Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alexander and the Shit Ass, Nipple Twisting, Ball Busting Fuck Awful Day

(Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...20 years later)

I went to sleep drunk with a girl from the bar and now my hands are bound with furry hand cuffs and I have two girls, three guys, and a donkey in my bed, and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped over a pyramid of empty Budweiser cans and by mistake dropped my sweater in the sink that someone had stopped up and filled with jungle juice and I could tell that it was going to be a shit ass, nipple twisting, ball busting, fuck awful day.

At breakfast Anthony found a piece of paper with a girl’s phone number on it and Nick found a 100$ bill someone had rolled up to snort cocaine but all I found was a used condom on my seat and a bill from the escort service.

I think I’ll move to Australia.

Heading to the car, I noticed three new parking tickets, and in the car Anthony let Nick have a seat by the window, our friends James and Kevin got seats by the window too. I said I had a pounding headache. I said I was hungover and needed the radio turned down. I said, if I don’t get a seat by the window I am going to throw up all over the backseat of my own car. No one even answered.

I could tell it was going to be a shit ass, nipple twisting, ball busting, fuck awful day.

At work my boss said he hated the project plan and that I had to start over from scratch.

There were two cup cakes in Philip Parker’s lunch bag and Albert had a Hershey bar with almonds. Guess who forgot dessert, and lunch? I was so hungry I had to eat the dog treats that I had forgotten to bring home the day before.

In the lunch meeting my boss said I was talking too much. On the afternoon conference call he said my ideas were unfeasible. At the end of the day he called me into his office and told me they were downsizing and could I pack up my things and be gone by 5 p.m.

I could tell it was going to be a shit ass, nipple twisting, ball busting fuck awful day

I could tell because Anthony called me and told me that I needed to pay the gas bill or it would get shut off and he would move out and Nick called to tell me that the escort service called and that I had to pay the bill or he’d move out too.

“I hope you sit on a herpes-infested tack” I said to Nick. "I hope the next time you get a double-decker strawberry ice cream cone the ice cream part falls off and some punches you in the eye, ties you up naked in a busy intersection and pees in your hair and the ice cream part lands in Australia."

I went to the dentist who told me I had five cavities, needed two root canals, and what were my thoughts about adult braces?

I went to the Hotsy Totsy bar and took 10 shots of Jack Daniels. The bartender said that it would be100$. I told him I couldn’t pay it. The bouncer told my face with his fist that I should have a black eye and threw me out into the street.

While I was waiting on the curb for the bus some asshole on a bike side swiped me and knocked into a mud puddle. I started crying because of the mud and the bum on the sidewalk said I was a crybaby and

While I was punching the bum for calling me a crybaby the Police showed up with their sirens on and made me sit down on the curb with my hands handcuffed behind my back. The handcuffs weren’t even furry.

I said I was having a shit ass, nipple twisting, ball busting, fuck awful day. The police officer told me to shut the fuck up.

So then the police offer threw me in the backseat and took me to the station where they fingerprinted me, took my statement, and gave me my phone call. I called Anthony who picked up and immediately told me he was "busy buying white sneakers with blue stripes and had to go" before he hung up.

The police threw me in the cell with a large tattooed guy named Damon who won’t stop staring at me.

I put my head down on the cold metal at lights out and pretended to sleep.

It has been a shit ass, nipple twisting, ball busting, fuck awful day.

Damon says some days are like that, even in Australia.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Unlike Fatherhood

It’s rare when someone gets punched in the face and doesn’t seem to mind. Darryl was rare and in rare form. He’d taken down much more than his usual five Jack and Cokes, the evidence of which was more on his breath than in the way he walked. He brushed his dirty blonde hair out of his eyes. All the regulars at the Wettest Whistle knew how well he could handle his liquor. It didn’t occur to him until just before the knuckles made contact with his eye socket that this might be a bad sign in the long run.

Belligerent drunks seem to overflow with alcohol, spilling on the ground, their shirts, and the girl next to them. He wasn’t overflowing. It was more like he was absorbing it all. Not a drop hit the floor, his red flannel, or the overweight blonde girl next to him wearing a cheesy silver crown that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY with each letter getting its own shiny pipe cleaner antennae.

Jesus, that looks fucking ridiculous, Darryl thought to himself.

Cora was her name. She was celebrating her birthday in jeans, cowboy boots, and an unflattering blank t-shirt she wore instead of the white tank top because it was black, and that was supposed to be slimming, wasn’t it? She had bright pink hair that looked like it might have been many colors since its original hue.

The chorus of Happy Birthday was just coming to a close and most of the bar responded with a round of applause. Most.

Darryl turned to her and said, “Happy Birthday.”

As she was about half way through a bright smiled “Thank You,” he interrupted with “It’s clear you got some meat on your bones, but since it’s your birthday, I’d be willing to take you out to my car and screw you.”

She glared back at him. “Go fuck yourself, asshole.”

He wasn’t exactly sure what kind of response he was expecting and he didn’t really care much about the one he got. He went to turn back to his drink when someone accidentally bumped his arm on his way to the bar. Darryl’s drink spilled.

“Hey!” It came out even louder than he meant it. “The fuck’s your problem?”

“Calm down buddy.”

“I’m not your buddy,…jackass.”

Darryl pushed. The stranger pushed back. He cocked back and landed a right hook right to Darryl’s face. He saw the fist coming and didn’t move. He watched it come right at him, make contact with vibrating impact, and send him right to the floor. The birthday party moved to the other side of the room as fast as they could. He stood right back and looked the stranger in the eye. He didn’t move. The stranger paused for a second, not sure what to do,

“Cocksucker,” Darryl said, and then watched another right hook come right at his face, shake his whole body, and drop him to the floor again. He stood up and stayed stock still again.

The stranger stared at him, sizing him up the way most people do before a fight. He wasn’t getting anywhere. “What the fuck is the matter with you?” The stranger asked. Darryl breathed slow. The stranger paused, and then walked out of the bar. Darryl went back to his drink and wiped the string of blood from his face with a napkin.

It was 20 years ago that day. Shit, no, 22. And that fucking girl had to have her fucking birthday today and rub it in.

He’d replayed it in his head 100 times. They were just out of high school. Helen wasn’t supposed to get pregnant. Ofcourse she was going to get an abortion. That’s what you did if you got pregnant young. Right?

