JUST WORDS, MAN

Back in my starving artist daysI went to Teatro ZinZanni with my friend Paul. During a break between performances, the host pointed right at me. 

“You,” he said. “Get up here.”  

I complied. He was very short, I was very not, and he played the contrast for laughs while he circled me in his French outfit and accosted me in his English accent. 

“And what is it that you do, Mark?” 

“I’m a writer.”  

“A WRITER, eh?” 

Beat. 

“Who bought your ticket?”

It was funny because it hurt because it was true. (Paul got free tickets through his work.) 

Now, it’s been a geological eon since I was young and naïve enough to misbelieve I had to starve for my artwhich is not to say I’ve left it behind. Life is full, but I still carve out time to stay on my creative grind. It keeps my brain in shape. And it scratches an itch nothing else can touch.

Long-form stuff is my first love—e.g., I’m currently chipping away at a pilot script that’s ALMOST done (but not ALL done. With ALL done, there’s usually only one thing that you can do). But to give you a sense for my flavor, as it were, here’s a personal essay, a meta list, and a poem for good measure.

In high school my popular friend died in a fire
I finally got to share something with the cool kids
and that something was grief, and the struggle
to feel right in the face of it. The playoffs started

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  1. They quickly realized I’m a dude.
  2. I don’t know very many Taylor Swift songs.
  3. Those I do I don’t much care for.

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When your brain is compelled to rewire itself, relearn how to designate something for long-term memory, get it to stick, some weird shit happens.

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