Not long ago I read that prize-pony book by Junot Díaz and found myself feeling a whole heritage I don’t remember and couldn’t possibly, a language of life not my own and yet so infinitely recognizable that I’m using it now as a long way of saying you showed us what kindness and hope and affection and family could be. And determination. Stubborn, bull-headed, not-to-be-swayed determination. Not gloriously, not by any means, and not so much as conscious lessons as by being, reminding, almost—perhaps completely—unaware of the teaching to the point that I wonder if you even knew.

Well that, grandma, is our heritage, our language, and I read it in you as if from a book. I will do my part in keeping it alive, while you rest in our hearts, in peace. Never one for punctuality, I’m just glad my last letter made it in time. You always did enjoy my silly ramblings, simply because the handwriting was mine. I always loved how easy it was for any of us to make your day. We’ll miss you. 

Betty. Ninety-four years ago in August to today in October.


From chaos and conflict to harmony. See chaos and know the underlying harmony. Connect with it. The path, the way, they say. Maybe it starts with that bad story I wrote a few years ago about a sidewalk encounter, the one I once upon a time shared with my long lost friend in Mexico who was kind enough to give me some good advice, always kind enough to be honest. She was and I presume still is—I should run this by her and confirm.

Continue reading “epiph”


I think sometimes of her parents. How her dad was a public defender and her mom a schoolteacher on the southside of Chicago. But more like “that,” though, more “that” than “how.” I know the that and can only make up the how and now feel compelled to apologize for the “ “ but this ain’t spoken word, it’s written so I work with what I’ve got.

Continue reading “gloss”


Some might say I lack enthusiasm. To some I’d say I don’t wanna. There are two rails on which my life runs, academic (ha!) and artful (double ha!), linear and squiggly, but I tend to end up straddling the third and we all know where that leads, treading lightly fearful falling from where I belong (latter) and where I’ve tried (former) just to end up shocked. And at times confused, but other, most, most mostly times just fried and faking it.

Continue reading “inroads”


Not sure why I do this, why I keep coming here to make words thinking they’re worlds or might be if rightly strung together. It’s like thinking if you throw shit at the wall long enough it’ll eventually make art as long as you learn the right size handfuls and angles and velocities and distances. And so you throw and throw and you make the shit art and some shit person buys it with their shit money and lots of other shit people think with their shit brains that the shit on your shit wall is worth a damn so you go and shit think so too.

Continue reading “doubtedly”