21 April 2013
I recently rode my bicycle for the first time in two years, no
longer having the excuse of a decrepit dysfunctional aortic valve. I
am 63 years old, and my Schwinn Varsity isn't far behind, but it's
OK: there is not a chance...
[coming real soon now]
27 February 2013
I never expected to prove my doctors fallible, but I decisively
surpassed my prognosis of death by age forty. And as if death could
16 January 2013
More night-owl than early bird, I have little desire to deepen my
casual acquaintance with rosy-fingered dawn. Well after sunrise my
morning is supposed to be a time...
28 December 2012
As a new year impends and winter claws its way up its freshly
secured beachhead, I could easily do worse than slither into a ratty
sweater of a color not found in nature, finish off...
01 December 2012
I was intrigued to find, during some basic genealogical research,
that my grandchildren are one-sixteenth Portuguese, and are
therefore adequately "ethnic." In this...
01 December 2012
A haircut, at least after successfully completing the standard
long-haired rebellion against materialist bourgeois conformity, can
be one of life's...
14 November 2012
On their first bikes without training wheels, my twin
granddaughters raced each other down the street, shouting,
pedaling like maniacs...
01 October 2012
The year is 1972, and we've pretty much sewn up second place in the
Southeast Asia War Games. I'm about to receive my math degree, and
with it, relief and a quandary. For four years I've been parrying...
12 September 2012
As a nerd I lead, appropriately enough, a binary existence:
oblivious to my environment, or gawking freely and unreservedly to
provide a never-ending stream...
24 July 2012
Cheryl, to the amusement of our friends, loves to start bemoaning
the end of summer as soon as the days first perceptibly begin to
shorten, long before Labor Day. This year...
02 June 2012
Just as it was becoming widely fashionable to despise America and
flaunt one's tolerance of Commies, my friend Cav and I engaged in
03 May 2012
Some days just can't be bothered to deal me an idyll with my
grandchildren. On the other hand, seldom can I...
26 April 2012
Nearing the end of their annual northward migration to Maine,
05 February 2012
Like the certainty of being hanged, a heart attack should
concentrate one's mind. Yet I had failed for years to act...
07 December 2011
It's time to come out. For way too long I've tried to cope by means
of denial and aversion therapy, but I've finally come to accept that
it's genetic, something that I can no more change than my need...
30 September 2011
If the folklore's not apocryphal, during the war GIs in the ETO
used baseball questions when they needed to test the authenticity
of any ostensible American who didn't have the proper credentials.
I'd have been shot as a German spy...
11 September 2011
It's the unofficial end of summer again, the week before Labor
Day, the cusp of August and September. Even with herculean effort
I can't summon the cranky and morbid mood...
19 July 2011
I've just finished up several days of fighting a virus, if you can
call my spineless response fighting. Its fever, cough, and
gastrointestinal effects weren't all that spectacular...
29 May 2011
"Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic." I demonstrated Arthur Clarke's Third Law—a couple of
years before he posited it in 1973—when I first saw a
derailleur-guided bicycle chain...
27 February 2011
For most of the month cardinals and titmice have been singing for
their territories, and in three weeks a new generation...
07 February 2011
Now, less overwrought.
My son-in-law Jeff invited me over for the Super Bowl, and mentioned
that Bingo had died. The news of a family cat's death...
09 January 2011
As a geek who finds much of human contact enervating, but who has
always been well-served by a small talent for manipulating
symbols and by dogged...
19 May 2013
At the commuter rail station I share a bench with an infernal
leg-jiggler. A mockingbird quarters the trackside wasteland, pausing
often to give me wing flash displays like some mutant butterfly,
dead silent against the background of chittering chimney swifts.
Except for one isolated burst of redwing. Oh, great, now I have to
do a mind meld. Why redwing? Was it random? And if not random, what
were your criteria?
To the Writer of My Obituary
18 May 2013
I won't have passed away. I won't have gone home to my Lord. I will
have died. On pain of my ghostly vengeance, my obit may not contain
the word avid. Though it'll probably be public record, the cause of
my death is nobody's goddamned business; my friends will already
know. Come to think of it, I've done nothing a million of my betters
haven't, so unless newspapers stop charging for printing obituaries,
16 May 2013
It's mid-May; I shouldn't have been surprised. But I was—and
delighted—when I saw a horse chestnut in bloom. Cones of white
flowers, leaves like the fingers of God; dead giveaways to
burr-hunters. I know a tree in Attleboro, a tree in Rehoboth, a tree
in Mansfield, and I'm sorely tempted to GPS them and put maps on the
web. But it won't do for infidels to gather fall's evanescent
gold-brown spheroids. Secrecy rules.
08 May 2013
"I lost my little pal. I had him for fourteen years. I buried him
in a wood coffin in a corner of the garden. It's tough." My
barber's dog has died. From the shrine in the shop corner he picks
up a five-by-seven and explains the grave to me: flowers, marble
plaque, half a dozen solar lawn lights, solar butterflies, Virgin
Mary. I say, "So many years; it's hard. He's like family." The man
pauses. "No, I trusted him."
05 May 2013
Some have surgical wounds, some have scarred heart tissue: in
cardiac rehab we're all damaged, by definition. We're men,
comfortable not blurting out our feelings about this, how vulnerable
we are since we've been introduced to the grim reaper. Relentless
professional supervision forbids competition amongst us, but we are
still men, and on the bikes, weight machines, and treadmills we
strive for our small glory.
