Visual Anguish and Looking at Art

I understand these were commercial jetliners, not ICBMs, that split the steel and glass of the World Trade Center. Someone, a person, had a long-standing vision, intentions, imagined the explosions and death that would follow.

The Funeral

Tonton Charles was not a great man. He had not led an inspirational life. In fact, he had spent little of it sober.

Canine Cardiology

Houdi pawed at the student’s thighs and, despite his heart condition, displayed one of his inopportune erections, which the vet student chose not to acknowledge.

Okahandja Lessons

Welcome to Namibia! The battered wooden sign stood at the edge of a highway that was strewn with piles of twisted, smoking metal.

A Pure and Lovely Flame

For Descartes, the pineal gland is a magical place where our souls and personality and identity shimmer in a night sky.


For a moment my sister seemed to hesitate, standing in the ghostly light of the moon, as though she were considering going back.

The Absolute Worst Thing  

When they suggested one more blood test, since “maybe you’re lucky and you just have AIDS,” I knew that the absolute worst thing was for real,

Songs from the Black Chair

A thousand men each year sit in the black chair next to my desk. I am a mental health worker at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter.

Remembering Appleman

“If I can’t help your mother,” Appleman said to me, “then I’ll help you build some armor against her rages.”