Gold in Peace, Iron in War

Monday, April 13th, 2015

“Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra” Which is the official motto of the City of San Francisco and the police department of the city of San Francisco. Perhaps a better motto would be “To Protect and Serve.” Because clearly the city, or its police, do neither well. And when was the last time San Francisco […]

Let me show you my medals

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Medals were a big deal in the Army. Probably still are. But I don’t really know the Army anymore. I got out eight years ago and these days soldiers wear uniforms they don’t have to press and boots they don’t have to shine. And now they have something called the Combat Action Badge which must […]

Dear New Yorker

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Dear New Yorker: I am writing to express my discontent with my current subscription. I am living in Topeka, Kansas, and look forward every week to the new issue. I love the reporting and the essays, the Talk of the Town. The fiction? Hit-or-miss. Try not to take yourselves so seriously all the time. Anyway, […]

Welcome to second platoon

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Hey man, welcome to second platoon. Where are you from? Oh yeah, I think I’ve heard of that place. You grow potatoes or some shit, right? You’re straight out of basic? Man, first thing you need to do is get some new boots. You should get some jungle boots because it gets warm here. What […]

Army Prom

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

One night on Fort Knox the Armor boys got all dressed up and had themselves a ball. A military ball is a lot like prom, except for all the swords and the depressing POW table set up in the corner. There’s a guy who’ll take a picture of you and your date and everybody drinks […]

The Strangeness of Eggs

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I’m out in the world now, trying to be an adult. I’ve got a kitchen with a stove and oven and refrigerator all to myself. The doctors tell me my diet is shit and I’ll die one day. I tell them we’ll all die one day, but they miss the point. So I was in […]

Hemingway makes me want to drink until I cannot remember

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

He walked away after everyone else had. There was nothing heroic about it. Isolated by snow. Suffocated by cold. He watches the birds—flying and chirping and preening. He thinks, Maybe I could learn. And falls into a whiskey haze. He grows weary of these text messages—lazy and fleeting and meaningless. He wishes for more. But […]

Technical Answers can’t Satisfy

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

We’re two planets orbiting comfortably our yellow star. We can see each other in our skies at night, flashing messages back and forth. But something happens and our star grows small and cold and white. Who knows why. All its hydrogen fused into helium? The proton-proton chain reaction stops reacting? These technical answers can’t satisfy. […]

33-Stanyan, Mission to Haight

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

I remember riding the bus with you one hot January night. You were sick and sweating, swinging your feet like a child. A woman with tangled hair asked you where Haight was. Her hemp necklace heavy with beads, her hands grabbing each other. She told you that she’d been on the bus for a long […]


Saturday, November 20th, 2010

“There is no there there.” There are no seasons here. Only fog and sun and a month of rain. The rain only if we’re lucky. Because if the rain fails. We’ll drink from the toilet. Wash in the toilet. Play in the toilet. And once a week we’ll flush the toilet. They’ll collect it, filter […]