“Small Word.” Moving Words, Spring 2018
“Candy.” Indigent Press, Fall 2017
“Every Hole Is a Tunnel.” Word Riot, Summer 2013
“The Spectator.” Luna Luna Magazine, Fall 2016
“Why I Write.” The Mom Egg, Fall 2012
“wash warm, like colors.” Flatbush Review, Winter 2017
“Dear Captain.” Sweet Tree Review, Summer 2016
“The Spider Spins My Map.” Yes, Poetry, Winter 2012
“Monthly Feature Profile.” High Expectations, Priddy Learning Academy, Spring 2015-present
“How to Be Your Own Tour Guide.” GroundReport, Spring 2012
“De-Cluttering the Mind: How to Simplify for Springtime.” GroundReport, Spring 2012
“Cigarettes, Cellphones, and You.” GroundReport, Winter 2012
“The Eating Curve: Lessons in Loving Your Body and Yourself.” GroundReport, Winter 2012
Recent Sample Writing
A Dose of Cultural Reality: Tim and Eric’s 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour
Tim and Eric’s 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour performance stands out, true to form, in more absurd ways than one–but only one strikes as curious. Corporate brand logos from food store chains to financial firms to health insurance companies appear in visuals and dialogue, helping to shape the narrative Tim and Eric are known to resist. While the appearance of name-brands generally sounds distasteful, Tim and Eric’s transparency must be applauded. They are simply responding to the cost of doing business as an alt-comedy act. Blending the realities of corporate-driven culture and comedic performance, and occasionally pointing to their own awareness in doing so, Tim and Eric offer entertainment that is as postmodern, progressive, and honest as you can get.
Tim and Eric have a long history of calling attention to the tropes of business, media, and advertising. In one episode of their acclaimed show,Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job!, they announce dozens of made-up corporations that make laughably nonsensical products (such as Pasta Bear, a teddy bear filled with spaghetti, and Cinco Phone, an outdated yet expensive piece of technology), all stemming from one main conglomerate: Cinco. Over the show’s ten-year-run, the pair’s consistent recognition of the transient, fragmented, and wasteful nature of big business is uncanny and unmatched.
Neoliberalism is not just a buzz word, but a concept developed by leading scholar, Henry Giroux. In his book, On Critical Pedagogy, Giroux defines what he calls, “neoliberal pedagogy,” which refers to the many ways consumers are taught to accept social inequality and its unethical repercussions. In the Tim and Eric Child Clown Outlet Commercials, for example, child-clowns are sold, exploited, and disposed of once they are no longer of use. Eventually, the outlet goes out of business. In another Tim and Eric sketch-commercial about real estate, Tim and Eric compete with one another for the lowest discount prices, slandering each other verbally and physically. Exploited labor, expendability of goods, and public defamation are just some of the results and tactics of a hyper-driven economy built on educating the public to think that our cultural behavior we accept as normal is just business as usual.
Of course, Tim and Eric is a comedy–not an ethical inquiry–but it cannot be ignored that, thematically, the duo has wrestled with observations they have obviously made within the consumerist culture we all share. We laugh because the aspects of it they explore are so recognizable. Transparency, like the kind Tim and Eric give, is a gift in a culture influenced by neoliberalism, one of the main characteristics of which is a misdirection and obfuscation of fact. There is a reason why “fake news” is a buzzword. No one can really tell the difference.
In Tim and Eric’s performance comedy, contradictions are brought to light. In the light, we have the chance to see and think more clearly, maybe even more freely. In their TV show, they perform the absurdity of being a human being in the world. In their 2020 live performance, they take it a step further, using the absurdity of being performers who dare to challenge cultural and social practices that we don’t question often enough. Calling blatant attention to the fact that they use corporate sponsorship parodies all of the red tape intricacies and dullness that come with it. Without giving anything away, I will leave fans with this: be prepared for the Tim and Eric you know and love, with as much self-awareness as you’d expect.
