A new light

So I’m streaming my writing sessions on twitch now. I couldn’t find a text editor that looked pretty enough, so I’m using Sonic Pi for now. That way, I can also make a little music for my sessions in addition to the visual bells and whistles.

It’s a pretty interesting experience, having folks watching me right poetry on the screen. My first two sessions were poetry writing based on prompts I came up before going live. I like that, but I think I prefer writing poetry in private, so I feel capable of being more honest, then sharing it. So, what I’m going to do is probably write and edit short stories in my live stream. Since I’m working on a collection of short stories for 2019, I think that will go well. I’ve already got a lot of them started, so I also won’t need writing prompts.

There’s another reason I changed the content for my stream, though. The little experiment I was doing with what I like to call “micro dreams” is kind of rough. I believe I wrote about my goal on this blog before, but I’ll recap, just to do it.

If you’ve read either of my poetry books, or some of the stuff I’ve posted here, you know my writing can get just about as honest as it gets. After my second collection, I felt kind of burnt on that style of writing. My source of inspiration felt tapped. I’d just finished watching Twin Peaks: The Return at the time, and was really inspired by the over-arching theme of dreams. I thought it would be neat to do a poetry collection each page would tell a brief story, or inspire a specific mood. Not super complex poems, but ones that could still be meditated on a bit.

For example, I’d write a poem about driving through the desert at night with a girl in the passenger seat. Her eyes light up the road, so you turn off the headlights. She closes her eyes tight right before a hard turn and you can’t see, sending the car flying off the road.

It’s is a fun exercise in something I didn’t normally do. I think a lot of the poetry that is going into my next collection is some of the best I’ve written. It’s definitely new territory, though, and it takes more thought. A lot more imagination, since my previous style of writing about myself didn’t really require much.

So, the stream. I’ve got the start do dozens of stories that I’ll be working on live. I’ve also got another novel that I may throw into the mix. Either way, I really think I’m going to enjoy this experience. A few other folks stream writing sessions on Twitch, but they’re fairly regular writing sessions. Since I tried to spice mine up a bit, I feel like I’ve got a tiny edge. It’s a late night session (for me), there’s chill music that I program and change throughout the session, and my pink, embedded cam feed fits well with the aesthetic of Sonic Pi. It’s good. I’m trying to make it very interactive, so people can participate in prompts and edits, or whatever. I feel good about it, and I think it’s a tiny bit of the future of writing. There’s much more to come as I stream more and more.

As of right now, I’ll be live at 9 pm MST, Tuesday through Thursday, for an hour or so. My channel, if you’re interested in checking it out, is https://twitch.tv/amlangston.


Thanks for reading. If you check out my stream, make sure to say “hi”!


It’s Been a While

Hey, folks. I’ve been quiet for a long time, but I’m back. It’s been a long, dry winter here in Albuquerque. It’s finally starting to warm up and it’s time for me to post another update on stuff. 2018! We made it!

First things first, I got the first edit of my novel back from my editor, Ruth. She was super helpful. “Falderal” is looking great. In fact, I’m just about done making all of the necessary changes. It’s getting close to time to publish, and I’m super stoked!

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned this one, so I’ll write up a short refresher:

Bert is a construction worker from El Paso. After a hard hit to the head one day on the job, he’s left unable to understand anything anyone says, even himself. His friends, thinking he’s dying, decide to take Bert on one last road trip. It starts as a goofy adventure, but quickly becomes a string of one dark, surreal disaster after another all across the western U.S.

I’m also excited to announce that it will be available as an ebook and paperback on April 20th! Other than “Falderal”, I’m looking at publishing one more novel for 2018, and another poetry collection. It’s going to be a great year full of reading, writing, and everything in between. I really hope you enjoy my work as it comes out.

After those three books, there’s even more to come, so stay tuned!

