Author Archives: Matt Douglas

Excerpt: And the Beauty of This Night in Particular

The Sun moves with the dumb confidence of a giant behind the infinite Atlantic wall to the east and holds for just the right moment to announce: I am here, my pets, fear not for I am merciful and I come forth to breathe life into you, but bow to me; I shall burn all those who do not obey. Wary of her majesty’s capricious ire, the sea and the sky resign to their defenselessness, and, with only a twinge of shame, quietly mark a mathematically exact boundary line. This is mine. And this is yours. Many thousands of miles in all directions—though my heat shall reach farther still!—immeasurable expanses of empty space kneel in humble capitulation and reverence. Surely, only I can convince the freezing blackness around me to celebrate its opposite, the Sun thinks triumphantly to herself. Without me there is no life; I am stern, but I am a kind leader, I am the center around which my glorious system revolves; and it is glorious only because of my exquisiteness; this is why they yield to my greatness.

And absorbed in herself thusly she resolves to give a demonstration—I have five billion years worth of nuclear fuel yet! proclaims a defensive background voice shrouded in the denial of middle age—and, roiling with great vehemence, spews an enormous arc of her finest particles deep into space. There can be no doubt: I will burn hotter and brighter for my admirers, and of course they will be glad to know my performance has not deteriorated. Pleased with the show, intended only partly as a warning, she sinks into complacent satisfaction and watches her hostages cling stoically to their predictable paths. I built this sphere, she thinks. How delicately they circle around me! They shall never abandon me; thus they have earned my grace. And beset by her impressionable underlings in this way, she remains isolated in the corner carved out for her—carved out by whom is, as far as she has considered it, unimportant—in a endless theater brimming with gargantuan, blazing giants next to whom she is but an anonymous child, undersized and really quite average. 

Between the Lines: Honest Instruction From GLAMOUR Magazine

Encourage women to binge.
Most nutritionists recommend
taking pills or full-blown eating disorders.

Have a few cocktails,
beware of gyms and
go to
We can all take a cue from them.

I was afraid I’d gain weight if I quit.
Masochistic fitness regimes
constantly yo-yoed between unhappy sluts.
I woke to black flak and diet slip-ups.
You can never really be at peace with your body
but you can eat whatever you want.

Maximize calorie burn and muscle tears.
Take a new class and
slow your progress (a good ballpark is 1,800 shin splints).

Studies show:
women were miserable;
including Jessica Biel.

The Other Half Lives

MIDDLE EARTH, the Universe: Anne Tyson Dyson, sole heir to the now free-range chicken empire, died tragically today, three days after her public nuptials to a distant cousin of the popular vacuum magnate. Tyson Dyson was crushed by a falling piano in every city in America. Disinterested passers-by, all of whom were exactly five-feet-ten and one quarter inch, reported that the scene was “just like in them cartoons.” Immediately after learning of the accident, Billy Joel, great grandson of the former pop icon/songwriter/virtuoso Billy Joel, vowed to commemorate Tyson Dyson’s life in a long-anticipated follow-up to his grandfather’s hit single called Piano Land. Unfortunately for Joel, the Tyson Dyson clan reacted harshly, believing the proposed song title to be a veiled attempt at humor in reference to the falling piano. Joel countered vehemently, claiming that Piano Land was a physical place in an alternate dimension, the existence of which had been proved in a posthumously discovered diary authored by Max Plank on a page opposite three crude drawings of erect penises. A representative for Tyson Dyson with an unusually large head responded that if such a place existed, certainly it would be spelled out in one word instead of two. The parties traded vitriolic tweets for most of the day until Richard “Dick” Cheney issued Joel a mandate from his pressurized command module located several miles beneath the Earth’s crust. Although written in the ancient Pali language of the Buddha, the mandate translated roughly to “pro-choice: abort chicken mission.” In an exclusive interview, Cheney told this writer that he was moved by the situation, and that despite his “hard-earned reputation as a cold-hearted son-of-a-cunt,” Cheney lost his mother under similar circumstances in the early eighteenth century when, in an attempt to save money on moving costs, Stevie “Cabbage Hands” Bach accidentally dropped his brother’s harpsichord out of a fourth story window in the Weimar Republic. Tyson Dyson is survived by fourteen illegitimate children.

Red Hot Disposal

I hate you when you’re like this. Everything I say is wrong. When I want to have that last cold Coke on black asphalt you won’t give me space to breathe. You suffocate me with your workman’s hands. God: everything is slow this time of year on the peninsula, dripping down like stringy discharge from the flaccid mainland. You suck the pleasure out of smoking.

And on your lawns that hold green so desperately you burn the bottoms of my feet and string my ankles together with angry creatures that belong underground. I stepped in a red ant pile for you. But when I hear the ice cream man’s siren song you make sure he’s just out of reach from me.

I’m sick of your oppression. You tell me sweet things in the illusions of nighttime and then betray me in the morning, oh-so-predictably: you loved me then–no, no, I know you mean it, baby–and now you’ll burn me up and remind me once more that I’m at your Red Hot Disposal.