"She bit me only once during the course of our relationship, and I suppose I should be grateful. The bleeding was not nearly as severe as I had anticipated, and her venom took a good ten minutes to travel through my bloodstream."

from "Loving the Monster," in the Danger City anthology

"I begged for her to take me back. I cried and read her some awful poetry from a payphone outside a Texaco station. Truckers walked past, delivering literary criticism with their bloodshot eyes."

from "The Great Prairie Dog Vacuum," in The Whirligig

"In MacArthur Park, I watched as women with sores on their faces sat beneath the trees and smoked cocaine out of slender glass pipes. A few blocks away, alpha males emerged from skyscrapers and were brought cars that looked like sharks and manta rays. There was no sense to the city—no pattern or order that justified the fact that people suffered."

from "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Creep," in the Awkward One anthology

"The walls were moving. The bed was shimmering with ants. A million insects were carving paths across the woman I had loved for seven years.

'Baby,' she said. 'If you still believe in love, we can live together like two corpses stripped bare in the sun.'

I ran to put on my underwear, but the ants already had them."

from "Attack of the Pantysniffer Ants," in the Awkward Two anthology

"I found myself skipping over literature, as the vermin found it boring. Mythology was also largely irrelevant to the rats, although they liked the general concept of Prometheus getting his liver pecked to bits. In economics, however, my new pupils excelled, drawing logical conclusions from complicated masses of fact and number. Politics also inspired a remarkable acuity in the rats."

from "Teacher's Pets," in the Danger City II anthology

Dai: So you haven’t read my poem.

Mercury: Is it different from any of the others? I have enough of your poems scribbled on cocktail napkins and paper bags and postcards and advertisements for escort services to fill a fucking library. The Library of Abandonment and Liquor Stains, that’s what I’d call it. 

from "The Mummy and the Bodhisattva," co-written with Jai Chun and produced at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York

"The antidote for despair is watching a desert tortoise chew on wildflowers until his mouth is smeared with green lipstick from the plant’s juices. And with the knowledge of what faces this animal, it is an act of true hopefulness and courage to take a photograph of this scene and share it with others. To say to our friends, our family, our teachers, our elected officials, 'This is what I’ve witnessed. This is what is worth protecting.'"

from Tortoises Through the Lens, a conservation photography book edited by David Lamfrom and Rana Knighten. All proceeds from this project go to the conservation of the Mojave Desert tortoise, an endangered animal.