Gita Quiet is your wrath, little cat. Marsupial-eyed, impassive, You sit like Rhadamanthus on his terrible throne. We beneath your crouching glare are Burdened by your malice— As you lose interest In us and Doze.
The release of my book Midpoint this week resulted in some old friends reaching out to ask how I’m feeling eighteen months after undergoing surgery for stage-3 prostate cancer. The book ends with my checking results from my first postoperative PSA test in March, 2018. For people I don’t see often, that would be their … Continue reading Each Time, A Little More Composure
Despite those moments of stillness when I notice, almost accidentally, the slow sway of the fir branch, or the gray spider moving along the windowsill, life most often feels like a headlong sprint. When we’re young, time’s advance doesn’t trouble us: It carries us reassuringly toward maturity—meeting that girl at the football game, getting a … Continue reading Defiant Spaces
Cardinals Cardinal couple at the bird-feeder today, he all in red, she in orange-gray. They’re not like us, this mismatched pair, she on the snow below, he circling in the air. They never part but seldom unite, conjoined by love and freed by flight.
People who insist on backing their cars into parking spaces drive me nuts. On any given day, when I’m circling around the YMCA parking lot, I have to wait while some guy in a pickup the size of a Panzer tank backs into his spot. At that point, I remark to my wife something like, … Continue reading Against Caring
Until I enrolled in the Skidmore Summer Writers Institute for a two-week course on nonfiction writing, I’d never heard of Philip Lopate, the man who would be my instructor. I guess that shows how little serious reading I’d done in “literary nonfiction.” Lopate, it turns out, is the king of nonfiction, having written four collections … Continue reading Putting It All Out There
One of the great benefits of having a daughter in college is getting to see her assigned readings—and then indulging myself in those that capture my interest. It’s like a dividend payment for all those tuition checks we wrote. In the last three years of my daughter’s studies, I’ve been turned on to the works … Continue reading Business and the Moral Life
One of my former employees recently recalled some advice I gave the editors at our marketing communications agency: “You only get one exclamation point in your writing career. Use it wisely.” At the time, I thought I was quoting Tennessee Williams, but I can’t find any such remark from him. My search for the origin … Continue reading Exclamation-Point Leadership
The year I played lacrosse at Manual High School in Denver, the team posed for its yearbook picture holding beakers and wearing safety goggles. I’m not sure whose idea that was, or what connection existed between chemistry and an ancient Native American sport. Recently, when I came across that image in my Thunderbolts yearbook, my … Continue reading My Glorious Lacrosse Career
Dichotomy It was by our old garage door beneath a spot long favored by birds to build nests of mud and string. The neighbor’s cat had not yet found it, though by dusk its deathbed would be merely flattened grass and a tuft of down. Perhaps I had seen this one the day before, its … Continue reading A Sort of Dark Poem About Summer