Recent Sample Writing
I LOVE THE SUPER SUPER MARKET
I LOVE THE SUPER SUPER-MARKET. I GO THERE JUST TO LOOK. THEY HAVE A LONG “HEALTHY FOOD” ISLE AND “ORGANIC CANDY” IS IN THE MIDDLE. TO GET THERE, I PASS THE MEATS AND TURN AFTER THE SOAPS. I LOOK AS I WALK DOWN THE ISLE, AND THEN I LEAVE.
THE LADY’S SON CALLED AGAIN TODAY AND TOLD ME I HAVE TO PAY RENT OR ELSE. SINCE THE LADY DIED I HAVE NOT PAID. SIX MONTHS. IT IS NOT MY FAULT NO ONE CAME TO COLLECT. THAT NOBODY CALLED UNTIL NOW.
THE SON SOUNDS ABOUT MY DAUGHTER’S AGE. I HAD A DOG, BUT IT DIED. WHEN I WAS NOT PAYING FOR WATER, I THOUGHT I MIGHT WASH DOG BED, AND TRY TO SELL IT. BUT NOW I THINK I WILL JUST DONATE.
THIS HOUSE IS WHERE THE LADY LIVED WITH HER HUSBAND AND SON. THEN THEY BECAME LANDLORD AND MOVED INTO DIFFERENT HOUSE. THAT’S WHEN I MOVED IN. THERE WAS A PICTURE OF THIS HOUSE ON THE SUPER-SUPERMARKET TOWN BULLETIN. I THOUGHT IT LOOKED LIKE A HOUSE TO RAISE A FAMILY IN, BUT THAT DID NOT BOTHER ME.
IT HAS TWO FLOORS WHICH IS MORE THAN ONE PERSON NEEDS. NOT EVEN TWO PEOPLE NEED TWO FLOORS. IT IS ON A NICE SIDE OF TOWN WITH OPTION TO BUY, WHICH IS WHY THE SON WANTS ME OUT.
THE LAST TIME THE LADY’S SON CALLED, I COULD HEAR HIM RUBBING HIS FOREHEAD. HE SAID, “THE FIRST OF THE MONTH—OR ELSE. I SAID, “I WILL LEAVE IT UNDER THE DOORMAT.” ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH, HE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR. I DID NOT ANSWER. THEN HE STARTED BANGING ON THE DOOR AND SHOUTING, “IT’S NOT HERE!” AND I DID NOT ANSWER. HE WAS ONLY EMBARRASSING HIMSELF.
THE SUPER-SUPERMARKET HAS SUPER-SIZED CARTS THAT FEEL LIKE BOATS AS YOU PUSH THEM ALONG. THEY FLOAT WITH LITTLE EFFORT. THEY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE IF SOMEONE WERE TO GET IN MY WAY, I COULD HIT THEM AND BE OKAY.
WHEN MY DOG DIED, I DID NOT CRY, THOUGH I SHOULD HAVE NOTICED ITS EAR INFECTION. IT HAD BEEN SCRATCHING ITS EAR SO BAD IT WOULD BLEED. THEN I GUESS THE DOG TOOK TO BITING.
AT FIRST I COULDN’T TRACE THE SOURCE OF THE INFECTION. I WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND FOUND THE DOG’S MOUTH IN FOAM. WHEN I PICKED UP THE DOG IT WENT LIMP LIKE A GARDEN HOSE. I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE KEPT THE DOG.
I WAS OUT ON THE FRONT ONE DAY WATCHING THE NEIGHBOR KIDS TOSS FRISBEE WITH THEIR FATHER. THEY ALL STOPPED WHEN THEY SAW ME PICK UP THIS LITTLE DOG AND SAID, “HEY! MISSUS! YOU GOT A PUP?” THE KIDS CAME RUNNING OVER AND THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I MET ANY OF THE NEIGHBORS IN TWENTY YEARS.
