KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #1 (first three chapters)

TRACK ONE/ SIDE ONE: PRENTIS & BENJI   Cowper Lundgren slipped into Benjamin Schamansky’s office with loafered stealth. Such loafered stealth that he was able to stand and watch Schamansky enjoying a smutty undergraduate humor magazine for a full minute before Schamansky noticed he wasn’t alone. Looking up and to his left suddenly Schamansky jumped out of his skin, catapulting the magazine against the acoustical foam in the ceiling, where it left a little dent. Lundgren’s hands were clasped behind his very straight back and the signature wave in his full head of hair gleamed white like his smile as … Continue reading KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #1 (first three chapters)


Let’s take a stylistic trip across Literary History, back to when Novels were Novels, Writers were Writers, and Sex was Pretty Fucking Good. The writing in/of these chapters was so fluid, round, nutritive and sweet that I’m posting this only minutes after the last round of tweakings. The year is 1974 and Kyndall, whose man Skip is in the process of being stolen by usurper Prentis Bel, is having a weird day… – KOOTCHIE TOWERS excerpt     TRACK TWO/SIDE TWO: KYNDALL   Kyndall was sitting in bed, topless, arm underscoring her welty tits and the vertical scar between them, … Continue reading KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #4

EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)

    In this chapter, from the third section of the book, we see existence through the eyes of Sierra Temple (a classmate of Gloria Steinem’s), a privileged sophomore at Smith college, in ’57     TRACK FOUR / SIDE THREE: QUASAR   All the really grandiose classical music, the stuff for cavernous auditoriums and cathedrals and opera houses, the music performed by and for crowds of roughly the same social class, always sounds like collapsing architecture to me. Magnificent buildings crashing to earth, around your head, your ears,  at a stately and balletic tempo. Every minuscule sliver, chunk, pane, … Continue reading EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)


  Five or six or seven of my creations speak for themselves:   *** “To write at all well is to relinquish one’s casual understanding of the world. One’s self-protecting misconceptions of the world. To write at all well is to yank the veil off it. The process changes the writer, and only a changed writer can change the world for the reader reading him. Writing for a complicated, captive, paying audience of con men, arsonists, robbers, rapists, drug addicts, tax evaders, purse-snatchers, brawlers, burglars, bootleggers and sundry uncouth disturbers of the peace, I developed a complicated knowledge of what … Continue reading THAT PANOPLY OF VOICES (in my head)


It is 1974 and Benji Schamansky is a sideburned, aftershave-splashed, college prof with a bestselling paperback, THE PHYSICS of LIT, to his name. Benji enjoys a poorly-monitored teaching position at St. Jeff’s college of The Most Liberal Arts but all is not mellow. Recent developments  (aka The Regrettable Experiment) in his significant relationship,  the one between Benji and the beautiful and mysterious Prentis Bel, have left Benji feeling unsure about things…  if not Reality itself. The evening after the night of The Regrettable Experiment, Benji helps Prentis with the fondue after Prentis’ old college chum, Myrva, flies in from the … Continue reading KOOTCHIE TOWERS EXCERPT #3

THE INHERITANCE (a short story from the novel GERMANTOWN)

A cloud of noise from the far corner of Golders Park, a jangle of plaint and controversy. The vivid disturbance swelled as it swept the grass on abundant legs broadcasting the many-headed din of a thing so dirty-furred and spittle-spraying. It approached with all chains ringing and swooped its thirty four tails with snaggle-toothed grins proclaiming the man and his muttpack after all this time returned. The loudest runty ones fanned ahead like scouts yapping cocky and proud and the big ones and the old ones loped and trotted and limped behind with the prophet himself striding the rearmost calling … Continue reading THE INHERITANCE (a short story from the novel GERMANTOWN)

THE BAND (a short story from GERMANTOWN)

  [a short story from GERMANTOWN, a novel made of linked short stories following the intertwined histories of two families, from the early 1900s until the early 2000s]   **** A human being (who also happened to be property), born more than two hundred years before Benny Murcheson walked this earth, wrote: One morning, when I got upon deck, I saw it covered all over with the snow that fell over-night: as I had never seen any thing of the kind before, I thought it was salt; so I immediately ran down to the mate, and desired him, as well … Continue reading THE BAND (a short story from GERMANTOWN)

jizos av masi: a short story from GERMANTOWN

Every working day at 5:40 a.m., like a ninety six pound prize fighter in training, Bernadette Murcheson wakes up to the tinny bell of the wind-up alarm clock she got from her mother as a graduation gift at the end of high school. The little clock, after all these twenty four years, is the only thing left from that original windfall of dime store treasures she got to commemorate her big move into the world beyond Golders Park. The utilitarian nature of every one of those family-given gifts (alarm clock, stapler, can opener, sewing kit, compass, miniature crescent wrench set) … Continue reading jizos av masi: a short story from GERMANTOWN