All posts by J.D. Brayton - Author

About J.D. Brayton - Author

J.D. Brayton is an artist, musician and writer residing in Maryland – just downwind of the gusty miasma known as the Nation’s Capital. He writes historical fiction, short stories. His Post-Gonzo Crime Pulp novels ‘The Clabber Grrrl’s Retreat’, EYE SKIN, 'THRIP' and historical fiction : The Light Horse are available on, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.

This Sunday (4.23.23) at the Kensington Day of the Book Festival

I will be at the Kensington Day of the Book street Festival from 10 to 4 P.M. Stop by and say hello. Free download of THE LIGHT HORSE audiobook with every book purchase!

16th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

                     Sunday, April 23, 2023 * 11-4pm

                     Howard Ave, Old Town Kensington, Maryland

Quick Refections on an Easternboy’s trip to L.A.

Quick reflections: L.A. traffic isn’t any worse than DC/Balt.- except people are nicer. I kept expecting someone to pull up in a traffic jam and give me an organic muffin. The freeway tangle is horrendous- gotta use your WAZE app or be lost forever. THERE IS NO WATER. Weird for us Easters. (I felt like a BAD person for taking a shower.)There is NO REASON to live in the Central Valley. None. Bay area drivers are mean as they are here- so= right at home. Yosemite is incredible and YES it was/is burning. Respect for Cali firefighters. The Golden Hills are that color because it never rains- and according to my nephew Q- when it does, it’s like when it snows in D.C.- Everyone loses all ability to reason or drive. Beverly Hills, once you get above the bling and into the canyons is f’n amazing. Topanga Canyon- Same. Laurel Canyon- meh.

The architecture is superior in L.A.- I gravitate toward Mexican/Spanish design. This East coast Pennsylvania-Dutch square nonsense has always left me cold. Round doorways and arch designs are beautiful to me. (That’s the ex-Miami boy conditioning.)

The Pacific Ocean is incredible. So is the weather. Except for the part about NO RAIN.

The Settlers were tough, insane, and the ones who made it over land in wagons deserve the accolades- there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING out there. I don’t know how anyone survived.

Don’t get me started on Reno. More on that later.

Yes- I masked. (especially on the airplane.)

50/50 masking in L.A. Nevada doesn’t give a crap- NO masking at all.

I survived flying. OBSERVATION: it is incredible that we possess the technology to fly across this country in 4 hours. I still dislike the flying experience with 300 people slamming their carry-on luggage into overhead bins (and into the side of my head.) Hint: bring your own earphones , preferably the kind that adjust volume- the airplane is really LOUD.

I am tired and am unsure what day it is.

I put the recycling out. I think that’s wrong. Also my attempts to mow the lawn with jet lag is quite like a deranged Van Gogh on a John Deere.

My neighbors are used to my Artistic lawn mowing patterns – so they won’t see anything amiss.

Happy ‘Independence Day’ 2022

Sometimes I feel swallowed by all this endless dystopian cosplay. Or is it? All the dystopian novels, paintings, films, comedians, comic books, poetry, beer ads and fashion statements — it all seemed revolutionary in the face of faux-feel good narratives shoved, suggested, and taught by the shadow government we all suspected existed—( or doesn’t it? ) Maybe the entire dystopian nightmare reality we are so aptly playing out can simply be broken down to a lack of emotional coping skills in the face of towering incompetence by flawed humanity posing as ‘Ultimate Authority’?

Metaphor: Building a dam is impressive, maintaining it too exhausting, time consuming, and the sort of chore relegated to some uniformed functionary who (like you) is under-paid, under-appreciated and struggling to pay a car payment or cable bill. Is Faith the blinders on a plow-horse? Is the plow-horse now maintained by Artificial Intelligence? Remember: Busy Hands are Happy Hands. Heaven is the ultimate Big Box Store prescient and available to every sparking soul conjured by anthropomorphic task masters. ‘They’ graciously construct pyramids used to house myths, tropes, legends and scientific marvels, such as sea monkeys and Viagra crème. The monumental latte. The last possible piece of avocado toast before inevitable strains of a dystopian anthem plays in humanity’s tinnitus-plagued ears.

