Author Archives: kaweah

Dip Room Blues

Read more about this in Men Without Fear, available at Amazon. After missing a year of high school to a life-threatening illness, Fred Tarrant would need an extra year to earn his high school diploma. Not a great student to begin with, he found himself falling just short of the credits he needed to graduate. Unwilling to […]

Mr. Wrestling

Read more about this in Men Without Fear, available at Amazon. For many boys at the New York Institute, the man that made self-respect achievable was one Clyde L. Downs of Downsville, Maryland. When Clyde Downs first came to the Institute in 1929 at age 21, the Institute did not have a wrestling program, and Downs […]

The Strike of ’43

Read more about this in Men Without Fear, available at Amazon. When it came to John Jensen’s character, his failures could be as telling as his successes. Fred Tarrant recalls a night when his buddy John was heading out on a big date. Fred, though blind, could see better than John, so John had him inspect […]

Blind Guide: Father Sutcliffe

Read more about this in Men Without Fear, available at Amazon. Harry J. Sutcliffe was born in Brooklyn, New York on 10 August 1925. He was delivered premature and lost his sight soon thereafter to an incubator mishap.   The “age of radio” was a special time to be a blind kid. Amateur radio was also […]

The Wreck of the Farallon

Under the grey deep, the plains, canyons, peaks, the flooded floor of the world rolls on to Laurentia, pressing on the Farallon, plank, mast, and sail out ahead on a black stone wave, driving her under the buoyant earth, caught in the undertow of her sunken bow, sinking deeper, ever deeper under the world, compressed […]

Personality Disorders

Sam Barber, sitting in the redwood parlor playing Adagio for Strings on the Steinway, and Una’s in the bathtub running the cold tap with a pistol in her hand and a bullet in her breast, her black broth bleeding out, making warm curlicues all around her, an arm reaching out for more sleeping pills. Behind […]

Falco urbanus

“Jeffers is my God.” — Charles Bukowski When the blades of the falcon’s silhouette flash Between the bright towers of the City we rub our eyes. Pigeons squat in gutters on watch for shadows. Not the ruddy-tailed buzzard the poet lionized; Bagger of rodents, wounded birds, wayward fledglings, Squats atop Tudor cottages and unicorn castles; […]

Rites of Disposal

When I’m finally done, when all my smoldering embers go cold, put me away. Clean me up, straighten me out, and put me in my box. Take it up to that green landfill where they dump such things and label them with cut stones. Find me a plot, dig me a hole. Sow me deep […]

Inscription on Helicon

I have seen her now: seasoned with eternity, simmers in her sky-cold sylvan pool, hard and white as the waning moon and quartzite banks, the last softening membrane of youth seared away in the slow forge of forever; breast peppered with translucent constellations when the sun breaks through the leaves. No fleshy delicacy—even of the […]

Hotel Jericho

Lowcountry, maybe twenty upstream miles from the Battery and a few feet above the sea; the gators and the blackwater patiently flow, and you can just about hear the ghost-song of the ivory bill echo off the cypress knees. On the south bank, the land swells forty or so feet to lanky yellow pine stands […]