She didn’t. Darryl remembered how when she told him she was going to keep it, the sky and horizon turned into a ceiling and walls and started closing in on him. He pitied himself so much then. How could he have gotten into a situation like this? How could she keep it?

That was lifetimes ago. Now, he thought, Christ, it? I had an “it.” Not a son. Not a daughter. An it. The old story about women giving up children for adoption is that it’s easier if you stay distant. Don’t get attached, because it gets harder to let go. This didn’t feel easier. The utter distance just meant it was that more impossible to make it back to being a decent human being. He didn’t pity himself anymore. He didn’t deserve it, he thought.

20 years ago to the day he received a letter. No return address. In the envelope was a small white piece of paper that read, “You have a child. Goodbye.”

Darryl sat at the bar in the Wettest Whistle and took the last sips of his drink which seemed to dull the pain in his face just a little. He was an asshole. He knew that. But he would give an arm just to be a decent human being again.

He stood up from the stool and walked over to the birthday party, and looked the plump girl right in the eye.

“For what its worth miss, I’m sorry I said that.”

And he walked out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy Part 2

My dad’s strangeness may have saved us until then, but there’s no “not worrying” before a little league Championship game. Everyone is scared shitless, not wanting to be the one to cost everyone the game. Doesn't matter how many times you play "Don't Worry, Be Happy". I went to bed that night, trying to play out the whole thing in my mind, and mostly just trying to breathe. My entire baseball bag completely packed and repacked with extra pairs of everything, just in case. Somehow I fell asleep.

I woke up nervous. I could feel it in every inch of my body and every breath I took. I was so relieved that at least I wasn’t gonna be pitching. I wasn’t at the center of it. I at least had the comfort of being a part of the supporting cast.

We got to the field early for warm ups. Harry’s van pulled up, and he got out to talk to my dad. My dad looked confused. Ian huddled in the passenger seat in the van.

“He sneezed,” my dad said.

“What? So?”

“So, you’re pitching. Apparently Ian sneezed last night and threw his shoulder out,” my dad said, letting on about his doubt about the validity of the injury.

Ian was 12. He was just scared. Great. I was 12. I was scared. And now I had to fucking pitch.

I was outside of my own body with anxiety. This was too much. This was more heat than I wanted. But there was no way out. My nose wasn’t the least bit itchy.

Fear had become anger. I felt so out of my league and the stakes so high, and I felt my blood boil at being let down by Ian, our batshit crazy leader, that all I could think was “If you’re gonna coward out of this and make me do this, then damnit I’m gonna do it.” I don’t know where I found it in me, but it was there.

I gave up only two runs on an error by our shortstop. After 3 innings, the most you were allowed to pitch in one game, we were down just 2-0. We were in it. I moved to catcher and one of our younger pitchers came on in relief. He didn’t have it that day. I sat behind the plate catching ball after ball, as the game was slowly given away to the better team. At first I tried to calm him down, to be a leader, but once I saw it was to no avail I resigned myself to sitting back there and biting back the disappointment in my throat as I had to keep throwing the ball back to the pitcher after another walk.

Losing stung. Debilitating and complete like a bulls-eye Jellyfish hit. The injury felt complete and final. I looked at Ian and I just felt sorry for him, and sorry for myself that I had put all my faith in him.

In the car ride home I was in pieces. “You know, I’m really proud of you. The way you got in there and pitched. That took guts,” my dad said.

The words made me itch. They felt consolatory. What you tell a second place finisher. Which is what they were. They were the last words I wanted to hear. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and wait until I got drafted again.

I’ve since grown up and moved away from the Bay Area. I never got to play for Kevin. I never won a championship. But I did have Bobby McFerrin.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy Part 1

I wasn’t supposed to pitch. When they walked over to me and put the ball in my hands, Bobby McFerrin could have been singing right in my ear and I still would have worried and been unhappy. Really, really unhappy. All season long I had been the fourth best pitcher on the team, third if you felt like being generous. And maybe another day it wouldn’t matter, but this was the championship game against the Astros.

“Why isn’t Ian pitching?” I asked.

The Astros were more like an All-Star team than a little league team. Erik Johnson towered over all of us and struck out hitter after hitter with such consistency that it was like he was working a turnstile at an amusement park. Daniel Crzernilovsky had a cannon for an arm at third base, and at the plate could tattoo the ball to either field.

Coach Kevin Burndt would have been the perfect cliché of the superior and evil opposition’s coach if had he been a cold dictator that made the kids on other teams happy they only had to see him a few times a year.

In reality he was a decent guy with a kid on the team, but he was so good that whatever he team he was coaching was instantly the favorite to win the championship. I can’t say what it was actually like to be on his team, but I would have traded my Super Nintendo, all of my baseball cards, and possibly one or both of my sisters if it meant I could have played for him.

On draft night, the managers in El Cerrito Little League individually called up the kids they had drafted to welcome them to their new teams. The draft was a process filled with politics and scheming that determined the next two years of little league. And to a twelve year old, it was the most important phone call that you would ever get. It might as well have been the President, or even a Major League owner calling. Every time the phone rang that night I sprinted from the living room, bumping into the walls, on my way to go answer.

When I finally got the phone call after the little league tryouts, it was from Mike, not Kevin. I was going to be a Twin, not an Astro. Each age group in El Cerrito little league was two years, so it would be another two years before I would reenter the draft. I was a Twin, and that was that.

Still, I remember the pride the day the hats and the uniform came. The black jersey with the yellow printed plastic and the black hat with a yellow embroidered “T”. They were cheaply made and simple, but they were the grandest of the grand. The black was cool and sleek, and the yellow shone brighter than anything I’d ever seen. I threw off my shirt and replaced it with the jersey, tucked the hat down over my hair, and looked in the mirror with wide eyes. I was a Twin, and that meant something.

Ian was the stud of the team. Catcher was my best position. Ian was both the team’s best pitcher and catcher. He was a big kid with a big nose and a bigger temper. He was chunky around the waist but could throw the ball faster and hit the ball harder than anyone around. It was a crapshoot on any given day however, whether he’d be ready to play, or be ready to throw a tantrum and end up pouting in his dad’s van. It was a crapshoot we had to bet ours seasons on, and to a 12 year-old boy, that meant betting absolutely everything.

Our second year in the league, we weren’t so bad. Actually we were pretty damn good. Ian was leading the way with his dad as head coach, and I wasn't so bad either.

