplanes Struggling to Land
Dark Trees
I never know how seriously to take anything anymore.
The Ides of February
I keep colliding with people in the streets and shops. I just can't pick up the rhythm here.
Night Flight to London
Slush and Stone
Morning Man
Nine Years Sober Today
January 27, 2022
“They make advertisements for soap. Why not for peace?”
Middle Path
Midwinter Inventory
While explaining myself to the grumpy clerk behind the glass, I realized I had no idea where I legally lived.
Winter Robots
Cusp of Things
Tomorrow's Gods
A Low Rumble
The Hum of Machinery You Can See
Word Count
17 Minutes Remaining
I spent an hour in the corner of a shopping mall, borrowing the internet of a fast-fashion shop that closed at noon because too many of its workers had the plague.
Dream Language
I woke up wondering if I would live my life any differently if I measured my age in days or hours instead of years.
January 7, 2022
January 6, 2022
An Elderly Man Sighs Over a Dusty Book About Trees
Goodness
January 3, 2022
Broken Scales
January 1, 2022
2021 Rotation
The end of another year, and exhaustion hangs heavy like a fog.
Parameters Are Critical
It dramatizes grief and bends towards science fiction.
Part of Me Still Believes the Right Notebook Will Solve All My Problems
Goodbye, New York
Endless
Crossroads
She Swirled Her Ink Across a Massive Canvas
Crosstown
Winter Noises
This Is the Third Time I Will Leave New York
There’s Nothing Sane to Do
Burn yourself completely.
I Went for a Run Because I Didn’t Want to Start Smoking Again
Frictional
Crowd
My Favorite Moment of the Year
I Seem to Remember Less and Less
Writing for Whoever Might Find It
Brain in the Desert
Desert Cadence
Silence and News
Hunter's Moon
Phoenix Is Impossible, but Its Cacti Are Platonic
An Abandoned Baby Stroller and a Bottle of Champagne
Orbiting the Margins of Vegas
Suspended in a Timeless Non-Space
Ecce Homo
Maybe it's limbic and hardwired, this desire to see the divine rather than hear or touch.
Rituals
Extension
There are over a thousand responses from visitors now, far more than we anticipated at this point.
Future Church
A Perfect Crescent Dangled Over the Street
Elderly Couples Held Each Other Steady
Everything Feels Like a Metaphor These Days
A Mystic Allure
Falling in Love With a Moment
Local Artists on the Local News
Respiration
Hardcode
Talking Over a Car Alarm
Shamble and Stride
A Sinful Sun
Finding My Thoughts Has Felt Difficult Lately
Monster
Fireworks
Eastbound
The debris of a falling Chinese rocket.
Mahjong
May 7, 2021
"We’re smothered by words, images, and sounds that have no right to exist."
Shadowbahn
"If you’re seeing me, you’re having the worst day of your life."
April 22, 2021
"No landscape is as lovely as a woman."
Some Terrible Paintings
Temptation
Clearing the Decks Before Trying Something New
Clearing the Decks Before Trying Something New
Clocks Only Measure Other Clocks
Unthinkable
Version
December 27, 2020
2020 Rotation
But Christ, who wants to remember this year, let alone provide the soundtrack?
Shambles
Moment
Eve
Banquet
Stimulus
Hibernal
Postmortem
Programming
Fracture
Death
Flurries
Reflection
Mundane
Vaccine
Narrows
Numbers
Worship
December 9, 2020
Alright
Absence
My Father Nodded His Head to Funkadelic on Highway 61
Metal
A Longing Almost Too Painful to Witness
Eat
Language
Writing Through a Uniquely Terrible Year
When a Pounding Headache Fades
Leave Your Children in the Woods
Fully Loaded with Faux Pinecones
Access
Gratitude
November 25, 2020
We Scrolled Down the Aisles in Hunter-Gatherer Mode
Patterns
Stretch
Image
Walk
Post
Forward
Hijack
The Galleries Were Mostly Empty
Astro
A New Medieval Age of Faith and Feeling
Lament
Profane
Suffuse
Spirit
Test
Shift
Catharsis
Endless
Goo
Razor
Election
November 2, 2020
Hour
October 31, 2020
Devil
Wind
Mirror
History
Court
"We're safe and all is well in our world."
Up
Lights
Ocean
We took a night drive through the fog.
Landscape
Monsters
Fatigue
October 17, 2020
October 16, 2020
Watching
Simulation
Tabula Rasa
I’m fantasizing about the desert again.
Pictures
Drome
Spare
Silentium
Landfall
Creature
Kite
Dust
Extreme
Oldies
Positive
Ritual
Training
Shame
Dots
Converge
Lull
Homeward
Birds
Shatter
September 22, 2020
Plaza
Closer
Spectrum
Insects buzz in the trees like bad reception, but the nights are finally cooler and crisping up.
Process
Behalf
Encounter
Legs on a Snake
September 14, 2020
September 13, 2020
Superstore
Nineteen
Deer
Smoke
September 8, 2020
September 7, 2020
Kindling
Beauty
Howl
Radioactive
I enjoy skipping through frazzled sermons, nutritional advice, alien abductions, financial planning, and light drizzle at the airport.
Swerve
Just after midnight, a metallic voice began to flicker through the radio static.
Hex
Writing Is a Physical Act
August 30, 2020
I miss the golden days of scrolling through lyrical babble.
Monochrome
Stimuli
Weather
Untethered
Observance
Pegasus
Scan
Sunset
Machine
Signs
Jeremiad
People looking in the wrong direction.
