Writing Samples

Monologue – from An Inked Heart

BETTE

Like any work of art, a tattoo begins with an idea. Not necessarily a good one; it can begin with the name of some soon-to-be ex, or the Tasmanian Devil, or Aerosmith. But a worthy tattoo begins with an equally worthy idea – something so intimately a part of yourself, you need to wear it on your skin.

The first touch of the needle, laying down the bare black-ink outline, doesn’t seem so bad. It stings a little, like when you brush against a sunburn. If it’s your first time, you might even laugh – that’s what I was afraid of? Then the artist stops for a moment, and you look down. There’s blood, your blood, mixed in with the ink, and you realize just what you’ve signed up for.

The needle starts to buzz again, and now it sounds like the drill in a dentist’s office. You grit your teeth instinctively. Now you feel the pain – when the needle digs in for a second time, when you’re already bruised and bleeding. Now it feels like being stabbed – the point driving into your flesh over, and over, and over again. You dig your fingers into the arm of the chair; you bite down hard on your bottom lip, trying not to be obvious as you check the clock, wondering why you wanted this in the first place.

But when they pause again and carefully wipe you clean, you can see. You recognize your design, your idea. You have been changed.

When they ask if you’re ready for more, this time the pain is welcome. You even find yourself starting to crave it. It is the touch of the fire that transforms you.

Dialogue – from Godzilla on Sundays

DALE
(notices the videotape on the coffee table)
What’ve you got there?

KADIN
(holds up the tape, sliding it halfway out of the cardboard sleeve)
I brought a little bit of entertainment for the evening.

DALE
Kadin, you dog. I’m a married man.

KADIN
(handing it over)
Godzilla Vs. Megalon.

DALE
That’s supposed to be one of the worst ones! Where’s the remote?
(Kadin holds it up, out of reach)
Gimme! Gimme!

KADIN
I don’t know … I think you’re too drunk to be in remote control. You better just give me back the tape, and I’ll put it in.

DALE
Give me the remote!

KADIN
Give me the tape.

DALE
Give me the remote!

KADIN
Hand over the tape first.

DALE
(a la Raiders of the Lost Ark)
No time to argue. Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip.

KADIN
(laughing, sets the remote down)
You realize that makes me Indiana Jones, and you die in the next scene.

DALE
Damn. Well, I’ll switch.
(snags the remote)
Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.

KADIN
Just put the damn tape in, Belloq.

DALE
(while doing so, sings to himself)
“Up from the depths, thirty stories high …”
(he settles back on the couch and hits a button on the remote)
I can’t believe you couldn’t use your influence to get these back on the air.

KADIN
Wait until I run the world. That’s the whole reason I’m entering the industry, to bring the finest in men in rubber suits to our children and our children’s children …
(Dale puts his hand over his heart and hums the National Anthem.)
… to raise awareness of the tragic plight of Japanese boys in short pants named Kenny –

DALE
Wait, their pants are named Kenny?

KADIN
Yes. All those times you thought the mothers were worried about their kids? They were actually calling out to their brutally short pants.

Poetry – “Gardening

my tongue slides
slick
sensuous
snail-trails
across your body

eyes flutter like bee-wings
dart from bright
to beautiful
from sun to shade

our hearts, hummingbirds
trapped between us
as i sip nectar
delicately, my proboscis
between petals

as i pull you down into the
rich
dark
damp
garden bed

while above
shades of
green
shiver

Prose – from “A History of Flight”

“One hundred and twenty-one feet! One hundred and twenty-one feet, by god!” Manny’s father was ecstatic, although the words had the wear of many repetitions.

“That’s one foot further than the Wright Brothers on their first trip,” his mother added, waiting for congratulations on her genetic achievement. “And he’s not even six years old.”

The guests from next door murmured uneasily. “Are you certain,” a female voice asked, “that it is absolutely safe, you know, to …such a young boy …”

“Oh, he follows all of the safety precautions to the letter,” Manny’s father assured them. “No child of ours takes foolish chances.”

Meanwhile, Manny crouched in his sandbox just beyond the light from the window. Carefully he piped liquid oxygen and hydrogen into the storage tanks fixed to the outside of his spacecraft. He kept his hands wrapped in his blankie, in case of a spill.

“I’ll tell you what, you can ask him yourself. Manny! Manny, come downstairs and say hello to our guests!” After a moment, his mother echoed the call with somewhat less patience.

Outside, the young boy turned his head, and his cherubic lips seemed on the verge of shaping a reply. But then he looked to the night sky, starlight reflecting in the depths of his huge, liquid eyes, and did not seem to hear their voices again.

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