Two Sides to Every Story

Ari ordered a Turkish coffee at the counter. The cafe was crowded with men sitting in groups of ones or twos, talking or doing business. These days it was impossible to tell at a glance the Jews from the Arabs. Young men with dark hair and golden skin, all of them with cellphones in their […]

After Gomorrah

We have no name for the people who came before us. Some call them “The Builders;”  others, “The Destroyers.” Stories told in ceremony and song, but no definitive history. There were many, many of them, and everywhere they went they marked the land with roads and bridges. Many of the elders ponder how they did […]

La Sangre De Los Reyes

“Where are you going, Tupac?” Marisól asked. “Out,” he said. “With whom?”  She stepped in to block him from the door. The combination of her bulk and moral authority were impenetrable. He sighed. “With Carlitos and Nando.” “Always those boys with their spray paint and skateboards and slang.” “They’re good guys, Mamá. Carlitos is at […]

About Salvation

“Should be a good turnout, Father. With the snow.” Father Loris squinted up through the window at the swirling flakes. A gust of wind rattled the glass. “Better add more water to the soup, then.” Sister Claire placed the bucket in the sink and turned the tap. “What I mean,” she shouted over the thundering […]

Barman Story

Note on this story: It’s one of the Überhaus Diaries I wrote in Portland during the late 1990s. The photo Karen selected this week is the inside of a bar around the corner from where I lived in Portland. The Überhaus was perhaps the last bandit lofts in the city, a 2000 square foot apartment […]

The Fortunate

“Explain it again,” she said, looking up at me with those pale green eyes unique to our family. “Please.” “The physician and the surgeon will make me comfortable first.” “How will they do that?” I smiled. “They have special physic. After this, they will take me into the operating theater where they will take out […]


Murtaz clomped into the conservatory, bringing with him an unwelcome blast of frigid air that extinguished the candles and blew the pages of music all over the room. “For the love of God, close the door!” yelled Otar. “Sorry,” said Murtaz, pushing it shut. Otar struck a match and laboriously relit each of the ten […]

The Vigil Over

The vigil over, I stood beneath the streetlight and thought of what I’d witnessed inside. Each of us weaves a net of our experience and gleaned information, of our opinions, our likes and dislikes. We cast this net throughout our world, trapping only that which the net will hold. Everything else slips through, and we, […]