Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Poor Bill

“I’m a bit sick & tired of people stepping out to ‘find themselves’ coming up at last with too often, in Cyril Connolly’s exquisitely harsh phrase, ‘a cheap sentimental humanism at someone else’s expense.’”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Life as a Guard in the Contemporary

Man in a serious limestone polo, crimson moccasins, goes in front of the Rothko gets on his smart phone.

“Mark Rothko? yeah we used to be roommates” — 15 year-old girl overheard in conversation.

Monday, August 08, 2016



Dear Head Coach of Women’s Volleyball at Mercer University,

I like volleyball a lot. Me and my friend Dustin used to partake in spicy burgers in the beer garden at this pub called the Mash Ton in North Portland on Tuesdays in the summers. But that’s beside the point. Once in fact his friend Shane (yes, another Shane) took a photo with a slow shutter speed and many moons later this photo appeared on a website and it looked like Dustin’s hand was huge and had sixteen fingers and was coming out of his shorts holding a great big beer! That’s me in the picture across the table in a Chug Life t-shirt (actually perfect to wear to volleyball practice) looking like I had no clue what was going on. And it’s true that I didn’t. All in a good fun, as the kids say. I am 43 years-old. I will be sixty in 17 years. The barmaid at the Mash Ton had what you would call a volleyball player’s build. Blonde and probably six-foot-two. We struck up a friendship on a first-name basis. I would come in saying “Hello, Sarah” and she would reciprocate with the personal touch

Tell the girls I am out of a job and I have a big heart too. A starter for Mt Hood Community College back in the day tells you I’m sporty (Go Raiders). Until one day number 24 (yours truly) tore his hamstring trying to touch his toes during tip-off. He managed to draw a charge before they pulled him and sent him back to the hotel with a bag of McDonalds in one hand and some ice in the other. He fell asleep watching Quantum Leap with his legs up.

That was 23 years ago.

Today, I remain a sizable entity, who despite an infected cuticle, has good court coverage. I have watched the sport from afar, using binoculars mainly, and I have watched the sport up close where the images of ladies in kneepads blur like hillsides from the window of a train. I know the ins and outs. A picture I rapaciously return to is that of five babes in a crouch with their knees bent. I’m like “here comes the white leathery orb, girls! Extend those arms, Bump!”

Volleyball’s a good sport and this should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wallace Shawn talked to Mark Strand

Well, when I read poetry I can’t imagine that what’s in the reader’s head is ever what was in the poet’s head, because there’s usually very little in the poet’s head. 

You mean . . . 

 I mean, I think the reality of the poem is a very ghostly one. It doesn’t try for the kind of concreteness that fiction tries for. It doesn’t ask you to imagine a place in detail; it suggests, it suggests, it suggests again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

from McGuane's The Rescue

He is a big dramatic-looking man, and he was dressed for a wonderful idea he had had the previous evening

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Today's Epitaph

Today, in sun, I must look a hard sixty, not my usual forty-three.
Allan Gurganus

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Perfect sentiment

Who would you want to write your life story? My wife, Rebecca Wilson, because she loves the ongoing comedy and understood my mum and dad. - Geoff Dyer