The Folly of Loving Life (Stories)

New work!

Big thanks to Future Tense publishing and Kevin Sampsell for taking on my short stories. I am so happy to see this one make it’s way out into the world.


Future Tense site says:

Following her acclaimed novels Clown Girl and The Stud Book, Monica Drake presents her long-awaited first collection of stories. The Folly of Loving Life features linked stories examining an array of characters at their most vulnerable and human, often escaping to somewhere or trying to find stability in their own place. These stories display the best of what we love about Monica’s writing–the sly laugh-out-loud humor, the sharp observations, the flawed but strong characters, and the shadowy Van Sant-ish Portland settings.

210 pages, paperback ISBN 978-1-892061-77-5

$15.00 & $3.00 shipping.

I can only ship in the U.S., but if you’re in England, Amazon UK carries it! Huge thanks. M




I aspire to be the stoner

in the room.

To be the guy with the ripped jeans and the Morrison

hair. Who nods and says, “Cool.”

Who says, “Works for me.”

Who says, “Sure, dude.”

And it might be 1977 or

could be 2050 but he has his eye

on some hot bod somewhere else and

he’s flashing a peace sign

and he’s leaving the building

and he’s making like water, like vapor

He says, “Catch you later,” and

“American cigarettes taste like Florida.”

The world can smoke neurosis now,

smoke your striving.

Like a doctor, his first vow

the Hippocratic oath because this dude,

he will do no harm.923191_10151593913265829_1155839775_n

Cuban Mimes

One night when I was barely twenty I went–alone, I think? Maybe with a friend–to see a performance at Cafe Oasis of a Cuban mime troupe. Cafe Oasis, up on NW 23rd, more often hosted open mic poetry, acoustic tunes. It was a narrow venue in an old wooden building with warped floorboards and mismatched ceramic mugs, a small spot for a group traveling from Cuba, but how much stage would mimes need? I didn’t have any idea.  I took the bus then walked a ways in the dark. The mimes never showed up though. Cuban mimes, gone missing.


The Stud Book is set in part at the Oregon Zoo, in Portland, epicenter of Asian elephant sperm, which is seriously shipped around in the world in an effort to keep Asian elephants reproducing in captivity. While the elephant population dwindles and the human population doubles, a pack of lifelong friends navigate the shifting terrain of their own unsteady lives.

Hope you might read it, and love it! That’s my dream. Now out in Spain, from the indie press Blackie Books.

Thank you for taking a look!

Shakespeare and Didion

My mother, daughter and I went to see a production of Othello. My daughter is young, but she’s seen at least three Shakespeare plays so far–Falstaff (fat shaming), Othello (domestic violence) and then Romeo and Juliet in a few different forms.

In the middle of Othello, my mom whispered, “Why is Iago evil? Do we know?”

Some people ask, I think. I never ask.

It’s a quote from Play it as it Lays, by Joan Didion: “What makes Iago evil? Some people ask. I never ask.”


I tell my mom, “We don’t know.”