Non Fiction!

Here’s some various non-fiction (100% true!) things I have written. Enjoy them!

Memoir/Personal Essays

“One of the photos is of me and my son at a pumpkin patch when he was nine. He was three when I started working here and is 25 now. He literally grew up while I worked here.” (My essay about cleaning out my desk at Powell’s during COVID-19, at Book and Film Globe)

“Some people have seen me recently and have said things like, “Oh, I like the beard. Looks good!” But I don’t believe them.” (Notes On an Attempted Beard, at Split Lip Magazine)

“She looks good to me. Do I still look good to her? Could I still pull off the look I had when I was 19 — the paisley jacket, stretch pants, and dangly earrings?” (essay about my love for Prince and seeing his legendary band, The Revolution, with an old girlfriend, on Longreads)

“I spent a lot of time in my cramped mobile home bedroom, consoling myself with music that year. Or maybe I was torturing myself with it.” (essay about my favorite sad albums by Til Tuesday and Everything But the Girl on Freeform Radio blog)

“I told Peggy that I wanted a boyfriend now. That I thought it was time for me to try a totally new kind of relationship.” (lyric essay/love note/walking journal on Ohio Edit)

“Normally, I’m unassuming, mellow, and quiet. But during a game, I might stomp around and clap like a coach on the sideline. I may shout at the television, throw my hands up in frustration, swear under my breath, tense up during a big play, bounce my leg nervously, high-five a stranger, or let out a loud “Whoop!”” (from my essay on life as a fan of a losing football team, on Longreads)

“”I just hope that everything’s going to be all right. It just seems like we’ve had bad luck for months. It’s about time it’s changed,” she said, with a small sliver of hope.” (From “Forever Yesterday: Peering Inside My Mom’s Fading Mind” on Longreads)

“Catching a football and kissing a girl were two totally different things.” (From “Three Kisses” on Tin House)

“When my friend was raped last summer, it was the first time that I had experienced that kind of violation to someone close to me. I understand that “experienced” is probably not the right word. Language can be a weird and stupid instrument in this conversation.” (From “I Know Who You Raped Last Summer” on The Good Men Project)

“On the day I convinced Chris not to jump off the bridge, I thought maybe I turned a corner, maybe I could embrace positivity again, maybe I could hear the words I had said to him: “I’m sure that no one wants you to die.”” (From “I’m Jumping Off the Bridge” on Salon, and in Best American Essays 2013)

“My girlfriend offered to talk to her after the show for me—she could tell I was a little crestfallen—but I feared she would have been rejected too. We went home feeling more and more jaded. We didn’t listen to their music much after that…” (on riot grrrl and writing to Kathleen Hanna, from

“Lead singer substitutions are always awkward, but this made The Cars sound like a bar band. “Just What I Needed” could have been “Louie Louie” as played by your 50-year-old dentist and his four college buddies on a stage anchored by pinball machines and video poker…” (on The Cars reunion, from The Rumpus)

“It wasn’t until the next morning when I took off my doctor-prescribed tighty-whiteys, that I really saw what I had been feeling the past 24 hours. My scrotum looked like a giant Hass avocado…” (from Snip Tuck in The Portland Mercury)

I remember having a crush on a girl in 10th grade who loved Duran Duran. She drove a pink Carmengia, had braces, and danced really cute. (from Largehearted Boy)

I wasn’t really sure where she was from (maybe Australia, maybe Oklahoma) but the sound of her voice made me hard in my pants, even when she was talking about how her and her ex-husband had sex every day for nine years.” (from The Fanzine)

“I was 30 years old and having some kind of midlife crisis. I guess I thought that 30 was midlife.” (from L.A. Times Jacket Copy blog)

“I was constantly horny and decided it was in my best interest to branch out into some of the other cliques of new wavers and bingo-parlor regulars…” (from Nerve)

“We would make out with the lights off and she’d let me take her shirt off. Her bra would stay on, in one way or another…” (from Word Riot)

“I met a girl there who played Cat Stevens in the morning and made coffee on a stove. I began to cry at anything…” (from McSweeney’s)

“She lay on the bed and opened her robe, letting it stay under her like a beach towel. Her body was unfit and slack. More like a trucker’s body than a prostitute. I didn’t feel any hot sexual vibe from her at all, more like a “Can I smoke my Marlboro yet?” kind of vibe…” (from Smith Magazine)

“I zig-zagged around the store aimlessly until I found the cassettes, buried in some corner like an erotica section at a bookstore…” (from Willamette Week)

“I wasn’t a very good editor for a long time. I’m even embarrassed by a lot of my own writing. Especially the stuff from the early 90s…” (from Spork)

“She was the kind of girl who still slept with over-sized teddy bears, wrote in huge loopy cursive, and whose favorite food was pancakes…” (from 3:AM Magazine)

Book Reviews and Other Types of Articles

Essay on Claire Dederer and her memoir, Love and Trouble, in Post Road

On Padgett Powell’s You and Me

Character Witness: Stephen Elliott

On Gordon Lish

Haiku Interview: Mountain Goats!

Down South With the Ghost of Larry Brown

Short Essay on Lutz, Lipsyte, and Williams

My Stuff in The Believer

My Stuff on the Powell’s Blog

Interview with Diane Williams

Video Interview with Steve Almond