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You learn quickly to not poke yourself in the eye but slowly to recognize sticks which after all are everywhere suggesting you might bow at the altar of branches practice the burn the sting the ocean on your cheek and consider their hidden kindness how they rub the velvet from your antlers that you might […]


Cooking for one you bought the Mini quicker to pressurize but — you learn — slower to cook except when it’s not. Maybe it’s the altitude or mysteries no one can name that explain why proven formulas fail dubious experiments succeed though always the Bundtlette pan pleases making comely the humblest recipe causing you to […]

High Sierra

The last heist ends as you knew it would: Roy Earle tumbling from the high sierra. His weeping woman; his crying dog.  But before that, love, for which Palance and Winters are too pretty, too well-fed; even in CinemaScope even in Warnercolor love needs Bogart and Lupino, their small desperation,  the sharp angularity of his […]



Fruitcake weather

Truman Capote is best known for In Cold Blood, the chilling account of a Kansas farm family’s 1959 murder that birthed a new form of journalism. But at this time of year, he is remembered for A Christmas Memory, a short story that recalls his little-boy life with a distant cousin, a woman in her sixties with […]




  “Jingle Bells” by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, 1935.  This post originally appeared in December 2015.

Knowing it would end

did I ghost my life, indentured to some lesser master, determined not to breathe too gladly, and was I afraid of my body’s fierce appetites, how it loved food, needed water, wanted you, how in the same moments it longed to be free, and caught, as if paradox were its natural disposition, the skeleton on […]


Again I realize I am falling, that behind the closed door, the everyday hardness, lies still the door flung wide: the soft sadness antecedent to the long descent, the intractable span between beginnings and endings, dreams and reality, then and now. We speak of falling in love, but there are other ways to fall. Deeper.  […]

While we slept

Snow fell while we slept (after we had tucked in the day’s troubles, though they complained it was not time for bed) snow fell noiselessly as dreams riled our slumber the familiar ghosts rattling their familiar chains snow fell and kept falling blanketing backward our unconscious lives accumulating accumulating so that when we awoke the […]