Where I Should Breathe

I feel words like hands holding My hands, leading me down a path Blindfolded while my feet trip Over stones stitched together By centuries of stepping and the taste Of briny rocks and anemone Filling up my mouth.   Stopping, the hands pull the Cloth from my eyes. One hand Shields against the glinting glare,…

Lila

Just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Lila. Two brief thoughts for now, maybe more later. First, Robinson really is a master at her craft. Her prose is casual, conversational, comfortable but never mundane, never boring, never so elusive or evasive to become frustrating. And yet she is not a tell-er but a show-er. Sure, she’s telling all…

Truth for Beauty’s Sake

One more quick thought about my earlier post on truth: Defending the “truthiness” of truth is as much a defense of beauty and aesthetics as it is a doctrinal defense. Insisting that we guard truth carefully is like defending school bus yellow or fire engine red. There are many variations on red and yellow, and…

WordFlood

We have been inundated with words. The relatively recent neologism “mass media” is an attempt to simply describe this growing flood. Of course it includes images, art, film, but wound through it all are words, words, words. Thousands of dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, anthologies rush through the air via fiber optics or some such wizardry, and…

One Beat

10.25.13 For J.D.S.   One glimpse is all it takes, one moment: my breath In the icy air, one beat of one heart would be enough To blind, suffocate, arrest. The infinite rushing, crushing The finite. The universe coming down on my head. How does my body not crumple like a can?   It is…

Hasn’t Stifled Enough of Them

People are always asking me if the university stifles writers. I reply that it hasn’t stifled enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good writing teacher. Flannery O’Connor

Day 3: My Brother Getting Married

I teach Rhetoric 2 to sophomores at Logos School here in Moscow, Idaho, and every year around this time, I assign the (now famous) Journal Project. The Journal Project consists of 30 days of journal entries on the same topic. The students are given one day off each week, so we complete the Journal Project over the…

Day 2: Sound Effects

I teach Rhetoric 2 to sophomores at Logos School here in Moscow, Idaho, and every year around this time, I assign the (now famous) Journal Project. The Journal Project consists of 30 days of journal entries on the same topic. The students are given one day off each week, so we complete the Journal Project over the…

Day 1: Prophet Z

I teach Rhetoric 2 to sophomores at Logos School here in Moscow, Idaho, and every year around this time, I assign the (now famous) Journal Project. The Journal Project consists of 30 days of journal entries on the same topic. The students are given one day off each week, so we complete the Journal Project over…

Bradbury on the Joy of Writing

How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper? When was the last time you dared release a cherished prejudice so it slammed the page like a lighting bolt? What are the best things and the worst things in your life,…