Let’s Take the Wings Off

& try writing on foot, shall we? In this post: Writing slow, a Great Horned Cat, and a chance to go postal Greetings to you in this new year, so fresh it’s like a baby just out of the bath. I hope you are well and feeling hopeful. If you need

She lived happily for seven years in this world

On letting go of tidy endings & the art of citizen politics by Ai Wei Wei Greetings, friends. It is dark and wet here in Portland as I write from inside an atmospheric river, something that feels like a new phenomenon or at least a new way of thinking about

Reading in Autumn

On banned books, & how maybe it’s okay (even a good sign?) for our kids to feel bad sometimes “It is a real chill out / the genuine thing..” — Gwendolyn Brooks Oh Autumn, how I love you. I can’t help but imagine writers of my favorite fall poems in a

A Diving Suit & a Stupid Tragedy

On shabby eccentric artists, and sudden life interruptions I am writing from inside week 5 of a 6-week sabbatical from my job at Street Books, where my only task while away is to avoid tasks altogether, to take it easy once and for all, to rest the brain and heart

The Life Cycle of a Book

AUG 5, 2023 Head east along I-84 out of Portland, as the Columbia River flows along your left, near milepost 40, and you’ll come to a tunnel. During the years that Ben “Hodge” Hodgson and I were working on our book, I’d take a deep breath going into that tunnel

Two Birds & a Squirrel Walk Into a Bar

Only it’s not a bar, but a yard. And they’re not walking together, so much as perched in a kind of triangular form, Felipe the crow on the telephone wire, Max the scrub jay on an adjacent line that extends from the roof, and Virgil the squirrel perched on the

Truth & Dare: The Cello Effect

In the spring of 1992, Vedran Smajlovic donned a black jacket and tie and sat down with his cello at a bomb crater in Sarajevo, where the day before, 22 people had been killed by a mortar shell while waiting in line for bread. He played Albinoni’s “Adagio in G

Truth & Dare

A Bird Came Down the Walk Reader, I mailed it. This month I sent a card to a poet in Montana, a letter to a penpal at a correctional facility and a card to my parents. Letters went to Massachusetts and to Idaho. I’m on track to hit my “30

Truth & Dare

What Happens When We Choose Both? Hello there. I jumped ship to this platform after the last newsletter I sent apparently arrived with a radioactive warning not to open it, (apologies to anyone who got that, and thank you for letting me know). So this is my Newsletter 2.0, with

Ode to BlackBlack: Buried in the Yard

O chicken, my chicken. Pale orange eye. Black feathers threaded with blue, Last Tuesday your mortal coil shuffled off Though plenty late, it felt too soon. You laid your blue eggs during George Bush’s war Always one year behind our Coen. Two presidents later, you’re tired, you’re worn, We were

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