A Higher Power
A Higher Power by Matt Briggs
MY WIFE MARTY WAS IN AL-ANON. Marty always took my with her on what I thought of as her meet-and-greets. Marty wasn’t trying to sell anything. She wasn’t running for office, but rather I figured she was looking for something about herself in these meetings. These were retired boozers like she was, and they had moved and assembled lives out of whatever was left of their health, of their marriages, families, out of their cars that were still sometimes banged up in inexplicable places because of the type of collisions you have when you are blacked out.
Gap in the Grid
Gap in the Grid by Matt Briggs
AT COSTCO, WHILE WAITING FOR MY TIRES TO BE FIXED, I went for a walk along the Green River. I am at the Tukwila CostCo on a road named after the warehouses. I am in the parking lot of an office park of small businesses in warehouses. A stand of cotton-wood trees surrounds a pond that at first, I take to be an oxbow of the Green River, a slough of wet land.
New story in Pacifica Literary Review
New story in Pacifica Literary Review The orbital spiders began to go to work in late August. The mornings still held the warmth of the previous night. The moths came out of the marshland across the street. They hit the deck lamp at the back of the house. When I walked the dog to the elementary playground and back at dusk, I could see the moths arrive like a snowfall in reverse.
Des Moines Creek Ghost Story
Des Moines Creek Ghost Story Along the sleepy banks of Poverty Bay, I wouldn’t know that it was so. Russian and Vietnamese men fished for squid from the pier, and I walked into the rehabilitated forest, dripping and silent under the occasional squall of an airplane headed toward Sea Tac airport. I had been taking this walk since the park reopened a few years ago. I found the forest peaceful. Mushrooms and moss grew from the sides of the trees.
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 Hhhh
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.