NaNoWriMo Starts!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy trying to get my first novel done before November so I can participate in NaNoWriMo. Yesterday, I completed the first draft of my first novel just in time. Now, I’m working on my second novel. It’s basically a story about a man who lives next to a house where lots of artists die. Anyway, I know it’s only day one, but I’m right on track to meet my goal of sixty-thousand words at 2k done today. I didn’t want to post everything, but here’s some of what I’ve written so far:

As often as he could, Francisco sat on the porch smoking a cigar. He found the most time to smoke in the early morning. Gurkhas and Liga Privadas were the only cigars he smoked. Francisco’s husband, Thomas, would sit with him at times, but only after noon. Francisco enjoyed the cool, East-coast breezes that swept through just after sunrise. Nine months out of the year, Thomas was uncomfortable. After so many decades of forcing himself to sit in the wind, he decided stopped. His opinion was that there were better ways for him to spend time with his husband.

                Francisco agreed with Thomas that there were better ways for the pair to enjoy their days together. For many long years, they worked together at the small grocery store that they owned in town. The only store around for miles, it was a very successful business venture. Now, they were old, though. A young man, Xavier, worked there for the majority of the time Thomas and Francisco did. Xavier ended up investing some of his pay in the store. He became part owner and took over the entire operation when Francisco retired. Thomas worked the counter for a handful of years after his husband lost interest in it. Eventually, he decided it would be best for his health if he didn’t stand still at the cash register all day.

                Thomas and Francisco both loved spending time in their home. It was a large plot of land. There were so many trees that their gardener, Maggie, always said the forest would swallow the whole property one day. Thomas designed the house himself, with a bit of aid from an architect he attended university with. The couple’s dinner guests would regularly get lost on their way from the living room to the dining room. After several complaints, Francisco hung cleverly placed paintings that helped to point out the path. One of them was of a Russian writer with a stern expression, holding a quill pen in his outstretched arm. Another, a ballet dancer dancing with a swan, both facing the direction of the dining room door.

                A massive porch wrapped around the entire house. Chairs sat around every corner. If Francisco wanted to sit in the sun in the winter, there was a chair. When he felt like overlooking the small pond next to the house, he could. Thomas preferred the front of the house, but rarely sat outside alone. In the early days, men would come to their house to threaten them. Many a pick-up truck sped by, tossing road kill at the couple as Thomas drank tea and Francisco smoked. The tranquility of the New England air was always interrupted by those frightening memories. Not long after the third Racoon landed on their steps, Thomas bought a shotgun.

                Neither of them ever had to shoot the shotgun at anyone. They each took it out once, behind their house. Thomas shot a pumpkin and Francisco didn’t hit anything. Word must have got out about their purchase, according to Francisco, because once they had the gun, the taunts only came from teenage boys. The boys would end up coming into their store a few days later to apologize. Xavier often remarked on how funny it was that the grown men, who likely owned guns as well, were so afraid of the cheap, wooden twelve-gauge. Francisco would argue, saying it was intimidating. He would say that grown men know the difference between a toy and a gun, but boys do not. There were a few good years, after purchasing the gun, that neither Thomas, nor Francisco, had anything to worry about. Then, all of the sudden, their quiet life became full of hissing static.

                Their neighbor, known to them only as Joe, lived in his house since the end of World War Two. His wife died the year before Thomas and Francisco moved to town. For the entire time that they lived next to one another, Joe neither caused nor reported any problems. Not a sound came from his windows. After a while, he could be heard yelping in pain while working on some project in his garage. That phase only lasted a few months. He’d lost the hearing in one ear while fighting the Germans. Had a nasty scar all the way across his back. His wife, Ethel, was pampered for the rest of her life after they wed. After she died, Joe was only seen outside working in his yard. There was a beautiful garden that grew thanks to his efforts. Thomas and Francisco regularly found baskets of vegetables outside their front door. Anything that would grow, including things that weren’t supposed to grow that far north, Joe would share with them.

                Eight years after Ethel died, Joe joined her in the afterlife. There was a large estate sale, where Francisco found an Italian tobacco pipe and a box of beautiful cigars. Shortly after Joe’s death, a new neighbor moved in. This man was an artist. He painted large pictures that people liked looking at. Thomas and Francisco spoke with Maggie in depth about how they didn’t understand why people liked looking at his paintings so much. They didn’t understand why he was driving an expensive convertible, having never worked a regular job. The first time they met, he introduced himself as Radwin Ali. He gifted the couple the painting of the Russian writer. Francisco hung it outside of the living room because it was the place that bothered Thomas the most.

