"Sometimes the dull detritus of our pasts become glaring strands once you realize they form a pattern, a lighted path to the present."

–Carrie Brownstein, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir, 2015

In Loco Parentis

A while ago a colleague asked me what being a parent was like. I was having a bad parenting day and immediately said, "Oh, it's awful!" She laughed, but later I felt bad about it. What if being a parent was her dream? What if she'd been struggling for years to be a... read more

Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams

As anyone who has read my blog over the past year or so knows, I try to keep my posts short while I explore the deeper meaning of things. A music review or thoughts about running are portals to ways I make sense of the world around me. Since I launched the blog in... read more

Sorting It All Out: The Many Meanings of Life

The answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?" is elusive for at least two reasons. The first is obvious: there is no one meaning. What life means is up to each individual to determine. But more importantly, it's elusive because people tend to look for it... read more

Running Home

  I've done my share of complaining about my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, since I moved away at 18, but there has always been one thing that redeemed it. Today, I'm adding another. Designed in 1918, the city's Parkway–a 26-mile stretch of greenspace... read more

Life, Unqualified

As a writer, qualifiers are useful. Words and phrases like "usually," "almost always," or "mostly" buy room for the likelihood that a statement will not always be true. Last night, as I often do, I was journaling about my failings of the day. Usually at the end of... read more

Homeward Bound: A Transplant's View of Southampton

Note: This essay is from the book Southampton St. Louis: An Unconventional History. For ordering information, go to tp://www.southamptonstl.org/history. Ellen and I moved into our Southampton house on Neosho Street in April 1999. She was about seven months pregnant... read more

Chase the Dragon: The Uses and Misuses of Memoir

We build our lives on lies. The stories we tell about our pasts are just that–stories. We either ignore the bad and romanticize the good or we ignore the good and exploit the bad. Either way, the result is less than truth. If I wrote my memoir in the traditional... read more

Generous to a Fault

I'm generous to a fault But it ain't no fault of mine Never gave a good goddamn 'Bout this, these, thou, or thine All I've got I gave away Never gave it any mind Yes I'm generous to a fault But it ain't no fault of mine My mama didn't raise no fool That's how it seems... read more

Jackie's Song

The day my brother died well they, Shut down the highway, yes they Shut down the highway, oh they Shut down the highway all day long And when I started cryin' well I Walked me a long way, yes I Walked me a long way, oh I Walked me a long way, the long way home I hear... read more

Fall Poem

Gold drips from barren trees Sunlight older in the afternoon Grown tired, brown leaves scatter Wind carries them where it will Winter's coming to the fields, The parks, the streets, the neighborhoods Old man huddles in his room Blanket drawn high to chest He knew a... read more