Me #2.jpg

elison AlcovendaZ:

  1. hopes that pic over there is just "writerly" enough
  2. has had work in local, national, and international publications
  3. once thought he'd be the first Filipino in the NBA
  4. writes literary fiction, YA fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry, micropoetry, and critical analysis 
  5. loves spaghetti with cut-up hot dogs in it
  6. wonders if #7 is too wordy (probably) 
  7. is currently writing: this sentence, a YA dystopian/fantasy mashup where knowing how to read is considered magic, a memoir about miscarriage and manhood, a micropoetry chapbook, and other awesome stuff
  8. is a staunch proponent of the Oxford comma
  9. lives in and loves Northern California
  10. thinks Derrida, Faulkner, and J.K. Rowling are equally important writers
  11. has a graduate degree in creative writing from Sacramento State 
  12. thinks website maintenance is hard,
  13. knows it's unlucky to end on this number so,
  14. thanks you for stopping by!                       

When your wife miscarries and can’t stand hearing about pregnancy or babies, IMDB is a wonderful source for synopses of films and TV episodes. This means that you know before your wife does that in the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season Six, Mrs. Bates miscarries. And this means you can delete the first episode when it records on your DVR. And this means that when she asks why the first episode didn’t record, you can tell her you’re not sure, but then you feel bad lying, so you tell her the truth, and she immediately asks if you can find it On Demand, and that’s when you realize she doesn’t need you to protect her in this way anymore and that, perhaps, it wasn’t her you were protecting, anyway. 


A break in the clouds and brown and yellow and red and orange spotlight Kathy, standing there with her arm outstretched, fingers reaching, and I remember us as college kids, in love and invincible, the way she'd see me across the quad and reach out her hand just like she is now, as though she couldn't wait to touch me. 



They sent postcards of Disneyland, beaches, and buildings that touched the sky, sometimes accompanied by balikbayan boxes filled with American clothes and toys and chocolates, though only a handful ever came back to visit, and those that did were different, as though filled with the better American air, as though the earth no longer belonged between their toes.


Thomas had meant to talk to Helen, beg for forgiveness, tell her he loved her, tell her he was sorry, but he realized you couldn’t steal new. He needed to do something, something for her, so he stood, walked outside, and drew a squiggly picture of a bird soaring into the sun on the dusty windshield of her car.


The real writers are still congregating. Tattoos cover one guy’s forearms. A clumpy strand of pink streaks down a girl’s hair. There are black boots and patches on bookbags and tattered tee shirts of rock bands I’ve never heard of. Screaming individuality. Uniqueness.  I want to be original like them, I think, but the only story I know how to tell is the one that’s been told before.


It begins with the cells on either side of me. Desperate, dark cries. Soon other prisoners are screaming too, and the collection of voices bounces up and along the waterfall until I’m surrounded by them. Then come the splashes and the zaps – the sounds of prisoners jumping to their wet, electric deaths. 

I can’t see the mikes, but I don’t care. Someone, somewhere, can hear me. I tiptoe to the edge and, summoning all my breath, shriek my mother’s name repeatedly into the night.