Dirk Eshleman

Location Fort Worth, Texas
Occupation human stain remover
Website http://

About Me

I come from a long line of storytellers on both sides of the family. My maternal grandmother told fabulously crazy, absolutely true tales about her brothers running moonshine during Prohibition; spending sunny afternoons with my great-aunt on the banks of the Cache River, blasting rattlesnakes and water moccasins with shotguns because other avenues of entertainment were not open to them; marrying a no-good man from New Jersey and taking a rolling pin to the back of his head one night when he was slicking his hair with pomade to go "catting around"; marrying my grandfather, who worked during the Depression on WPA projects ("WPA" stood for We Piddle Around," she said).
My mother is more reticent, but she can draw beautiful, spare images of her childhood, such as when she stood in a friend's back yard in southern Illinois and watched a freight train go by. The train was pulling cattle cars, which were filled with men in grey uniforms. She waved to them, although she thought maybe she wasn't supposed to. They waved and smiled in return. "Those are called Nasties," her friend said, meaning Nazis.
Dad and my uncles evoke memories of growing up in Minnesota, of the cousin who called his sixth-grade teacher a "fat-assed old bitch," jumped out a classroom window to avoid her wrath, and wasn't seen again for two weeks. The same cousin hitchhiked and hopped freights through the 48 states before he turned 17. Learning to drive a Model A, racing Indian motorcycles, other local color.
The stories are in their blood, and mine.

Why do you write?

The secret lives of the people we take for granted. What makes the quiet hero tick. Recognizing miracles and debunking modern myths. Curiosity. Eavesdropping on a partial conversation and filling in the blanks on my own. That's for starters.

Any favorite authors? Books?

David Foster Wallace--Oblivion; Infinite Jest. Thomas McGuane--The Bushwhacked Piano. All of Aimee Bender's short story collections. Thomas Pynchon--Against the Day. Barbara Kingsolver--The Poisonwood Bible. J.P. Donleavy--The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B. Carolyn Chute--The Beans of Egypt, Maine. Jonathan Lethem--Motherless Brooklyn. Gil Adamson--The Outlander. Most of Dr. Suess. Ethan Canin--America, America. Pablo Neruda's poetry. The list goes on and on and on.

Dirk Eshleman's Wall

Matthew A. Hamilton – Oct 11, 2010

Thank you for reading Secrets of the Dead. Glad you like it.

Thomas Calder – Jan 21, 2010

dudeth, post some writing!!!!!

Thomas Calder – Dec 18, 2009


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