The Burden of Heavy Ornaments

May has a way of banging on my door, at Magnolia, that brings to mind debt collectors.  I have to smile to think of her thin frame delivering such blows to get my attention, lengthy as my residence is.  She chose just the wrong moment, as I was stepping into the shower.  Yes, I was…

Praise Be to St. Omar

There are several legendary accounts of the origin of coffee. One account involves the Yemenite Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili. When traveling in Ethiopia, the legend goes, he observed birds of unusual vitality, and, upon trying the berries that the birds had been eating, experienced the same vitality. Other accounts attribute the…

A Simple Trip

written November 23, 2012.   The shared family Thanksgiving of yesterday was still fresh, not yet fully digested by May and I, when my sister Sonya came suddenly in the room.  After asking me for some reason if I had dated much while at Western, in front of my present girlfriend, Sonya happily announced her…

Home Away From Home

written April 19, 2012     I’ve been on a home hunt for about a week.  The Gallery on Washington,  a St. Louis apartment complex on the admittedly dodgy far-east side of the tony Central West End neighborhood, was my first track.  I found a picked-over efficiency apartment carcass for over $700 (large enough for…

Loosed Upon Caledonia

written February 27, 2006   Scotland has so far been little more than a tease to me, the slightest sliver of the country yet exposed, my time on the soil a mere few hours.  Today would be different, I knew it, and the rest did not matter.  Before the day was out I was to…

On the Moon, and Out of Lemonade (Anything But Tranquil)

written March 2, 2006 This is me, trying to relax, unbinding my mind knotted, as my body is carried hither in yon upon the Atlantic Ocean, living cargo in a luxury naval frigate. Which makes me wonder: what do those already in a tropical paradise visualize to shake the wrinkles from their nerves? I might…

The Modern Jalapeno Popper

written February 11, 2006 Neil Young said in a recent issue of Rolling Stone that writing is all about being receptive. A song, he explained, can appear to him fully-formed, if only he is patient. In that way he receives songs more than writes them. If he is stuck for a lyric or stanza it…

Land Ho!

written February 18, 2006 The misty slopes of a rolling, green island slowly emerged this morning from its hiding place in the horizon. The exact name matters not, as I tell my story, other than to keep my fingers firmly attached. Punishment for “Leeking Information by Bottlyd Message” may not have been enforced since 1751,…