Author Archives: Wes Modes

I lead numerous secret lives. I’m full of energy. I’m playful and mischievous. Beyond that, I’ll let my friends add their own cautionary testimonials. Oh, and I [insert hyperbole here].

I’m looking for someone to [insert more hyperbole here]. I want someone who’ll go trainhopping with me. I’m looking for someone to play with, to cause trouble with. Someone who does it all. Irreverent and serious. Strong and romantic. Buzzing with life and still takes time to watch clouds.

It takes for fucking ever to get to know someone on-line. Is it just me, or do people seem paralyzed by caution? Fuck that. Take a chance. Let’s race headlong to our certain doom. Send me a message. If you end up hating me, you don’t have to marry me.

I’m looking for a way to burn off excess energy. A way to spice up the mind-numbing boredom of a day job. I’m looking to stir up trouble, to inspire and be inspired by untamed people for crazy, reckless friendship.

Or maybe I’m just drinking too much coffee.



THE SPOON CAFE JOURNAL HAS MOVED! JOIN US AT If you are an author, please move your stories over to the new Spoon Cafe Journal site by the New Year. For a while now I’ve wanted to move the Spoon Cafe Journal blog from WordPress to Blogger.  Blogger is a google thing, and so […]

Blackberry Jam

Ben confides to his friend Ash that he plans to commit suicide.  The two are in a neighborhood bar that they almost never frequent.  They have a lengthy detailed conversation about methods and timing.  Ash says his preferred method would be a pitcher of margaritas, a warm blanket, and a commercial walk-in freezer.  He’d die […]


Teeth.  My first two teeth are chipped from a generally adventurous life and most recently from foolishly stripping insulation from wires with my teeth. Once my dentist asked me if I wanted to cap my chipped front teeth.  He offered to file them down and put what he called a prosthesis, a fake tooth cover, […]

At the Scene of an Intrigue: A River Before Dawn

Sleepy sleepy eyes creaking Open barely a caper Creeping a long coat, Hat pulled over eyes before the sun. Barely four hours sleep tucked Into my breast pocket Another hour borrowed time. A pre-dawn rainy-day Middle-of-the-bridge Hostage swap that didn’t come off. A cell phone in one pocket, a Cup and a packet of graham […]

Hurt and Gladness

Today, I rode through an autumn snow flurry of falling leaves on my way to work.  A single leaf separated from the flock and slapped me sharply across the lips.  I can still feel the place where it touched me. Yesterday, I hurt my shoulder while tumbling on the grass.  The insistent throbbing has diminished, […]

A Recipe for Perfect Lemonade

You’re sitting on the front steps of the little two bedroom place that you and your new bride rent — your charming little cottage with the big picture window and the hardwood floors recently refinished — and the baby is expected but not arrived yet, so she still pays attention to you, especially today that […]

Feathers, driftwood, old photographs, love notes

I’d like to live in a house on the water, a homemade houseboat, with a small engine that can move it slowly from here to there. A water squatter. A place with tin roof and tin walls, insulated for winter, with a wood burning stove for heating and cooking.  A porch, a porch swing, a […]

To My Friend, Who Happens To Be My Son

Letter to my dad, but not my father figure. To my friend, who happens to be my son. Dear Son, Dear Dad, There’s a moment in your childhood that I still have both the photograph and the photographic memory of.  You were standing beside a chain link fence near Tehachapi looking at me, humoring me and […]

25 Random Things About Me

You have been tagged in this note.  Now you are obligated by the law of chain letters to respond. I was going to tell you about this guy in Peoria who didn’t pass this on, but I won’t tell you about his tragic misfortune. Here are the Rules:  Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed […]

Bandon, Oregon

One winter morning, I had crab in Bandon, Oregon. I went up the coast and went out one morning and bought crab in Bandon, Oregon. I drove up along the rugged coast of Oregon and went out one morning and got crab in Bandon, Oregon. I rode up the coast on my motorcycle just as […]

People often fail on the verge of success; take care at the end as at the beginning

Some summer afternoons we would go out to dinner in a neighboring town. We’d take the backroads and meander through dust and meadows and pepper trees. On these drives, talk would turn lazy and philosophical.  They were our best moments by far. Now, I’m just tired. When I regain balance, she knocks me off my […]

Ugly Intersection Drawing of a Scrub Jay

Had unusual dreams last night under a foot of blankets.  Elaine told me she’s never had an orgasm.  I said, “Never?” And she said, “Never,” in that way she has that is sardonically accepting of every situation. And I wake up thinking of Sophie.  Just that thought in my head.  That’s all. I’m chafing in […]


I rode a shuttle bus last night up on campus and after everyone boarded and the driver turned off the bright overhead lights leaving a series of moody pools of warm reading light, I was flooded with longing. Cross-country bus trips of my youth.  Stopping for minutes at a time in little towns whose name […]

Dispatch from the Cab of an Old Truck in the RC&BT Railyard at the End of Autumn

Sitting in the twilight in the old truck at the railyard.  The last of the Saturday light fading from the sky.  An unseasonably warm November evening, maybe the last warm night of the year.  Car wheels crunching on gravel in the distance. Someone asked if this was part of a larger story.  Trite, but yes.  […]

Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues

A freight train out of town.  Cold hands.  Head stuffed up with sleep and lack of sleep and why am I up so early with the morning fog along the tracks.  Skip James tune in my head, just a few lines obsessively repeating in my head. There’s a girl that I left behind and we’re […]

Sleep Strike

I’m not going to sleep until you sleep with me.  Not.  Won’t.  Can’t make me.  It’s a sleep strike. I’ll negotiate.  I can be reasoned with.  I’ll cut a deal.  I’ll give in, but only if you’re willing to bargain.  I’m not asking for much, only for your love and passion.  All you need to […]

Saint Louis

I was walking St. Louis alone late one night. All the bars had closed and even the last hearty hopefuls had found their way to the door. There was no one on the street, but there were lights in many windows. The blue flicker of television leaked out from behind a few curtains. An icy […]

It’s 1am and I’m Running Away

The high-tension wires are making a dangly-jangly rhythm like the sound of a digeridoo. And I’m thinking about the barking dogs in the distance. I’m thinking about the fish dancing for fish reasons to fish rhythms. I’m thinking about the frogs across the lake with their frog love songs. I’m thinking about what you said […]


Cool now out in the yard at this time of morning. Yet he’s started working already. Why he is up so early shoveling, he can’t figure. Stubborn even against his own tendencies. Position the spade.  Step.  Push the handle down.  Bend, lift and toss.  Repeat.  These simple efficient motions, so pleasing in their economy.  Repeated […]


Ocean voyages in far away lands without ever seeing the sea and trees, leaves, fall and autumn colors breaking bones Breakdown brakeshoe breakbeat a backbeat an off rhythm Snare player from the Midwest in a Salvation Army coat sees a girl he thinks he recognizes from a 1000 miles away An old love, a burnt […]