Fightin’ Words

It turns out I have a dangerous temper. Dangerous to my identity as a civilized being, not to anyone else. I would have expected to reach this epiphany much earlier in life, but that’s the nature of epiphanies—they slowly form in the caverns of our subconscious and then, one day, when we’re slicing carrots or … Continue reading Fightin’ Words

Blogging to Complicate Yourself

My daughter makes a point of being the first person to “like” my new blog posts. I freely admit that I await with eagerness the WordPress notification that she hit the button. She’s a rising senior in college in New York City, and her two summer jobs keep her busy; so these days she reads … Continue reading Blogging to Complicate Yourself

Each Time, A Little More Composure

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

Defiant Spaces

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

A Short Poem About Cardinals

  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.

Against Caring

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

Putting It All Out There

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

My Glorious Lacrosse Career

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

A Sort of Dark Poem About Summer

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

What Masculinity Looked Like

Masculinity is a freighted word. I can’t conjure those five syllables without calling to mind certain classic images of maleness. It’s like there’s a memory chip in my brain that serves up the same old picture, even when I change the search terms. The same phenomenon is true, I think, for all kinds of deep-seated … Continue reading What Masculinity Looked Like