                “Do you really have to hang that ugly man on the most looked at wall in our house? This isn’t what I pictured seeing every time I lead our guests to the back of the house.”

                “Thomas, it looks perfect in this light. There’s nowhere else in the whole house that this would look good. I know it’s dreadful, but it belongs right here.”

                Francisco didn’t believe at all that the painting belonged on the wall where he hung it. He thought it was a good way to tease Thomas for years to come.

                Radwin Ali invited the two of them to his house warming party, but they declined. He’d left the note in the same spot that Joe would leave his baskets of vegetables. Seeing the paint smeared envelope on the porch brought back a group of emotions that Francisco, who found it, didn’t want to feel.

                The party was loud. In one form or another, it seemed to go on for a month. After it ended, another party took its place. Whether it was day or night, Radwin Ali kept a constant stream of visitors. The guests were all enamored by the isolation and colorful nature of the area. None of them failed to express their awe. A car would pull up next to one of the dozen others in Radwin Ali’s driveway, then someone would let out a horrible shriek. Overnight guests of Thomas and Francisco were regularly awakened at odd hours by the screams. Their shock would subside when Radwin Ali shouted back.

                “I know. Isn’t it extravagant?”

                Things got to the point where if Thomas didn’t warn their guests of the disturbing activity, Francisco would. it became a strange habit that neither of them enjoyed forming. Many of their guests would announce that they’d changed their minds about staying the night upon hearing the warning. The couple became jealous that Radwin Ali could have all the guests in the world, and they could have none.

When he died, a torturous social weight was lifted from their shoulders. Thomas said he felt bad about how he reacted afterwards. Francisco called him a liar. Truthfully, they were both relieved that they were able to resume normal life. They began having their own guests over again. Those guests would stay the night. For years, no one asked about Radwin Ali’s death. It was a summer night, while the group was drinking a variety of Malbecs, that someone finally asked about it. Francisco was reluctant at first, but told the story as his friend persisted.

“Radwin Ali drove a fast car. It was a convertible. It was blue, with a tan top. He never took it to a mechanic. Obviously, he didn’t know how to work on it himself. The thing had a simple problem. Looked to me like the connector between the alternator and the headlights, or something of that nature. Every so often, his headlights would go dark.

When he drank at those infernal celebrations, he liked to take girls out for a drive. He’d go up and down the dirt road here to the east. I don’t think he lived here long enough to learn them well, because he’d ran his car into a ditch once before.

He took two girls out in his car one night and sped up and down the road, through the fields out there. I saw his headlights go out when they were still far away. Thomas says he thinks Radwin Ali lost track of where he was. I feel bad saying it, but it is kind of ironic, in a way. The man was famous for his paintings. That one you saw of the man with the pen in the hall on your way back here, he gave that to us. Anyway, he had the house painted white when he moved in. When he crashed that convertible into it, he and those poor girls were splattered all over the wall. We still can’t figure out how he didn’t go through the whole damn house, going that fast.”

“He had a lead foot, that’s for sure.” Thomas commented.

The dinner guests were so amazed by the story that they brought others to the house hear it. They’d tell Thomas and Francisco that they tried telling it, but didn’t do the tale justice. Neither of the men told anyone about the frantic pandemonium that had gone on.

That Which Will Get in the Way

Alright, folks. Only two days until my collection, “That Which Gets in the Way” is out! Here’s a handful of poems from it. I really hope you enjoy these and the rest of my book. It’s a very important piece of my life. I was suffering extreme depression just over a year ago and this work is the documentation of my journey through that. I’d even go as far as say this book helped save my life. That’s probably enough about it though to give you a good taste without ruining the experience for you. Enjoy!



On my feet
out of bed
away from the barrel

I can feel the breath of that ghost
where my neck meets my shoulder

I take a piss
and sometimes stare at myself in the mirror
for so long
I have to piss again before leaving the bathroom

I hope folks can’t smell the odor of that ghost
on me
when I walk down halls
trying to look like them
act like them
relate to them

maybe I shouldn’t worry though
since their ghosts are pretty big
and stinky

like they were lookin themselves
in the eyes
for so long
that it was easier to give up.