Silence is the only real ‘Alternative Music’.

The only cinema, a garden.

Hold that thought.

Even thinking this before writing this before leaning back and reading this has ( somehow ) fed the collective narrative that we are all doomed. If I am guilty, so are you. And so is your T.V. remote. The faceless thumb. The inventor. The rare nails used to tack up Jesus were, undeniably, a misuse of available technology.

Prediction: Robots will most certainly wipe your ass.

 In the near future, which was a second ago (and now another now anothernowanother)= Emotions will complete the dystopian feast readily packaged like smiling meat at the super-tribal Big Box Pyramid near you. Popcorn and monkeypox. COVID comestibles. Acne crème peanut butter calliope. Miniature confectionary mountains. Malthusian turmeric smoothies.

Aisles of Smiles.

How long and how often will laughing at terror forestall a collapse that, in truth, is far from inevitable? Sensibly averted? Positively de-negativized? A double-helix mirror at which we are constrained to stare, laughing through tears of passive acceptance, certain in the aimlessly dystopian belief that nothing matters. Nothing is good. Nothing is worth pissing on. Nothing is Everything. And Everything is shit.

I gotta call bullshit on this one. Bullshit with a capital ‘B’.

And I’m not even an optimist. Or a Preacher. Or a dreamer.

I am the First Amendment in free-fall.

~ J.D. Brayton


From: TheTalking Box- Book 1 -ASURA

Zen, A Chant, and a Solid 8 Hours

The nation’s Federal City is a fascinating clusterfuck. Washington, D.C. is, quite possibly, the most absurdly misunderstood city on the planet. To your tourist, it’s a city of monuments and museums —bought and paid for by the sweat tax off the balls and backs of everybody’s American ancestor. To your political hopeful, it’s the proximity to real power, a chance to interact and rub elbows with the Christs of political juice in the flesh. The Media loves this city. They all take scrum communion together on the steps of The Capitol every news day in all the languages of the world, rolling tape, scittering, scampering and scattering viewpoints that bounce horrendously off a zillion communication satellites and back into the thirsty ear of the rest of the world; the rest of the world being most decidedly anyplace that is not here. Washington is, without debate; the absolute center of the universe.  People who live here actually believe this, routinely assent to this impossible fraud as an immutable fact. Compared to the Capital of The Free World—New York City is just a seedy artist colony with delusions of grandeur, compared to the sheer power exhibited and exemplified and amplified by the Nation’s Capital. As a tourist destination, we have the hard throbbing obelisk with which to immensely fuck the rest of the world. The Great Grand and Holy See of Incomprehensible Delusion.  Maybe it’s all the microwaves. The silent nanometers. Washington is the undisputed King of the incredibly important phone call, fax, radar, e-mail or gamma ray necessary to ride herd and yank the reins of policy. Damn impressive, as Chattie would say. People who live work and interact with one another in this city are certainly impressed by themselves.  It’s all in the walk. The Power Lunch may not have been invented here, but it has been perfected here. Alpha eats Omega with a sprig of arugula with Senator Caligula. I want it in triplicate on my desk yesterday or we’ll have yer head in our salad with a dash of vinaigrette. No one would stop to blink an eye in your passing. Anyone can be replaced here. There is always the reality lurking in the back of a Washingtonian’s mind that all it really takes is a micro-series of small fuck-ups here at ground zero to become a huge fuck-up which could possibly reduce the entire planet into radioactive space-dust. For all that, there is a level of arrogant officious calm that, on almost every level, is part of the demeanor of a Washingtonian. Washington is the city of the Ultimate Poker Face. A city which is forever being written about but never truly described as any more than a city of gray functionarian pundits holding a despotic rule over the modern world.            

Things break. Much is broken in the soul of democracy. There is ever so much malfunction. Ever so much need for pyramid restoration, gilded pissoirs, and willing yammer-mammals to preen and buff the abstruse infrastructure of greed and malfeasance.

