Jay Towne has written books of poetry, prose, interviews, as well as episodes of radio drama, screenplays and worked as a journalist. These pieces are from his book, A Pigs Eye View.


The lean-to collapsed in the rain and sent twenty-five pounds of sodden leaves and debris and muck onto my chest and I yelled in surprise. I debated whether to lift it off or just adjust and my comfort won that argument. Just because I find myself in this situation doesn’t mean I can’t be as comfortable as possible, I thought. I crawled out from under and surveyed the damage, crouching low. I determined it was due to weak straps and wondered aloud what to do. It had been hours since the last helicopter had gone over so I thought I might be able to chance a foraging expedition for straps. I decided, instead, to lift the main section and rest it on the support, crawl under and wait. Curled up underneath was a damn site better than crouching in the rain and I almost got to sleep before I heard the whoop-whoop of the search helicopter. I stayed as still as the damp cold would allow, fighting the shivers and the scenarios running through my mind. I didn’t fear death, just being caught. The distant sound of dogs got me out of the fetal position and into a full run in seconds. They say you can never discern which direction a train is traveling by its whistle. Dogs are the same way and I found out the hard way, running into a pack of them coming over a rise. That’s him, get him!, the men said. I turned to run the opposite way but heard a pack of radios and the baying of hounds from that direction, too. So I did the only sensible thing I could do: I sat down cross-legged in the grass and the rain and muck and pain and I breathed deep once, and I said a prayer. The last thing I remembered was harsh voices threatening me with all manner of beheading, dismemberment, castration then felt the round pierce my skull and then all sounds ceased…



I had just sat down to use the computer, took my hat off and set it on the counter, pulled up my chair then felt her hand on my shaven head, rubbing it softly, I turned to see a striking red haired tall well dressed woman in a flowing skirt and carhart’s jacket a few years older than me, she did not remove her hand. hi honey how are you, I said, she said fine sweetheart, how are you. She said, since we have this level of immediate intimacy do you mind telling me your name. Jay, I said, what’s yours. Janine she said. That’s not true I replied, your name is Daphne and you chose a name with the same first letter as mine for affiliation’s sake besides which you have always hated your real name. She said well now, since we are telling truth, you grew up in West Covina, an only child and played your way out of the neighborhood by excelling at basketball despite your size, winning a scholarship to Fresno State before flunking out due to a drug and alcohol addiction, right? Yes, I said willingly. And you awakened to find yourself in the hold of a cargo ship, handcuffed topless to a pipe and now each time you dip your toe in the ocean you cry. Sorry, we are just getting to know each other, I said. I know, she said, it’s the part I love most.

The snow has only just stopped falling, as I type my last before Sabbath. It’s time now for me to reflect on my busy week and pick a few things to thank god for, but I won’t. I instead focus on my many failures and my devastating lack of control and offer these up, an offering sure to incite heavenly riot, but it does not. Instead, I get an impression that snow, except for in certain areas, was always meant to be fleeting and couldn’t I think of my sin as being as transitory, seeing how I love them both equally? I smile and thank god that he is nothing like me and implore him for more snow…