Not the Usual Harbinger
25 April 2013
It's time to welcome the late-April advent of black flies, renewing
as they do my appreciation for the relative benignness of ticks,
mosquitoes, and deer flies. Swarms carom off my face while I'm
outside maintaining my manicured monoculture acre; I catch one of
them under my eyelashes and crush her to death. I rejoice that trout
gorge on adults emerging from their aquatic pupae, and that eleven
species are extinct.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
10 April 2013
Two weeks of peepers, not much green, but it's 70 degrees. A young
mother striding uphill with a stroller looks and smiles as I swing
across the center line to give her leeway. She flaunts her joy, and
it's infectious. A morose guy in pulmonary rehab, wheelchair-bound
and piped for oxygen, bobs his head to Cyndi Lauper on the oldies
station. Promise abounds. April is the explanation. These are not
28 March 2013
In winter I'll play an MP3 of a swamp full of spring peepers to
remind myself that life will continue. Often enough their debut
evening follows a day of warmish rain, and they usually—not
always—beat the equinox. This year, on February 25th I awoke
and smiled. A cardinal singing his territorial ass off: I'd
frittered away weeks recovering from surgery and Spring blindsided
me. More snow coming; no peepers; OK by me.
03 February 2012 —
Seeds: Foliate Oak.
01 August 2011 —
Three Hardware Photos: Otoliths.
16 January 2011 — Lockwashers: Short, Fast, and Deadly.
26 August 2010 — Twins: BluePrintReview.
Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative
Short, Fast, and Deadly. No attention span? No problem.
7x20 (Seven By Twenty). Fiction & poems that fit in a tweet.
BluePrintReview. An issue goes online when it feels complete.
Camroc Press Review. Submit something that makes us feel real emotions.
High Coup Journal: we're sick and goddamned tired of being told that a witty haiku "isn't a haiku."
Prime Number: A Journal of Distinctive Poetry & Prose
5x5. We like reading. We hope you do too.
Caper Literary Journal: Literature of the Speakeasy Aesthetic
Journal of Microliterature is an online and print journal of critically acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction
FictionDaily: Good stuff to read in places you wouldn't normally look.
escarp: A selective, Twitter-based review of brief poetry and prose.
Red Fez: a place for fresh, new, exciting and accessible art and prose.
Cuento Magazine is a twitter-based magazine, featuring micro fiction. We also present short-form poetry...
Trachodon: revisiting and renewing the old. Old ideas, old things, and old ways of working.
The Adroit Journal. A literary journal for charity.
Foliate Oak Literary Magazine... quirky writing that makes sense
Three Line Poetry. "Keep it simple, zen will follow"
Philly Flash Inferno: Our Hell is always open.
Otoliths: a magazine of many e-things.
Stymie: a journal of sport & literature.
Prick of the Spindle: A Quarterly Online Journal of the Literary Arts
Apocrypha and Abstractions: Flash Fiction Musings for The Literary Minded
Sabotage: Reviews of the Ephemeral
The Montucky Review: shorter, well written free verse and prose that moves us in some way.
Front Porch Review is a quarterly online literary magazine.
Feathered Flounder offers original literary writing by authors who are sixty and older.
Apeiron Review: poetry, prose, and photography from all over the world.
Barefoot Review: work by people who have or have had physical difficulties.
Thickjam: ...words, substantial, sticky and hard to rub off.
Vine Leaves Literary Journal: vignettes.
Hippocampus Magazine: memorable creative nonfiction.
land that I live: Stories about place and identity in America.
Spry Literary Journal. We want to read your work if it has guts.
Journals, defunct after publishing (or accepting) my work
Writers' Bloc (Rutgers) (as of 27 May 2012 showing distinct signs of undeadness).
The Writer's Eye Magazine
Barrier Islands Review
The Literary Burlesque
Providence, RI 02903: Cellar Stories Bookstore
Attleboro, MA 02703: Ugly Dog Books
Falmouth, MA 02540: Eight Cousins
"Not So Fast,"
by John Freeman. "Sending and receiving at breakneck speed can make
life queasy; a manifesto for slow communication."
"Fifty Years of
Simplicity as Style," by Mark Garvey. "Strunk and White taught us
that clear thinking and clear writing go together."
"What Would Jane
Do?," by James Collins. "How a 19th-century spinster serves as a
moral compass in today's world.... Only she can so credibly show us
that it is possible to have moderation and deep feeling, good
dinners and good poetry."
"So Many Links, So
Little Time," by John Horgan. "'When we go online, we enter an
environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted
thinking, and superficial learning.' ...The multitasking that is
enabled, and encouraged, by our laptops and hand-held devices is
supposed to boost our productivity but often diminishes it."
"How to Raise Boys
Who Read," by Thomas Spence.
Foster Wallace on Life and Work." "Adapted from a
commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace to the 2005
graduating class at Kenyon College."
"The Long Way
Around," by Andrew Stark. "John Kay, the former director of
Oxford's Business School, has an insight—a promising insight, as it
happens. Often, Mr. Kay says in Obliquity, we can attain a
desired goal only by pursuing it indirectly."
Revised," by Allegra Goodman. "Mining the unconscious can be
dull. Get me rewrite."
American Lit.," by Joseph Epstein. "Nor will you read a word,
in the pages of The Cambridge History of the American Novel,
about...the deleterious effect that creative-writing programs have
had on the writing of fiction."
"'I' Is a Window
To the Soul," by Brian Christian. "How inconspicuous words like
'we' and 'the' betray our emotions and affect our audience's
perceptions." A review of James W. Pennebaker's The Secret Life