We might have had a bunch of head cases, but we had a good team.

We also had Bobby McFerrin.

My dad, who was the assistant coach, decided that everyone was too nervous before the game, and it was making us play worse. His solution was to cart out a boom box to every game and blast “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” while we were warming up. Over and over again. Every game.

Other kids on our team wondered why the hell we were listening to this weird a cappella all the time. Other teams hated us.

Whenever I’d make it to second base, the opposing teams’ infielders would invariably tell me, “Your dad is fucking weird.”

“I know,” I said.

The other teams really did hate it. In fact so much so that it started to distract them and make us laugh, once it had become white noise. We stopped worrying. We started getting singles, and RBIs, and wins.

We made the playoffs. We made the championship game.

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The first afternoon in D.C.
I sit outside a closed coffee shop
watching construction workers lay cement.

They trudge and shovel in the slush of the mess
and it's tough to think that this will harden,
hold shape,
and become impenetrable.

But I know it does. Time and time again.

The eight men work
and I wonder whether any of them
write poetry or cry outdoors
as they smooth out the surface of the sidewalk into
the shape that will shortly
be as hard and dependable as their masculine stares.

The Return of Underwear

I walk in the door, half undo my tie and pull the loosened
knot over my head.
I throw it on the table, think maybe I'll cook dinner,
go for bike ride,
go photograph,
i wonder if there are any good art shows open,
what should i do this weekend?
Coming home to an empty house, with her out of town,
my mind wanders.
I go to the kitchen to get a glass of water
and when I return
my breath stops for a moment because
I mistake my tie for
her black underwear
thrown haphazardly on the table in the living room.
I imagine the lace and the intent.

Yes, I love her. Miss her voice
and her company
going to the movies alone.

but, I miss her underwear too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jade Shames and The World Stage in Leimert Park


When I was 16 I went to Los Angeles for the first time. I went with Youth Speaks to be a sacrificial poet at the National Youth Poetry Slam. I had no idea what part of Los Angeles I was in, or even that clear of an idea that there were different parts.

I performed in a hot crowded little venue that was filled with energy and history. When I say hot, it wasn't unhip, but there was one tiny fan and a lot people. To put it another way, we were sweating our butts off. I had a great time performing there, and then left. I hadn't been back in seven years, even though I just graduated from UCLA a year ago. I've learned that LA does have parts, and you have to mean it to get our your bubble. And it's worth it.
My writing mentor Noel Alumit invited me to go to a poetry reading by his friend Jade Shames at some venue called the World Stage. I had heard the name before, but didn't know much else about it. I showed up last wednesday. My jaw dropped. It was the same place I had been in high school.
The night was ridiculous. First of all, Jade is an amazing poet. He gave a great performance and I had to buy one of his chapbooks. His storytelling style and patience with developing images and narrative were so fresh. I was stoked to hear him read and meet him after the show. Check him out at
And then there's the venue. Jawanza runs the World Stage poetry night every Wednesday. It opens with a workshop at 7:30, followed by a feature performer, and then an open mic. It was hot that night. Jawanza said he'd "put on the air conditioning" and he opened the curtain to the back room. It was just how I remembered it. Hot, crowded, and filled with amazing energy. If you're looking for great poetry, or just a great time, go. Trust me. 5$ at the door. Worth 25$. Go.
4344 Degnan Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 293-2451

Family History

A boat sits off the coast of Japan
in early August 1945, when
Little Boy and Fat man light up the sky.
The ground sits under a mushroom cloud
and 220,000 people die.

Victims to the American villain,
the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
have long been recognized as the
single worst use of weaponry,
the most costly
man on man attack on record,
the greatest cautionary tale of what can happen
when super powers escalate conflict.

A boat sits off the coast of Japan
in early August 1945
holding American soldiers.

I brought up the subject with my dad.
My dad,
The hippie that stayed in the commune to raise a family after everyone else left,
who got married naked,
who argued time and time again with his mother that Muhammad Ali
was a hero and not "uppity."
My progressive Berkeley in the '60s dad looked me
dead in the eye and said,
"I don't regret the dropping of the bombs on Japan."

what? What?

This is beyond stepping outside of the liberal script.
Further out there than ignoring the PC say this or believe that
I can't believe, won't believe these
words are coming from my dad.

He responds simply. clearly.
"My dad was in a boat off the coast of Japan. If they don't drop the bombs, he's in the
first wave of troops on the ground. He probably dies."

A boat sits off the coast of Japan
in early August 1945
holding my grandfather.

His hands must have trembled.
He must have fought to keep them still.
Mustered up whatever courage he could.

He must have known
why they were so close
to hostile land.
Gulped down his fate like
a brick in his throat.

a near certain death mission into Japan.

first waves don't go home.
they leave children behind to grow up alone.

He looked like such a young man in his uniform
and he must have felt like a boy.

I'm so proud of him.
If I were alive during WWII I know I would have served
with the same certainty,
a young Jewish-American fighting the Nazis.

But no matter how brave he may have been,
the news of the war's end
must have been such. sweet. relief.
Like heaven on earth.
Time to go home.
Like water to a desert wanderer
or more like the fulfilled promise of
stable safe ground
to an American in a rocky boat of the coast of Japan.

The gulp in his throat must have finally cleared after months
of breathing like it was a negotiation.

I can't tell my dad anything.
I understand.
What can I say to him as we drive to the supermarket together?
It's his daddy, and I get it.

I crumble under the weight of wondering
how many died so that his dad survived.

Grandpa I love you.
And I don't know I could choose that.
I didn't. He didn't either.
A sequence of events he couldn't control
turned his boat around in 1945 and sent him home.

Then I do the math.
3 years later in 1948, my dad was born.
38 years later, I was born.

What can I say to my dad?
I understand where he's coming from.

Still, there's this truth
that if my grandpa's boat doesn't get turned around
my dad is probably never born.
And neither am I.

A lineage dependent on
being on the lucky side of terrible history.

I love my grandpa and my dad.
And this all feels so American.
This privilege just to be born at all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In Tehran, I was a boy

My name is Esther. When you meet me I am doing warrior two pose on a front lawn in Venice Beach. I am a Yoga teacher and have a body like a Diego Rivera painting. I am South Korean. I am also in some ways Persian and Canadian. I joke that I can’t do this pose or that pose because of my big ass. My smiles are not cheap. I have traveled far and wide to find them, and have come just as far to share them.