From The Talking Box-Book One- (Asura) – sequel to The Light Horse

Richmond. We were popular here. I love this place like I’d love a lounging skeleton at my birthday dinner wearing a paper crown, rakishly smoking a non-filtered Camel, and dressed in my momma’s mu-mu. Richmond is quite like a facinorous corybantic Ipse Dixit impaled by laudanum. A morbidly jolly municipality. Like a traffic accident I can’t make myself look away from. Richmond smells like a mix of pine needles, clabber biscuits and fifty- four thousand pork cigarettes burning in church. The reechy old buildings still stand. They look antiqued and sepia toned, even on the brightest of sunny days. The new buildings of the vibrant capital of Virginia stand tall and impressive above the antiques- a nitid testimony to the new progressive South: but still the contrast is strangely steeped in paralysis -in Faulknerian terms resembling a suit bought on credit for a bankrupted tobacco farmer attending a funeral for a roué uncle buried on the cheap with a second-hand casket with flowers stolen from the garden of the Museum of The Confederacy. There is always smoked ham at the reception. And very sweet tea, baby.

No wonder Punk Rock is popular here. Richmond is a clochard at an obsequy. Naked Shock used to sell-out every venue we played here. Richmond was a sort-of frenemy to the new-South resurgence- if Richmond was magically transmogrified into human form, it would manifest as a poetry slam full of moth mauled ante-poetic superlatives wearing confederate red suspenders. This is a city that has broadcast its white vibrant shimmering quim upon the southern imagination and festooned its precious antebellum ovarian eggs upon history and now as a city stands like a be-spectacled pock-marked pilgrim caught with his pants down after midnight in a bus stop enclosure smelling of retromingent whiskey pee, holding a semi-flaccid digit in his hands after dreaming drunk about an immaculate dry-hump, with a cheap slut named Destiny, who wears a stained hoop skirt. A city where re-enactors like to dress up like dead people to feel like heroes. Perfect.

There is optimism in this image for those who choose to see it.

Eye Skin- Author’s Forward

Author’s Forward from original edition

‘Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor.’

~ Wallace Stevens ~

There is a sickness in the United States; endemic, chronic and defined by actions rather than legalities. Racism is rooted deep within the national character, its origins explained by the basest of human instinct—the need to identify with one’s tribe, family, bloodline— the need for security in ‘sameness’, the need to protect the tribe from others who might take that which has been gathered, hunted or assumed by the dignity of scrum. It doesn’t take a social scientist to explain that we, as a tribal species, haven’t changed that much. We try. There have been huge appreciable gains brought about by heroes and common people; they who refused the threnody of marginalization. All of humanity struggles with nature, nurture, logic and jingoism. Survival is the prime directive when fear entraps the entropic. Daily vicious displays of a bellicose judicial system numb our collective psyche. Objectivity is a learned trait, it delays mere instinct, it fights ignorance with the need to gather knowledge instead of settling for a fresh kill, cultivates understanding instead of territorial boundaries, offers sanctity beyond religiosity. We, as Americans, struggle with the legacy of slavery. Guilt does ugly things to the human psyche— the need for Americans to rationalize or to equivocate in the face of our nation’s embrace of human bondage is formidable—and for many—inescapable. The sins of our forebears rest heavily on our shoulders. Our leaders offer clichés and talking points when only fundamental spiritual transformation, the most difficult of challenges as individuals, is what is necessary in order for our country, our collective tribe, our national identity, to ultimately transmogrify into a truly free society.

Talk is cheap.

In the final analysis—this novel is just a bit of fiction, not a philosophical manifesto. I’m a writer not a pontificate. At best—words as a creative outlet, can influence a reader in positive ways. Words can inform, allude and collide with forgone conclusions. (That—and entertain.) The rest is up to all of you.

Evolution is not painless.

Never take a freedom for granted.

JD Brayton

Eye Skin- Second Edition 2022