Excerpt from Diary of a Young Grey Man: The Jesus Year

Semyon Khokhlov




Grey bursting clouds massive sprays like flick after flick of it waking out of other wakings into the Geographical History of America and A. on the line finally no Wi-Fi on his Danish girlfriend’s houseboat the straight ahead way of breaking down an academic argument apologizing for the crudeness of the words that matter.

Burger on the skillet the lunch that’s fine with sweet corn that J. is right doesn’t even need butter late lunch shading into early dinner touchy ignorantly resolute I can’t learn about Cage at the workshop like every second I have to be watchful ready for the work.

A cone-head venture capitalist who doesn’t understand scale a whole life built out of unhappy childhood poverty as self-denial dozing as a hobby like Karl Ove believed but without the second thoughts or yearning the world is knowable within a field that’s .3 percent of GDP an intimidating rounding error.

Uncared for basketball in the evening air-conditioned air J. the dealer is in a hurry two separate forms of goodbye with his hand the mugginess I can’t stand goes with violence he answers no time to talk I’m a little puzzled he’ll work on his tan I don’t know anyone who works on their tan.

A bathtub plan and options for getting out of it working for vacation why not less high skyping Papa in Bishkek a little older the work on gold and uranium tight as it’s lately been in a communal office with an employee who understands halfway through the conversation seeing me who I am.


Semyon Khokhlov has a Phd in English from Notre Dame where he wrote a dissertation on Marcel Duchamp and Gertrude Stein. He works as an academic librarian and lives in Philadelphia. This is his first creative publication.