The Relevant Sting of John Grisham’s The Appeal—Book Review

There’s good beach reading and there’s bad beach reading. I found a copy of John Grisham’s The Appeal at a beach condo this year and elected to read it, having never heard about it before. While Grisham’s legal thrillers aren’t the most literary around, you can always count on them to be well researched and executed. This is no less true of his sprawling 2008 novel.

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New Story in The Coachella Review

Hey readers, do you like murder mysteries? Well, I was totally into them before they were big.

Here’s a murder mystery that’s so obscure you’ve probably never heard of it.

You should check out “It Was The Hipster Who Done It,” my latest short story appearing in The Coachella Review. I mean, come on, it’s the perfect place for such a story to appear.

You can find it here.

See if you can solve the mystery. Not that I wanna dragoon you into it.

Ozark is a Rural, Modern Gatsby

I think the creators of the Netflix hit show Ozark borrowed from a famous hundred-year-old novel.

I realized this as I came to the last episode of Ozark. The story is sort of a rural, modern Gatsby tale. I mean, if you always understood Fitzgerald’s masterpiece to be about the American Dream and not just a love story.

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There’s An Empty Desk Today—a poem from my youth

[The following is a poem I wrote in high school in reflection on the suicide of a classmate]


There’s an empty desk today
And yet the textbooks are still open
The chalk is still in motion
The class is still in session,
The space cannot be filled
For the presence is forgotten
A parent’s own begotten
A youth’s demise is rotten,
Was he more a ghost
In the present or the past
A living outcast
Life ceases way too fast,
The others shrug their shoulders
There goes another one
It cannot be undone
Bless the little son,
Sadness will fade slowly
Nothing will be the same way
The kids will always say
There’s an empty desk today.

New Essay Published In The Windhover

Good day readers! I hope it is a good day. Recently The Windhover has published my essay, “Pharaoh’s Anatomy,” about the spirituality of kidneys.

Didn’t think that topic could be explored? Think again, and read my essay and other spiritually-themed work from the latest issue. You can purchase a copy from their website here.

New Essay Published in MLM

Hi, readers. Do you hate having a cold? What does it mean to get one? What does its commonness mean?

This week I wanted to share with you my latest publication. My essay, “The All Too Common Tyranny of a Rhinovirus,” has appeared in the Spring issue of Medical Literary Messenger.

You can read it here!

“ You don’t have a cold; the cold has you.”

8 Reason A Christmas Carol is Not As Individualist As You May Think

While one of the most famous Christmas stories of all time, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol sometimes comes under criticism for weakly addressing the problem of poverty. The complaint goes like this: Ebenezer Scrooge is but one person who learns an individual lesson, and that lesson is for private individuals to be a bit more charitable. One day a year. Thus, the Dickens classic tosses a breadcrumb to the poor, but doesn’t do a thing to address serious social ills. A sentimental tale, but a moral flop. Continue reading

7 Books You Should Read But Can’t

This summer there are a lot of books out there you should read. But if you’ve already got a full stack, I complied a list of books you really ought to read, but can’t and never will, because they’re fictional. That way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the futility of knowing you will never pick up one of these legendary books.

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What Clint Smith and Frederick Douglass Taught Me About Critical Race Theory

“Oppression doesn’t disappear just because you decided not to teach us that chapter.”

I decided to write this post reflecting on the first July 4th celebration since the government officially recognized Juneteenth.

I’ve been following Clint Smith for some time now, after his Crash Course video series popped up on my YouTube feed at the same time that I read an article about him in Poets & Writers.

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