Flare Gun

This is a deleted passage from a very early draft of The Flame Alphabet. (more…)

The Moors

This is an excerpt of a story that appears in the current issue of Tin House (#42).

At work today, Thomas the Dead, as he had privately named himself, made a grave miscalculation by using baby talk with a colleague. (more…)

Thomas Bernhard

First published in Harper’s, November 2006.

Thomas Bernhard, the ranting, death-obsessed Austrian novelist and playwright who died in 1989, was the ultimate Nestbeschmutzer, soiling his country with screeds against the landscape, the people, and their history. (more…)

On the Lyric Essay

First published in The Believer, July, 2003.

The Genre Artist

If a story takes place, as we are told stories do, then who or what does it take that place from, and why is an acquisition verb—take—necessary to describe the activity of stories? (more…)

Chemical Seuss

First published in Conjunctions: 29, 1997.


I mean to discuss certain reveries of reading that occurred during the interment of childhood I served in my parents’ home, reveries often centering around Seuss and his extreme attack on sense. (more…)

On Not Growing Up

First published in Conjunctions: 50, 2008, and Harper’s, August 2008.

—How long have you been a child?

—Seventy-one years. (more…)

Portable Slalom Course

The purpose of this article is simply to address some of the common questions and misconceptions the uninitiated may have on the subject of the portable slalom course. (more…)