“I’m no expert,” she reminded me for the second time in the conversation, “but life used to be about what you did for other people.”
I was shocked. I couldn’t believe something that came out of my head made powerful people react like that.
“Facebook,” I said to Luz last night, “is very bad for my health.” She agreed.
I’m the picture of a political grinch in 2015, jaded, complaining about how the country has been dragged hard to the right since 1980.
Imagine. Imagine. Imagine. I thought. Someday I’ll be the greatest writer ever, and everyone will have to think so!
I’m quite often ashamed by what I see in retrospect, often deeply embarrassed by how I’ve behaved recently.
The first thing they taught us about the modern world was the French Revolution.
High stakes writing is writing that counts, for a grade or some other value judgment. Low stakes writing is what you try to do to get yourself started.
It was one of those meetings in which a person comes to you for advice, praises your expertise and accomplishments for the first fifteen minutes, and then contradicts everything you say about your field of expertise for the next forty-five.
Writing with another writer is what’s given me the courage to tackle National Novel Writing Month.
Yesterday morning I collapsed onto my writing desk and sobbed for half an hour. This had been building for two weeks.
I thought, as this is the first week of my official njpoet tenure, I should introduce myself.
First of all, could we take a moment to focus on me? I’m sorry, but one of us has been violated and traumatized.
I was drunk. I was comfortable. And I thought, “It’s okay. He’s a nice guy.” And I passed out.
They got to talking about programming, and they’ve basically been hunched over their laptops coding together ever since. But there’s more.
Few people understand that her career has always been a team effort.
The strange Internet story of the speech I gave at my mother’s 60th birthday party.
I used to skim five newspapers every day, digesting all the headlines and reading up on developing stories. That was before Twitter.
She graduated from one of the better-known journalism programs in the early 90s, used her business savvy to land herself a sweet job, used her charm and her talent to earn the beat she’d always wanted: Global Warming.
I remember a long bus ride to Washington D.C., en route to march in protest of the coming Iraq War. It was early 2003.
Years before my life without you, we were leaving the supermarket we worked for, heading out to look for drinks, to meet women, when you spotted one staggering to her knees outside the adjacent drug store.
And then we’re snapping at each other over something stupid, something insignificant and not worth the emotion.
Last week I told my students that I used to be suicidal. We were thirty minutes into discussing Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
Someone in the back of the class muttered what I assumed many others were also thinking.
Every morning we see families of homeless people huddled together on scavenged mattresses, wrapped in dirty blankets.
Through my four years of college, and for one year after graduation, I worked in the meat department of a local grocery store.
My father was insane from the Vietnam War, abusive; my mother used to fight him off with anything she could grab.
A lot of the people I write about, ex-girlfriends, or random lovers, or former employers are often, are usually fictional mash-ups of several real-life people.
At a lecture, presentation, orientation, whatever, quietly speed tapping notes into a word-processing app on my phone.
It’s a fantasy that soothes us, empowers us in the face of our struggles to pay the rent, keep the utilities running, find and/or keep a job, and somehow prepare our children for what’s to come.
It was a simple shot—casual, yet dynamic. The reporter would speak his lines while strolling through Zuccotti Park. But Zuccotti Park was not cooperating.
War is still eating our families.
“Advanced education frightens employers,” he warned. “And try not to appear too intelligent if you land an interview.”
I walked into the NJ Peace Action annual dinner, a notebook in my hand, my head full of activism.
Maybe all my friends are broken because life breaks all of us.
“Has this episode effected your memory?” the doctor asked during our follow up visit.