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The Blood-Sex Iconostasis

. I’m thrilled to announce that my story “The Blood-Sex Iconostasis” was published today in Joyland San Francisco. Here are its opening lines: . . Night falls over town. The fog doesn’t recede. Sodium lights flicker to life. Some hold steady; others strobe on and off in lugubrious, neurotic cycles. The sky takes on the sickly orange glare of their light. The parking lot at Safeway empties. Cats are fed and dogs put inside for the night. Benjamin lowers the blinds and wanders from room to room with a candle on a drip pan. Beneath a bag of tealights in… Read More »The Blood-Sex Iconostasis

Vote For Jill Stein? Six Arguments For, Deflated

. Dear Friends and Family — .          I know that many of us are looking towards the coming election with dread. Any semblances of reason and hope seem to be missing. Our political system seems broken. And so, naturally, we look for a third option. And there is someone on the left who would happily take your vote: Green Party candidate Jill Stein. But to vote for Stein is in fact to use faulty reasoning. In essence, it means voting against your best interests. In the following essay I address — and deflate — six arguments in favor of… Read More »Vote For Jill Stein? Six Arguments For, Deflated

Translation of “Lift” by Sergei Tretyakov

. Here’s a translation of an obscure Russian poem that I completed five years ago.  Although the translation takes a few liberties, I hope these help capture something of the playfulness of the original. I found this poem in the great anthology Poetry of the Silver Age (Поэзия Серебряного века) published in Moscow by EKSMO in 2002. . Lift . by Sergei Tretyakov . You in darkness read, like a cat, Small print on snowdrifts. Vertical is our common path, The singsong lift. Just us two in this mobile pantry. We’ll flirt! Don’t flinch, with a gaze that’s stingy, From the wreath of myrtle. After all, you know, at… Read More »Translation of “Lift” by Sergei Tretyakov

Travelogue 8: Three Ecstatic Moments

What follows is an excerpt from my email travelogue, which I send every week or two while I’m on the road. To subscribe to the mailing list, follow this link. This installment was originally sent out on January 11, 2015. .. Dear Travelogue Readers — . For the last month I have been living in a hotel called Viraporn’s Place, here in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Late at night I squirt my arms and ankles with pungent bug spray and sit in the courtyard to think, or write, or smoke a cigarette. Many nights Viraporn, who I know from the days when she ran… Read More »Travelogue 8: Three Ecstatic Moments

A Brume of One’s Own

. “At this moment, I expel a minor traveler’s flatulence (sorry), and with it, I experience the same chivalry he’d offered when putting Kate to bed, as he pretends not to notice. We escape its subtle brume, and I join my colleagues inside the bungalow.” — Sean Penn, Rolling Stone, January 9th, 2016. . . Joaquín Archivaldo ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera, Altiplano Prison: “Subtle? That is the very last word that I would use to describe what happened in that room. When I was a boy I sold special birds at the market every day, because we were very poor.… Read More »A Brume of One’s Own


Why are you here, if not to sign-up for Lightplay, my mini-magazine?   Enter your email   Lightplay is the mini-magazine that I write, edit, design, and publish. It is available in both visual and audio formats, delivered by email (subscribe above) and podcast (listen here). Sent on a roughly monthly schedule, each edition of Lightplay has a central feature and more. I hope to make the experience of receiving a Lightplay fun, like getting a letter from an old friend. Or a new friend. Let’s be friends. Below, please find the archives of Lightplay. . 001 – Salsa Ranchera… Read More »Lightplay

Jasper as Teacher

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. This bit of truth has proven true over and over in my life. I worked for seven years as a California Poet in the Schools. For the last six years I have tutored students in writing through Signet Education. I have taught classes or given lectures at Mendocino College, Wesleyan University, Antioch Los Angeles, and UCLA. On this website you can listen to my lecture on creative reading, learn my approach to writing the perfect college essay, or ask me for a PDF of my 81-page guide… Read More »Jasper as Teacher

Jasper as Cook

Cooking is one of the best ways to spend a day, a week, an hour, or a life. I love cooking, and I love writing about cooking. Selected essays include an exploration of the theory and technique of making a great sandwich, an ode to the joys of stovetop espresso, a dive into the practice of fermenting and baking bread (with my bread log), a history of the Romanian diasporic joy of making your own sauerkraut, a love song to a specific restaurant’s huevos rancheros (with a recipe for salsa ranchera), and some deep memories and instructions for how tacos… Read More »Jasper as Cook