Simon Moya-Smith

I was conducting some very serious research on priapism in the ranks of Custer’s 7th Cavalry when I stopped to read a feculent piece in The Denver Post Opinion section....

Simon Moya-Smith

FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014 –1:03 P.M. DENVER, COLORADO – I’ve been without sleep for 24 hours now. … My synapses aren’t firing. I’m hallucinating – not badly, though. It’s still just bees and flies – not yet bunnies with fangs or god-awful Humpty Dumpty looking guys. Thunderclaps smack outside my door. I’ve got weed in my pipe, cappuccino in my cup and Jack Lemon on the tube. But I feel like listening to some deep classical compositions in minor chords. Maybe Mozart? Bach? Hell, maybe not even classical at all. It might take my mood into the deep, the dark, those pits of agony, anger and despair. No. I don’t want to go there. … More coffee. The weed can wait. It’s legal here in Colorado so why not partake? Everything in moderation, balance. Still, you can never have too much of a good thing, they say, but Maureen Dowd of the New York Times did … to the point where she reported that she was convinced she had died and was on her way to sit beside the likes of Jerry Garcia and other ‘60s hippies in headbands, beards and blades of grass in their ass from free loving in public parks.

“As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me,” she reported. Dowd had passed through these parts recently and wolfed down a fine caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar, but she ate the whole goddamn thing. Bad craziness there. Or maybe not. She’s new to the whole budding legal weed culture in these parts. The red-eyed granola who sold her the edible should’ve warned her that it never turns out well when a novice goes head long into unfamiliar substances. Moderation. Right. Break it up. Savor small bites. You wouldn’t quaff an entire bottle of Kentucky whiskey now would you? Of course not. Jesus. You’ve been warned. …

Yes. Life is different in Colorado these days. I can sit on my patio with a joint between my lips and wave at the fuzz as he drives by, barely eyeing me. Years ago had I’d try to pull such an audacious stunt the badger assuredly would’ve slammed his cruiser into park, charged out and barked, “Who the hell do you think you are? Smoking that in front of me, you little snarky sonofabitch!” But no. Times have changed, and it weirds out the older generation who remember the days when officious cops would haul off their family and friends feet first to prison to serve five year sentences for having a joint in their purse or pocket or sock.

“Yeah, man,” Grandpa said, “you’d go away for a long time if you were caught with some (weed) back then.”

Now, I can head over to the grocer, pick up some milk, eggs, and then, on my way back to the family home, pop into Northern Lights pot dispensary and get a single joint, which comes rolled fat at the tip and packaged in a vial stuffed into a plastic Ziploc-type bag. This is weed freedom folks, but what’s more is that its simply freedom.

OK. I’m still hallucinating – just a bit, but I haven’t had any weed at all; this is all due to my lack of sleep and those vicious dreams I dream whenever dreaming happens. Weed’s good for those in dire need of serious slumber, I’m told. But I’ve never used it for that. I’ll spark my fine grandfather pipe in front of books, rows of books, stacks of books, blank papers, too. Once in a while I’ll whip out my early 20th century typewriter with its moist ribbon and enjoy the sound of the beast’s bang – its click and clack as I feed my addiction for the written word. The pipe to my right. My quill on the block of papers wet with queer thoughts, late at night: “WHAT IF CHOCOLATE IS TOO SINFUL FOR THE LIKES OF HEAVEN? IS HEAVEN VOID OF CHOCOLATE? DO PEOPLE IN HELL BURN AT THE ANKLES YET STILL SUCK DOWN RIVERS OF CHOCOLATE SAUCE? WOULD YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN IF CHOCOLATE IS ONLY FOUND IN HELL? WOULD GOD AT LEAST GIVE OUT A DAY PASS TO HEAVENERS WHO ARE ADDICTED TO CHOCOLATE? SWEET JESUS! IS THERE A CHOCOLATE BAR CALLED ‘SWEET JESUS’? IF NOT THERE SHOULD BE. …

Weed doesn’t facilitate these types of odd rants. In fact, to the contrary. I have to be stone cold sober, or at least stoned on caffeine, to get the real writing done, bub. “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Ernest Hemingway famously said that, and though a Jack & Coke on the rocks is, indeed, a part of my writing process, I much prefer the subtle periodic plumes of smoke or the meanness of bone-cracking caffeine. In any sense, know your limits, but, jumping Jesus, don’t judge your limits by the limits of those around you. OK. Enough of the wisdom, then. Music. We need music! …


The hallucinations have turned into the wandering stars you see on your eyelids after you’ve stared hard into a beaming light bulb on the ceiling. The bees and flies are all gone. No Humpty Dumpty to fall off storybook walls. There are rabbits, though – yet they have no fangs, just big feet, fluffy tails and teeth like Gary Busey. The storm clouds are now far to the east, and tornado bait sky watchers are hunkering down preparing for the next finger of God to stab and smear the earth and destroy everything they hold dear. … And these folks don’t always see it coming. Once in a while a fantastic funnel comes in the night through the ceiling like a meth head on bath salts and lands right on Dorothy, putting an end to the happiness that once resided there oh so comfortably and oh so ephemerally...