In Tehran, I was a boy.
Running around with the local children I would get into so much trouble. Backtalking to teachers, getting into scuffles on the street and dirtying my clothes, stealing a toy, some cherries, getting caught and chased down the street. My mother would scream and make a fuss about how it wasn’t safe for a young girl to be such a troublemaker. My mom thought it would be safer for me to be a boy. So she made me one.
When I was seven my mother and I stood in front of the mirror together. The light that crept in through the window landed on my long black hair. I didn’t notice at that time. My mother would tell me this years later. She cut my hair until it was not even an inch long. She took a bag down from the shelf and pulled out a new pair of trousers. She had me put them on and had me stand back so she could get a good look at me. I smiled at her jokingly and flexed my tiny biceps. I stood in the mirror looking at my new haircut and my new clothes. I ran the flat of my palm over the stubble where my hair had been, letting it tickle my hand. “Ok, works for me, I thought.” I ran out to play. And she raised me as a boy for two years.
My family was originally from South Korea, where I was born. My family moved to Iran when I was seven, keeping my memories of Seoul relatively few in number. I had just barely begun to grasp what Korean was, when I blinked and opened my eyes in Tehran. As a boy.
A week after getting my new haircut, my friends and I broke into the hotel pool while it was closed. It had been unbearably hot that day. Similar to how it was everyday. We had been kicking a ball around the street for while, but gave up before very long out of pure exhaustion. We sat in the shade, debating how to escape. How could you escape, the heat was a vast oppressive expanse with no holes or end. That was when I suggested we sneak into the hotel pool. We ducked in through the small opening in the gate, threw off our clothes and dove in.
The cool teal water replenished our young dried out bodies. We splashed around and competed in breath holding contests. When I swam under I could feel the heat melt off me and I could think again. I came up for air, wishing I didn’t need to, and my friend Pegah challenged me to a breath holding contest.
“You’re on,” I said.
We both dove under. When I came back up for air, a man was standing at the edge of the pool screaming at us. There was not time to gather our belongings so we had to flee in just our underwear. Fifteen of us sprinted down the street in our undies dripping, a sloppy trail in every direction we went, with the pool manager screaming his head off and chasing after us. The man eventually caught me, and dragged me all the way to my house where my parents opened the door to find a soaking wet child and an irate pool manager. My mom had to buy a new pair of trousers.
It took me awhile to get used to all of the women walking around in Burkahs. I remember walking with my mom in a crowd. I turned my head to look at street vendor and I lost grip on my mother’s hand. I turned back to find her and was confronted with a sea of black cloth-covered heads like rolling hills out in front of me. I shouted “mama!” and twenty women turned around to see who was calling. My mother ran up and angrily grabbed my hand, upset that I’d wandered off. Boy or girl, I was supposed to stay close. It happened again the next day.
One day I discovered her underwear. In the Middle East, there are tons of lingerie shops. Tons. There are also tons of women walking around wearing burkahs. That means that there are tons of women walking around in Burkahs and the sexiest lingerie imaginable. Head to toe covering hiding head to toe intricate lace, stockings, bras, and garter belts. I remember finding my mother’s red lace bra. I had decided to prance around the house with it as a hat. My parents were not amused.
We left Iran for Canada not long after that, and it all changed, again. In Vancouver, I would no longer be a boy. I remember my first day of school. I was nine. After my first class I went into the girl’s bathroom to go pee.
“Get out of here!” A girl turned and around and screamed from one of the sinks.
“What are you doing in here?” another girl barked at me, walking out of one of the stalls.
“No boys allowed!”
I debated pulling down my underwear to show them I was a girl. I didn’t do it. Instead I just turned bright red. As I sat in the principal’s office, stunned by what had happened, I ran the flat of my palm over the stubble and let it tickle my hand.
As the years went on, I morphed from being a stick figure drawing into a Diego Rivera painting. I have always been drawn to Diego Rivera’s murals. The characters, like the overweight painter, seem swollen. Their full cheeks and large thighs make the painted people seem expanded to hold in everything they’d been charged with communicating. I’m not sure how to name what’s inside me. I don’t know if it is my memories pushing in every direction, or if it’s hope for more. But what I see in these characters is what’s in me. It’s not that they’re fat. Even the skinny characters have the same bursting quality. They seem so full and rich that you could almost squeeze the two-dimensional images, like you could hold on safely to them if you were drowning.
I think about Diego Rivera when I look at my ass in the mirror. I look at my thighs and I feel strong. I grab onto them when I feel like I’m drowning in my own head. I hold onto the thickness of my own flesh and keep breathing. I feel like a human being. Like a woman. A strong woman. I do a lot of positive thinking when I just focus on breathing. I also think things like “my ass was painted by Diego Rivera.” Those thoughts that seem to expand and fill my body, pushing my skin out ever so slightly. The thought of being a boy in Tehran and buzzed hair girl’s bathroom shrieks, and this woman who looks back at me from the mirror.

My name is Esther. When you say goodbye to me I am outside of a nightclub in Santa Monica. I am from a Diego Rivera painting and wear a black dress. I still remember what my trousers felt like and the sea of black heads bobbing in front of me. When you say goodbye to me I will have still more traveling to do.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Unfortunate Way to Say I Love You or The Love Note That Caused The Break Up - A very short story


I was thinking about you today, and, while picking my toes that itched with athlete's foot, a little flake of skin came off in the shape of a heart.

You're special.



Friday, August 14, 2009

The Washington Journey

Most bloggers post more often than once every four months.
Now, I will too. This short story is one of the things I've churned out in that time.