August 16, 2020
Tornado
Buzz
Lot
Desk
Puzzle
August 10, 2020
Logs
Cave
Road
Pack
August 5, 2020
Debris
A tropical storm blew across the city today.
Moon
Normal
"You're looking at the future: people translated as data."
July 31, 2020
Ready
Pray
Demon
A list of things that inspired the book I’m writing.
Wave
Feedback
Clay
Give Up on Inspiration
Downpour
And for a moment I wonder if it will keep raining until everything is washed clean.
Detach
Cover
Echo
Run
Anchors
Soul
Spear
July 14, 2020
Breakup
Each Finger Has Its Own Consciousness
Synthesis
Rain
Embers
Sleepless
Nature
Vivid
Forgetting
Independence
Toll
The Peaceful Rocks Will Revolve Unchanged Until the Sun Explodes
Abandon
The Origin of Shadow Puppets
Sometimes I find comfort in a two-thousand-year-old myth about a Chinese emperor.
To Believe in Something Otherworldly in 2020
Humid
Rhythm
Invasion
Grace
This morning in the park, I sat across from a woman who was talking to the pigeons gathered around her feet.
You Can See the Gorilla Dust Cloud From Outer Space
June 23, 2020
Phase
Radioland
Solstice
Midnight
Convulsion
Tactile
Reconciliation
Wolf
June 14, 2020
Texture
Liability
Unless people are exploding in the streets.
A Gigantic Trampoline
Otherwhere
The Footprints of a Dying Creature
Sometimes you come across a phrase that haunts you all day.
Hope
Paranoia
Presence
Oblivious
Alert
Curfew
Desecration
Vacant
Dissonance
Pain
Haze
Accretion
May 26, 2020
Memorial
Bell
The Fuzzy Line Between Media Consumption and My Soul
Time
May 21, 2020
Cracks
Dark
Weird
Genre
Symbols
Grass
May 14, 2020
Remember
Scramble
Next
May 10, 2020
Season
A Ghostly Figure Spiraling Up out of Nowhere
Diners with fritzing neon that you can hear.
Options
Coherence
Scold
Saturday
You Can Never See Further Than Your Headlights
Outline
Compound
Smile
Diner
Glum
Avalanche
Drain
Ruins
Flowers
White Thunder
Fugue
Interference
Reverb
Mouth
Slow
Wednesday
The Grammar of Dead Casinos
A Time to Rethink Everything
We’re Born, Then We Die, and What the Fuck
Saturday Night During a Pandemic
The Names of the Lights Overhead
The noise of humanity prevented God from sleeping.
Like I’m about to commit a poorly-planned crime.
Space
Lung
Park
April 4, 2020
Prediction
Doubt
Passing
Shake
A burst of animal noise from a wounded city.
Grid
Days of Conspiracy
We check the death tally each morning like the weather report.
The Electrifying Mojo Had the Most Reassuring Voice I Ever Heard
His spirit runs through nearly everything we hear today.
Point
Kneel
The Bad Juju Starts Bouncing Off the Walls
Night
Blank
Always Do Your Best to Wipe Everything Down
Artificial
Hothouse
Quiet
An Echo of the Days and Weeks After Losing My Mother
Vigilance
Distance
Communion
Closed
A Swirly Purple Storm With Tumbling Microbes
Spike
Denial
Pantheon
Countryside
March 7, 2020
Stay Wild and Free
Sanitizer
One of the Finest Things I Own Is a Lamp
Tuesday
Little Failed Utopias
Hills
Leap
The Fragmented Head of a Colossal Boy
Scribble
Cross
Jabs
Salmiakki
Virus
Pattern
Bow
Perfect
Event
Love
Eye
The 45th Parallel
You can feel the geography shift when you see all that big pine and cold water.
Blue
Future
Ghost
Living among strangers is essential.
Dreams
Powerball
Clutter
I thought we deserved a worthy villain.
Decision
Twilight
Boot
Change
Attending to the World
Birthday
February 1, 2020
To Watch a Fireplace the Way I Watch Television
Static
Light
Glitch
Hidden
Rotation
Turbulence
A Robot Scanned the Fading Canvas of a Rembrandt
Maybe religion and weather are intertwined.
January 22, 2020
Earnest, Curious, and Raw
Past
The Wonder Is Still There
January 18, 2020
Etch these strange times into my memory.
Solitude
"But reality is diabolical."
Scale
Cabin
We took a ship through the Finnish archipelago towards a small island in the Baltic Sea.
The service was purely tonal.
The priest apologized for the warm weather.
Crying
Maybe the universe is sympathetic, after all.
A window left open in the back of the mind.
Intoxicated
Nostalgia
Consolation
Information
Silence
Bookends
Ash
Cathedral
2019 Rotation
Pictures, songs, and paragraphs wash across my screen one minute and disappear the next.
Melancholia
Our Broken Sky
"But memories mix truth and lies."
2018 Rotation
The endless churn of the digital jukebox brings to mind Adorno and Horkheimer’s phrase from 1944: “the freedom to choose what is always the same.”
"That barren pasture. Empty and salted. The dead space between the stars."
So Tired
Meanwhile, we fight amongst ourselves, slinging hashtags and hysteria.
Some Strange Region of the Universe
The Logic of God
Hymns for the End of the World
Slow-motion strings and liturgical drones from Athens, Greece.
Guilt and Grace
The Story of Philosophy
Decree #1 on the Democratization of Art
Enchanted Desert
Reverberated Crying
Orfeo
The Last Free Place