The Physics of Fools at Prairie Schooner

August 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

LEHS Candlepins

The folks at the wonderful Prairie Schooner have been posting mini-essays on their blog as part of a series called Sports Shorts. Today I have one called “The Physics of Fools,” one of two (!) featured essays about my beloved pastime, candlepin bowling.

It’s an insular sport. You face away from your friends when you bowl, and there is no element of defense. Candlepin bowling, in particular, comes with a sense of geographic isolation, the border between candlepin country and tenpin country running roughly parallel with the Connecticut River.

At the same time, check out E. Thomas Finan’s delightful essay, “Geoffrey Crayon’s Reflections on the Puritanical Pleasures of Candlepin Bowling.”

It’s exciting to see my favorite regional sport get some love from a midwestern journal. I have another, larger essay that I’ve been shopping around that’s also about candlepin bowling, but it’s more about the game’s tenuous future in a limited regional market when people are finding other new ways to spend their leisure dollars.


The Gazers at Pine Hills Review

August 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

They were out there, ducking in and out of to show off their pistol wits as artfully as the white-dot VAX graphics allowed. He imagined, from how they strung together eloquent sentences or tucked in extensive literary .sigs, that they were English majors like he was, only they blew off their classes to read Baldwin, Nabokov, and Bertrand Russell in paperbacks with their spines broken. They spun hard-to-find seven-inch vinyl at their campus radio stations. They had outsized personas and carried pocket handkerchiefs and drank whiskey in heavy glasses and dashed off verse on cocktail napkins. They got no joy from rage. They didn’t hook up, they made love.

I’m excited to have a new story, “The Gazers,” at Pine Hills Review today. Set in the mid-1990s at a college campus, it might be the most self-indulgent story I have ever written, as it touches upon pretty much every point of angst that I could remember from my days as a spoiled college brat. I’m grateful to Daniel Nester for publishing it.

Throw a Little More Thoreau

August 14, 2016 § Leave a comment



Another room at the W Boston, approximately 20 miles from Concord, and another attempt to enlighten guests with a meditation from Henry David via a jute shade. This one is from Walden (1854), to add to last year’s sampling from The Maine Woods. Our room on the 6th floor had no views of any lakes. I am now morbidly curious how many different works in the Thoreau canon are quoted throughout the rooms; if Emerson gets any love; or if they dared cut a few from Civil Disobedience.

Where Am I?

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