Inhuman Swill : September 2011

Lobo follow-up

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In response to my post yesterday about the stray dog we helped, our neighbor Ann said the following on Facebook:

This morning as I was leaving to go up north, I saw Lobo out on a walk. As he passed in front of my car, we made eye contact and as his owner proceeded down the street he turned back to look at me. There was a definite thank you in his eyes to all of us for a job well done. I can't tell you how grateful I am not to have had the dog pound experience.
Now I'm hopeful that I'll run into him some morning too. On foot, I mean, not with the car.
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Our time with the Colonel

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Lobo
On Sunday I was getting over a cold. After our morning walk with Ella, I went to bed to take a nap. I hadn't been down for long, though, when Laura came in and said, "I know you're trying to sleep, but I know you're going to want to meet this dog."

I grew up with German shepherds, and Laura knows I love them. She's somewhat allergic to dogs, which is why we have a hypoallergenic breed and not a shepherd. (Ella, by the way, is the greatest dog in the world and I would never trade her.) But the dog our downstairs neighbor Ann had in her apartment was gorgeous. He was huge, probably 120 pounds, with a long, long body, giant paws, and a grizzled muzzle. He was friendly and very sweet. He licked my face.

Ann had found him that morning wandering by himself around the neighborhood. He had no ID tag, but he did have a valid rabies vaccination tag. Ann had already driven him 80 blocks south to the Chicago Animal Control and Care facility on Western Avenue, only to find that it didn't open until noon. She had an appointment she couldn't break and wanted to let us know that there might be a strange dog in the basement for part of the day. "I'll take him down to CACC again when I get home," she said.

"Don't be silly," said Laura. "We'll take him for you, so we can get him there at noon."

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A couple of upcoming readings

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Tuesday Funk #38
I have a couple of upcoming events in Chicago I wanted to let you know about.

First, I'll be appearing on Tuesday, October 4th, as part of the Tuesday Funk reading series at Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL). (Sharp-eyed readers will recognize that I also serve as co-host of this series.) The reading takes place in the upstairs lounge. Doors upstairs open at 7:00 pm, and the show starts at 7:30 pm. I'll be reading a short story, "The Visitors at Wriggly Field." Please note that Hopleaf is 21 and over only. More info here:

http://www.tuesdayfunk.org/2011/09/tuesday-funk-38-october-4th.html

Also, I'll be reading a personal essay on Monday, December 19th, as part of the Essay Fiesta reading series at the Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL). I've read for Essay Fiesta a couple of times before, and it's always great fun. For more information about this charitable reading series, see:

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RIP Mark W. Worthen (1962-2011)

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Mark W. Worthen
My friend Mark Worthen ([info]nitewanderer) passed away unexpectedly yesterday. He was a horror, crime, and science fiction writer who worked tirelessly behind the scenes of the Stoker Awards for the Horror Writers Association and also served as HWA's webmaster. I wandered around in dark fog yesterday after hearing the news. I can't believe he's gone.

I first met Mark in 1993 when I joined a writing group called Xenobia in Provo, Utah. He was only a few years older than I was, and we bonded over a certain darkness and irreverence in our fiction and our worldviews. I wouldn't have expected it back then, but he's the person from that group that I stayed in closest touch with over the years. Through one circumstance or another, we both ended up moving out of Utah around the same time and leaving some misunderstandings behind. That was another thing to bond over, the feeling that we were outcasts and exiles.

While I went to New York City, Mark's path took him to South Korea. He was a brilliant linguist and specialized in teaching ESL. I was amazed by his adventurousness, but he had lived in Europe and South America already and from the stories he told later he took full advantage of his time in Asia.

Next I heard from him, he was in the Midwest, Missouri to be precise, with the love of his life, J.P. Edwards. It was probably around then that Mark asked if I'd contribute a story to his new online horror magazine Blood Rose (one of the earlier of its kind). I did, and actually ended up hosting the website for him (which I still do). It wasn't much later that I found myself traveling to Jefferson City for Mark and Jeannie's wedding, and found him happier than I'd ever known him.

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A-E-S-T-H-E-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y

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I overheard the most heartbreaking exchange yesterday. Well, it's not like I was eavesdropping, exactly. It happened right in front of me, while I was enjoying a beer and some lunch at the bar of one of my favorite local haunts. I posted the punchline yesterday by itself on Twitter, but I'm growing more and more dissatisfied with the constraints of Twitter and the way it tends to short-circuit my intent to blog. (But that's a subject for another post.) I think there's far more pathos in the full story.

I was reading a book so I wasn't paying much attention to the conversation between the guy to my left and one of the bartenders. "Hey," the bartender called to one of her colleagues, "how do you spell aesthetically?"

To my right, another bartender stalked over, grabbed a slip of paper and a pen from behind the bar, and scrawled something.

"Now we'll have to decipher his writing," said the first bartender.

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Golfers in the rain
with travel mugs of coffee,
like this is their job.

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Raaarrrr

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I come to you, love,
like a zombie in your thrall,
hungry for your brains.

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You are here

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You Are Here - Roosevelt Island - New York City

you are here

the southern tip of roosevelt island
east river easing by to either side
beside your wife astride the bikes
you rode like phantoms through
the hushed streets of queens
over the red bridge at 36th ave

you are here

inside the four mile ring of the
concentric circles of immediacy
and inverse kneejerk jingoism
the two towers at their center
their sides pierced by spears
gushing ash into waterclear sky

you are here

holding hands in the swelling
congregation of silent cyclists
a u.n. of observers stunned and numb
distant sirens the only sounds
besides the murmuring river
or the murmurs might be yours

you are not here

to see or hear the first collapse
you're riding back over the bridge
retracing miles unwinding the clock
restitching time with no success
at home your t.v. sees just one tower
a dustblinded eye about to close

you are not there


originally read at Tuesday Funk, September 6, 2011 [video]

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
cheaper than your
local Mormon
missionaries.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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