December 14, 2014

Whirl, whipsawing wind. Indigo-dark night. Hard streets, inflexible, shine like a burned-out star.

Sea Forever


Blue on yellow

May 26, 2014

The yellow mixes with the blue in a quiet unmatched by the wind humming through the weirdly placed Eucalyptus trees nearby. The crisp, dying sunlight filters through dead-looking stalks like memory. A snake, black and white, strolls by in the late evening, enjoying it, too. Finely-grained details provide the background. A perfect meal of green beans fried in bacon fat, matched with macaroni and cheese featuring gruyere and a crisp, subtle Anderson Valley white.

The owner comes out and chats you up. The view directly in front of the open door, a bifurcated redwood growing out of the ground right in front of you, red and green, a 65 degree coolness to the air.

You don't know what to expect. The lights across the water like a million stars. What are they doing? Vacation, work, building the space for magic? A dog dying, looking out at the blue Bay among the golden hills. "Baby, you look like silver and glitter like Klondike gold." The sound of the waves lapping among the wrip-wrap rocks is hollow. What a hasty, stupid way to prevent erosion. (Is it?) A day for magic, a night for opening up. What do you say?

Bird on a Wire

May 24, 2014

Bird on a wire in the middle of the woods, near the city. The sun, evening is quiet, the crow unruffles the day, some contented screams come out. The day exhales. The sun and all the green, hills, saying goodbye.

Corrina, Corrina


May 5, 2014

Did the ridgeride from North Berkeley to Montclair Oakland. Cold and windy. The path was shorter than I expected and less fun.

The rolling pavement moved from jagged and broken to smoothly paved as it approached Centennial Rd. at the top of Strawberry Canyon, the road a receptive new asphalt there. With a brain blown out from three near starightup hill shoots of about fifty yards each that left a calf muscle on the edge of blowing, and lungs and heart, vision narrowed, blown by the whipping ridge wind, it was a one-leg-over-the-other situation. Grizzly Peak Blvd. It curves up and down along the western ridgeline of the East Bay Hills. The sun slantsover the green valleys, impossibly uninhabited on the Bay side.


Reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" to my niece and nephew, 8 and 6, respectively.

Nephew rests at the foot of the bed in a ball like a puppy. Niece is next to me. As soon as we start reading, their imagination becomes palpable as the story calls up the Ozark mountain bottomlands, oak and hardscrabble, cold, frozen, snowed-over ground. At the sweet parts, they both wiggle uncontrollably, like when Old Dan licked Little Ann all over after she almost froze to death, drowned in the Illinois River at the tailend of a coon hunt.

A moment in the sun

May 4, 2014

Two girls, 15-ish, sit creekside in a sun-filled park in the early afternoon. A pretty one, with hoop earrings, sits on a stone ledge of a tunnel that swallows the creek, which runs for about 50 yards before it pops up again deeper into the park.

The not-as-pretty girl, a little plump and withdrawn, has her back to her friend, who is chatting on an iPhone with a fill-the-boredom vibe.

A young guy, 15-ish, with a pit bull on a leash walks up to them. They know each other it becomes clear. He sits in the grass across from the pretty girl, who keeps her lazy phone conversation up, and eventually beckons her to sit between his legs on the grass. She leans her back into him, though it's clearly an awkward setup. He steals a kiss. Two minutes later he gets up abruptly with his dog and walks off without looking back.

The two girls -- the pretty one still on the phone -- look after him, with one part confusion, two parts knowing and two parts sorrow.

Misty side of Mount Tam

April 24, 2014

Mount Tam has infinite dimensions. Here's a misty, turkey one.

Ocean-top sky

March 9, 2014

The mountains crack open, the ocean-top sky expands, the multi-contoured oak-strewn hills, and their patches, pockets of thin mist, offering the day a folded mystery, timeless, neverending.


February 24, 2014

All the ghosts dance on the head of a pin, the pale light a reminder that life and death move so quickly, the chill breeze an exhausted breath, merging with a motorcycle's sexual hum, a growing-long evening, a streetlight in the pale evening sky, a woman looking at you and away, the jangle of chain, a lost, echoing day.


January 26, 2014

It's a pink, purple evening in the shifting cool, pure evening water. The quiet like a monster. The scrubby network of trees and thorns a comfort.

Sitting at the kitchen table in the predawn dark, nebulously cold, mom and dada at a kitchen table. Coffee, tea, reheated pancakes, an at-peace vibe in the air, things transformed, a mismatched future like globs of clay mashed together.

The dog, Monte, heaves in dry vomit, disoriented and lovely as ever, under drugs that keep him moving, sliding. Blind, heavy, thin, lovely, loving.

Golden Oak

January 21, 2014

Guest photo by photographer, freelance writer and friend Robin Meadows.

Santa Barbara

January 5, 2014

Aka "Santa Blanco."