Exhibit 25.4

Everyone should subscribe to Gulf Coast or at least go to the website where you can read this great poetry discussion featuring Hannah Gamble, Zach Schomburg (himself a thing that is sometimes in Nebraska), Heather Christle, and Matthews Rohrer and Zapruder.

There's no getting around it, Zach's final quote is amazing:

A poem is not necessarily more surreal according to how far it sits on the dream end of that spectrum, but perhaps more surreal if it confuses the spectrum, if it confuses hurt and light, meaning and meaninglessness, just good warm sad blood spilling out in the forest.



Exhibit 25.3

A Follow-up to Yesterday

Things That Are Actually in Nebraska

* Buffalo Bill Cody shot glasses

* Sometimes cranes, sometimes not

* Along the Oregon Trail, numerous tombstones for children who died of cholera, children with names like "Nads" and "Aaron Tagge is a Homo." You have to wade through a lot of buffalo skeletons to find them, however.

* All the country's best Platte Rivers

* That guy who looks like Jared Leto (ed note: I'm not convinced that guy isn't actually Jared Leto and we're all just pretending otherwise so we don't have to talk about his band).

* Jealousy of Iowa and Colorado, ambivalence toward Kansas, disdain for South Dakota

* This Man

* Kila Ka'aihue, apparently forever

* NebraSKA, a made up ska festival I always feared someone would start


Exhibit 25.2

So It's Come to This

U-Haul is just making stuff up about what's in Nebraska.

I would be worried about this unleashing a horde of tourists, but nothing happened when we had Chimney Rock on the state quarter so we should be fine. So, yes, America, go on flying over our wondrous refuge for weird rocks and fictional beasts.


Exhibit 25.1

Earth Day

On the freeway today, a bird flew into my car. I choose to believe it survived because it's Earth Day. I choose to believe it was trying to give me a hug.

I feel bad. About the bird.


Exhibit 24.27

Story Prompts

I'm in a class where we have to write a short story every week. To accomplish this task, we're given prompts which have ranged from very specific to very general. Now, to be clear, I think this has been sort of great or at least I would if I liked writing short stories more. I don't, really, at least not at the moment, and I'm also not exactly hurting for writing projects.

On the whole, this experience has been positive if frustratingly distracting. I've written a few things I like, a few I just typed, and then there was this week's where I literally looked around my apartment and wrote about things I saw.

I want to say this now because when you read my story about playing online chess and eating Dots in this year's O. Henry, you'll say, "Man, he really captured that Brett Pugly's ennui."

I so did.


Exhibit 24.26

Tattoo Ideas for Someone Else Sorted by Decreasing Likelihood

The Turtle from Mario Bros.

Old Timey Periscope Ad

Missouri License Plate

Map of Legoland

Sort of Grim Reaper


Exhibit 24.25


I try not to use this blog to mock anything other than myself. And so I want to be clear, I'm not mocking this video. I love this video.

Other things that are unknowable miracles:

Metal cone coffee filters
Fish, all fish
The metric system
Magnets (still)
Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger
A bucket of puppies
Those doors that open at the top and the bottom


Exhibit 24.24

Basketball Team

Those are The Amateurs, the basketball team I was a part of this spring. We lost in the third round of the playoffs after going undefeated in the regular season. You can tell I had nothing to do with these accomplishments because I wasn't even given a uniform. I did, however, manage to make my own out of a similarly colored shirt. After that, they had to let me play.

It's called team spirit. I never want to have it again.

I stuck with jeans because I thought they looked cooler when I was sitting on the bench or looking confused whenever the ref said something. Mostly I was hoping that at some point I'd fall down and tear holes in the jeans organically so I would have something to nonchalantly mention at coffee shops. This is what coach told us to do. Unfortunately, I never fell down or jumped up so now I'll have to cut out squares myself with scissors. Everyone will know. My decaf extra-whip caramel macchiatto will go cold as I try to make it last long enough for someone to ask me about my cool uniform...

Or something. In any case, it was fun and, while I really am terrible at basketball, I'm sorry it's over.


Exhibit 24.23


This was only the second time I've gone to AWP (a conference for writers/writing programs/men with western shirts), but that's enough to recognize this feeling of anti-personhood I've brought home. I've got to go teach now. Of course, I don't know what to teach my students other than how to erase themselves with static.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm tired. Be gentle.


Exhibit 24.22

Bad Ovums

Today a student gave me a confetti egg which, I was told after some time to lament my ignorance, is a Mexican Easter tradition. I was excited because the egg was a nice Royals-like powder blue. A good omen for Opening Day, right?

I immediately broke the egg.

I don't know exactly what this means, but I'd be feeling more optimistic about this season if I broke a mirror while opening an umbrella to scare away a black cat tracking spilled salt inside Zack Greinke's house.

Now you'll know who to blame if Jose Guillen cracks in half and a bunch of doughnuts come rolling out. Not that that would be bad or unexpected, exactly.


Exhibit 24.21

I Live Blog This Commercial I See on Hulu All the Time

0:01 - Is that text message from Marc Summers congratulating this lady on having the world's most disturbingly spotless kitchen?

0:07 - Should the crazy lady have headphones too?

0:08 - Is this the chat roulette I keep hearing about? If so, this girl got really lucky to find a geometry teacher and not...anyone else on chat roulette.

0:10 - I could do this. I like learning and stainless steel appliances.

0:12 - Hey, Melissa, maybe today's lesson should be on googling the word 'triangle.'

0:13 - Actually, I couldn't do this.

0:15 - Whoa, slow down, Pythagoras.

0:21 - We should focus a little less on geometry and a little more on getting Melissa out of the bomb shelter she's trapped in.

0:24 - Wait, we should be laughing now? I like laughing. Haha, Melissa. Fun! Hahahaha...

0:27 - ...hahahahaha. O, we're done?

0:29 - Wait, so if I learn geometry my kid will go to camp and we'll save that mountain?

25:30 - Why am I watching Chuck, anyway?

Exhibit 24.20

Basketball Coach

UH Hires James Dickey as New Basketball Coach

I honestly went to sleep thinking UH had named a deceased poet their next basketball coach. No, somehow they did worse.

These Dickey lines seem to sum up the situation:

To be dead, a house must be still.
The floor and the walls wave me slowly;
I am deep in them over my head.