A tree floats above the boys
casting darkness
that passes into our skin
wraps our bones
in bandage

I’m not wounded

our cry as we’re carried to the fire

the darkness looks down
peels off the bandage and wrings it

naught but sweat drips.

no blood
no tears

there was a fight that we missed
where men tore their boots
out of mud
curled their lips
and gouged their enemies

our bandage, though,
is dry


Some ladies fuckin eat
guys do too, some of them

but that’s what they want to
put in my pocket?

Them chowing down?

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to
put in people’s pockets
I held on to it for years
and it isn’t me clogging my throat with a hot dog.

it’s this, right?

But these fat fucks stuff a day’s worth of food into
their guts like a barbarian covered in green war painting
and the blood of Romans
rush into battle

and that shit’s fuckin normal now!

There are no more bed time stories
they’ve run out
you can’t tell them because they’re outlawed
all you can do is watch simple susan
suck a cow’s tit and
swish it
til it’s butter

then fuckin GULP


Kingdoms didn’t exist
and neither did thrones

if a woman didn’t write it
about a man

it’s a fuckin lie.

There were never gladiators
no lions tearing their flesh
no brass bulls
with men inside them
being cooked alive

there aren’t testicles
and we aren’t men.


my head hangs forward as I focus on the screen
it falls back so I can think
I’m out of whiskey
I’m out of stories
and inspiration

My first poetry book sold five copies
I’ve never sold a song
no one watches my videos
my posts are baron
whilst others posts
are a nice ‘like’ color white

but I chug, or truck, or carry, or shove
because when I ran out of things to say
and people to pay attention
that’s what sounded correct

so I know I’m an adult now
job, apartment, car, bills
because they successfully beat me down
while instilling the perfect balance
of desire to exist

that’s what an adult is

“reasonable” is what we are.


ten thumbs press on points around my face
the teeth at the front of my bottom jaw grind
against the teeth at the front of my top
my right eye squints a bit all the time


look at this shit

yet, I persevere.

At a desk
blue light scarring your eyes

that’s what you get.

You don’t get to jerk off
you can’t lean fully back
or have a quick sniff of

you get to persevere.

But going home for a few hours in between
really only provides enough relaxation
to slightly impede the corrosion
and you get old
and ugly

Poems for the Weekend

Here’s what I got done on my lunch break today. I’m really happy with how these kinds of poems are turning out, even though it’s been years since I’ve written a lot of this style. Enjoy!



the one who stores your soul inside his ring

punched the ring into a wall

the bone in his finger broke, the ring shattered

what will you do now that you`re free?

