Multi-Phase Master Plan.


A friend lived on the outskirts of the city. A young Canadian. His property abutted a construction site. A metropolitan development authority. The site was concealed from the public. Corrugated iron fencing set up around it, blocking the view and keeping trespassers from squatting and pilfering supplies. Every hundred meters was an architectural rendering, a ziggurat of modest housing, manufacturing, and fulsome entertainment. Close-ups were inset in each drawing, all of nuclear families, Caucasoid-featured but tinted brown and smiling, clutching shopping bags and briefcases and climbing into sleek but economical cars. The illustrations were dated, drawn in a style reminiscent of science fiction paperbacks of a certain vintage. A faint disco beat broadcast via crosshatched haircut pouf. Beneath were the emblems of a dozen international organizations. The complex was silent. The multinational master plan was abandoned before dredging could be completed. We pried at a seam in the fencing. Eventually it gave. We crawled through the gap, blinking, dazzled by the sudden exposure of the low afternoon sun. Beyond was an ochre landscape, a dried mud crust fractured by dank gullies of clay. An electrical schematic writ in mud and evaporated water. Some channels were deeper than others. We entered the network at knee-level and were soon below the surface. The deeper the channel, the denser and damper the fug hanging over it. In the deepest we found pipes. Hard white veins running through the ruddy clay. We thought we found liquid glinting within, but it was hard and white and tufted, like asbestos, but closer inspection revealed the brittle white clumps were actually fiber optics. The cable was dark. I grabbed a tuft and angled it toward the drying sun and light seeped through the labyrinth.

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Why We Trash Hotel Rooms

A situationist analysis of trashing hotel rooms. An attempt at writing prose poetry.

“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