Though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing

Why did I seek the woodpile that day?

I went to the woodpile because I wished to climb the pallet holding back thousands of pounds of stacked firewood. I wished to rock my little body backwards, pulling on the pallet, jolting it again and again.

I remember exactly what was…


It seems, after all, it is a small world.

40 is the first serious age.

From 0 to 39, you’re carefree, joyfully climbing the long hill of an old wooden roller coaster. You’ve tuned out the ominous clicking, that loud ticking sound, because it’s always been there, the racing pulse of God.

You’re on the ride with friends. You’re…


The warmth of Christmas, but with dead people

Months ago, a student gave me a pin depicting a dead wolf howling in front of a graveyard. I’ve worn it to class ever since.

A fellow teacher and friend saw the pin the other day and said, “Oh, for Halloween?”

And I said, “Sure.”

What will my friend say…


New motorcycle owners need to know

It goes without saying that the greatest movie ever made is not 2001: A Space Odyssey.

They find nothing out there but old age, irritating lights, and monkeys making a mess.

Alien is the greatest movie ever made. Out there, they find a wonderful monster, and my very best friend…


When friends say goodbye mouth-to-mouth

I was 25. She was 47.

I was shaped like a man. A man receptacle keeping his shape by the mass of childishness he used for stuffing. She was tolerant.

We met in Maine at a writing program. Freeport, Maine, so close to the ocean, you could smell it always…


Actually, I didn’t sign up at all. They made me.

What I enjoy most about 101 is teaching things that aren’t on the syllabus:

How to keep your brain healthy, stay young forever, feed the wildest hunger of your soul, practice the subtle art of flossing, etc.

The official 101 curriculum is a new sidewalk: smooth and non-trippy. My job…


An open mic!

A man in my family died young. But he wasn’t just a man. He was a demigod, lord of the woods, of the hunt. Lord of waters. Doom of fish.

With pistols, rifles, black powder guns, bows and crossbows, 5,000-dollar fishing poles, and once with a bowie knife lashed to…

Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.

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