The Washington Journey
by Bobby Gordon

It was such a relief when they loosened the straps, undid the buckles, and let their packs hit the ground.
The bright red of Oren’s waterproof North Face pants stood out against the earth tones of, well, the earth around him. He thought it was funny how much he stood out in the natural world in his backpacking gear. He was from the world. He always thought the boundary between cities and nature was an illusion. It was all the same, He was from here. But he also wasn’t. He felt like a kid who had just been away for so long that he couldn’t recognize his own hometown.
The sky was blue-grey-white, as if they were all one color blended together to fill the air with late winter becoming spring. The dark green grass blanketed the hillside with rocks dusted with frost and scattered like shiny marbles that had been cracked and abandoned but still made the light dance. The snow-covered mountains on the horizon filled their minds with notions of being on the brink. Beauty, birth and death in every breath, thought James.
James exhaled and could see his breath in the air.
“Cool,” Oren said.
“Cold,” James said back.
They were just stoned enough to find that funny. It turns out that wasn’t that stoned. They’d only taken a couple hits out of the bowl each. They were more high on “the journey” as they called it.
They went into their packs and in a matter of minutes had the fresh 2-person tent set up and were throwing all the food items out of their pack to start getting dinner together. Oren set up the small camping stove and got the water going for the rice. God, this is living he thought. Real, Actual living. James started cutting salami and mixing spices together in a small bowl.
Oren and James had both graduated the previous June from UC Berkeley. What a relief they had thought. No more midterms, finals, essays. School is out for-fucking-ever.
A couples months later they thought they were crazy for not finding some excuse to stay behind. Oren had a job working in a law firm in the city, 8-5, Monday through Friday, week after week. He woke up tired, not really coming-to until he was sitting at his desk, and then he was tired by the time he got home. He’d have a few exhausted hours, and then it’d be time to go to sleep and start over.
At first it was a novelty, being an adult. The meetings, the lunches, the business cards. But that didn’t last long. Pretty soon he just missed the length of those days when he had nothing to do. The weekday hikes, Tuesday afternoon beer pong, masturbating at 10 in the morning if he felt like it, and he tended to feel like it. Sitting at his desk on a Wednesday morning he thought, how am I supposed to do this with the rest of my life?
James didn’t have a job. At first it was a novelty. The weekday hikes, Tuesday afternoon beer pong, masturbating at 10 in the morning if he felt like it, and he tended to feel like it. But then the days got too long. His parents were screaming at him to get a job or an internship, or at least lock your damn door son if you’re going to take your dick out before lunch. College had at least given him a purpose. And it was a purpose where it was entirely respectable to get high in between classes and eat a whole super carne asada burrito from Gordo’s Taqueria in the back row of lecture. It was almost expected. And now, it was over. He felt like he had woken up at a party and while everyone had gotten in their cars to drive home and nurse their hangovers, he was in the kitchen drinking.
The wind picked up and blew the clothes at the top of Oren’ pack up the hillside. They both ran up to collect them.
“Shit,” Oren said.
The wind blew and knocked the pot over. He refilled the pot with water from his pack and moved the stove to a spot behind the rock.
Nature’s kitchen, he thought. I just gotta learn the right way to cook in it. That’s all. Not fully confident, he sat on the rock and kept watch on the stove. James was chopping up some vegetables and lining them up in a long lone on a rock. He worked fast trying to finish before the next gust of wind. He got the last one up and rushed to the other end of the rock, put the bowl on the ground and ran back to the other side. He knocked over the first piece of carrot and watched them domino all the way across the rock, knocking the last one into the bowl.
“YYYEEAAA!!!” he exclaimed, and then gathered up all of the fallen carrots to put back into the bowl.
They never said they weren’t going to be stupid. The point of “the journey” wasn’t to grow up how other people wanted. It was about redefining what growing up meant. It was about not sacrificing all the hours of your to a job, or to masturbating while pretending to look for a job. It was about really living. Standing on a peak staring out at the distance surrounded by peaks. That was why they were here. In the mountains of Washington. It was why Oren quit his job, and James decided to publicly not be looking for one. It was why they planned to only go into town every other week for supplies and spend six months away from jobs, parents, inevitability, just away.
“I left everything in elf-storage,” James said.
“Yea. I moved all of my stuff out of my parents and that same night, around nine o’clock, I found this great place that had enough room for all of my stuff for just 100 bucks a year. What a great name, right? They sold me with the Neon sign outside.
“Where in the hell did you find this place?
“Oh it’s down on Ashby. I guess it’s either run by Elves or owned by Elves. I think owned, because the guy working there was normal sized.”
“On Ashby and Sacramento?”
“Yea, that’s it.”
“That’s Self-Storage, you retard. The S must have been burnt out. No wonder you couldn’t get a job.”
“Hey you don’t have to be such a dick. Just because you had a job fetching coffee and making photo copies doesn’t make you such a genius.”
They didn’t talk for the next fifteen minutes preparing dinner. They were in the expanse of the mountains, but it all of a sudden it felt like a cramped apartment kitchen.
The water started to boil. Oren reached and turned down the heat. The honeymoon wasn’t supposed to be over so quickly on “the journey.” Here they were, 23, both feeling burnt out as they exhaled out in unison and saw their breath in the cold. They looked at each other.
The stove bubbled over and the pot fell off again onto the ground.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Joshua Tree at Night and Dawn

The desert leaves my mind spinning. The days roll out with a dry heat followed by a night that descends with an empty cold that chills the landscape until the sun climbs above the mountains again. Two extremes all within 24 hours.
In Joshua Tree there are many things that survive this daily reversal with ease. We did it with a lot of water and a lot of jackets.
I took shots at night and then woke at dawn to catch the change.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A section from "Death is Messy and Inappropriate" a work in progress

He wanted his dad back. So he tried to will his father out of the grave.

It is profoundly human to not know how to deal with death. So we bury the dead in black suits with white shirts and red ties in closed wooden boxes so that they look nice and nothing will touch them forever and ever.
We don’t know how to treat the dead so we treat them like they might still be alive somewhere inside the body. We dress them up in their fanciest clothes. We fight their decay. We hold close to the denial of the eternity of their gone-ness just as we clenched tight the body as it began to give out. As our own bodies threaten to give out, we ask to be buried in our nicest suits and put in a wooden box so that nothing will touch us forever and ever.
After decades upon decades, there are boxes in the ground filled with skeletons in black suits, white shirts, and red ties. Bones in Burberry. The suits fit loosely now. We had hoped the body would never condense to skeleton.

At his dad’s funeral Ellison wore a nice fitting suit. His hair was combed. And he had covered his face in peanut butter. At breakfast that morning he had taken it all out of his sandwich and put it on like war paint. No one said anything, and no one knew what to do about it, so they just let him sit there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Model Cars

They took me an afternoon.

Die cast plastic & paint
sift through five pages of plans
I used to build model cars.

With proper care, careful painstaking gluing and painting
they would have taken
days or weeks.

I was too anxious to finish.
It took me an afternoon.

