posted September 29, 2015

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The Road and The Vaster Wilds: Anti-Odysseys (Part 3 in an ongoing series)

By happenstance, I read Cormac McCarthy’s 2007 apocalyptic novel The Road and followed it with Lauren Groff’s latest, The Vaster Wilds. It was September, technically still summer, but both of these novels take place in life-threateningly cold weather, and each author made me feel that cold, that terror of being consumed by the natural world, an awareness of the scarcity of essential resources, the distrust of other human beings–even our intimates. As I revisit these novels today, fittingly on Halloween, when the air in Massachusetts has grown chill and my body continues to fight against that novel corona virus, I find myself sharing some of these primal fears. When the terrain is unknown and the enemy invisible, who and what can we trust?

River Roads

Here’s the strange thing about me: I can completely forget I’m a musician until I arrive at the gig. It’s as though that part of me is a set of clothes for another season, kept in a moth-proof box in the attic, out of mind until the weather changes.

“Vowels are Important Letters”

“I think Jay is crying.” “Really? I don’t hear him.” I pause. I press the tiny button on the side of my Timex. 4:28am. Tom and I are both on…

The Enlightenment Blues, Part One

Above my desk is a list of my goals. They are:1. Write great, classic songs that will endure beyond my death2. Have a great family which I sustain and which…


After Stephen Philbrick. They say the mysteries of the heavensAre nothing compared to the mysteries of the seasWhose leagues we cannot fathom,Whose depths we take for grantedUnderfoot, our terrestrial backyard….