a field of souls scattered about

invisible though they are, through the fog

get fewer likes and views

she sees you, through the fog

grass here is tall

wheat sloshes in the wind

you can’t make out anything

not his face

not his broken hand

you can’t see anything as he approaches




a vertical glossy sea reflects beams of the sunrise

windows through which we observe the red breasted desk sitter

he pants for coffee like no other animal

like vlad dracula

impales quarterly reports on pikes stood up

at the center of a roundabout

afront 2600 officebuilding drive

our sun rises red as the ink on the books

necronomicon ex profit

at noon

the buzzards drift in to monitor his progress

but that’s only happening once a month this year

the promise made to the sitter

bound by steel chain

cloth mesh

small increases in numbers on his smart phone

will never be made




i can see how you’ve failed and

know it makes you dislike me

for all of time

after i’m dead, floating

on gray clouds of purgatory

i continue to see

i voice

why? because there is no way to succeed

you don’t, i don’t

you think someone appreciates you

when you fall in love

but after a few years

they don’t look into your eyes like they did

your hands don’t stick together

with that wet ectoplasm

you both accept these things

so i know you can see how i’ve failed

it makes me hate you

for eternity

when you’re sifting through

beach sands in heaven

searching for that lost necklace

the one you wore at our wedding

i know you see

please don’t tell me anything

just this once




sometimes duty calls for you to escort

the bare elephant man through the streets

to tell him he looks like the rest of us

pat him on the back when he makes a wise purchase

despite the draw of rebellion

one must perform things considered to be duties

to hold together the rest of us

elephant men

to keep us thinking we’re healthy and alright

looking in the mirror to see gritty bone

protruding from your lopsided forehead

must not turn your gut

or alter your ability

we must take our turn

know how to recognize what must be done

for fate and fortuna constantly try to trick


the elephant folk




i climbed

out of my lamp

people were


than I expected

so was

the weather

it could

trick you

into thinking

it’s safe

that it’s safe

to kiss her

even though

there’s a

ruby red

cold sore

get back

in the lamp




i see my hand pulling up scoops

of cold stream water

blessing my dry throat with them

they see my skinless hand

a skeleton rubbing tiny drips of

lava onto my melting, floppy lips

all i can do is smile now

show my charred gums


Writing a Dream

Here’s another dream scene from the novel I’m working on. Again, this is first draft stuff and will probably change a lot by the time the novel it out, but I thought it was cool enough to share now. It’s loosely based on a dream I had about my grandfather just after he died. Anyway, let me know what you think and feel free to suggest changes. Enjoy!

The hotel was nice. The staff were friendly. Both Bert and Durham were greeted with a warm cookie and a bottle of water. Their room had two beds. It was the first time either of them slept on a bed since Las Vegas. They were comfortable beds with too many comfortable pillows. It wasn’t until the lights were off and the two were lying in their beds that they noticed the subtle scent of flowers in the air. Durham was quick to fall asleep. Bert had a bit more trouble. He got out of bed, put on his pants, and took the elevator to the bar. It was the only bar still open at that hour and shared the top floor of the hotel with the buffet hall. A jazz band played in a corner near the end of the bar. The walls behind them were lit up amber. There were two people sitting at the bar and no one else around. Both were staring at the band.

            Bert sat at the bar next to one of the women. He grabbed a napkin to write down the drink he wanted and passed the napkin to the bartender as she walked up. The woman next to him was wearing an elegant, small green dress. The bartender was wearing something that looked like it would go under a tuxedo. He couldn’t see the other woman from where he sat. His drink warmed up his stomach and coolly dampened a new napkin. Something he heard caught his attention. Out of the corner of his eye, Bert saw that the amber lights behind the band were blinking. It was a slow blink that lit up and the whole room, then made it dark again. All the instruments other than drums had dropped out of the song. The drummer was playing a solo that Bert recognized.

            As he turned in the direction of the band, someone turned off the flashing yellow lights. Bert couldn’t see anyone in the corner well. He remembered where he’d heard the song. It was the song the drummer played in the dream that he’d had in Las Vegas. When the thought hit him, red and blue spot lights burst on, pointed directly at the drummer. It was the same person. He stared at Bert while his playing intensified.

            “Speaker father?” the young lady sitting next to Bert whispered. “Tortoise arabica exhumed?” She turned to Bert, blinked slowly, then looked back at the drummer. “Manual.”

            Bert couldn’t look away from the man playing the drums. Even as the young lady clearly wanted to engage in conversation, his attention was locked in.

            “You never know.” the drummer sang. “You don’t know because it don’t matter right now.” he continued. Bert was not phased in the least that he understood. He expected it.

            “It’ll matter tomorrow.” the young lady in the green dress said, turning towards Bert. “You should really protect yourself.” Her eyes were flat and empty as she spoke.

            Bert had become so used to remaining quiet during conversations that he didn’t think of responding to her. The girl hadn’t blinked since she’d faced him.

            “Would you like another drink, sir?” the bartender interrupted.

            When Bert turned to his left, he lifted his glass to show her it was full. The bartender wasn’t the woman in the outfit resembling a tuxedo, though. The drummer was standing in her place. His eyes were bloodshot and stained looking.

            “It’ll matter tomorrow.” the woman and drummer said in sync.

            The woman sat still, staring at Bert through her matte black eyes. The drummer collapsed. He began vomiting across the rubber mats on the floor. After a few seconds, the vomit became blood. Tears dripping from his blood shot eyes were tinted red. The veins in his neck bulged. There was a second of peace while he inhaled an enormous breath. He then climbed to his feet, propping himself up on the bar, breaking a bottle that was pulled from the shelf. The drummer continued climbing, standing straight once atop the bar. A small stream of bloody saliva dripping from his open mouth became red vomit again, dousing the bar, the woman with the blank stare, who still had not blinked, and Bert.

            “Protect yourself.” the two said, again in unison before the drummer vomited directly onto Bert.

