Old Man Scanlon’s
Old Man Scanlon’s

Will this discourage bad Chinese bots? a/o 16 May 2013 From The Guardian. "Chinese internet: ’a new censorship campaign has commenced’ Murong Xuecun, who has had his accounts deleted, explains how bloggers compare being silenced on the internet to being put to death" Here. "the pool of sensitive words grows by the hour: Liu Xiaobo, Gao Xingjian, Ai Weiwei, Wei Jingsheng, Liao Yiwu, Ma Jian, Mo Zhixu, Xiao Shu The list goes on. It now includes me, as well as two more scholars who have since been silenced: Wu Wei and Wu Zuolai, whose accounts were deleted on the morning of 13 May."

Letters from the Village

"Umbrella Man," "What they Heard," and "How they Walked" will appear in Vine Leaves Literary Journal on 17 October 2014.
"Words from Grampa" will appear in Apeiron Review in September 2014.
"Modest Expectations" will appear in Camroc Press Review on 24 September 2014.
Old Man Scanlon has a guest appearance in Literary Labors (and the Occasional Cheese Dip), 10 January 2014.
Interview with Old Man Scanlon at Spry Literary Journal, 20 December 2013.

Presbyograms

06 October 2014
·
Apparent train-kill, a sparrow lies contorted on the commuter rail platform, only nominally three-dimensional, his days of scavenging fast-food french fries over and done. The soaring... [more]
09 August 2014
·
Opportunistic stray dragonflies, sometimes nibbling on a hapless bluebottle, alight on me with a rustle while I read and contemplate in my driveway beach chair, resisting... [more]
19 April 2014
·
My job for the last two Passovers has been to make the chopped liver. I had never tasted it, indeed had no acquaintance whatsoever with it except in its rhetorical... [more]
21 March 2014
·
I’ve been coming to the Joslin Diabetes Center for fifty-seven years. My usual haunt is the Clinic, but today I’m one floor above, in the Clinical Research Center. I smile with a little moment of not-in-Kansas-any-more delight... [more]
22 January 2014
·
There are words as good as forgotten through disuse and resurrected by chance, words acquired in my fishing days when I had scarcely attained... [more]
24 November 2013
·
Stuck in traffic, Cheryl asks, “What’s the longest word you can make from Silverado?” So I’m on it, and we toss words back and forth. She’s a nerd, which will be no surprise if you subscribe to the birds-of-a-feather... [more]
18 August 2013
·
Twenty or so years ago Disney World introduced me to vultures, for which I thank them. Aside from a poorly-suppressed recurring nightmare starring Space Mountain, that’s all I remember of the whole... [more]
12 August 2013
·
Movies allow us to perceive discrete static slices of time as a continuous flow, an artifice in which our brain conspires. Slow motion, ubiquitous in sports television, expands... [more]
31 July 2013
·
An organ pipe mud dauber is building a nest in the ornamental tin-roofed wren house Cheryl hung by the door. I hear her stridulating at her masonry work, and see... [more]
10 June 2013
·
Pencil to paper, my grandson copies theorems out of the text-book, the better to cement them into his mind and make them his own. He’s studying for his geometry... [more]
29 May 2013
·
For love and duty Gram and I went to our twin granddaughters’ final middle school chorus performance. Unlike the interminable ordeal of a dance recital... [more]
21 April 2013
·
No longer having the excuse of a decrepit dysfunctional aortic valve—I have thus far been unable to exceed modern medical technology’s ability to fix me—I recently rode my bicycle for the first time in two years... [more]
27 February 2013
·
I never expected to prove my doctors fallible, but I decisively surpassed my prognosis of death by age forty. And as if death could not happen... [more]
16 January 2013
·
More night-owl than early bird, I have little desire to deepen my casual acquaintance with rosy-fingered dawn. Well after sunrise my morning is supposed to be a time... [more]
28 December 2012
·
As a new year impends and winter claws its way up its freshly secured beachhead, I could easily do worse than slither into a ratty sweater of a color not found in nature, finish off... [more]
01 December 2012
·
I was intrigued to find, during some basic genealogical research, that my grandchildren are one-sixteenth Portuguese, and are therefore adequately “ethnic.” In this... [more]
01 December 2012
·
A haircut, at least after successfully completing the standard long-haired rebellion against materialist bourgeois conformity, can be one of life’s... [more]
14 November 2012
·
On their first bikes without training wheels, my twin granddaughters raced each other down the street, shouting, pedaling like maniacs... [more]
01 October 2012
·
The year is 1972, and we’ve pretty much sewn up second place in the Southeast Asia War Games. I’m about to receive my math degree, and with it, relief and a quandary. For four years I’ve been parrying... [more]
12 September 2012
·
As a nerd I lead, appropriately enough, a binary existence: oblivious to my environment, or gawking freely and unreservedly to provide a never-ending stream... [more]
24 July 2012
·
Cheryl, to the amusement of our friends, loves to start bemoaning the end of summer as soon as the days first perceptibly begin to shorten, long before Labor Day. This year... [more]
02 June 2012
·
Just as it was becoming widely fashionable to despise America and flaunt one’s tolerance of Commies, my friend Cav and I engaged in behind-the-scenes operations... [more]
03 May 2012
·
Some days just can’t be bothered to deal me an idyll with my grandchildren. On the other hand, seldom can I... [more]
Avenue
26 September 2014
The city concrete curates an unremitting din: traffic, helicopters, horns, sirens, waspish mopeds, perpetual overload, no escape. At the plaza I strain yet fail to hear a sibilant bicycle tire and clicks of the ratcheting freewheel—drowned out. On the other hand, the canyons channel a changing wind. I absorb olfactory calories from pizza, tandoori, and Zagat-rated Thai one minute, ocean salt and low tide the next.
Waiting for Uncle Edward
02 July 2014
I’m tracking Ed on the Internet: left San Diego, arrived Providence, arrived Attleboro. USPS Priority Mail Express 1-Day, airfare $92.85, insured for $100. Last time home, he carried loosely wrapped tiramisu wedged between the shirts in his carry-on. This time, he won’t be bringing dessert. I’ll be here to sign for his ashes.
Umbrella Man
13 June 2014
Beard, thin, black umbrella. Passes bench, sits on platform. Eye contact. Mistake. “It starts to rain, I open the umbrella, I’m OK. Stops raining, I close it, and I’m good.” More: found abandoned, plastic ribs for good eversion recovery, sketchy runner jams, hangs it from a carabiner to dry. Didactic Gump leaves me in peace only when he boards the train. Haven’t met his ex-wife, but I have a theory about the divorce.
Ready
20 May 2014
They are flowering even as I write—I know the horse chestnut trees of six Bristol County towns. Fifteen years ago I planted one out back for my infant grandchildren's as yet unborn offspring; the tree only now begins to outstrip their height. I have passed the lore to a worthy successor, strong in the buckeye Force. The conker gods tell me they are well pleased with my offerings. I am content to await the apocalypse.
What They Heard
15 April 2014
A distant large-bore motorcycle does a slow glissando toward its red line. Some soul damns itself to perdition practicing on drums. A plaintive killdeer patrols the edges of the paved acres. But mostly it’s the wind. An unlatched plexiglass showcase door slams alternately open and shut. Gust-driven sand hisses off parked cars. Discarded plastic rolls, skids, tumbles across the asphalt. Scraping. Horseless clip-clops.
How They Walked
13 April 2014
A guy with four days’ white stubble and gimpy leg soldiers on with his asymmetric rolling gait toward the train. A grey stooped woman trudges out of the funeral home, easing her fragile bubble of resigned inwardness through a universe suddenly sharp and viscous. A tall twenty-something woman carries poise, confidence, and under her arm a hula hoop. We agree that this amuses the cosmos and exchange smiles as we pass.
What You Have
24 March 2014
A raucous congregation of redwings kibitzes as I survey our crocus buds. At a construction site, a man-made ichneumon ovipositor injects concrete into inaccessible forms. In the big-box store vestibule, coffee replaces the popcorn miasma from the snack bar just inside. Pocketing it, I heft the key ring my granddaughter gave me one Christmas. It doesn't take all that much to make a day worth being above ground for.
I Brake for Fireplugs
20 March 2014
I'm slipping. I can feel it. I recognize the signs—euphoria, welling enthusiasm. I am, God help me, a collector. I'm noticing hydrants. Pawtucket, dandelion-yellow. Seekonk, orange with green and white ports. Yellow, red cap, and red chained port covers in Attleboro. I obsess, learn arcane vocabulary, take pictures, covet a pentagonal wrench. My magpie brain revels in the madness. I feel the power of the dark side.