Slap the glue on, make it fit.
Find paint that'll work
and no matter how shabby the little car looked
I always made the dinner time deadline.

So, how now can I be expected
to show up every day and
maintain a job and a regular adult life?


Remembering you is like
revisiting a fire the morning after
and hoping to find embers.
Sifting through the ashes for something
still alive
with the destruction.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Tale of January - an excerpt

The following is a scene from a one act play.

Scene opens in a coffee shop with ANGELI filling a candy bowl and JAMIE carving a pumpkin in the empty Starbucks. The couple have been living in the coffee shop for several months after ANGELI told JAMIE of her plans to break up with him upon leaving the shop. JAMIE is wearing the red jacket from Rebel Without a Cause, dressed as James Dean. ANGELI is dressed up as an old Hollywood starlet.

I don’t get why they can’t just call them small, regular and large. What is it, tall, grande, venti. Tall….

…It’s the most desperate holiday. It’s the beginning of the end and everyone gets one last chance to rush around and completely reinvent themselves before it gets dark and cold and everyone hibernates for the winter. People become Sailors, Policemen, Presidents, Batman, and Spongebob all in a desperate attempt to be something different, anything different. Only it’s all a lie.

Baby, just try to have some fun, and maybe you will. Check this out, who am I? (JAMIE pulls out a cigarette and does his best Dean pose leaning against the wall. ANGELI sighs) Take out your camera. Take a picture.

(ANGELI takes out a very nice manual digital camera and tries to find a good angle. She tries several different ones, and isn’t finding a good shot.)

The pose isn’t working. Try a different one.
(He tries a few different poses, getting more frustrated with each one. She tries different angles and takes a bunch of pictures. They look together at the pictures on the back of the camera.)

You’re just not photogenic. I dunno, I can’t seem to…

(very affected by the comment)
I know, I know.

God, its not really a big deal.

You don’t get it, do you?

Don’t get what? It’s a picture. So what if you blink, or have a weird expression? It’s a picture don’t worry so…

Do you get what it means to be not photogenic?

It means you look bad in pictures. God you always make such a big deal over the littlest things.

No. It means every snapshot of your life has something wrong in it. You’re smiling too much like an idiot, or your eyes are closed, or you just look ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. You look in the picture and you’re a little too fat or goofy or you’re drowning in a sea of peaches like it’s some surreal portrait cautionary tale. Why’d you take all those pictures of me at work. I hate them, and I know you do to. Not any more. We’re not stopping until I can look at a picture and... (Jamie gets angry and starts ordering her around.) Take that camera and make me look good. No make me look fucking great. Make Dean turn in his grave because I did it better. Stand there.

(ANGELI moves over to the spot where JAMIE pointed. JAMIE poses strikes poses hard. ANGELI takes a bunch of shots and doesn’t look happy.)

I don’t know you just…

SHUT UP! Your gonna take that camera and make me beautiful. (ANGELI goes to take pictures. Jamie walks over to her and grabs her wrist.) Take a picture so damn good that it makes you want to fuck me when you see it.

Don’t say things like…

…Do it. (He grabs her and kiss her hard up against the wall. He lets go and walks over to the center of the room and poses hard almost biting back tears.) How about now? Or now? Do you want me yet? Just make me... Make me. Make me. (He falls down, sitting defeated and crumpled where he was standing. ANGELI keeps taking pictures.)


Monday, February 16, 2009

Breasts - a short story

Leo was saddened by all of the sexism that had dominated American culture since long before his birth. Women held down for centuries as subordinate, told they were only worthwhile if they looked good, cooked well and kept a clean home. Ideals of womanhood reinforced by images of starved and primped Victoria’s Secret models making women hypersensitive about being looked at. He was saddened. Not by the moral tragedy of institutionalized inequality or the long history of oppression, but because he was born into a climate where women’s breasts were not considered a viable hobby.

He just loved them. Peeking out from red tank tops. Hiding in sweaters. Biding their time not so subtly under thin t-shirts. Out in the open. When his teacher talked about concentric circles in class he finally paid attention.

His love was as simple and predictable as a child’s love of candy but people would think it was objectifying and crude. Still, if it were possible when he grew up, he wanted a job that somehow involved looking at least once at every pair of breasts on the planet.

When he first started seeing breasts in a more one-on-two setting he naturally assumed that the ones he saw were representative of the rest. In Gilian’s back room she had small nipples that just hinted peeking out from the areolas. Ok, so that’s what they’re really like, he thought. When Tabitha showed him in her car that nipples could be big round nobs perfectly situated he thought, Oh my god they come like that too?

He didn’t hate women. He didn’t hold them below men. He just thought they held magic between their shoulders and their belly buttons. That didn’t seem like such a bad thing. He was more than slightly annoyed at how society’s course had impeded him from following his dream. Sexism seemed like such a waste of time that just got in the way. Didn’t they know these women had breasts? What were these guys’ problems? He thought for a second that maybe it was jealousy. That’s a shame he thought. Maybe there should be a parade. It seemed like it would be a tough sell to convince women it was empowering though.

Senior year of high school he met Beth. The two of them had a lot in common., mainly a love of Beth’s breasts . She loved them almost as much as he did. In the photolab at school she would pull his hand over them and squeeze.

“I hear you have a new girlfriend son,” his mom said. “How is it going?”
“It’s great,” he replied. “We have a lot of the same interests.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If you noticed that there's been a little gap since my last post, it's because I've been hard at working producing, a marraige equality photography project with Gideon Mendel.

The goal of the project is to raise awareness for the civil rights of LGBT Unions and the result are 13 beautiful love stories.

I've shown a couple here, but go to to see the entire set of videos.

They are moving, inspiring, funny, and so important to see and share with the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments about prop 8 on March 5th.

It would mean a lot if you checked 'em out.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspired by Frida

There’s a Frida Kahlo painting
Where she is sitting in a chair
Having cut her own hair.
Formerly flowing brown hair on the floor leaves
a short boyish style behind.

Still holding some of her brown locks in her hands
In the caption she wonders about how
She liked herself with hair, and now without that hair she doesn’t.

A complete shift in self image.
Love to loathing.
Self-esteem is as fragile as to be torn apart by
a simple snip of small scissors.
All she did was cut her hair.

