Introductory Notes on a Date, Uptown Chicago, 2008, November

You want a drink? Want to follow me?


And this is what we talk about: Sexual Perversity In Chicago? We’d do better discussing the contours of ugliness in this nasty god’s splayed out seventeen year old. God in this total thing. Count it that famous charm, a wanting to get inside more than anything else, more than wanting to know the burn, the glow of your nasturtium.


This light is your power and you make this room’s glass go humid, waitresses into such a mangled rhapsody, bricolage that cannot be undone. And there is the way my breath smells. Fat nutria butter now greasing yellow. Consider, if you are counting – there are fingers longer than me –

the key to tinier loves: here is eccentricity: lockslockslockslockslocks


This liking’s a tremolux. A seeing after the care of the diminutive of excitement, anxiety of the garden variety. This is time to taste the beer kicking way down inside you lyrics. You can sing my name if you need, even if you’re not a singer. Sing Gary. See how it biscuits in your mouth: Gary.

(Comfort) (Autograph Pens Clicking In Support)

Marriage is not a thing to hold against anyone. Even the lonely line cook. He cooks you ducks, I know. Sexual, decadent ducks. Feel the reduction plating your teeth. It’s like we bleed like bank work and can’t be helped. For a very long time.

Let us make all of this shorter! Feel the combustion in all of our smallness!

(Enlightenment, Really)

Think of Chicago. Think of the north of Chicago, the heart of the north of Chicago. Anything is easily uttered when there’s no more care for the village, or Pittsburgh.

Not to say I know ways of being – of course I do! Just to say that for everything, for the shade of your back in the purple green lights of the liquor store under the train, for the acting in your sex, for the frustration in the way we play, for how our hinging silences are especially wrong, for all of this, there is a price. Ask any other.



Gary F. Sheppard’s writing has appeared in New York Tyrant, Word Riot,
and Everyday Genius. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi where he
co-edits The Yalobusha Review and Kitty Snacks Magazine.