Photo by Beorn DuPont

Breakfast beating at the hunger hour. The cobbler ate clams and drank Meritage, and Charlie from California called us all ‘homies’ while the phones kept buzzing. Bzzz, and Tim with his mandolin and Levon with his grooving views on duty and Dao while the ball of sun-dried tomato/basil whipped butter sat there wuwei… They were billy goats gruff and I coveted their lack of sensibilities. Merv, that ancient free spirit of a shoemaker, wandered town as a troll at SnowDown and asked around about “them hill-billies.”  Read More

Theravada Travels

Painting by Marisa Darasavath

January and February of 2011, we spent our days walking along Yunnan back roads; paths intersecting the tea fields of Xishuangbanna, literally a stone’s throw to Myanmar; the dirt roads and jungle paths (barefoot, oh the leeches!) of northern Laos where we paid Read More

Swirling Orb


‘God’s voice don’t get you too far’

what they say at and below the bar,

nourishing our suckling wide-eyed star

that should awake to one more day

if the canyon bends to what we prayed

despite what the river carved and God hath made: Read More




Art by Amaya Engleking, pencil on paper

Mason Zhang and I in the alley last night with the laobaixing salt-of-the-earth, including the cook who proudly performed his version of ‘ABCDEFG’ for me last week.  His friend—a taxi driver in his fifties, though by appearance I’d have guessed at least seventy, by his sunken face with a bulge under the right side of his lip—didn’t smile when he said he was pleased, nor did he do so when he sang.  He took the old revolution songs seriously and lifted his left leg to motion a guitar while his foot tapped the beat. Read More



Art: Michael Copeland

Hey you over there it’s my birthday come have a beer don’t mind the Doberman, name’s Prince, and I’m RD and that’s Paula, Tom, and Chris, was best man in my wedding. –It’s my birthday tomorrow,– that’s when Geronimo died. He’s my people. –So you’re his seed still running around.– You’re sexy, I like your hair. Don’t see that except on TV. Yeah, RD, tell her how that song goes. Anaawakoto matabalula laRead More

Violent City

violent city

What I must learn about Colombia is that the journey was God-driven.  My speech was taken from me in those intimidating streets except when I was supposed to (and needed to, at this point) speak about my Lord.  I wrote that letter to Catalina, not knowing who on earth she was but a sister in heaven; but God gave me the words as well as the scripture from Deuteronomy chapter thirty, and she turned out to be a Medellín prostitute.  It’s not easy.  Humbling, to be writing to a lost soul who was both selling herself and who was myself: we are all sinners and our sins equal in the eyes of the Most High.  How does God work the perfection?

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They Call Me Mr. Pitiful


Art: “Otis Redding” by mercedes

They call me Mr. Pitiful cuz I forget I’m just a pretty girl and my baby won’t stop flappin’ his dragonfly wings but I don’t mind what he does when he sings and we’re sippin’ eggnog and Irish mist and Christ our souls have just been kissed. “All that drink she ought to avoid!” I do, psst-pssters, when I am unemployed but it’s been a hard day of watchin’ paint dry and I’ve earned this happy hour with my guy so we’ll keep up this noggy nine-o’clock jig and from the Saint Doggy tree we’ll pick a fig Read More

Tibetan Farmhouse

Emei Blues

The rats have finally abated their menacing scurrying through the room-long cabinets where the eppi –a kind of hardened yogurt/cheese made from yak milk–is kept, like a good wine aged in oak barrels. I guess that’s my call to get up. – I have been eaten alive in so many lives! When will it end? When can I make the kill? – Read More