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 television is always on these days far too loud in empty rooms I can hear it from outside the house and after dark see the dance blue light throwing shadows on the usually blank plaster look closely it’s Dan Rather again older than ever his Texas mouth made for corn on the cob but […]

Überhaus Diary: Scams

September 27th, 1998 I pulled up in front of the building. This black guy in a beret and an open shirt leaned toward the car and asked if he could borrow a gas can. I had none and said so. He asked if he could ask me something. He fumbled with a cellular phone and began […]

Überhaus Diary: Sushi Date

From May 1999. Dating in a nutshell. sushi date I watch  Masa slice the fish draw his knife quick along the gleaming belly it seems to move itself as I float forever on your voice the soft curve of your lips cradling words full of recent events devoid of meaning God you are beautiful your eyes, way across the table […]

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 […]

Überhaus Diary: The Knife

November 23rd, 1997 The neighborhood was located in a little triangle formed by the intersection of two major highways. For once, the highway designers had gotten it right, placing the on and off-ramps in such a way that they were both invisible and practically inaudible to the homes of the neighborhood. My friends Holly and […]

Überhaus Diary: Passion

A once heard it said that a good diary entry is a letter written to your future self. Using this maxim as a pole star, your can address daily happenings and the emotions they engender with a frankness impossible in, say, a letter to your mom. I keep it in mind when I write in my diary […]

Überhaus Diary: {wash}

In the late 90s. Portland experienced a “heroin renaissance”  when a lot of cheap junk saturated the city. It took a toll. I would see junkies nodding in doorways, or sometimes doing the “junkie lean” in the middle of the sidewalk. When high they were ethereal beings. They seemed to dwell on a different plane.  Their edges […]

Harvey High

Disclaimer: this story is based on real events, but is no way are a journalistic recording of  what actually transpired. Harvey High was a real person and we had this conversation. That’s all I will admit to. I heard Harvey High died a few months after this story took place, but I might be wrong. I sure […]

Überhaus Diary: Last Thursday

In the late nineties, I had the good fortune to be the director of Überhaus, the last bandit loft in southwest Portland. We had an anti-art event called Last Thursday that started as a protest against Portland’s famous First Thursday gallery walk and soon became its own thing. We would feature  a show of  work curated by Sugar from the Bone, an east […]