The urge to ****. It comes on strong and wild and it fills you tip to toe. It may take you in the shower, when you're tipsy in a crowd, or on top of a mountain with no one else in sight. The surrender is sublime, and so easy. Just open you mouth and it's all right there inside. A singular but universal passion. It connects, shapes, and propels the human experience. It is the essence of fullfillment and release, fun and power, simplicity and profoundity all rolled into one tight syllable. To SING may be both the root and the flower of the most personal and most communal thing that we do. (Click "Read More")

2012-12-08T19:47:01+00:00 December 8th, 2012|


Apropos of what’s to follow, I don’t dig current television, but I do delight in reruns of old favorites. One such -- “Peabody’s Improbably History” from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show – holds up admirably. It remains for me the most clever, comical, and captivating animated series ever. Each episode finds Mr. Peabody the dog and Sherman “his pet boy” traveling through history on a WABAC machine. The shows are full of puns and anachronisms, egged on by a technical adjustment that allows Mr. Peabody to turn the gismo from a “way-back” machine into a “should have been” machine. Of course, this revisionist trope has a long tail. Everyone from William Shakespeare to the creators of Mr. Roarke’s Fantasy Island have teased fate with the irresistible lure of do-overs and what-ifs. (Click "Read More")

2012-11-28T01:21:29+00:00 November 7th, 2012|


I look upon reality as a verb. That's not to say that the hard, cold facts of this world don't leave very real footprints. There's no denying the horror of a child dying every 20-seconds of a vaccine-preventable disease or the impact to the 1 in 7 girls in the developing world are married off before the age of 15. Yet, it is also true that for each year that a girl can stay in school, her earning potential goes up by 10-20 percent, and that she'll reinvest 90 percent of what she earns back into her family and community. But all these statistics -- the positive and the negative -- tend to rattle in the brain until we can actively pin them down with dreams of our own. (Click "Read More")

2012-10-12T18:25:39+00:00 October 12th, 2012|


In this age of digital cool hunting, one can vicariously experience pretty much anything. But some things aren't really real until your finger pads are warm with the white heat of their direct presence. Some places must be seen, touched, and tasted live and in person, to be truly known. The Playa of Black Rock City is one of these. (Click "Read More")

2012-09-06T01:05:16+00:00 September 6th, 2012|


Life, on occasion, makes a wait. This quirk of experience often seems most true when the want goes deepest. Perhaps these pauses are self-administered. After all, what is “life” beyond the patterns we perceive or choose to perceive from the pickup sticks of our past. Well, for whatever reason, my delay in visiting Cuba – after years and years of wanting – somehow landed me there in exactly a moment, a manner, and a mode of mind that dissolved all to opening. My interest in Cuba had been bound up with history -- dad’s trips to catalogue the island’s butterflies, a youth spent in Miami, policy battles on Capitol Hill, and the novel I’ve finally put to bed. I arrived in Havana this July, full of memories and anticipation, but left with only a sweet, sweet taste on my tongue and a healthy hunger to return. (Click "Read More")

2012-07-29T10:14:14+00:00 July 28th, 2012|

Oh the Bitten Mouth

Any man who serves me Edna St. Vincent Millay with a shot of Jim White and dashing references to New Order, Robert Johnson, Astral Weeks, and The Cure, needn’t bother with “hello.” I surrender utterly. Yes, yes! Literature + Rock & Roll. Thank you, Dan Stone. Thank you for your first issue of Radio Silence, a very fine new magazine dedicated to the two things that serve as triumphant testament to the success of the human experiment. Let us repeat: Literature + Rock & Roll. (Click "Read More")

2012-06-27T16:07:57+00:00 June 22nd, 2012|