A few days ago I buzzed my hair.
I was in the grocery store today.
I ran into a friend who admitted she didn’t recognize me at first.
She said I looked great.
Everyone does.
My girlfriend said the haircut shows my defined bone structure.
I like myself.
Before my hair was sloppy. Uncooperative to combing and couldn’t wear hats with dress clothes at work so
I had to live with it.
See how with hair I didn’t like myself, now without hair I do.
Self-esteem so fragile as to be built up by
a simple snip of small scissors.
All I did was cut my hair.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You've Got To See

Nothing in my closet is good enough.
This shirt has a smudge, no chance
These pants are wrinkled this crinkled button up
I can’t do this.

Thumb through every shirt, throw five in my bag,
I’ll choose later.

Pick jeans and slacks
Packing for this is too hard
I have to look perfect.

I give myself a fresh shave
Otherwise what’s the point of even thinking about my wardrobe

My grandma, gammy we call her,
Is so sweet.
But you better shave or expect some comment on it
It has been too long since I’ve seen her
Since my college graduation
She stood cheering and hollering in the hot sun and
I was beaming
So proud that she saw me get my diploma.

And here I am packing to go
See her, to be near her and my family

We don’t do Thanksgiving in November because
My dad hates crowds
So now we do Oktoberfest in San Diego instead.

It is so far from tradition.
No set dress code or really code of conduct
But I’m scanning my closet to crack the code.

I want to look perfect for her. Have to.
Fill her gaze as she’s filled my life.

There’s a picture my grandpa took of her. Bupa was a photographer.
He took this beautiful black and white photograph of her with her head
Leaned back, hair spread out glimmering
Her eyes gazing forward
Looking like a movie starlet,
Looking perfect.
Like Rita Hayworth, like what Scarlett Johansen dreams of
Eyes shimmering, the kind that you’d hope fall on you as you walk past
The pretty woman on the street.

These eyes watched me grow up.
Saw my birth
The youngest of her grandchildren
Saw my childhood soccer scrapes, the result of first painful dates
We’d fly to San Diego to see Gammy and Bupa,
The most exciting of exciting trips.
She’d see us and tell us how big we were getting.
Gam I’m so big now
How proud she was of us
Doubtful I ever heard a judgmental word,
Unless I didn’t shave.

So I shaved
Thumb through my clothes rack again
Nothing in my closet is good enough
Thumb through my itunes trying to find a rhythm
Distract my mind
They said its pressure in the other eye this time.

The surgery on the first eye made it blind
A rare complication
But contemplating the same surgery on the other eye
is more complicated as
my mom tells us how
“we’ll learn Braille if we have to.”

I know Gammy is scared.
I know she must be.
I gave her my little golem for protection.
Little metal token from a grandchild
Little concentrated good intention
If it can’t protect her at least the cold in her palm might remind her
She’s not alone.

Nothing in my closet is good enough.

My bag is strewn about
Socks and shirts
A few ties but no collared shirts.

Two pairs of shoes
I don’t know to what to wear for the last time you might see me.

I don’t know how to prepare the last image you might get of your grandson. The image you’d carry after eyes unwillingly close
Nothing is right.
I can’t prepare for that

You’ve got to see me grow.
I don’t think I’m done yet.

Gammy I shaved.

Gammy you see the good in me and
Make me believe.

I’ve been praying all day.
They said the surgery went well
And we’ll know more when they take the eyepatch off

While fingers cross for a night
I know how scared you are, Gammy,
How bare the emotion.

I wish I could cradle you.

I want to shout that If we have to, we’ll learn Braille together.
If I have to, I’ll write Braille poetry.

We’ll listen to music for hours,
I’ll tell you puns,
Whatever you want
I want to shout
But nothing much escapes my mouth.

I just unpacked my bag back in my apartment.
Put clothes back in the closet
None of them are good enough
And I pray.

Gammy you’ve got to see me grow.
I’m not done.

Gammy I shaved.
Gammy you see the good in me and make me believe.
You see the good in me.
You see.
You’ve got to see.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Berkeley (Hella Much)

Fellow Berkeley artist Adam Stern and I freestyled a little collaboration about our hometown a a couple Fridays ago at the Om Cafe in Hollywood. Check out the video, and be on the look out for the next incarnation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cultural Jealousy

I don’t speak the language.

In the first hour of being here I tried to order a hamburger
and ended up with a glass of bubbly water.

They were out of hamburgers.
When the waiter tried to explain the other options in Portuguese
I got flustered,


I gave up and just asked for a water.

I’m staying in a house here with four Germans
so I’ve learned as much German as Portuguese.

Still I feel this desire to go out and buy a flag.

Portugal 2008

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There are 15 definitions for “to lose” in the American Heritage Dictionary - a short story

The Following are two excerpts from a short story. To download the entire story Click this Link


It didn’t take long to find Sal standing on the beach. Cowboy hats stand out in Oahu. His boots and balled up socks were in a pile a safe distance from the water and he was just standing there, his ankles barely wet. The ocean looked as though someone had put a few drops of blue food coloring and one drop of green into the expanse.
Hawaiians are used to seeing mainlanders come and stare for long hours at the ocean, in awe of that much beauty in one place. No group of tourists is allowed to leave until someone in the party makes a comment about how amazing it would be to live there, surrounded by water and sunsets. Hawaiians listen to people talk about how amazing it would be to live there all the time. A lot of them want to leave.

Sal wasn’t doing any of that. He was staring at a spot about two feet out in the water when Wes walked up. The dinged leather of Sal’s aged face was a sharp contrast to the youthful smooth of Wes’. When Wes shaved he looked seven or eight years younger. He had shaved that morning.
“What ya lookin’ at?” Wes said.
Sal pointed to the spot. Sitting a couple feet below the water was a single solitary sand bag. The great big ocean, and one fifty-pound bag of sand. The kind they would use to protect the house when the river would flood back home. The top was tied off with a cord and the excess material was flapping back and forth as the waves came in and out. He had been standing there for the better part of an hour, not sure what exactly to make of it.
“I s’pose that’s a losing battle,” Wes said.



