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1974, What I Wanted

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If there had been arranged marriage in eighth grade, the grade it used to be and still sometimes is when children left school to work in the fields, I would have hoped that my parents would have arranged for me to marry Mike.

A Forest

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Her mind was full of fresh air and swung like a bee over clover.

The Wall: A Love Story, Of Sorts

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I need to get in and out, you say.

The Serious Writer and His Penis

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Only strong personalities can endure such size, the weak ones are extinguished by it.

In The Lake

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She says, “Put it there now.”


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It was like the time we broke icicles dripping from the low eaves and brandished them like swords...

Someone Emailed Me Last Night and Asked if I Would Write About Nachos.

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I fell into a crevasse once. I jumped off a bridge once, right before a train was to hit me. Jumped off roofs several times. I have a thing for jumping. The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to nachos.

How To Rescue A Drowning Man

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Maybe you should consider a few more things before embarking upon actual rescue, like: Is the victim hot? Not stove hot, idiot. Beauty hot. Will this be a triumph to save this person (like perhaps they are some Nobel laureate), or are you risking you

My Life In Five Paragraphs

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The first punch sent me flying into a Christmas tree. The second put me on the floor on my hands and knees, blood dripping from my nose.

How Dinner With John Updike Ruined My Teaching Career

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Christmas Eve, 1989, I had dinner with John Updike.

Almost There

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...children live in the moment like no one else. Which is a good lesson for us all, especially when crossing an ocean. Because out here you are alone with the rhythm of your thoughts and the ghosts of your past.


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On the ground deputies comb the back roads. Border Patrol scouts from the air


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*** Winner of the 15th Glass Woman Prize. Thank you, Beate Sigriddaughter.

Sweet Sounds of Home

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Father makes sure the rum is safe, and still down, on his ass, he unscrews the top and takes a slug, and then a second one.


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Lupe says stealing is bad whether it's from a Baptist or a Catholic.

Piece of Mind

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Samuel wondered if Megan could hear the brains humming, but like so many of the questions Samuel had for Megan, it was difficult to find the right moment to ask.


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She sits at home, on the floor of the kitchen, bathing her stuffed animals in molasses to match the ones on the news.

An Admirer Visits Paul Bowles

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I dropped out of college and flipped a coin, a 1929 half-dollar, and decided if heads, suicide. If tails, a life of perpetual travel.

Stephen King Stephen King

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In the early years, we never got tired of playing Stephen King. We played Stephen King at home and we played Stephen King in restaurants, shopping malls, airports, and hotels. We played Stephen King so much that we could have turned pro.


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The gun is heavy. The tiny women hold it in both hands.

Another Version of My Life, in Which I am Played by Meryl Streep

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Rerunning, now it's published.

My Crush on Daniel Ortega

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Time advances. One space between words, two between sentences. When I'm not working, I rehearse the language of newspapers: teez, pica, reefer, jump, hed, sig.

Baby Hater

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You leave your husband and go to the nursery at 2 a.m., painted so cute, go to them, and that’s the only place you want to be, and there’s no chance to leave, or trust they will be okay if you turn your back on them. They won’t. SIDS. Meningitis. A

What He's Poised To Do

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The man is not happy at home. When he sees his wife or his son, he knows that he should be, but he is not.

That Kind of Body

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I was thin young. There's a kind of freedom to be found when walking around inside that kind of body that allows you to have in this world what's known as a presence. People see you eating but they can't make out what for. You're not going to gain an…

The Golden Moment

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I wait for the small gap of time where the note vibratos into nothingness...

complex numbers

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c = a + ib

A Caregiver's Homage To The Very Old

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When you take her grocery shopping take a list and make her stick to it as she forgets and duplicates a lot She is also very generous and will insist on buying you something I think she cannot live without fresh flowers or plants that are bl

The crack

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I put my mouth to it and said hello hello hello.

On Being From the Dirty South, While not Considering Myself a Redneck

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How to not be a redneck? Basically, it is a matter of volume, ancestor worship, respect for the truth and a command of the English language.