• Essays,  Memoir,  Profiles

    Dear General de Gaulle …

    The email arrived one day recently in my in-box from Glasgow, Scotland: Did you know, it said, that a letter your friend Sister Mary Pellicane sent to Charles de Gaulle is on sale on eBay in London? Um ... no. What?

  • Essays,  Memoir

    ‘I Am Too Serious’

    'Hey, here you go. What's your name? Where'd you serve?' He nods in thanks. Stuffs the bag into a pocket. Tom. That's his name. He takes off his black knit cap. Syria. Iraq. 'A shell took off part of the top of my head.' I wince. He points to a jagged line. 'The Med Evac was the best. Saved my life.' He's homeless. 'I sleep in the park.'

  • Essays

    It’s no longer a mall thing

    Heading to the local mall used to be one of the social highlights of the week even ten years ago, much less 20. A recent visit to the Town Center Mall in West Virginia's capital city reveals how much the idea of the mall has faded.

  • Essays,  Photography

    A Horny Encounter in the Neighborhood

    Do auspicious omens from a deer encounter extend to the semi-suburbs? I have zilch expertise in gauging their racks, but this 2-, 3- or 4-point young buck showed up recently in my backyard, which butts up against a narrow spit of woods. I got a closer look at him last night upon returning home from an outing ...

  • Essays

    It’s an altar boy thing

    Let's not talk about the moon anymore, but instead Solzhenitsyn's idea of 'political horror,' how to write a 'sorta memoir,' and breaking up with Twitter until the perp walk.

  • Essays

    ‘The Religion of Want’

    How hard it is to dream, / to dream well. Besieged by / wants, missing what’s not / there. Wanting what we / cannot have, or could, at a / high cost of misery ...

  • Essays,  Memoir

    “Stormtroopers & Grandmas”

    The balls of his black pupils stare at me intently, oddly echoed by the round marble of a self-shaved head. Moments later, I have second thoughts about my diplomacy as “Speak English or Die” batters the room.

  • Essays

    ‘All These Pages’

    As a writer, purveyor, and publisher of creative works, I am constantly wrestling with my ego’s desire to see such work as of lasting significance, a hedge against my own mortality. Yet such works, too, will soon pass on by and melt away, swallowed by the river of time. Here’s a video-poem about that.