The Centripetal Force of Holding Hands
The Centripetal Force of Holding Hands by Matt Briggs
WHEN PAT TOOK BOARDWALK, PARK PLACE WAS STILL IN PLAY. He couldn’t resist touting his slumlord skills. He would lock us in tenements at the edge of the Monopoly board so foul that he wouldn’t have to call the exterminator because not even vermin would live there. “I’ll charge you a fortune and use the cash to buy useless things like gourmet marshmallows to feed to the pigeons.
Depressions on the Moon
Depressions on the Moon by Matt Briggs
ELISSA NEVER TOLD JASON ANYTHING. Rather Elissa’s texts became shorter and less frequent. At her peak, Elissa had been a three-times a day texter. She sent him a short note in the morning telling him something about her dreams. She had vivid and violent dreams. She dreamt she was a starling that had gone on a rampage against the squirrels in her neighborhood. It was a re-occurring dream and had become a running joke between them.
My Depakote Regimen
My Depakote Regimen by Matt Briggs
A DEPAKOTE DREAM IS UNLIKE A PAXIL DREAM. It is unlike any of the dreams I don’t remember from before I began my chemical regimen. I don’t remember my old dreams exactly, but I know I had them. I would wake with a flash of something: a boat on a clear lake, the sound of a train on tracks. When I woke from my Depakote sleep, I woke with nothing.
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.
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.