December 29, 2015

In which the young unemployed Thomas Vellum ends his life as a shopper, spending the last of his saving in a ceremonial wedding with Time.

To begin…


December 21, 2015

In which the young unemployed Thomas Vellum turns his back upon hardships of the decade and reclines inside a diorama of an American dreamer.

To begin…


December 14, 2015

Where the young, unemployed Thomas Vellum buys a portrait of the American dream.

To begin…


November 29, 2015

The other day the song writer, P. F. Sloan, died. He was only seventy. I remember one song in particular which still resonates with me, Eve of Destruction sung by Barry McGuire. Whether it was playing on the radio or inside our heads, it well describes the loss of hope and the intense anger many of us felt at our world gone awry. Some things never change.

I thought it would be interesting to raise the dead, in this case, an early Thomas Vellum story, which materialized in the early 1970s. It reflects my literary interests at the time of Thomas Vellum’s first appearance, in particular the works of Gustave Flaubert, specifically of Bouvard & Pecuchet, its style and tempo. I read many of the classics, all translated by voices I didn’t suspect. I thought the voice of the translator to be the voice of the author and not of someone living in another era, in his or her own time. So in a way I was as much influenced by the translators as by the authors. Astronomers, viewing a distant star, don’t see what we see, our sun, burning brightly in the sky, but a palimpsest of energy, rising out of the past, caught with infrared spectrographs that registers this star’s former powers in brilliant color. I eventually realized these authors, unlike the authors of my native tongue, arrived diffracted, caught momentarily in pictures not only of the author’s time but of those times when the translator was at work. In spite of the distances in time and the limitations of translation, we humans go on behaving in ways that always strike us as familiar, in spite of an excessive atrocity or kindness on the part of certain individuals. It may be something distant viewed but we can still fill it with our imaginations.

On rereading this early rendition of an alter ego it seems the times described could be today. We are, again, in the dark days following a major war of retribution; and the global economy, teeters hot and cold, with greed still manifesting its head where accumulated capital in the hands of few compound the misery of many. Energy again is in question, though our understanding of the crisis is clearer, involving more than the cost of filling a fuel tank and driving off. Our global envelope is at risk. If the disasters of our Southeast Asian adventure spread throughout the region after our departure in 1972, we at least left understanding our failure – or at least some did. When President Bush declared the mission accomplished in May of 2003, many of us already understood wars never really end in one’s lifetime. We’d seen this all before. War always continues in ways we can’t imagine, this one evolving in a downward spiral with no end in sight, indeed a world unraveling. But the threads that bind us together as communities is not being pulled from outside, by them; but from inside, by those who take advantage of them, the sabotage of bureaucrats, and by us who willingly give away freedom for security.

None of this matters to Thomas Vellum in this early stage of his development. The daily headlines don’t matter nor the world at large. Still he is breathing the same air as everyone else, and if his solipsism is unique, it’s still a delusion. So then here is where the young Thomas Vellum, unemployed, after nearly reaching the bitter end, rediscovers the American dream.

To begin…


April 30, 2015

There are enough subscriptions now for the writer, barely revealed, but extensively manifested in what is presented here on the margins, to warn visitors and readers that I move back and forth over the pages, new and old, reworking sections. I consider Notes From The Margin, in its entirety, to be a work evolving.

To begin…

The Flying Clock Nears The Dawn Of Time

January 29, 2014
To begin…

FOREWORD to The Anatomy Of A Saint, A Story

June 19, 2011

When I first wrote the Anthony Morales Story I hadn’t heard of sexting. Now ten years later, according to some surveys, at least sixty percent of us are sexting, or to use the lingo of the moment, do sexting. Are we talking masturbation? So what? Masturbation is no different than spitting, blowing your nose and all the other forms of organic elimination, physical or mental. Piss can poison a well and semen can trigger a birth. Ask the former governor of California. But let’s face it, males masturbate even when we’re having sex with real people. If you’re fucking the cultural image of sexy, you’re masturbating. We carry the image inside us. This isn’t tragic, it is what it is. Just ask all the women who are trying to fit the image. It’s the cornerstone of procreation. But love and sex are two different things. Sex is necessary since it can lead to love, but that will only happen if two people are willing to work beyond the attraction born of images. Someone who cares for you, which is the core of any loving relationship, won’t go on TV and expose you.

To begin…

The Flying Clock

February 24, 2011

Once a year at Eight Oh Seven the Clock leaves home for a few days before returning to normal.

To begin…


January 27, 2011

Where the Writer, with the help of the Youth leaves Tucson in 1969 and arrives, via Minneapolis, in New York during a snow storm.

To begin…