July Dogs

Hot Wednesday Special


My true-crime ebook, Dead Ends, will be available today only for crazy low buy of $1.99  



of renewed interest…

July Dogs

(“Geek Beat”does not refer to computer or gaming enthusiasts, tech specialists, experts or “nerds”.  The term as used in this context was the creation of the late journalist Bill Cardoso–familiar to many as coiner of the term “Gonzo” as applied to Hunter S. Thompson’s particular brand of journalism. Cardoso came up with “the Geek Beat” after I described the assignment Playboy had thrown me–a decade of California violence–while we were having drinks one long happy afternoon in February 1978 at Sullivan’s in San Francisco . “Ah, well. You’re on the geek beat, Reynolds, “said Bill. “That’s what it is.”  Geek as in “freak”, as in the old carny term and its variants. )


(Headline from Los Angeles newspaper, 1913)

Arthur Tysilio Johnson, an English writer, chicken farmer and gardener living in Wales, landed in California in 1912. After kitting himself…

View original post 1,276 more words

“Diggin’ Up Bones”–Resurrecting Lee

July Dogs

Reynolds_DeadEnds[1]I’m diggin’ up bones, I’m diggin’ up bones
Exhuming things that’s better left alone
I’m resurrecting memories of a love that’s dead and gone
Yeah tonight I’m sittin’ alone, diggin’ up bones

(1986, Paul Overstreet/Al Gore/Nat Stuckey)

                       Marion County Courthouse, March 31, 1992.  
                              Photograph: James Quine                     


(from Dead Ends)

Lee was wide awake just before dawn on Wednesday, October 9, 2002, when the death row officers came to call. She was in a “good mood,” they said.  She was “ready to go,” they said. The night before she’d chatted it up  until midnight with her childhood friend, Dawn Botkin.  Four hours now remained in her life.

A week earlier Florida Governor Jeb Bush lifted a stay of execution after a panel of psychiatrists ruled that Lee was mentally competent.  Wuornos had been fighting…

View original post 1,775 more words

Talking with Jenny McCarthy about Aileen Wuornos and my book, Dead Ends, tomorrow

jenny-mccarthy-siriusJenny McCarthy is having me on her show tomorrow-Tuesday, August 2 at 11am EST (meaning I must be relatively alert at 8am my time). We’ll be talking about the new ebook edition of my book, Dead Ends-The Pursuit, Conviction, and Execution of Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos.

There seems to be no end of interest in Lee, one of the most infamous serial killers in modern crime history. She’s been the subject of three feature films–one of which brought an Academy Award to Charlize Theron for her portrayal of Lee, a made-for-TV film with Jean Smart as Wuornos, a featured turn on American Horror Story: Hotel with Lily Rabe taking her shot as Aileen, as well as numerous documentaries on television and for good measure–an opera.

Now Jenny McCarthy wants to talk some more about her. Lee would have been crazy amazed.


‘Dead Ends’…She’s back for the digital ride


Marion County Courthouse, March 31, 1992. Photograph: James Quine

Dead Ends, my book on serial killer Aileen Wuornos is now available for the first time as an ebook….(Fun Note: Charlize Theron kept a copy of Dead Ends at her bedside while filming Monster, the role that brought her an Academy Award for her portrayal of Lee)..If you are a true-crime aficionado and a Kindle user…do yourself a favor and snag it…

Pressures to Bear

Chihuahuan Raven Corvus cryptoleucus. Brownsville Sanitary Landfill, Hidalgo0

A  crow flaps up from the scrub,

Holsteins falter with deadliness,

secrecy newly written in their cells.

Bring pressures to bear.

Take Your Place At The End Of The Line.

No Shoving.

No Fumar.

No Bueno.

It became so quiet after the news.

The man in the bathtub embraces his knees. Intently studies his kneecaps. He sees cancerous cells moving with the fanatic gunmen, the calamitous ants, the disingenuous journalists. A roiling hunger wreathes his bones singing: “Death Death Death.” The bones implode with the chant, leaving the man in his bathtub embracing a cloud whose center glows.

The Cloud as a memory, a curse.

The Cloud showers early. Drops its load. Scans the Post. The limo comes round at a quarter till.

In the boardroom of Abaddon a Chagall dreamily plays on the beige wall.

Seven men enter and take their places at the mahogany table.

China cups, silver carafes of coffee. Someone murmurs: “Dresden.”

A fireball opens its mouth. A scream fades as The Cloud fills the doorway.

A pressure comes to Bear. He petulantly snuffles, rips a young cedar from its moist earth and flops his heavy butt upon it. There he sits with idiot fulfillment while Crow watches him from above.Crow has followed Bear for twenty summers and twenty winters. Crow is waiting for Bear to fall ill with some parasite or to make an error crossing a high ridge some moonless night and plummet to a broken neck.A fatal attack by a younger, stronger bear would suffice. Crow has been bringing pressure to Bear for so long it is of little importance how the end will arrive. Bear grunts once more, then is silent. Blood flows from its jaws.