I WAS ONCE YOUNG JUST LIKE HIS WIFE AND MARRIED JUST LIKE HER TOO. HER KIDS ARE ABOUT EIGHT OR NINE. THAT IS JUST A GUESS BECAUSE HER HAIR LOOKED LIKE MINE WHEN I WAS THAT AGE AND WALKED OUT ON MY HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER.
MY DAUGHTER HAD HAIR LIKE MINE. THIN AND TANGLY AS LACE.
IF I HAD A SON, I BET HE WOULD LOOK LIKE HIS FATHER. HE WOULD HAVE CALLED ME THE SUPER-EST MOM IN THE WORLD AND I WOULD HAVE CALLED HIM A FOOL.
THE NEXT TIME THE LADY’S SON CALLS, I THINK I WILL PUT A NOTE UNDER THE DOORMAT. IT WILL SAY, “I AM SORRY.” OF COURSE, HE WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. HE WOULD PROBABLY THINK I WAS JUST A CRAZY LADY, UNLIKE HIS MOTHER WHO, HE SAID, WOULD NOT HAVE APPRECIATED MY KIND OF BEHAVIOR.
MY DAUGHTER WAS ALWAYS MORE LIKE ME. IN THE BEGINNING OF THE END WE SAT IN THE TV ROOM ALL DAY WITH THE PHONOGRAPH PLAYING DEAN MARTIN, “EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY SOMETIMES.” I KEPT HER HOME FROM SCHOOL AND WE ATE CHOCOLATE AFTER CHOCOLATE FROM THE SUPER-SUPER-MARKET, AND WHEN WE RAN OUT I WOULD TELL HER TO SIT ON THE COUCH AND NOT MOVE. “CAN I COME WITH YOU” SHE WOULD ASK AND I WOULD TUSSLE HER SIKLY KNOTS AND SAY, “WAIT.” I WOULD GO TO THE SUPER-SUPER-MARKET AND COME BACK WITH BAGS FULL OF CANDY AND HER WAVING LIKE A TINY MANIAC SHOUTING “YAY! MOMMY IS SUPER-SUPER MOMMY!” OF COURSE I FORGAVE HER FOR LEAVING THE COUCH.
SHE AND I WOULD EAT CANDY FOR DINNER AND FALL ASLEEP AND WHEN MY HUSBAND CAME HOME I COULD HEAR HIM SHAKE HIS HEAD AND SLAM THE DOOR TO OUR BEDROOM. THAT WOULD STARTLE US AWAKE AND I WOULD WAIT TO EXCHANGE KNOWING GLANCES WITH MY DAUGHTER, WHO WAS SEVEN AT THE TIME, ABOUT HOW FOOLISH DADDY WAS TO THINK HE COULD HOLD ANYONE, ESPECIALLY ME, ACCOUNTABLE. BUT I GUESS SOMEONE HAD TO BE SAD AROUND THE HOUSE FOR THAT. AND I GUESS IT HAD TO BE MY HUSBAND.
IF I HAD A SON, I LIKE TO THINK HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAD ONE. THAT WAY, I MIGHT STILL HAVE SOMEONE TO LEAN ON, SOMETIMES.
WHEN MY DOG DIED, I THOUGHT I WOULD NOT CARE, BUT NOW THAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IT, MAYBE I DO. THE PHONE RINGS AND RINGS AS I WALK OUT THE DOOR TO GO TO THE SUPER-SUPER MARKET. IT PROBABLY RINGS ALL DAY, BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO HEAR IT. I HAVE DISCONNECTED THE ANSWERING MACHINE. I WALK DOWN THE HEALTHY CANDY ISLE AND LEAVE EMPTY-HANDED. I HAVE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND THIS SOLITUDE AND LONGING, MY NEED FOR BOTH, AND HOW EVERYTHING THAT ITS TENSION HAS PRODUCED IS ALSO WHAT HAS PREVENTED ME FROM UNDERSTANDING IT. BUT IT IS POSSIBLE TO LET THINGS WHITHER AND DIE, AND TO FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR THAT, EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T DESERVE IT.