Category Archives: Creative Non-fiction

When I Realized I Was a Ghost

Growing up I had conflicting feelings about ghosts. I was a child concerned over whether they actually were real. I feared what mischief unseen spirits may cause but only because that’s what I had been taught to do. It was … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

You Can’t Go Home Again, Again

“A man’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child at play” – Friedrich Nietzsche In late spring 2018, I traveled to Ecuador, where I first visited the cities of Quito and Cuenca before exploring … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Last Cruise of the Plague Year

Four Days Aboard the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, 2020 I stepped off the elevator and onto the pool deck, with the sense that I had crossed a sort of threshold. Here the scene was quaint, almost pastoral – a … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

The clothes I wear

The garter, the underwear I knew straight away; I knew love was spectacular. It knocked me out, hung me upside down and checked for change. Every cell in my body felt electric, needing to plug into him to come to … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tracking Franz at Planá

Franz Kafka arrived in Planá—a small resort town on the Lužnice River in south Bohemia on Friday, June 23, 1922—a week before his official retirement from the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute in Prague. He’d been promoted to senior legal secretary … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 8 Comments

Finding the Lens in a Visual Memoir

Part of the peril that comes with being someone who loves literature and teaches reading for a living is that sometimes analysis and interpretation leads to a locked-down view of what a text means. We know the stories of poets … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

No Plans Come to Mind

We ate an enormous meal together. All of us, in the old farmhouse near Ontario’s shores, eating and talking and not talking, and laughing really loud. We are loud. Half of us have a hard time hearing, which makes it … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 2 Comments

Invisibilia

I. Changeling You sign only your first name in my yearbook, with a tiny drawing of the sun. You pass the book back to me and heat curls off the page, dewy, sweet. You grab my wrist and I inhale … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment

No One Knows I’m Here

Sligo, Ireland, May 2019 I keep busy, even in a stranger’s home, I press my life (however, briefly) onto theirs. I open drawers to find a spoon; instead of one, I find a girl’s journal, with a near-perfect illustration of … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Romancing New York

Prologue It was nearly freezing that October night, but I didn’t feel the chill at all as I emerged from the subterranean cabaret club known as Danny’s on W. 46th Street in midtown Manhattan. It was close to midnight and … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction, Reprint | Tagged | Leave a comment

Unseasonable

Her death didn’t match the season. It was July. Bright and warm. The air, nourishing and jittery with little wings and sounds. Things were blooming and green and lush and lively. Fireworks every Friday night and grill cooking granted no … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction, Reprint | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lost Balloon

Six inflated blue exam gloves bound together— utterly prophylactic, strangely sputnik— hands floating on a string, hanging in the cubicle’s sunny window at my last infusion. I’m sitting in the chair where I began six months ago, full of held … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Learning to Fly

A couple of years after I joined an inner-city hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area as a certified nursing assistant (CNA), my charge nurse, Carmen Sanchez, assigned me to sit with a fifty-nine-year-old male patient who was on a … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Reptilian Years

“….childhood…demanded a constant wariness, the habit of observation, the attendance on moods and tempers, the noting of discrepancies between speech and action, a certain reserve of demeanor, an automatic suspicion of sudden favors.“             Rudyard Kipling, Something of Myself   Of … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment

Handkerchief Language

I was around twelve years old when I first started Noticing girls. There was a gorgeous young woman named Clara in my class. I told a boy in my neighborhood about her, how I loved her deep brown, flowing, perfect … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Alex

I work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for an inner-city hospital on the Pacific coast. Two years ago, charge nurse Carmen Sanchez assigned me to sit with a twenty-two-year-old Chinese patient named Alex, who’d had a rough life. He’d … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Broken Communication

Irritating. The pain is really irritating. It’s radiating up and down your spinal column. It’s draining you of all your energy. The homework you still have to do may not get finished. The last seven hours of your shift seem … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Holidays

If the wax in my ears had been thick, I couldn’t have heard the word. I couldn’t have collected it innocently and reserved in the heart. I couldn’t have greeted the women. Today, I heard there are shadows of beauty … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Great Above

I ‘Focus on the horizon,’ said L. ‘That way you’ll keep the nausea at bay.’ I had last been aboard a ferry en route to Skye, too long ago to remember, so as far as I was concerned, my nautical … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Remembering the Whitby Crow Dancers

Whenever I go back to Whitby, memories of my childhood return as if they had never been away. The air is still heavy with the mingled scents of salt, sun-warmed seaweed and newly landed lobster pots piled high on the … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Of Roots, Rites, Ribs

The Orange Spotted Sunfish is one of the most vibrant freshwater fishes. It is most closely related to a rockfish, and is not a sunfish at all.   The Sea Rose (Orphium frutescens) will only expel its pollen for carpenter … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Autopsy

The truth is, I don’t remember the first time I drove past and saw piles of dirt where my gymnastics academy once stood. It seems like an important thing to miss—that moment of visual confirmation. The solid truth that the … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment

Master Jo and the Tai Chi of Songxi

August 14th, 2018. I woke up earlier again today. Like the calligraphy day, we have a lesson peculiar to China – Tai Chi. I’ve enjoyed it in Jet Li movies before, and the funny stories it ignited. When I was … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment

Carp for Christmas

There was a time when Christmas Eve meant three things – carols, carp, and the Golden Pig. Presents would be opened after dinner, the main course of which was a carp that prior to being fried and battered had scales … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

Long Night’s Journey into Day

2:49 AM. I get a request for pickup on my Uber app at the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton. It’s a little too early for an airport run. I pull up to the curb ahead of a taxi driver cleaning out his … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Non-fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment