Escape!

Taken from the Guardian

There should be a sheet suspended from the washing line in front of the safe house: the white all-clear is missing. Probable the sign has been neglected, an enemy would try a false flag to lure you in, but the position could be watched. NEMESIS’ absence has been noted by now, at most you had a five-minute lead before they realized he would never return from the bathroom; no doubt sentinels are prowling the city. Drive on past. One block. Anonymous townhomes pressed together. Scattered lights. Parked cars. No heads. A cobbler. No sign of activity. Two blocks. Shopping corridor. Closed for the night. Empty. Pull in. Circle the lot. Attorney. Dentist. High prole boutique. Optics. Framer. Photo developer. Oriental cuisine, still open for business. Exit left. Double back abruptly, tires shriek out. Quick J-turn. Accelerate hard. Decelerate. Observe. No visible tail. Follow a lonely access road toward airport. Occasional articulated lorries rush past, connected to their cargos with coiled plastics. No passenger cars. No motorbikes. No one follows. Behind, NEMESIS lights another cigarette. Neon red on the horizon. Pull into a motor inn. Courtyard access. En suite bathrooms. Color television. Two motorway exits. Ample parking. Airport shuttle. Check in. Continental breakfast option ticked. Non-smoking rooms, two, to muddle the trail. Nemesis waits in the car. No one must see him. You must act as if they will. Return. Remove contents of ashtray. Unscrew Corps Diplomatiqué plates. Scatter ashes in hotel room. Find estate wagon owned by family. The American make with the inflatable balls, plush animal dolls, and sand pails will suffice. Switch plates. Catch an early commuter bus back to the capital. Stop at train station. Not the Grand Station, but an exurban one, on the outskirts, when the train has already filled. Standing room only. NEMESIS coxed along, tired and complaining, promised a dollop of jam dissolved in his tea (i.e. the way it ought to be.) Ride north to the border. Step off into a seaside town flocked with bargain hunters from the north. A docked fishing trawler waits. Diesel. Liberian registry. Suspicious. Singapore or Grenada is better. Ten thousand dollars currency pressed into a soot-blackened palm. Included in the price: a single knit sweater and two merchant marine certificates. You expect NEMESIS to comment, but he remains mute, gripping the handrail and gazing out at the rolling grey water.

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“The New Flesh” essay in Angel City Review

PDF link to the magazine.

Awarded Art 365 Grant

Amy and I were selected as 2017 Art 365 artists by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

Art 365 is an exhibition from the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition which offers five Oklahoma artists a year and $12,000 to create innovative artwork in collaboration with a nationally recognized curator. The artists work with a guest curator for one year to create a body of original artwork for the exhibition.

The Horror of the Ouachita Mountains

The closest Paul Bowman ever came to killing Bigfoot was in 2011: “I was kicking around camp around two, three in the afternoon when there was a rock impact from the west, a large one—he couldn’t have been far—so I get suited up and grab my camo and rifle and go out. Bob Strain stood guard.

Coast to Coast Cat Smuggling

The rendezvous was arranged for a motel parking lot just off the I-44 freeway in Oklahoma. (“Please beware of this one,” warned a Google review of the motel. “Your life is not safe here.”) A helicopter cruised overhead. Outside, the temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A man and a woman in a black Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled under an awning.

South China Morning Post Reviews “A Grand Theory…”

Grand Theory of Everything
by James McGirk
Amazon Digital Services (e-book)

Perhaps “strange chemicals”, and large quantities of alcohol, have affected the way James McGirk thinks. For A Grand Theory of Everything is odd – deep but also shallow, and meaningless, unless you too have careened through life trying to make sense of stuff. That will include many, although few will have had his upbringing, living as a “princeling”. As an Anglo-American teenager growing up in New Delhi with journalist parents, his was a third-culture existence, heightened by hard drugs, which he took to expand his mind and become a psychedelic astronaut. Then, everything was like an onion, wrapped around a core of nothingness. His theory of everything shifts when he encounters Colonel John Boyd, developer of the OODA loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. The premise is that by acting faster than an opponent you will appear unpredictable to them and have the upper hand. Readers will wonder whether this Kindle Single was the result of a bad trip.

The Horror in the Ouachita Mountains

Giving a talk to the Oklahoma Skeptics Society about my search for the Ouachita Mountain bigfoot and the group of amateur researchers who want to kill him. November 9th at Picasso’s Cafe in Oklahoma City: 7pm-9pm. (More details forthcoming)

The Stranger

A new piece in Oklahoma Humanities Magazine’s Internationalism themed issue about assembling a version of the United States from abroad.

A Grand Theory of Everything

What do you do if you’re a teenager, stranded by your parents in New Delhi, without any sort of adult supervision, with easy access to all sorts of strange drugs? If you’re James McGirk, you use your bad trip to develop a philosophy that explains the whole world and all of its complexities. In A Grand Theory of Everything, McGirk takes us from the winding backstreets of New Delhi to his cramped apartment in New York City, and then on to his eventual relocation with his wife to the empty plains of Oklahoma. And, most importantly, he takes us inside his own head, where his weird theories take shape to help him understand his alienation from his family, his struggles to find a career, his wife’s failing health, and all of life’s hardships. 

 

 

 

Amazon Author Page

Here’s a link to my new Amazon author page

Short WIRED piece

Eyelids open; flowers blossom; tiny beaks tap cracks in eggshells; crops sprout; creatures stalk, slide, and wriggle from their burrows; teenage elk scrape hooves in the dust, lower antlers, and charge their com­petition. So: Did you—yes, you, clutching your fourth Keurig of the day and still feeling sluggish—really think you were immune to the effects of circadian rhythm, aka the clock cycle of practically all living things? Please.