Do's and Don'ts for Discussing Immortality with Friends and Family

May 15, 2020


Don’t call it Immortality. At least not at first. Consider it a goal to work up to, like nirvana, which you may never have to reach. For now, dial it down to super longevity, or even better, plain old longevity or just, you know, staying healthy for longer, or maybe not even for longer, maybe just for now plus a little bit, let’s say. Now you’re ready to drop in that little gem: healthy aging. Too oxymoronic to analyze (where would either of you start?), you’ve got them right where you want them.


Sports Man of the Future

October 13th, 2019

nonfiction essay
The Good Men Project

My partner Bernie relieves herself instantly of any potential sports angst by simply switching allegiance to whoever’s winning. Even the Dodgers. She has no idea why I object to this. Why do I object to this? I’m a transhumanist. I see us using technology to take charge of our destinies, create abundance, and live unlimited lifespans. Why should we be subject to the whims of sports?


Big Art -- A case for maximalism

April 4, 2019

nonfiction essay
Image Journal: Good Letters

If our art is to respond to our times, then it must be said, death’s destroying shadow looms larger than ever, and we need cathedrals of creation at least as large in defiance.


The Inclusion Orthodoxy: What we write about when we write about diversity

January 2, 2019

nonfiction essay
Literary Yard

What brought this to a head for me was when a nonfiction writer who apparently was some kind of Kierkegaard scholar, apologized by saying: “I know, white and male and dead, how boring.” I’m certainly not here to argue that Kierkegaard isn’t boring, but when you have to apologize for your subject matter’s lack of compliance to an increasingly belabored dogma, aren’t you, well, boring?


In the Name of Not Repeating

October, 2018

creative nonfiction

It's been nearly 30 years, so one thing I clearly know is how not to tell this story: 1) Look around for peers writing something similar. 2) Think about your family and how they will take it. 3) Try to discern an audience that will identify and buy. 4) Ask advice how others would tell your story. 5) Tell it only tangentially, in veiled ways, and then consider it a failure when it doesn't come off. 6) Repeat.


Trenton into Time

May, 2017

literary nonfiction
Superstition Review

In what had been whole cloth a seam appeared between protection and isolation that would divide me for decades. Maybe I was just growing up, sensing the structure of things, but awakening to the separations of time meant going to sleep on timelessness.



March 23, 2017

Personal history
Volume 1 Brooklyn

From the start, the scales of giving a damn were tipped against our coach, seeking to advance his career by rising through the college ranks, with Vassar College Men’s Basketball circa 1986 as his springboard.


Soccer as a Second Language

September 27, 2016

Travel nonfiction
Coldnoon: International Journal of Travel Writing & Travel Cultures

It was only when we arrived at the desk of the car rental, just down the road from the terminals of Barcelona Airport last summer, that we learned an international driver’s license was required to drive a car off their lot. With two weeks’ worth of luggage stowed at our feet, I cursed the fine print of the contract where this requirement had been buried. Bernadeane was coming down with a bad head cold. Otto and Suzanne, friends from home, spoke Spanish by virtue of being native Germans. But no amount of Euro – Spanish would change the car rental’s policy.


Buying Time: Art, Entrepreneurship and Owning Your Value as a Writer

April 18, 2016

Literary nonfiction

At one workshop I attended, the instructor, an MFA candidate, stated in no uncertain terms: "Every artist needs a patron." It was the last thing I needed to hear to get my business off the ground. I so wanted a patron to come along and recognize me (more than I recognized myself) and free me from all this earning-a-living crap. Yeats had his patron; where was my Lady Gregory?



December 1, 2015

Rock & Sling

One benefit of becoming the family black sheep two decades ago was that I no longer had to attend family functions. Once the mandatory became voluntary, I almost never went to anything. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, bar mitzvahs, weddings sped past like mile markers on a freeway, as the momentum of my freedom grew.



November 1, 2015

Pithead Chapel

It’s twenty minutes to the new hospital on Thompson Peak Parkway. Bernie drives, and I dry heave into a plastic bag, then gasp for air. Bernie asks how I’m doing? “Not good. Just go. Go.”



Summer 2014


I played on my first basketball team in sixth grade for a Jewish school in a Washington DC suburb, endowed by a local real estate developer, somehow named Smith, ironically enough, to perpetuate our Jewish identity.


Outlier Heart

Feb 3, 2014


Impossibly fervent, intolerably vulnerable, I made my growing up an exercise of mind over body, reason over feeling. I thought everyone did this and assumed adulthood would generate its own sense of connection and substantiation to replace what I'd sacrificed. But the more I hid my haunting, the more ethereal I became, until I almost wasn't present at all. So I started living by my outlier heart, and I'm seeing where it takes me.



Nov 11, 2013

Burrow Press Review

That doctor murmurs non-committal clinical commentary, which I’ve learned translates roughly to: what the fuck is that?



Jan 23, 2013

Toad Suck Review

For a few years, I live with a woman who, in sympathy with my poetic plight, patiently pays more than her share of the bills. I compensate, I believe, in emotional stability, as she’s tends toward imbalance. This arrangement eventually leads to our ruin; she resents my poverty, and I’m so drained by her emotional neediness I can’t write anyway.