John Clare, Loss & Gain

On a surprise (forgotten) day of PTO, I learned of John Clare—I am Jack Randall now. I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly. As I read his verse and am confronted with his dismay at the destruction of the wild places he loved—this was the 19th c.—I am filled with sadness and nostalgia for how far this has gone in 200 years.

[Read More]

Poetic Urges

I’m filled with this longing—again—to be taken up with writing and reading poetry. It will pass, a momentary urge. But where does this urge come from? To be known? Who knows poets but other poets? And it seems unlikely that I’d find publication when I haven’t put the time in. I haven’t read, I haven’t written in years. But that can all change. And let’s say I stop chasing an ideal and just start working at it. What might that get me?

[Read More]
poetry 

Time and Value

I am 5. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A fireman. A policeman. A construction worker.

I am 15. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A lawyer. An architect. An inventor.

I am 21. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A writer. An artist. A god.

I am 44. I have lived more than half my life. What will I become? Dust. Ashes. A fading memory.


We think differently at different times about how much time we have before us and what we can become with this time. But who among us can spend, right now, anything more than the present moment?

[Read More]

The Self

This week I noticed an interesting question on Quora: Do we exist? When I followed the link I was expecting to see Descartes, and no doubt if I poked a little further I’d find him. Instead, what I found was a lovely illustration using a handful of geometrically arranged toothpics.

[Read More]

Openness of Thought—Doubting Conviction

Words: Creative and Limiting

Recently I was discussing with a friend my failed aspirations to be a writer. I have a complex relationship with words. On the one hand they are an art form capable of extending, composing, and in some sense creating the world of our perceptions. On the other hand, they often tend to confine, reduce, limit, and damn us to live within a tinny parody of our fullest experience.

[Read More]

People's Stories

People’s stories change lives. Letting people and their various perspectives into your own life can be threatening for this very reason. Hence xenophobia. Hence othering. Hence culture wars. Hence an epidemic of loneliness in our society. I grew up in an environment where being gay was felt to be one of the most revolting perversions known to man. And for reasons I’ve never understood I was repeatedly accused of being gay. [Read More]

Chocolate Stout Cake Recipe

This chocolate cake is dense and rich, but not overly sweet, especially if it is divided into 4 layers. It has been Anastasia’s birthday cake since she was little.

[Read More]

Dad's Burgers

These burgers are a family favorite. Simple, thick slices of everything, and finished off with a spicy dressing that balances it all out.

[Read More]