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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)

Jasper as Photographer

Photographic media—silver halides, digital sensors, optical nerves—are the most direct way to capture light. That’s why I use them whenever I get the chance. From when I built a camera obscura in my dorm room to when my first camera was stolen to when I got my first smartphone, cameras are a big part of how I interact with the world. Today I mostly post photos here on this website. Peruse my albums from an early summer in Maine, an apocalyptic western road trip, and a trip to the desert. Below you can find my latest photographic postings on this… Read More »Jasper as Photographer

Jasper as Writer

Where would I recommend you start? If you’re a fiction-lover like me, maybe you would enjoy a story about an occult ritual with an old cell phone. If you prefer poems, why not try this piece of doggerel, about a cat who ran away. As far as essays, read this hybrid recipe about childhood and tacos or a travelogue about two Tibetan printmaking monasteries. Further Highlights Selected fiction includes a story about sexual frustration and bringing in the weed harvest, a collaboration with a painter that led to a multimedia tale of electricity and loss, and a story about a… Read More »Jasper as Writer

Lightplay 017 – Taco Story

What drives us to cook the same foods over and over and over? When I was a kid, tacos were the consolation prize at the end of hour-and-a-half-long custody exchanges where Mom and Dad each drove to a carefully-determined midpoint and handed me and my brother off for the weekend. These handoffs were always a bit melancholy, especially on winter Fridays when the sun was already well down by the time we made it to dad’s house out in the middle of nowhere. We’d walk down the walkway to his house, a million stars spread over our heads, and feel… Read More »Lightplay 017 – Taco Story