A Curtain of Darkness
A Curtain of Darkness by Matt Briggs
I woke on the Sunday before my work week began after a week off during the Fourth of July with a massive shape in my left eye. It appeared like a hole in my field of vision. That is, it appeared like something that wasn’t.
As I stared at it, I could see through it like a slip of cellophane stained with spaghetti grease.
An Education in Lies
An Education in Lies by Matt Briggs
When I returned from Basic Training, I started looking for classes to take in writing. I was just past the registration date for the University of Washington Experimental College where there was a short story class taught by Richard Berman, M.F.A. The title at the end of his name, tacked on like P.H.D. seemed to indicate a professional status as a writer, certification by a board that confirmed his abilities as a genuine writer, although I was unsure what it meant.
Genre of Silence
Genre of Silence by Matt Briggs
My Father and the Genre of Silence My father died in 2011 and left behind him a rebuilt red Chevy Super Impala convertible 1968, a couple of houses, and about a half dozen shoeboxes full of several thousand photographs of the Central Cascade mountains. I hadn’t spoken with my father for five years before his death. Even before even though my dad had a lot to say and said it, his conversation was hardly intimate or even interactive.
Seattle is a Vortex
Seattle is a Vortex by Matt Briggs
I often stumble into a new part of Seattle. The smell of freshly poured concrete and sprayed paint creates a sensation like vertigo, like standing on top of the Aurora Bridge, staring down into the ship canal and realizing I’m standing on a shell of asphalt and concrete and steel wrapping the wind and current and muck. I might stand on a Seattle street with crowds milling around me next to a ten-story structure.
Pacific Highway South: Best American Strip City
Pacific Highway South: Best American Strip City by Matt Briggs
Walking the Dog I live across the street from a swampy vacant lot. Cottonwoods grow on the lot’s margins, and around the lot there are houses, apartment buildings, highways. There are a lot of people who never see one another.
A bird’s nest, empty most of the time except during the spring migration, clings to the cottonwood closest to my subdivision.
Fred Is Dead
Fred Is Dead by Matt Briggs
My uncle was obsessed with being alive to the point where he didn’t live at all. He filled a cardboard box with free verse, a landfill with green bottles and a tin urn with his ashes. When I was first aware of him, he was growing things out, weird like Howard Hughes. Uncle Fred decided to grow a whisker under his chin as long as it would grow.
Flag Ceremony by Matt Briggs
Sometime after I had been in my Army basic training unit long enough, I knew how to polish my boots until the surface held a thin, buffed glaze richer than the spay-on polish applied by the Drill Sergeants. The aerosol shine left a mucous sheen still shiny even after trail dirt and field dust coated their heels. I knew how to take my time stripping down the excess, black Kiwi wax and then applying a light touch and buffing the leather with my brush.