Panic at Twenty-four Frames Per Second

Dead Birds is a documentary about the aboriginal people of New Guinea. Behavior Modification shows early attempts to treat autism. Orange is an erotic film in which a man peels and eats an orange. Slowly. I worked my way through undergraduate school as a film projectionist […]

The Housekeeper’s Daughter

My brain is starting to unravel. It’s gone bad. I can feel everything loosen up, softening, rippling under the inverted moonlight of my eyes. It’s really gone bad. I’m starting to see the big picture now, and I’m not sure what it is—blurred candy shadows, a scorched candlewick, the skin of eggshells, a smile in […]

Negative Space

First you notice the writing students in front of you slowing down, then pausing, and moving into the street. Yellow tape is stretched across the sidewalk tied to a tree and a lamppost. You can’t read the black printing. The now visible police cars and years of TV say crime scene. The red lights flashing […]

Some Lines of Feeling 

“Autumn―that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness―that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” ― Jane Austen, Persuasion   The oppressive, heavy, humid heat of another climate change Ohio Valley River summer makes way for […]

A Map of Jerusalem

For years my face and name were a message I didn’t know I was sending. In kindergarten, our teacher gave my classmate Daniel and me blue and white construction paper to make cards for our family when everyone else got red and green. I knew this was because we were both Jewish, but my mother […]

The Persistence of Wolves

I Stillness in the mountains, in the way the mist clings, eternal, like suspended cobwebs on the prickly pine needles and limbs of green guavas, in the way the mountains curve like the rolling hips of the women hiking red dirt clearings far away. They’re balancing bread in baskets atop their tightly turbaned hair. Time, […]

Dispatch from Liberty Ave.  

Pittsburgh, PA— It’s another day: not a sale, not a bite, not a solid, single look-e-loo. So I stand alone at the window and watch the old men walk in a stiff and stony parade up and down the avenue past my post at the East End Book Exchange. I count the ways to be an old man: to rein […]

Classy

I’m particular about my gym wear. To illustrate, my socks must be white or a shade approximating my skin tone. I call the shade “nude.” Crayola misguidedly called it “flesh.” After a torturous day’s work, I reached the Y desperately in need of a stress-defusing workout. Too bad I’d forgotten to bring allowably-colored socks. I hadn’t time to run home […]