“Given my extensive self-imposed required reading list and my voracious appetite for the printed page…” –February 8, 2003

Given my extensive self-imposed required reading list and my voracious appetite for the printed page (and its cyber iterations), I am constantly worrying myself about the relevance, the meaning, and the import of all the typography that passes before my eyes. I recently recalled a hilarious op-ed piece that speechwriter Mark Katz wrote for the […]

ESP: A Poem

The next table must be   talking about Bushy's State of the Union last   night-- "the Joint Chiefs even        jumped up and down" * the arbitrary            spur         of             excitement * Academic Lunch Women have more subtle         antennae . I'm "working" on my salad        greens.   Not even a glance at her ambiguous        ring finger alerts

Space Shuttle Columbia: Are We Really United in Mourning?

At the risk of sounding heartless, I confess that I am not in a state of terrible mourning over the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, nor do I find myself paralyzed with grief for the seven brave and talented souls who perished in its final fiery disintegration over Texas. I haven’t shed any tears

“19 Biographies in 12 Years” –February 2, 2003

If I have read more than a dozen biographies (not to be confused with memoirs) in the past 12 years, I would be surprised. Surprise! Scrupulous record keeping contradicts this recollection. So okay, I’ve read nineteen: Autobiography of a Face - Lucy Grealey Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J.Edgar Hoover - Anthony Summers

Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry

"It's fun to do a series, but it's comfortable. I don't think being comfortable is necessarily the thing that's going to make you a better writer. And I think that's the most important thing that a writer does—is try to get better."

Road Rage

Until you came up behind me, I was on cruise control. I pegged you for another of those nose-pickers of the interstate. But when I moved to pass a truck, you sped up to tailgate me. You got behind me -- breathing down my neck -- and then you flashed your headlights. You know I

Steve Almond

Steve Almond

"In my view of things this is the era in which artists have to step up and play the role that traditionally the church did and religion did in terms of awakening people's compassion and their mercy."

“Salon.com One-Day Pass” –January 26, 2003

Okay, like many people, I presume, I have crafted tactics of procrastination to deal with the occasional mental fog or creative palsy while sitting at my writing appliance. One kind of diversion is to make spontaneous visits to various book-marked web sites in an endless foraging for I-don't-know-what. I recently stopped by Salon.com as it

Loose Lips Sink Ships

The classified ad in San Francisco's Bay Guardian was straight out of a doper's dream: Marijuana Research Subjects Wanted. Sure, why not?! In those days—late 1975—it seemed surprising that the U.S. government was still trying to figure out the physiological effects of cannabis, but if they were willing to pay folks to smoke their Mississippi-grown

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