Category Archives: personal essays

organic

(…) For the next eleven years we lived in a quaint old place originally built as a hunting cabin back when mountain lion, bobcat, bear, and elk could be found on Mt.Tamalpais. The living room was the original structure, a

organic

(…) For the next eleven years we lived in a quaint old place originally built as a hunting cabin back when mountain lion, bobcat, bear, and elk could be found on Mt.Tamalpais. The living room was the original structure, a

house head

(…this post is continued from here…) My father wanted a bigger house so we moved around the corner to 94 Roosevelt Avenue, a cavernous old haunted thing under deep shade. Even from the outside you could feel the psychic congestion

house head

(…this post is continued from here…) My father wanted a bigger house so we moved around the corner to 94 Roosevelt Avenue, a cavernous old haunted thing under deep shade. Even from the outside you could feel the psychic congestion

yellow wallpaper

Whenever I see wallpaper, I think of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, The Yellow Wallpaper. I must have been in high school when I first read about the nameless woman whose patronizing doctor-husband confines her to an attic nursery as a

yellow wallpaper

Whenever I see wallpaper, I think of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, The Yellow Wallpaper. I must have been in high school when I first read about the nameless woman whose patronizing doctor-husband confines her to an attic nursery as a

me me me me me!

finding truth in the mirror I sat on the edge of the bathtub, staring at the wall. I felt as flat as that wall, flat and covered with an airtight coat of pliant beige latex paint. It must have been

me me me me me!

finding truth in the mirror I sat on the edge of the bathtub, staring at the wall. I felt as flat as that wall, flat and covered with an airtight coat of pliant beige latex paint. It must have been

Road Trip (Stop To Think)

I love a road trip: an open highway, the hypnotic hum of tire against tarmac, a trip so long I forget where I’m going or where I’ve been. Paradoxically, while catapulting down the highway, I am forced to stop and

Road Trip (Stop To Think)

I love a road trip: an open highway, the hypnotic hum of tire against tarmac, a trip so long I forget where I’m going or where I’ve been. Paradoxically, while catapulting down the highway, I am forced to stop and

messing with my head

The instructions went something like this: The first row goes first. The people stand up, walk single file onto the stage, stop, and turn to face the rest of the group. They will stand at the front edge of the

messing with my head

The instructions went something like this: The first row goes first. The people stand up, walk single file onto the stage, stop, and turn to face the rest of the group. They will stand at the front edge of the

How To Write Your Own Face

Everywhere I go, I am bombarded with “I” statements and close-ups taken at arm’s length. These days, it seems like everyone is taking pictures of themselves and writing memoirs, large and small, from tweets to status updates to blog posts

How To Write Your Own Face

Everywhere I go, I am bombarded with “I” statements and close-ups taken at arm’s length. These days, it seems like everyone is taking pictures of themselves and writing memoirs, large and small, from tweets to status updates to blog posts

form follows function

When writing about one’s life, the urge is to move chronologically, plodding from one place to the next, adding layers of experience and wisdom: and then, and then, and then, conveyed by the hope that somehow, if I put it

form follows function

When writing about one’s life, the urge is to move chronologically, plodding from one place to the next, adding layers of experience and wisdom: and then, and then, and then, conveyed by the hope that somehow, if I put it

troy

I’m lurking in the shadow on the north side of the Mill Valley Middle School, as far away as possible from the playing field and paved quad where most kids hang out. I’m sitting on a weedy planter made of

troy

I’m lurking in the shadow on the north side of the Mill Valley Middle School, as far away as possible from the playing field and paved quad where most kids hang out. I’m sitting on a weedy planter made of

father figure

father figure (you can’t forget what you never knew) * When my oldest daughter turned 12, my father took her out to dinner for her birthday. He had never done that before (they’d never been anywhere without me before) and

father figure

father figure (you can’t forget what you never knew) * When my oldest daughter turned 12, my father took her out to dinner for her birthday. He had never done that before (they’d never been anywhere without me before) and

paper planes

When I was about 10 years old, I discovered a new state of mind. Or at least it was new to me. My mom, her boyfriend Tim, my brother Johnny and I were on a road trip in the Chevy

paper planes

When I was about 10 years old, I discovered a new state of mind. Or at least it was new to me. My mom, her boyfriend Tim, my brother Johnny and I were on a road trip in the Chevy

my mother/myself

Conversation after my mother read my first novel: Me: So, what did you think? Mom: I don’t like the mother. She made me feel bad. Me: Not all mothers are you, mom. Mom: I hope not. The mothers in your

my mother/myself

Conversation after my mother read my first novel: Me: So, what did you think? Mom: I don’t like the mother. She made me feel bad. Me: Not all mothers are you, mom. Mom: I hope not. The mothers in your

beautiful things

(body talk #12) In this life, if we’re lucky, we get to know some bodies, by which I mean get close enough so that they leave a lasting imprint. I’m not talking about sex, although that may certainly be one

beautiful things

(body talk #12) In this life, if we’re lucky, we get to know some bodies, by which I mean get close enough so that they leave a lasting imprint. I’m not talking about sex, although that may certainly be one

bodies i have known

(body talk #11) Bodies I have known: let’s start with the women. My grandmother Helen was born in 1906, but she was always old. She was old the way people in old photographs look old — the shape of her

bodies i have known

(body talk #11) Bodies I have known: let’s start with the women. My grandmother Helen was born in 1906, but she was always old. She was old the way people in old photographs look old — the shape of her

hands

(body talk #10) Wikipedia says that while the clitoris has “8,000 sensory nerve endings – more than any other part of the human body,” fingertips have approximately 2,500 nerve endings for every 2 square centimeters and that they “contain some

hands

(body talk #10) Wikipedia says that while the clitoris has “8,000 sensory nerve endings – more than any other part of the human body,” fingertips have approximately 2,500 nerve endings for every 2 square centimeters and that they “contain some

body talk 8

Certain memories are buried deep in flesh. Some are nice–dormant seeds waiting to be awakened–while others are more like caged creatures, pacing the floor and gnashing teeth. There’s something to be said about the power of unfettered freedom but there’s

body talk 8

Certain memories are buried deep in flesh. Some are nice–dormant seeds waiting to be awakened–while others are more like caged creatures, pacing the floor and gnashing teeth. There’s something to be said about the power of unfettered freedom but there’s