Book of the Day Archive
March 21, 2019
There was an Indian head, the head of an Indian, the drawing of the head of a headdressed, long-haired Indian depicted, drawn by an unknown artist in 1939, broadcast until the late 1970s to American TVs everywhere after all the shows ran out. It’s called the Indian Head test pattern. If you left the TV on, you’d hear a tone of 440 hertz–the tone used to tune instruments–and you’d see that Indian, surrounded by circles that looked like sights through riflescopes. There was what looked like a bull’s eye in the middle of the screen, with numbers like coordinates.
March 20, 2019
We called him Old Yeller. The name had a sort of double meaning.
March 15, 2019
This book was born as I was hungry.
March 14, 2019
My dear Marwan, in the summers of childhood, when I was a boy the age you are now, your uncles and I spread our mattress on the roof of your grandfather’s farmhouse outside of Homs.
March 13, 2019
Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
March 8, 2019
One bright and starry night, the gods, the goddesses, the demons, and the spirits gathered together in heaven for a dinner party. Their music and the scent of their wine drifted down…down…down where flowers bloomed year round and fruits hung heavy with nectar and monkeys frolicked under the watchful eye of the magical monkey king.
March 7, 2019
When we were young my little brother Phil and I shared the same bed. “SHARED” is the sugar coated way of saying we were TRAPPED in the same bed, as we were children and had no say in the matter.
March 6, 2019
I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.
March 1, 2019
9 p.m. on a November Saturday. Joni, Tony and I are out on the town. Tony is from the next town over and he needs to get out. His parents are extremely religious. It doesn’t even matter which religion–they’re all the same at a certain point, and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night.
February 28, 2019
At the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows and no birds ever sing excepting old crows… is the street of the Lifted Lorax.
February 27, 2019
Spring 1889 stretched a blanket of wildflowers over Shelbyville, Tennessee, but William “Doc” Key barely noticed.
February 22, 2019
What’s surprised me most about seeing my sister dead is the lingering smirk on her face. Her pale lips are turned up ever so slightly, and someone has filled in her patchy eyebrows with a black pencil. The top half of her face is angry–like she’s ready to stab someone–and the bottom half is almost smug. This is not the Olga I knew. Olga was as meek and fragile as a baby bird.
February 21, 2019
Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.
February 20, 2019
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.
February 15, 2019
It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.
February 14, 2019
Two households, both alike in dignity,
in fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
from ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
February 13, 2019
Don’t nobody believe nothing these days, which is why I haven’t told nobody the story I’m about to tell you. And, truth is, you probably ain’t gon’ believe it either, gon’ think I’m lying, or I’m losing it, but I’m telling you, this story is true. It happened to me. Really. It did. It so did.
February 8, 2019
On the boat we were mostly virgins. We had long black hair and flat wide feet and we were not very tall. Some of us had eaten nothing but rice gruel as young girls and had slightly bowed legs, and some of us were only fourteen years old and were still young girls ourselves.
February 7, 2019
Dreadlock Man, with his fierce fists and suspect jump shot, sets his stuff ($1.45 sandals, key to bike lock, extra T-shirt) on the bleachers and holds his hands out for the ball.
February 6, 2019
All children, except one, grow up.
February 1, 2019
First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary.
January 31, 2019
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress.
January 30, 2019
It does no good to write autobiographical fiction cause the minute the book hits the stand here comes your mama screamin how could you and sighin death where is thy sting and she snatches you up out your bed to grill you about was was going down back there in Brooklyn when she was working three jobs and trying to improve the quality of your life and come to find on this page that you were messin around with that nasty boy up the block and breaks into sobs and quite naturally your family strolls in all sleepy-eyed to catch the floor show at 5:00 AM but as far as your mama is concerned, it is nineteen-forty-and-something and you ain’t too grown to have your ass whipped.
January 25, 2019
They took me in my nightgown. Thinking back, the signs were there–the family photographs burned in the fireplace, mother sewing her best silver and jewelry into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa not returning from work.
January 24, 2019
On a morning in mid-April, 1687, the brigantine Dolphin left the open sea, sailed briskly across the Sound to the wide mouth of the Connecticut River and into Saybrook Harbor. Kit Tyler had been on the forecastle deck since daybreak, standing close to the rail, staring hungrily at the first sight of land for five weeks.
January 23, 2018
The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said, “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” and he was sent to bed without any supper.
January 18, 2019
I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.
January 17, 2019
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the ally behind the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out.
January 11, 2019
One winter morning Peter woke up and looked out the window. Snow had fallen during the night.
January 10, 2019
Listen, I was alive once – then I wasn’t.