JAMIE ALLEN

Essays


Our Faith in Horses

From The Oxford American

"They were charging straight for us—and the oak—and they weren’t slowing down. Chief had already bucked off Shelley more times than we could count. The horse was not right. At the last moment, he cut left then right to avoid the tree. Shelley went airborne."

Misty and Meat Pies

From Salon

"‘Mom, Dad, please,’ said Misty, who had overheard her parents as she entered the house, then the kitchen. She smiled at me. I felt like a dirty young man. She was 19, a wisp of a girl, 5 feet tall and 90 pounds, with straight brown hair, bangs. My virgin detector went on high alert.”

Incident at the Hemingway House

From The Oxford American

"The heat had gotten to us. We hated that boy. He broke the rule that we all wanted to break but were too chicken to. We hated him because he stole our idea. The Hemingway-bearded tour guide turned to us on dry land and, hands open in a disbelieving pose, provided a clarification: 'That’s a real no-no.'"

Masterpiece: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

From Salon

“But ‘Teen Spirit’ is something like Dylan's ‘Blowin' in the Wind.’ Old folksters will tell you that what Dylan said in that song wasn't revolutionary to those in the know in 1963; he just managed to capture the right words and feelings floating around Greenwich Village and present it in a package the whole world could buy. ‘Teen Spirit,’ too, was one of those rare moments when a song was pulled from the air of a scene -- Seattle and its spreading ethos of youthful malaise and artistic meanderings -- and became greater than the sum of its parts.”

Consider the Squirrel

From The Oxford American

"The child squirrel’s eyes were closed, its arms extended in her direction. Her arms, too, reached out, her front paws clasped in one last worrisome pose. Between mother and child, a wet stain the size of a half-dollar blotted the dark asphalt. Blood splattered the child squirrel’s nose, as if it had lost in a schoolyard fight.”