The Man Who Built a Purple Pool: College-bound Tom Cochrane isn’t rich enough to place his kidney-cancer-stricken sister on America’s twelve organ donation waitlists, so he quits school and takes a job as a carpenter in Las Vegas, sending his weekly paychecks back home, hoping to make enough to add her name to each list. Unfortunately, Tom’s paychecks aren’t coming fast enough, and his sister is getting worse, so he turns to what he thought should be his last resort: gambling. He spends each night inside Vegas’s casinos, life-savings in hand, trying to calculate the probability of winning big, even just once, all in order to overcome a system in which income inequality has become a matter of life or death. (Novel)
The Deaf Bridge: A young investor named Nick Livermore goes head-to-head with a deaf bicyclist in San Francisco’s Russian Hill District. (Short Story)
Feeding the Giant: Nine states. Nine stories. One struggle. Stories from those who work inside America’s restaurant industry. (Journalism)
Homeless Forced from Market Street: What’s worse than waking up at 4 am every morning? Waking up at 4 am every morning and watching someone soak your bed with cold water. Unfortunately, if you’re homeless and you sleep on Market Street, this recurring nightmare is your reality. (Journalism)
Jobs: A short play about the life and death of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers. The play starts with a close look at Steve’s liver – his new liver – which he received from a man in Tennessee, but not fairly. Steve cut in the national organ donation waitlist line, jumping ahead of other patients who’d been waiting for longer than him. But in the end, Steve’s new liver gets the last laugh, so to speak. It comes back to haunt him in eternity’s spiral, whispering what Steve could not avoid: death by failure. (Play)
General’s Motor: A poem about General Motors Company – i.e., the car producer that killed over one hundred innocent people by installing bad ignition switches that it knew about beforehand. GM seems to be untouchable to those above, but I hope this poem finds a way to touch them all and to do so firmly.……………..
Taste: An enigma poem about Facebook and hell.
Living In a Tent In San Francisco
So tired. Breathe. There we go. Look outside. People walking. Try to stand. Can’t stand. Ceiling too short. Go outside? Can’t go outside. No where to go outside. Sit back. Try to think. Can’t think. Too tired. Drink. Can’t drink. No drink. Too tired. Close eyes. Try to dream. Can’t dream. Too tired. So sad. People walking. Try to sleep. Can’t sleep. Too loud. Walls thin. Sit up. Use bathroom. Can’t use bathroom. No bathroom. Look outside. Blues walking. Moving time. Same time. Try to stand. Can’t stand. Still tired. So tired. Breathe. There we go. Look outside. No one outside. Try to smile. Can’t smile. Try to stand. Can’t stand. Lie back. Breathe. Can’t breathe. Wait for help. No help. Try to remember. Can’t remember. Smile. Can’t smile.
Two metallic quarters absorb the sunlight
refracting through a thin store window
on Solano Avenue where the Ohlone’s
used to live. In the quarter’s center their
electrons heat up, excited by the window’s
open curtain and the noisy vibrations
waving in from the outside.
Cardboard slots on a poster that
says, ‘Your Support Saves Lives,’
hold the quarters in the air, just
below other lines that say,
‘Fighting blood cancers,’ and
‘Joshua: Leukemia survivor,’ and
‘Someday is today.’
His picture is like my picture, like
your picture, like the other pictures
of a human before they grow
old. But he is fading now, the poster
has been in the sun too long, and he
was born fifteen years ago, fifteen
years of war, one trillion dollars
on war, four trillion quarters on
war, fifteen years of war and some
more war and some more war, too.
Two quarters heating up, stuck, sticking
to that plastic poster with two quarters
that I take, put them in my pocket,
Joshua, I am sorry, two quarters aren’t enough
even a dollar won’t do
So I throw them in the City’s trash,
watch them sit on top of a pile
of coffee cups and compostable dog poop bags.
And walk away.