Writings for Readings
The Buck Chronicles: The Self-Hate that Hate Made
The ‘Buck Chronicles’ are about my father, Raymond “Buck” Sorum. It’s always so fascinating and beautiful to get a true view of the demons, battles and victories our parents dealt with. This journal entry shows Buck’s struggles with his faith, homosexuality and alcoholism. To live in a society that makes…
Super Nice Club: 41 Years of the Streets of San Francisco
This is Wes. He has chosen to live among San Francisco’s homeless for the past 41 years. Only out there does he feel best able able to provide direct help to those in need. Known on the streets as “Uncle Wes,” he is Irish-Mexican, one of thirteen children, and his…
Odd Jobs #3: Sex Shop Record Store
(originally published in the Austrian erotic photo quarterly, Tickl)
“I’d like to return this, please,” he said, his voice just loud enough to be heard over the atonal metal riffs blasting over the shop speakers.
He placed the bag on the counter. Wearing a leather vest over a Harley-Davidson t-shirt, a…
Yet Another Take on Burning Man
“Humankind periodically goes through a speedup of its affairs, thereby experiencing the race between the renewable vitality of the living and the beckoning vitiation of decadence. In this periodic race, any pause becomes luxury. Only then can one reflect that all is permitted; all is possible.”-The Apocrypha of Muad’Dib
Odd Jobs #2: Elvis Clock Assembler
Jesus and Elvis were the big sellers. Marilyn did well, too. After them, it was a broad mix of pop icons, cowboys, sports teams and state flags that rounded out the collection of glossy driftwood clocks we’d sell in a tiny kiosk in a mall in the middle of nowhere.…
Odd Jobs #1: Helen’s Donuts
I’d unlock the doors sometime between five and six, usually just before sunrise. The cold and the dark always made me a little depressed. So did the job. I was twenty years old and instead of working on graduating from college to become a marine biologist or archaeologist, I was…
Life Moments #10: Is This What Prozac Feels Like?
IS THIS WHAT PROZAC FEELS LIKE? In years past, I’d veer off the rails, white hot, at the slightest insult, the familiar and comforting (key word) anger surging through stomach, up spine, out crown in a simultaneous spectacle of self-destruction and rebirth. And, oh, the collateral damage, the spit sharp shards of…
Life Moments #9: On Prince Rogers Nelson
PRINCE HOTWIRED HIMSELF into my teenage brain one hot summer day in Chico, California. My friend Shane had introduced me earlier that day to two sisters, Eden and Rainbow. The four of us walked through Bidwell Park, popped into a market for candy and soda, and then headed over to…
Life Moments #8: Me & Jesus & the Stink-Eyed Pastor
JUST COME MEET JESUS ONE TIME she would implore us again and again. Sarah was a sweet girl, an improbably lost girl with dirty dreadlocks and a smile that seemed afraid of itself. She’d been hounding Maria and me for weeks to go to an after school church gathering for…
Life Moments #7: I Kicked Jimmy Kimmel Off the Air
I KICKED JIMMY KIMMEL OFF THE AIR ONCE. No. Twice. True story.
Here’s what happened. I’ll try to be quick. Once upon a time I helped throw the first ever World Rock Paper Scissors Championship. We had hundreds of competitors vie for a $1000 first prize. As with most competitions, we had…