More shorts...

Links

My Photographs

The Eyes of Old Man Scanlon

Journals

5x5

7x20 (Seven By Twenty)

The Adroit Journal

Apeiron Review

Apocrypha and Abstractions

Barefoot Review

BluePrintReview

Camroc Press Review

Caper Literary Journal

Cleaver Magazine

Cuento Magazine

escarp

Feathered Flounder

FictionDaily

Foliate Oak Literary Magazine

Front Porch Review

High Coup Journal

Hippocampus Magazine

Journal of Microliterature

land that I live

The Montucky Review

Otoliths

Philly Flash Inferno

Prick of the Spindle

Prime Number

Red Fez

Sabotage

Short, Fast, and Deadly

Sleet Magazine

Spry Literary Journal

Stymie

Thickjam

Three Line Poetry

Tiny Lights

Trachodon

Vine Leaves Literary Journal

Y’all’d’ve

Journals, defunct after publishing (or accepting) my work

Writers’ Bloc (Rutgers) (as of 27 May 2012 showing distinct signs of undeadness).

The Writer’s Eye Magazine

Barrier Islands Review

The Literary Burlesque

Magnolia’s Press

Sea Stories

Bookstores

Providence, RI: Cellar Stories Bookstore

Attleboro, MA: Ugly Dog Books

Falmouth, MA: Eight Cousins