Journey to Jollibee
- "...I’ll always remember the food. Fish for breakfast. Spaghetti with banana ketchup on top with chopped hot dogs for celebrations and birthdays. Chicken adobo, soaked in soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar, with bay leaves floating on the broth, while the chicken skin fell off the bone. And then there was the lechon, the roasted suckled pork with crispy crackly golden skin that pops and tender white meat so moist that the only way to eat it is to let it linger on your tongue until it melts like milk chocolate in the recesses of your deepest, fondest memories..."
Nowhere to Poop
"...At this point, the subject is barely walking. His abdominals clenched, his sphincter clenched, his teeth closed over shallow breaths, the subject reports a sense of impending doom. He fears he may die, or worse – embarrass himself."
Sonnet to Summer Baseball
"...B. Summertime is when young boys feel they live on the verge of every possibility. I was twelve and in love with the girl next door. She had sandy blonde hair. Blue eyes. Thin hips. A pair of leather pants that mystified me. I would walk by her house where her blue jeans hung on the line and think about walking up to her door. But I never did."
"...The investigator ushered me in. There was a halo of blood around the body. The inner ring was dark red. It coagulated and formed a raised plateau. The outer ring was brown and thin – the blood had dried up and left nothing but a stain. His eyes were open and his jaw was agape, giving him a slack-jawed and ghoulish overbite."
An Inventory of Words That Should Exist
"...Let me give you an example – something concrete. Last winter, I had a girlfriend. She has short brown hair, a white knit hat, a shy smile she flashes sometimes, and a laugh somewhere between a giggle and a snort. She doted on me as if I were a puppy dog. I needed a word that means I love you but not forever, but I couldn’t find it."
Sonnet to Hurricane Sandy
"How does one write about Breezy Point? How does one make sense of an act of God?"
Jetlag: A Love Story
"...Life, too, sometimes seems like being stuck in coach, sitting silently but politely, and knowing that no matter what you do, no matter who each person is or was, everyone winds up in the same place in the end."
A Modern Revival Meeting
"...Figures flash on the screen. Big figures. Hypothetical money comes to me in three, four ways – from above, from below. I think of friends I could sell to and how I could sell it to them and how much money I could make. I feel like I did during those first Sunday schools when the pastor preached the Good Word and everything crystallized into perfect sense and all I wanted to do was share the Good Word with everyone so I could see in their faces that moment of freefall when they got it too."
Ammar and Me: A story from Iraq
"...And now Ammar is 17 and ready to leave Baghdad. He has just been accepted into a program that will bring him to America for a year. The process has lasted months. Finally, his visa is approved and he realizes he will be leaving Baghdad. He doesn't even have a suitcase."
A Taste of Lechon
"...The pig itself sat as the guest of honor in the center of the dining area. The pig’s head, untouched like a wallflower at homecoming, closed down upon an apple as guests walked up to its body and ripped it apart."
Selected Works 2008-2013
by J.p. Lawrence
The Cold Snow in January Freezes
"...It hadn’t been always like this, she thought as she walked the freshly shoveled sidewalk. As a child, waiting for spring to return, Corrine wrote long, arching stories about plucky pig-tailed girls defying all odds to save the farm and win the heart of the local farm boy. In college, too, she had once written an achingly beautiful poem – at least she thought so – about a man whose heart held a hole spilling healing waters. Now? Articles about city hall meetings, county fairs, the grand openings of candle shops."
"...Dany drives down the state highway toward her grandma’s place and sheets of rain sweep across the cornfields on each side of the empty road. The leaves shiver with each wave and the cornfields sound like soldiers on the march. The telephone poles appear and disappear as she drives by – one after another. Eric Burdon’s on the radio. And then it happens."
"...The scarf lady defends her child with measured condescension. Both agree to nothing. The scarf lady leaves the table, and as they depart through the double doors, she complains acidly to her husband about the horrid coffee."The Closer
"...and everyone in the stands is watching to see if you can really pull it off, to see if you’re a man or just a boy, to see if you can hit that fastball, because, whomp! there went one there..."
Selected Works 2010-2013
By J.p. Lawrence
Funny by the Numbers: Analyzing Joke Distribution in “The Importance of Being Earnest”
"...Cecily’s joke-to-assist, or burn, ratio, towers over the rest of the characters, with Cecily telling almost two jokes for every one she sets up. In addition, 43% of her assists occurred in just two scenes, the scene where she meets Algernon and the scene where she meets Gwendolen. This means that in scenes when she’s in the company of people she already knows, she dominates conversations with a burn ratio of 5.3:1, which is an astonishing number for a character supposedly of the lowest status in the world of the play – she is barely an adult, with several elders over her."
Marketplaces of Relevance: A Examination of How Students Use Facebook
"... What’s not said by these users is that every post on Facebook is crying for attention. In the new media environment, if a post is deserving of attention, it will get it, and the best will rise to the top as people choose what they want. (Billic 30). What users really hate are posts that cry for attention and don’t deserve it. The sin that “over-posters” commit is simply one of overselling: the merits of the post is not enough to earn the reward of attention and feedback."
Living in a Rational World: What it means to be a sports fan in an age of statistics
"...I noticed that more and more I began to ignore the actual games in favor of the box scores. I also noticed that I began to see players not as humans, but as sets of numbers..."
The Creation of Imaginary Worlds: Communication and Collusion in the Realm Of Dungeons and Dragons
"...D&D players and DMs, by sharing their vision of what is possible within the world of their campaign, alter through cause and effect the characteristics of their world, and thus help each other form a collective, shared space. Some semblance of a collective, shared space is necessary for game play, because although players are free to act as they wish, in order to act in a rational way within the game, they need to share some basic guidelines of the physics of their world..."
Factuality and the Journalistic Field
"...By showing what they see and hear, as opposed to what they “think,” journalists can say they are not painters, but photographers, simply recapitulating what is objectively there. The problem is that what journalists see and hear is inherently subjective to what they think. Representation necessarily denotes interpretation (Peterson 201) and “accounts of newsworthiness do not present reality; rather, they forge it (Lester 985).”