The Short Story Advent Calendar

This Christmas Eve my short story Tripping Sunny Chaudhry was republished in the very awesome Short Story Advent Calendar. It was really exciting to be part of this project. The editor of the calendar, Michael Kingston, kindly interviewed me about the story and my process. And I was amazed to look at Twitter that night and find that none other than amazing comedian Patton Oswalt (!!!) tweeted about the piece: 

"Everyone's shitty. Everyone's hurting." If I ever publish a collection of short stories, I want Patton Oswalt to do the blurb on the front.


A Couple of Sonnets

Sometimes when I'm having a lot of feelings it helps to write a sonnet… or two. I got the idea from my wonderful poet friend Lawrence. What I love about sonnets is that the rules are so strict, they almost force you to get emotionally organized. Also, it doesn't take long to dash one off—maybe half an hour—so even if you don't end up with a great poem, you do get a pretty satisfying creative-emotive quick fix.


So all you want, you say, my love, is peace.
And peace from what? I think I know: from me. 
Quiet’s out of our reach. My mind’s a feast
of fury, pain, despair, anomaly.
I think about you leaving me for her:
the perfect and imaginary girl.
Some poised wry nerd who’s able to infer
the meaning behind all your words’ tough whirl.
But then, eventually, I realize
that you don’t want companionship or smarts.
A woman, you're afraid, would terrorize
you with her wild whims and desperate heart.
So I guess I’ll be alone and hectic
since I cannot be your antiseptic. 


I look to you for reassurance when
I’m feeling lost or desperate or odd. 
You tell me not with typing, not with pen.
You couldn’t, not with words, not with a nod.
My desperation, boy, it goes beyond
you, beyond myself. It’s metaphysics:
We all of us are spinning free, no bond
to keep us held together. I’m seasick!
I’m queasy with aloneness! I’m afraid
that everything you’ve told me’s been a lie. 
Maybe there's no real reason to unbraid
myself from you, and yet I fear we'll die
without achieving greatness, not through love. 
To think I thought I fit you like a glove.