I don’t want fiction. What I want is truth. Or someone’s version of it.

A Country Doctor

A gravely ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Husband and Father

Frank kept his face blank as he read the orders: Report to Berlin.

A Last Set

She had been sleeping more and more as the tour went on.

A Marriage Contract

They went to pray for the dead. It was important to shed some tears.

A Numbers Game

We are in his car. “Bell, I’m starving. Want to go for a burger or pizza?” I panic. Pizza. 285 calories per slice. Burgers. Harder to estimate.

A Real Nice Baby and Other Poems

Royal baby George is tucked in the crook of his mother’s elbow.

A Spinster’s Tale

When he had passed from view, I stumbled back from the window.

A Trout in the Milk

How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.

A Wanderer

The tree was shaggy and it bore scars of shrapnel from the war.


There was something in her voice, some awful, enduring fire.


It’s there and then it’s gone, just light through the window.

After War

The author reflects on a soldier‘s experience, in just six words.


Mostly he was in a hurry, so he’d just stick it in and away we’d go.

All Saints’ Eve

Why did it take Steven’s small coffin to get me to see my own son?

All the Girls Are Fat in Heaven

When you are sixteen and sixty-five pounds, you are all shadows.

All the Light That Falls Upon Us

Everything they needed was there. Everything they needed, they had.

Alphabet City, 1985

Tony’d had guns pulled on him more times than he had toes.

Amatoria Nervosa

It is our first time, both of ours. This sentence ends with hate myself.


My father made me watch softball on ESPN 2 to help me stay alive.

An Incomplete Encyclopedia of Happiness and Unhappiness

The appendix on political correctness explains why none of that is funny.

An Influx of Poets

I had the tongue of an adder and my heart was black with rage and hate.

An Injury to One

You are afraid pain itself might develop a way to communicate.

Another Decade, Another Mouth

she was sixteen, and swimming. she was seventy-one, and soft.


I tell him: junkies are the only people worth talking to about love.


I tried mightily, but no longer could I ladle those ancient words into the air.


The elevator inside him begins to fall with dizzying speed.

Arthur Arellano

The pillow into which her face was turned muffled her voice.