Hello, friends

Night Shift

June 16, 2017

My friends who have read my latest have laughed and been sickened in a good way. Or so they say. At least they haven't disowned me or distanced themselves in some way. They're still standing by me, the few who admit knowing me, the freak who writes mortuary fiction with attendant details of the (more…)

Happy MLK Day & News

January 16, 2017

The day is sunny and bright and warm and easy. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks from a mountaintop these simple words: "Love. Love each other more. You'll be all right." He is radiant.

Thank you, Martin, for giving your life to this belief in the power of love. "Open yourself up, and you stand (more…)

A Sweet Holiday Sketch

December 22, 2016

My friend the trash man wanted to know how I voted. "Guy," he called out to me in the gym. He calls me guy. He's a son of the dustbowl, child or grandchild of the original Okies. He's told me he goes back to Oklahoma, his family. He's got a weather-roughened face as if he himself (more…)

My Hospital Stay

December 2, 2016


This Thanksgiving didn't go as planned. I spent the day and night at Eden Memorial Hospital in Castro Valley after checking in for chest pains and high blood pressure. They wanted to observe me, so installed me in a private room with a big TV bolted to the wall--you know, standard hospital set up--where I watched an amazing cable channel program (more…)

Am I Dreaming?

November 12, 2016

This is the creepiest period I've endured in my 57 years as an American, creepier by far than 9-11, which was exacerbating, and scary, and also inspiring and strengthening, seeing the great national spirit arise out of the ashes. I speak of the unity, not the hate experienced by too many Muslims and Indians wearing (more…)

My Mistress Death and the Election

November 8, 2016

Just got back from voting. Jeez, you don't want to know about it. A few days before, I posed with my old friend La Catrina. I've known her for a long time. Perhaps she served as midwife at my birth, and cackled when I emerged squirming out of my mother's birth canal. She befriended (more…)

The Case for Steve Gutierrez

April 21, 2016

This one I'm not sharing widely in my circle of friends. I can't bring myself to email a link as I've been doing with my work. I'm glad it's out there in the world, but I leave its discovery to the caprices of chance. I do not foist it on anyone. I hide behind (more…)

Chicano Nobel Laureate

March 2, 2016

News of this award reached me recently before the press got hold of it. I decided to broadcast it immediately. Everybody in the Latino community was excited for Gerardo Hidalgo, except for me. But I had my reasons. At the same time, I was deeply disturbed by events in Europe. I take no (more…)

Election Year

February 29, 2016

I wrote a piece on Trump this summer that just appeared in Digital Review in an issue dedicated to the past year. I hope you enjoy it. I'll be back with some more stuff in a political vein soon.

Trump Time

Post-rally Thoughts

April 16, 2015

Today in the East Bay nobody is dying in front of my house. Nearby, in Oakland, Richmond, Hayward and all the other rough parts, somebody is shot or stabbed or lying dead in a pool of blood on the hard street, or expiring alone in an apartment, a victim of his or her own despair. Death hangs in the (more…)