At first it seems mere curiosity, innocent and natural enough, this child’s questions. But he is abject, insatiable. His mother humors him, but the questions soon define the sharp edges of her ignorance. What is the sun, Mama? Where do people go when they die? Why can’t I hear the thoughts of others? Does God […]

Excerpt: Ulysses of Sorts

In honor of all those soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who are dying in the name of America,  I give you an excerpt from a story about Stuart Dulley,  a young man who joined the Marines in 1940 and got caught up in the hideous machine of war.  Stuart decided Navy nurses were all the […]


In June of 1999 I was traveling back to Portland after visiting my father in Tucson with my three-year-old daughter in tow. We missed a connection and wound up in the Las Vegas Airport. It was my first time in that city, and in the late hour the airport was almost empty An island of garish casino machines […]

The Cubs Win, But We Lose

Think about 1908 for a second. This is the year the Model T debuted, the year the Wrights finally unveiled their flying machine to the public. Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor William Howard Taft was elected as president. The Dow closed at 60.7296, a solid recovery after one of the many panics. In 1908, there were […]

Balzac, Coffee, Novels, Stories

Balzac was reputed to have drunk fifty cups of coffee a day. He worked continually, though not quickly, since he was obsessed with revision. He was known to rework particular passages many times as one would a poem, perpetually tinkering with individual words and phrases until he felt he could do no better. I’m sure […]

Not So Old

not so old to yet be sick of yourself the everyday way you do things leave them wanting, whoever they are take in an old tom because you cannot bear to come home to an empty house, you leave his balls on so he sprays and sprays until you lock him out sit in an empty […]

Überhaus Diary: Tsuru no Sugomori

One night I walked from my apartment up to Portland’s tiny Japan Town and witnessed two old men sitting in a vast room playing go, a young man watching from the doorway. I went home and wrote this piece. It is typical of the sort of things I was writing at the time, fragments of […]