“Despite Everything” republished on The Good Men Project

· “Despite Everything” [nonfiction/online] the Good Men Project (Nov. 28th, 2011)
[originally appeared in a slightly different version on SwinkMag.com and in There Will Be Words chapbook from Burrow Press]

Our story is the story of how I went back for her. Here’s how it happened:

Read the entire essay HERE


“The Gift of Nothing” in Stymie


· “The Gift of Nothing” [nonfiction/print] Stymie (Vol. 4, Issue#2, Autumn & Winter 2011)

When I run, I never walk. It’s not just because I agree with one minor shoe company’s ad that “If you ran without sacrifice, congratulations. You just jogged.” I run without slowing because it is the only time I feel weightless. In the split seconds of my legs slicing the air like scissors, my feet hover above the ground, against gravity. I am a blur of a body, without mass.

            One person’s “run” is not another person’s run. I believe “running” to be running 7-minute or less miles—the speed that would get you kicked off a high school men’s cross country team if you ran any slower. When I run, I run. My stride spreads over sidewalk blocks, though I mostly run on the road’s asphalt, facing traffic. I like to have the cars spotlight me.

            Running is subtracting the fat kid. Each step pounds the fat kid on the anvil of the road. The more I hit him, the less he will be.


Read the entire essay HERE


“Is Cheating Really Cheating?” on The Good Men Project

  • “Is Cheating Always Cheating?” (a.k.a. “All of the Above”) [nonfiction/online] the Good Men Project (Nov. 15th, 2011)

At first, I wanted to define what I did. I thought, Sure, you could call it cheating. But really? Is it that easy? I wanted to distance myself from those business students who cheated in their most upper level class to me who had just wanted to finish a bogus language requirement not part of my major at all. 

This is what I wrote: 

I believe nowadays we all cross lines. I don’t think integrity is something that can be carried out in this post-modern world. Integrity is an ideal. It sounds like something from Pleasantville where everything is black and white. I just can’t believe in integrity—and maybe it’s because a part of me does want to defend myself for defining what I believe—but I can respect candor ((n.) Honesty or directness, whether refreshing or distasteful.). I think candor is realistic, because sometimes things happen, and yeah you didn’t want it to happen, but it did, so now you can either hide from it or be open

But that’s bullshit.  

Read the entire essay HERE


“Cut Here” in RE:AL

  • “Cut Here” [nonfiction/print] RE:AL (Issue#35.2, fall/winter 2011)

The Bible verse is something like, lose everything, and thus gain everything. For the first time in four years, I am at the Promised Land in West Virginia and walking down the mountain the truck flipped over on. As I step over the ruts in the dirt road, the middle stripe of grass and weeds whip my legs like the air that rushed by me as I leapt from the truck.

            Mom huffs behind me. Her weight crunches down the gravel in the ruts and stamps her footprints deeper than mine. The mountain humidity uncurls her permed hair and frays the grey strands. Mom starts the flashback, “Do you remember the accident?” Of course, I do, I think. I know we both do. Mom’s hair was still brown and I was a teenager.

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