The woman I share an office with says she “cried and cried” as she watched the videos of teenagers smashing windows of police cars. My buddy says that last night, on the ride into the city from his job in the suburbs, he broke down. I feel punched, blown over by a mean wind, emptied out. And I’m all mixed up. There’s no answer here, unless flat-out rage and despair and hopelessness are answers, which I hope they’re not. They’re maybe a question, a cry in the dark, but not an answer. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before the lid blew off of some of those neighborhoods. They’re not good places for humans. They produce sickness. And there’s that part of me that knows that, for, what–five years? ten? forever?–when people hear the name of my town–Baltimore–they’ll think: riots, mayhem, fires, looting, and all that urban, poor, close-together sickness.

There are no answers. Just questions. And maybe that’s how it always is, everywhere, all the time. It’s just that now, April, 2015, Baltimore, the questions are being screamed, right in your ear.


A stay at VCCA

Last day here in central Virginia, at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Blue Ridges out my window, and I’m ready to go home. But it’s been a good two weeks in this place built for writing, and making. I made big strides in this novel, and feel good about what I’ve done and what’s next (hopefully not too much more now). Been going on walks, like a regular person, and if any artists out there want a nice, warm bedroom and also a nice, quiet studio, look into this place. And there are plenty of birds. And critters. I saw a house cat, I’m almost positive, but it sure looked like a bobcat there for a second.VCCA 2