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Annus Horribilis

Vox pop says 2016 was really bad. “Vox pop” is a British phrase based on a Latin phrase that means “things people on the street (who aren’t me) are saying.” Lots of people didn’t get their way in 2016, and they used the handheld... read more

Poetry: Like

“Like”   Ten thousand years of choices Made under the influence Of someone or something. It’s gotten us this far: Cackling invective, Sad pretense of wit. A too-easy intimacy, Casual, though false, Now beamed through screens in our hands.   Our... read more

Social Isolation: The Phantom Limb

I see social isolation all around me. Mainly, it’s among middle-class “nice people” who are very conscious of their possessions and adherence to social norms, and the risk of losing it all at the turn of a card. Maybe not even their own card.... read more

Microfiction: Flyover Country

I’ve always believed in signs. Always.   One of the first things I remember from growing up was the old Dairy Queen sign down on Highway 12. I know that’s not the sign you’re thinking of, but still I say it’s important for what you want to... read more

Teaching Kids Skiing, And Other Things . . .

Ahh, the sound of teaching kids skiing:   “SKIS! YOU LISTEN TO ME! YOU DON’T LISTEN TO ME! AND I HATE YOU! AND I HATE . . . GRRR . . .  SNOW!!!!”     I sat on the bunny slope in my ski pants, watching from a safe distance about... read more

Implanted Memories and Boston Bars

What does a bar in Boston look like inside? Can you tell me?     Most people have an idea of what it looks like. Cheers has been off the air for twenty years, but it ran long enough to for most people to have seen an episode or two–either when new or... read more

Drywall Repair as Teen Rebellion

One drawback of growing up with “creative” parents: Being rebellious is hard work. But I found a way. My dad thought most manual labor was below him. He was a musician, songwriter, playwright, and occasional vacuum-cleaner salesman (No lie: You do what you... read more

Fatherhood: Riding Bikes Together

I had an essential experience of fatherhood yesterday. For the first time my son and I rode bicycles together. But the experience was oddly bittersweet.   My dad and I never rode together. I learned to ride a bike on my 7th birthday. Dad lifted the pre-assembled... read more

The Real Source of the Obesity Problem

Remember the ads from “A Partnership for a Drug-Free America?” back in the ’80s? It’s time for a revamp. They had the wrong problem and the wrong villains in mind before. Here’s the real problem: The real problems keeping people obese not... read more

Writing a Book: “Feels Good, Don’t It?”

“Feels good, don’t it?” He said with a big, beaming smile. He’s the security guard at the front desk of the main Phoenix Public library. I think I’ve walked past him for twenty years or more. On his belt are a walkie-talkie and a mace can... read more

POEM: BLACK DISHES AT A YARD SALE

“Black Dishes at a Yard Sale” The dishes covered the table in a stack Among the other detritus Of young married life in a smallish den Long since left behind. The platters, bowls, and saucers black, A hue once thought elegant, But since found to possess a... read more

How Many Words Don’t You Write Each Day?

I must have commented in a discussion LinkedIn a few months ago. I think that’s why I keep getting notices from new responses to a deceptively simple question: “How man (sic) words do you write each day?” For hundreds or even thousands of posts... read more

Love and Bullets

Typical conversation around my house a few days a week:   Son: “Does an Uzi shoot .32’s?” Me: “I suppose you could get them rechambered for that, but stock they’re 9mm Luger–most of them. That’s close to a .38. Why would... read more

Careers: Artists’ Greatest Fear

I think a life of destitution as an unknown in service of art isn’t artists’ greatest fear. The greatest fear is to become successful (and famous) for the wrong thing. The thing you didn’t want to become your career. This is the fear of most artists.... read more

Dogs

Dogs are terrific. I miss having a dog. Somehow — eons ago — a few of the wolves that existed at the time decided that humans weren’t so bad. We were generally entertaining, had a steady supply of food and opposable thumbs that helped remove thorns... read more

Poem: Self-Cannibalism

“Self-Cannibalism” You’ve freeze-dried the joy heard First from a crackling car speaker, Packaging your life’s magic inside A Lucite puck for modern display. A million’s not a million as time goes by And villas in Nice don’t get... read more
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