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A photograph of a gate opening in a hedge.

Making an Entrance

Dear Readers — It’s September. Two weeks till equinox means sunset is arriving 83 seconds earlier every day. The moon wanes, rising an hour later each night—this morning it rose at 2:18am. Thursday it will rise at dawn, and the sun will only illuminate its far side, and we will call it a new moon. Meanwhile the schoolchildren have already started the school year, leaving at the same time every morning. Our world is rich with change. Here in West Hollywood it’s been muggy, which means that my apartment is rich with breeze. I (Jasper Nighthawk, a writer) come to… Read More »Making an Entrance

A photo of an orange traffic cone with a white flower pushed in the top.

Copaganda Comes for E-Bikes

Dear Readers — High summer, all the doors and windows thrown open, a bouquet of dahlias and snapdragons and yarrow on the table, blackberry pancakes mixed and ready for the griddle, two houseflies and one fruitfly sharing space on a brown-spotted banana, and the baby fussing in his crib, wishing to rise half an hour before his nap is “officially” supposed to end. He falls into babbling for a minute, then returns to plaintive moaning. If he doesn’t quiet down soon, I will get him up. Then sometime later perhaps I will be able to return to this installment of Lightplay and… Read More »Copaganda Comes for E-Bikes

A close-up photo of red and pink flowers.

Healing a Space

Dear Readers —  Since sending out the last Lightplay three weeks go, I’ve been regretting not sending you an update on the jacaranda tree that grows outside my office window. Or, should I say, that used to grow there. In the very first issue of Lightplay that I (Jasper Nighthawk, a writer) sent out, all the way back in May 2020, in the depths of COVID lockdown, I included a picture of that jacaranda tree, its blossoms a vibrant purple against the yellow insulation of the half-constructed building beyond it. In May, 2021, for Lightplay 014, I took a photo from the same vantage… Read More »Healing a Space

Travelogue 5: A Hill With A View

Dear Travelogue Readers —  For this installment of the travelogue it’s obvious to me that the pictures I took tell a different and more interesting story than my words would. What is there for me to say? I climbed a hill. It was steeper than it looked. Halfway up it snowed for a bit, and I hid with some Nederlanders under a boulder next to a blasted monastic building. Eventually the others turned back. The view was very beautiful at the top. Thanks for reading my travelogue — expect another installment about the printing monastery at Derge in the next day or… Read More »Travelogue 5: A Hill With A View

A photo of a rental scooter draped with a pink fabric, leaning against a lightpole on a city street.

Begin Again

Dear Readers — Early May, three years ago, I started sending this letter out. I sent it every Sunday for seven weeks in a row. It felt like a miracle—but one of those small miracles, like having a beloved bar at the corner of your block, or the first time you kiss someone who really knows how to kiss. The miracle was your attention. The miracle was to write and be read and appreciated. The miracle was to be read by my community: college friends, family, acquaintances, old work friends, people met travelling, writer pals, former teachers, my ex-therapist, the… Read More »Begin Again

Night/Light

A few months ago, an old friend and I went out for a night walk through my hometown. This city of 7,000 souls is perched over the Pacific Ocean, with redwood forest to the east and coastal plain to the north and south. A quiet town and generally peaceful, especially on a still June evening. We talked some and walked in companionable silence some, too.  As we walked across town and back, the half-dark streets kept revealing different hues of light, different shades, different scenes. Slowly, they cohered into a composite picture of this town, in this country, in this… Read More »Night/Light

An image of a raven soaring over Los Angeles

We Need A National Gun Violence Memorial

Two months ago, as I worked on this essay, I wrote the middle parts and left a simple placeholder—“[some kinda hook]”—where this introduction would go. It’s not unheard of to write the opening last, and unfortunately, in this case, I knew a hook would present itself in the news soon enough. When you write about gun violence in the United States of America, there’s always a next time. Right on cue, horror struck. On the New York City subway, a gunman started shooting his handgun and didn’t stop until 29 people were injured. Miraculously, no one died. Still, the event… Read More »We Need A National Gun Violence Memorial

The Old Weird Internet (Never Died)

Can a retro-looking blog platform help us express our feelings? As I start writing this essay, I’m sitting on the roof of the cabin I built in my twenties, watching the sun go down. Pastels—rose, peach, aqua, baby blue—blend in the sky, only visible through a scrim of threadlike gray clouds that twist and turn, forming shapes that could be letters in a fantastical alphabet, perhaps Martian or High Elvish. A songbird scree-scree-screes. The wind whispers through the trees and up the sleeves of my sweater. A snag stands silhouette against the gray-blue gloaming. Watching the sunset, in late winter,… Read More »The Old Weird Internet (Never Died)