Beasts of Burden

Stairs 8First guest post by the finest writer living in my apartment. Welcome to my wife, Emily Culella.

Some paranormal experts believe that natural spaces, wood, dirt, fiber, hold the emotions of the past within their textures. A house, filled with sadness and regret, remains full of these emotions, long after the sad and regretful have died. The house retains the feelings, sunk deep into the rings of its wood, living mini lives and dying mini deaths over and over and over again.

When I was a child, my 5-person family spent summers in Alaska. continue reading…

Voice Box

Spire 8On the second Tuesday of each month, Fitzgerald’s night club in Berwyn, IL hosts a storytelling and music event called Voice Box. There is monthly theme for storytellers to work from, the themes being a song title, which usually reflects the season in some manner. This month’s theme was ‘Ghostbusters.’ Cathy Richardson, a fucking amazing singer, no joke, starts the night out by performing the theme song and then Voice Box founder, Maureen Muldoon, introduces the evening’s speakers. A story is told, either from the hip or pre-written (my comfort) and then Cathy comes back up and performs a song inspired from what she just heard being read, from ‘Rhiannon’ to ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’ to the Prentenders’ ‘The Wait’ to some of Cathy’s original. It’s an amazing continue reading…

On Being Haunted

Pogo 8If you grew up in Chicago, you learned of John Wayne Gacy as routinely as you did how to dress in layers during the winter. When I first heard of him he was alive, though jailed, mewed like a bird, and waiting to die. There, he was in the middle, in between the words of being and not being, a form transitioning from action to epilogue. There, he became a different type of threat, one that would live in legend and possibility. His legacy would be exhibited as a cautionary tale of over-trust, in baleful stories of warn, then, alone, in nightmares. When I first heard of him I was young, a bit younger than the many of the boys were when Gacy met them and had them to his home for work or to buy an old car, for sex, for unadorned companionship. At onset they shared a continue reading…

Seasons

20140721-134655-49615835.jpgI’ve been on a Roy Orbison kick lately, which makes me think about the end of summer. And it’s July. His music does this to me in the way Tom Waits does and some jazz does, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” for instance. I once listened to that album through earphones on the El, the Blue Line coming out of Chicago and heading towards the northwest and it was raining and it may have been one of the most cinematic things I’ve ever done, looking out the window, on a train, in lonely weather. Some music doesn’t have linear peaks and valleys so much as it has folds and that’s the music that braids with you in filaments of twine and you feel swallowed, sort of how winter swallows you and you bob there, waiting, existing, anticipating life while alive. continue reading…

3 Truths From Before I Was 10

400 81.

There was a teenage boy named Todd who once told me in his room how he would go underneath his bed and lie on top of his girlfriend most times she’d visit. Todd was the brother of a friend of mine whose apartment wasn’t far off and when he told me this I thought of how I had friends over to my apartment and we’d close the door, just as Todd told me he did, and because of that, at first shake, what Todd told me didn’t strike me as curious. The gesture of closing the door, of separation, was mostly okay in my home and it made me feel like an adult, which maybe is continue reading…