Forty-one years ago, when I was nineteen and without any idea of a constructive career, other than resistance – resistance to family, resistance to authority, resistance to war, a friend handed me a large book by James Joyce. Having only cleared the American censors thirty-six years earlier, Ulysses still carried the aura of rebellion. Digesting that book day after day with dictionary in hand, walking along the streets of New York City, I began to understand that I would have to strive for a literary vision of my own. That the artist can change the world through an act of Beauty seems a belief that has expired in most circles. But if a certain arrangement of words could change an intractable youth like me, was it not possible to change the world?

While Ulysses was the beginning it was also a vehicle to the precipice. My education wasn’t up to it. Constructing a simple sentence describing an old woman crossing the street left me with an emptiness beneath my eyes, legs shaking. The words rang hollow; the created image was paltry, even though I could see that woman was Sarah herself, mother of heirs as numerous as the sands of the desert. And how could I begin to put a man’s life on paper and bring it to a close pages later when I could barely describe a day in my own life without diving into abstruse writings of misunderstood philosophers or the rantings of true believers. Still this writer was conceived in those rantings. This was the beginning of my notations on the edge, an exile in the middle of everything.

Around this insane avocation I created another being just as important. For thirty years I was a gardener. It was good work, the eyes and hands united in a common effort of creation. Norman Mailer rued the day he became famous because it ended any opportunity he would have to be just another working guy. Reinventing his voice he created a format in Advertisements for Myself to articulate his life as the writer and uncovered all the weaknesses of a man. In Vita Nuova, Dante Alighieri, too, by combining the poet and scholar, established a new style that separated him from the concerns of the popular troubadours. Both writers believed in their art and its revolutionary purposes to better the world.

So the writer has returned to the edge for another look inside. Notes from the Margin will be my forum. There will be notations, stories, poems. Perhaps this will simply be another outpost, another voice from the desert on a rising called Pisgah. No matter, life along the margins is my home. There are so many out here. Perhaps you are one of us.



What will you do when you get here?  Most of us touch down and lift off.  We dot the world with our curiosity.  The adventure is the thing.  To travel far and see much.

Others will want to know what lies beneath the surface. We want stories that begin and end.  We don’t take our literary matter serendipitously.  So it might prove helpful to go to Fiction and begin with the first post of a particular story.  Each post is a chapter.  As for The Interviews and the Poems, they stand on their own, self evident, each carrying their own weight.