Big Art -- A case for maximalism
April 4, 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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.