            Bert stumbled back from his stool, suddenly unfrozen, and fell backwards to the ground. He didn’t stop where the floor was, though, and continued falling through the hotel rooms. Thirteen floors had passed before he crashed onto the roof of a mini-van. He was in the parking garage below the hotel. An amber light flashed on a pillar a few feet away. There was no other light in the garage. The roof of the mini-van was caved in, windows shattered. It’s hazard lights were flashing and an alarm did its best to alert whoever owned the car, but made barely any sound. Bert laid back, sore, soaked, and confused. He dropped his head back and fell asleep.

             Before Bert’s eyes opened the next morning, his mind snapped out of sleep. It was just after sunrise. Sunlight struck his eyes, reflecting off something in the distance. He had a horrible headache. When he finally opened his eye, he saw that he was in the parking garage. He was also lying atop a mini-van. Bert slid off the mini-van roof. As he landed on the concrete, his ankle gave out and he tumbled over. Strewn across the ground about the area were crumpled beer cans and a few broken cocktail glasses. His hand smashed two cherries skewered on a tooth pick as he lifted himself off the ground. There was no room key in his pockets. Most of his cash was still in his wallet. Bert tip toed through the lobby, up the elevator to his room.

            Durham walked out of the room as Bert reached for the handle. He was a bit shocked to see Bert outside the room. Durham asked something, momentarily forgetting about Bert’s problem. When he realized what he’d done, he put his hand on Bert’s shoulder, pulling him into the room.

            “The first chance you get to sleep in a bed and you run off.” Durham said to himself. “I appreciated that fucker.”

New Poems

The time in between books seems so long at first, but it goes by quickly. Here are some poems I wrote this week. They’re not the same style as what will be in my next collection, but I think it will be cool to read these now, and then again after finishing the journey that is my next release, titled “That Which Gets in the Way”. These are a lot closer in style to the last section of that book. Enjoy!


she leaves the door from another dimension
where there was water everywhere
the only light came from her telephone
and walls are made of fingers
she walks into the bar where i’ve been lost for a while now, and the three of us spill our drinks on her.

she’s cold and gets someone to
eat the ice off the floor, then to tell us to have a good night
but i’m lost
now i’m having a good night with my friends
we’ve having a good night being carried by our belts
tossed into a wooden threshold
through it
into public
my teeth land on the curb
my friends,
we’re not lost any more
our drinks are unspilled

she walks back into the other dimension
wanting the walls to reach back into her pussy
looking for the rest
of the ice cubes

20 percent

flat gray skin where her mouth should be
flaps of skin, her ears folded in towards her face
a bent finger, the only one left on her hand
points to the booth you just left
then to the door you’re walking towards
the lights flicker
someone says something about an upside down boat
in the middle of the desert
the bitch grins

“are you taking off?”

jungle high

the men sat in the jungle
shirts open, tattered spirits, fucked
one put his shotgun in another’s face
taking him out of the jungle
blowing him into his house
where bop honked out of the record player

the man with the shotgun
whipped it into another’s face
taking him out of the jungle
clouding his vision
when it clears, he’s at prom
drinking in the bathroom with his girl

the man hands the shotgun to the only other one left
opens his mouth wide and
sucks in the fire
blinks and he’s on his mother’s farm
dad’s dead, so he’s the man of the house
he just wants to dig
and plow
and fuck the chick down the street


we were driving my jeep in the desert
up and down dunes, between scraping juniper branches
squeezed a tight corner with a drop off
looked down to the upside down boat at the bottom
covered in red dirt and a torn gray tarp
letting go of the squeeze, coming around the bent trail
there’s a circle of weirdos lying down
some of them were still
some trying to get off the ground
at least two of them were a green kind of dead

we pulled to the side and radioed for help
there was no answer but the groans of one of the men
he said
they’d all taken poison, even the young ones
my wife cried
my friend and i watched their souls
sink into another dimension
even the young ones


the universe is pretending to be where we live
it’s got a mask and a driver’s cap on
a bow tie

it looks like someone you’d like to take out
fall asleep next to
and fuck just before morning

but it’s a sham
it isn’t anything like what it tells us
what you see on the news

it’s drunk
and you’re lookin good
and it’ll do anything to get in your life