Simon Moya-Smith

“Who killed me?” I asked.
“Do you want the name of the actual person or the asshole who gave the order?” he said.
“I suppose the latter,” I uttered, gripping my neck.
“Abraham Lincoln.”
“That hypocritical sot!”...

Simon Moya-Smith
On Thursday, a plaque was unveiled in Minnesota and, in that moment, centuries of Native American military sacrifices were honored...
Frequent ICTMN contributor Simon Moya-Smith appeared on Fox News last night to discuss the Washington Redskins and the letter sent by 50 U.S...
Simon Moya-Smith

It was midnight, and I decided to sacrifice some virgins.

“Why not?” I shouted. “What’s the point of being found guilty of a crime if you don’t even get to enjoy committing the thing?”

“What’d you say?” he said.

“Never mind,” I blistered. “Keep looking.”...

Simon Moya-Smith

I just ordered another, and I don't want to look at the goddamn note—the bill—the one in my pocket. Not again. I'm doomed. Oh well. Que sera sera.

The bar is almost empty. Sinatra croons out of speakers unseen about the “wee small hours of the morning.” And that's what these are, the maudlin hours. Midnight – when lonely souls hug inanimate pillows and beasts with venomous crotches prowl and thieve the light from once-wondrous eyes. But I'm not brooding on that now. I have the note in my hand, my hand in my pocket, and I'm about to read it again. ... 

Close to $100,000 in the hole, it reads. Signed, -Your Masters and Bachelors Degrees. ... Shit. To hell with apple pie and baseball, Jack. American as debt. Right. ...

The bartender wipes down a glass with a rag, and then, with his fingers, gently massages a lipstick stain off one of them. Did he know her, the patron with the lips? The poor bastard. He's lovesick. I can spot these sad sacks by their red, rheumy eyes, their slouched backs and how they consistently eye their phones in a desperate hope that the love lost, the heartbreaker, will call any minute and say, "I love you. I made a mistake. Come home."

But no. That's not reality, folks. So he continues to wipe down the martini glasses, the shot glasses and now the bar, sniffling here and again. He's probably waited all night long, his shift, to let out a good wail, and it would appear that now I'm the only wiggy skull left between him and it. Time to go.... Yes. The poor bastard. Let it out, man. I've been there. We all have, and damn the liar who says he hasn't. The prat.

I hailed a cab, crawled in claws first and found a crumpled New York Times on the seat. Like a good friend with bad news the paper seemed to have been waiting for me, so I thumbed through it, ignoring the bill still in my pocket. "Where to, sir?" the cabbie said. "Her house!" I blurted. "She's expecting me." The driver examined me through his rear view mirror ... me, this excited passenger speaking in code and wrestling with a day-old paper in the back of his sullied cab. "Where?" he asked with a tinge of concern. "Her house, man! Her house. In Wash Heights. She does yoga. All hippies do." 

"OK," he responded. "Take the West Side Highway then?" 

"Good idea. Yes. The West Side Highway. Go now. We’re out of time! The hour is late and I have a date!"

And for 30 or so minutes the driver in red slammed on the gas of the yellow bee and zipped in and out of late-night New York City traffic, leaning on the horn and damning drivers and drunk jaywalkers in skirts and loosed ties until we got to the elevated freeway on the bank of the whipping Hudson.

We arrived to her apartment building with a loud shrill of the tires. The mad cabbie kicked me out of the car and, as quickly as he could, sped off into the bright lights of the city. He slowed the sedan as he approached an intersection—the red lights, but kept on his way, not stopping, only checking for traffic on either side, and then he was gone, a blur in the distance and a memory of mine to forget with all the rest of the trivial shit that happens in life.

I rang the buzzer to her shoebox apartment. No answer. Try again, I thought. No answer. Damn. No date then, and the bill continued to weigh heavily in my slacks. So I sat there on the corner outside of her flat for a bit and brooded intensely. Lie back on the concrete, maybe, stare at the stars, possibly, I thought – at least until the fuzz comes and barks at me to “move on” or a mutt comes to piss on me. And this is when the ugly ruminations chewed at my skull and dragged my mood into the gutter:

It’s a bastard of a situation when you’re $100,000 in debt to Uncle Sam yet insufferable citizens of the Know It All Nation continue to hit you over the head with, “Oh, you’re Native American? Well, shit then, you guys don’t have to worry about tuition. …”...

Simon Moya-Smith
Booming in this steel box. Frantic bodies dash to dingy railcars they’ll never catch...
Simon Moya-Smith

I don't know if Woody Allen did it. I'd like to think the four-eyed filmmaker didn't sexually assault the girl, Dylan, but only he knows the truth, and she does, too – and maybe also the fly that was on the wall that fateful day in 1992....