Our Faith in Horses
"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."
Masterpiece: Smells Like Teen Spirit
'I was just the type of fan that Cobain would've hated -- the redneck who doesn't know Bikini Kill from the Go-Gos, who had spent his teen life listening to Tom Petty and Bryan Adams before coming across Dylan's greatest-hits album.
But Cobain's music and lyrics confronted and changed me. They forced me to see a world I had previously avoided, mainly because my friends and I never walked that direction. Cobain was the first writer from my own age group to capture my attention. When you want to write for a living, this is a seductive and powerful thing.'
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.'"
Review: Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck by Lee Klein
'If you want to be a published writer, and especially if you live in suburbia, you need someone to tell you the Truth about your work. Klein offered this, free of charge. His brusque honesty hooked me. I didn’t know what he looked like, but I pictured a shorter, wider version of Joey Ramone sitting on the other side of the computer screen, a punk encircled by books and empty coffee cups, cigarette dangling from his lips, voice husky with the weight of his smoky critiques. (Note: He doesn’t look like a hefty Joey Ramone.)'
Consider the Squirrel
"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.
Misty and Meat Pies
'There's something mesmerizing about standing in the same place for hours, sweating, watching hot water run off steel and earth. It's the fodder for daydreams, and -- contrary to my dad's efforts to persuade me to enjoy school -- I was cultivating a fantasy about me as Blue-Collar Guy. I was reinventing myself into a life away from classes that make you type to classical music. Forget professional baseball, or whatever else it was that I thought I might get out of college. To me, steam-cleaning wasn't a bad life. It was simple and relaxing.
OTHER SELECTED WORK