Burning Down the House: True Story

The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any. –Russell Baker I’ve been “a writer” since the 5th grade, when the combination of praise I received for a plagiarized … Continue reading Burning Down the House: True Story

Three Rules for the National Poetry Slam

Eleven years ago next month, in Austin, TX, I took one of the most life-changing thrill rides ever when I attended my first National Poetry Slam, as a member of the 1998 team representing the Nuyorican Poets Café that would go on to become their first (and still only) team to win the Championship. The … Continue reading Three Rules for the National Poetry Slam

On self-discipline and self-flagellation

The most difficult aspect of writing, for me, has always been the self-discipline required to write every day, no matter what. I simply don’t have any. (Not just for writing, either, but that’s a whole other post!) There are a number of legitimate reasons excuses I could put forward to explain why it’s so difficult to … Continue reading On self-discipline and self-flagellation

Flashback: Why I Slam…

[Going through the archives trying to figure out what to read tomorrow at the Nuyorican and I came across this little ditty, a typically belligerent, sophomoric effort from that crazy Summer of 1998! Backstory here.] Why I Slam… Hi my name is Guy and I’m not an alcoholic I just drink a lot. Can you … Continue reading Flashback: Why I Slam…

R.I.P. Peter Conti (aka Peter of the Earth)

I hadn’t seen him in a few years, drifting apart when we moved to Virginia and never reconnecting after we returned, and had no idea he was sick, much less dying. He missed his 30th birthday (today, Saturday) by one day. I’ll always remember the carefree Peter who let it all hang out when the … Continue reading R.I.P. Peter Conti (aka Peter of the Earth)