In Abaddon’s boardroom the seven men attend The Cloud. It wells up, expanding its grey green density. The seven men choke and cough as The Cloud jams them, fingering deep their lungs. The Cloud contracts, sucking the conditioned air from the room tightly unto itself. The seven men gasp with shuddering mouths as the vacuum crashes upon them. The Cloud becomes composed. The men gather themselves from the floor. The newest member of the board turns to his associate who is patting gobs of saliva from his well-tailored lapels.

“Is he always like this in the morning?”

“Oh, no. Not usually. Only when he is under some kind of pressure.”

The Cloud overhears this remark. A sinew of vapor, winding on itself, thrusts the length of the table and coils about the importunate board member’s face. A hideous bubbling is the only sound heard in the room. The vaporous tentacle withdraws and is insorbed by The Cloud. The remaining six men are unable to take their eyes from their former colleague, now a torso leaning back in a leather chair. Its’ decomposed head a fan of purple and white rivulets running down a well-tailored suit. The Cloud brooks no references to its shortcomings.

(It became so quiet after the news.)

Crow began his journey east the morning after eating Bear’s eyes and tongue.He flew low, traversing the sides of the mountain in trajectories that left an exhilerating pattern in his mind. The plains stretched out before Crow, now resting on a rusted upturned GMC differential.

On the far side of the determined horizon, Crow could perceive The Cloud as he did once Bear and The Cloud in Abaddon feels the pressure welling, being beaten toward him by stunning onyx wings.


(Originally published  in MELTDOWN: Poems From The Core, Full Count Press, 1980.)

It’s Ricin Time Again…

Given today’s excitement over letters to the White House and US Senate offices which reportedly contain ricin..which brought out some hysterics on the teevee from alleged ‘terrorism experts’ who blathered as to how ricin was straight out of the al Qaeda ‘playbook’ (whatever that is)..here is a refresher and some perspective from the archive..

The Doctor Gipsy

We were children in that July when the Doctor Gipsy came to visit. He arrived behind the wheel of a white  Imperial automobile that reflected a sky of tangerine and blue . He wore a smooth hat, a Stetson, and a fine worsted suit, maybe charcoal flannel, with a vest  and a black foulard tie pinned by a big raw pearl.

We gathered about him like wonder-eyed crows around a handmirror.

The Doctor Gipsy taught us to play the games of poker that summer with real money and, at the end of each day, gave back half of what he had taken from us. He kept playing with us in this arrangement until, of course, we soon had no more money with which to play. Whereupon the Doctor Gipsy said, “Well, boys, I believe you’ve learned about all that I can teach you about this.” There were no more poker games with the Doctor after that. He drove away in his Imperial on a cool Sunday evening, but he let us keep the deck.

There Be Two Trains Running

There be two trains running

and you know it’s not for fun.

Mistaken identity

Border town bulbs burn

3 a.m.

Estrella suena

.38 Buckled leather

Forged visas fingered

“Quando dinero muchacha?”

Estrella suena

Cottonwoods unleash

their seed along

the creek

In the canyon

Burros choke their lust.

For christ’s sake

keep your hips still.

Don’t forget you’re just passing

forged visas.

Estrella suena

.38 Buckled leather

Buckled knees

Sticky sheets.

Japanese knife, a gift

Slips quick

into the fingers

coming up from sleep

Humoso sueno

Murder’s in the air.

Chipped tooth grin

Barbed wire on the border

Rein in.

The blood comes quick.

You want me to show you

how it’s done?

On the thigh,

not the wrist.

Every Morning A Wonder

Every morning a wonder.

How many are we allowed to carry?

How far from Edison’s light must we travel?

I see rags of quick moving clouds pushed by the sun through a blue sky.

I hear a tennis ball pocking on the clay court east.

I hear the sea from Africa breathing without pause.

I see black Bella the cat grooming in her sun.

I see infested Spanish moss draped in the arms of two big oaks.

I see a pale yellow building with curtained windows

hiding grandmothers and aunts abandoned.

I see empty white patio chairs.

I see a small pyramid of coquina shards.

I see a loud orange highway pylon.

I see small new birds scooping through the branches of a suspect tree.

I see a white door closed on my paper history.

I see Bill Vollman studying me from the jacket of his Atlas.

I see in the glass the dentures made and fitted in Tamaulipas

where my dentist’s neighbor’s head was delivered to the federal police

in a suitcase.

How many are we allowed to carry?

How far from Edison’s light must we travel?

Every morning a wonder.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,542 other followers