Category Archives: Before the Razor

My DNA All Over It

My DNA All Over It

I wrote this story in 2008. I finished the first draft in a couple of sittings. It was a story that didn’t need much work plot-wise; the narrative was simple and straightforward; it just needed editing.

My goal was to depict the Christmas day of a well-off, albeit lonely divorcee. Her son visits, but it’s perfunctory; he’s self-absorbed and has no idea how much his visit means to his mother. The son’s girlfriend is from the same stock, although she’s slightly more aware of the mother’s loneliness. Continue Reading

What For?

What For?

Some years ago, while on my spring break, I was driving on a back road down in southern Missouri. An empty, old roadside store caught my eye and I stopped to take some photos, as I’ve done, of course, countless times before and since.
I walked around the abandoned building snapping some shots, and when I was walking back to my car I saw a golf cart down the street bouncing toward me at full speed. Continue Reading

A Character Sparked Me

A Character Sparked Me

“Clear” arose in response to the life and poetry of a wonderful young man who was my teaching assistant at the first Ithaca Writers Institute, a summer program for high school students founded by novelist Eleanor Henderson, my colleague in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College. Continue Reading

An Awful Premonition

An Awful Premonition

This poem came to me during my pregnancy with my first (and only) child, Clare. I don’t remember how far along I was—probably sometime in the 2nd or 3rd trimester—but pregnancy is known to cause vivid dreams in women and that certainly happened during those nine months. Not even just dreams, but visions during the day, often of terrible things. Continue Reading

I Began With a Tryst

I Began With a Tryst

I’ve never been a fan of circuses, or Hollywood movies about circuses. Perhaps one day after watching a TV promo for “The Greatest Show on Earth” or another 1950s’ Big Top movie in garish color – they seem substitutes for attending the circus instead of movies – I remembered that the circus is a perfect collection of archetypes. Continue Reading

Who has the better life?

Who has the better life?

I wanted to explore the man’s motivations for feeding the birds at all and to find out if he is doing it more for himself than for them. We learn about the underpinnings of his psychology in his “urge for control” and desire to be “supreme master.” I’m interested in the real reasons do-gooders do noble acts, such as getting good press or getting tax breaks for giving to charities. Continue Reading