Showing posts from March, 2013


The gay marriage debate is everywhere you look nowadays, or at least for the last two days. Google tells me this is because the Supreme Court will soon rule regarding the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the Golden State in 2008 (apologies for any unintentional rhyming). This imminent decision has ushered in a social media firestorm, blowing up my facebook feed with red equals signs:

I'm a firm believer in the notion that images communicate in ways words cannot, and this image hits home in a big way. It speaks. It says that in a nation where we value equality under the law we cannot justify the denial of marriage rights to any minority group, including the LGBT community. Sounds reasonable enough, right?

Apparently not everybody is so convinced. As I peruse the facebook-scape I am confronted not only by these red equals signs but by the (unfortunately) inevitable parody placards made by Christians in favor of preserving the "sa…

Never Give All the Heart

One of my very best friends just got his heart broken. It wasn't the first time and in all likelihood it won't be the last, because love is a messy game and he is brave enough to keep trying, but I for one really admire his tenacity. Such heartbreak would put most of us off to the idea of love for some time, but not this guy. He is still devoted as ever to the idea of wholehearted, earnest love.

I haven't experienced much in the way of love or heartbreak in a few years, but as I chew on these ideas now I'm reminded of Yeats, and a poem he wrote called "Never Give All the Heart." In it he warns men and women of his age not to give all their love, all their energy, passion and vulnerability, to others. "O never give the heart outright," he laments. Never. Never give anyone your whole heart. Well gosh Yeats, that sounds kinda cynical. Way to be a bummer.

What might have driven this poet, a student of the romantics, to be so guarded in matters of love?…

A Farewell to Ellie

A man's first car holds a special place in his heart, like his first girlfriend or his first viewing of a Star Wars film. I myself was a little late to the driving game, only having gotten a car of my own last summer, and I was so enamored of this little Saturn I named her Ellie after indie darling Ellie Goulding, who makes the sun shine brighter when she laughs.

And what a fine car Ellie turned out to be. Faux-Native interior, front snow tires, tape deck, sleek little burgundy frame, and to top it all off she barely sipped gas. Springfield to Newberg and back, 15 bucks easy. Sure her windshield was cracked, and her air conditioning didn't work, and she veered so far to the left she could take some turns for me, and her front right tire was still jacked up from running into a curb while it was snowing. None of those things made a lick of difference to me though, because, quirky as she was, she was my girl and I was fond of her in an old-fashioned sort of way. A man and his car.


I look into your eyes but can't see you in them. The glaze so heavy, the fog so thick. You look tired, red veins spiderweb out from the black of your empty, deer eyes, and I wish I could give you some rest. Why so tired?

I reach out my hand to you, but my hand can't penetrate the thick cloud of smoke. I can't grab hold of your arm, can't pull you out.

I watch from the outside as you choke and writhe and smile and laugh like you aren't dying. Mine eyes have seen the story of a young man lost his way. Lost in smoke.

I scramble around looking to put out the fire. I would do anything to put it out, to curb the rush of smoke. I would lay my body down to smother it but the fire burns from inside you and the smoke won't let me get close.

I shiver because outside the pillar of smoke it's cold as ice. I'm frozen, my core, by proximity to the fire. I would let myself freeze over too, if my coldness would save you, but it's just killing me too.

So you choke, a…