By all accounts the footballer Zinedine Zidane was one of the best around. Correction. By all French accounts Zidane, or “Zizzou” was the best around. By all Italian accounts he was a hack with a dirty whore of a mother. Nobody gets to have everyone say nice things about them. Nobody.
Objectively speaking Zidane was at the pinnacle of the game for a long time, playing key roles for professional superclubs and leading the French national team in multiple World Cups. He was on the field when France won the ’98 World Cup in France, and he captained the team that made it to the Finals against Italy in 2006.
The lights were bright that night on the crisp perfectly trimmed pitch. Everyone in the world was watching, but Zinedine was used to that. You had to tune it out and play the game. Doesn’t matter if it’s the World Cup Final. Doesn’t matter if it’s your last game. Stay focused, stay calm. That’s what you tell yourself. You don’t always remember.
Within close earshot the Italian Marco Materazzi muttered something to him. No one else heard it. Everyone would ask about it later. Everyone would want to know what had caused Zidane to turn and headbutt Materazzi to the ground. It wasn’t much of a surprise when the referee sprinted over with his whistle blowing wildly to pull the red card out of his pocket and send him off. France lost in penalty kicks. Not everybody gets to pick how they finish. Not even the best.

Zidane was given a suspension. It was known before the game that he would retire after the match. He was still given a suspension.
People who don’t know soccer, know the guy that headbutted that other guy in the World Cup. Nobody gets to choose how they’re known. Nobody. Not the best, and not hacks who are born to whore mothers. Neither of them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Deep Wounds

I always wondered how animals recover from deep wounds
No hospitals in the forest
How do they lick their wounds and live?

There comes a moment to live or die
stand or fall.
This Fall right now
I imagine a fox somewhere torn twisted
bleeding on pine needles.

Surivival is continuous work.

But limbs don’t ache forever.
How do they stop?

Somehow they scar,
Old animals have these limbs that work somehow.

I stare into the mirror
At the freak of this wound
And I wonder how animals recover from deep wounds.

Don't Go

Click the link below to download a spoken word track. This poem is written with the hopes that all military overseas get to come home NOW.

Don't Go

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is my plea to all yes on Proposition 8 voters

It doesn’t affect you
The law accepts you
No one expects you to really feel this,
Except me.

Because it doesn’t affect me either
Because either of us could easily ignore this
Because clenched fists on Wilshire will surely dissipate
At some point in the night
And you can go on about your business
So this is my plea.

My boss wears a wedding ring.
Been with his husband Peter as long as I’ve known him.
The two of them are sophisticate eloquent elegant adults
Who have committed their lives to one another
Their union is as deviant as your parents’ union
Egregious only to the fact of death do us part.
The two of them raise two beautiful children
They are a family.

I show up at work after an Obama victory in the election hoping to celebrate.
Prop 8 in the back of my mind
I walk into the office ready to pop open two Martinelli’s bottles.

I see his wedding ring.

We pop open one bottle for Obama and leave one unopened until he can call himself a married man in the eyes of the state.
It is a tiny gesture that feels small and trivial and it is all I can do.

My boss wears a wedding ring
Treats his children with love and care
He is a father, picks kids up from swimming,
He is more of a father, more of a husband than most straight men and
He is forced to hide the pain at work that all he can do is not give up hope
And he is pretty good at at it
And I can not do anything but make minute gestures that can’t mean much.

The irony is too much.
A high minority voter turnout
Elects the first African-American President in a major victory for civil rights and
Votes yes on prop 8 because of Churches’ influences.

I have no slogans to share.
Cleverness seems as inappropriate as
Simply celebrating our forward thinking in this election.
I wish I could.
David I wish I could ignore prop 8.
Because before the results were in I felt proud to be an American
for the
first time
without conditions.

But it stares at me and
Slaps you in the face
Hate remains an acceptable political position.

It seems perverted how used to this you are.

I want to say I’m sorry.
But that feels young and naïve.
I am young and naïve,
So I say I am sorry.

I am sorry to my coworker Noel.
A writer, a mentor,
I wish there was something I could give you.
I can see you breaking inches below the surface as
We drink the bubbly cider celebrating Obama
And the drink tastes sickly and sweet.

You are the sweetest man I know.
A role model of how to be kind to other people.

I want to have an answer for their ignorance.
Help you find enough love to counter balance.
I am young and naïve and I love you.
As you search for love and dream of marriage
All I can do is catch you at the office door and squeeze you for a moment as
You walk out.

All I could do for Johnny was hold him.
A beautiful student dancer,
The hurt bubbles out of his tall body
I can see his frame shaking with it.
Pores leaking with “how could they do this?”
I stopped him in the hall.
“I love you,” was the only useful thing I said,
though I said much more.

Johnny is young. Johnny is not used to this yet.

So this is my plea.

Don’t let him be.

The slogan is not new and robbed of power by overuse
But still simple and true
If you are against gay marriage, don’t have one.

I know this one thing to be true.
If you are worried about how gay marriage will affect you,
Please understand this.

To David, Noel and Johnny,
Your life could not be

Less relevant.

There is no agenda with you on it.

You have Nothing to do with this.

These are my friends,
These are their lives,

You are not required or invited to take part.

All I ask is that you stop restricting parts of theirs.

This is my minute gesture to my friends.

To you, this is my plea.

by bobby gordon
Nov. 7, Los Angeles, 2008

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Greetings from Sunny Los Angeles

This is my senior thesis at UCLA, entitled Greetings From Sunny Los Angeles.

Amateur High Dive

Amateur High Dive seems like a random name for a blog of writing and spoken word.  

I chose it for a simple reason.  High diving is an activity that takes precision, focus, and a monumental amount of training.  A person really should spend years upon years in preparation, learning the exact technique for each dive in order to complete it with the grace and beauty intended.  Otherwise there could be a painful series of bellyflops and awkward spills into the pool.

I bellyflop from time to time.

It would be great if you could go through life always having the time and ability to prepare.  To take on every challenge with a calm sense that you know you are ready for it.  And for a lot of things that is true.  

But I submit that for the truly important life changing instances, there is no preparation.  For the moments that really make up our biographies there is no preparation good enough.  There is no getting ready.  The moments just come, with your heart in your throat, mind buzzing and the entire world rushing at you.

No precedent.  No muscle memory.  No training.  

You make it up on the spot.  You kiss a girl for the first time.  You bellyflop.  You lose your virginity.  You swan dive perfectly into the pool making a tiny splash.  You go off to college.  You stand on the high dive and wait for the fear to go away.  It doesn't, so you jump anyway.

Later you call it a memory.

I am an amateur high diver.  

So that's the story behind the name.  

Check back, every week there'll be new poems, stories, videos, songs.  

Feel free to leave some comments and let me know what you think.

or contact me at