In Jazz, chops are any individual artist’s demonstration of purely technical skill (“he’s showing his chops, tonight”), as part of a main act, or after the main acts are done, or in the informal jazz (jam) sessions in various clubs. My nightly chops are a way of keeping the internal emotional rhythm flowing, focused less on writing technique than on building consistent facility with translating deep seated emotions into surface symbols for consumption. As Jung says, “Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious.”

New Boys and Old Boys

At the semester’s first Vespers, the boys gathered around the sofas in the dormitory parlor, and  I sat among the other unknowns – the incoming mid-year dropoffs – “new boys” as opposed to just “boys”, whose parents had decided to wash their hands early or late, and whose place it was now to find their …

New Boys and Old Boys Read More »

Moment of Love

Flat on my belly, the coat against the gravel roof, my extra set of eyes polarized against any glare, I sometimes think I can feel every vibration sent up through the frame by the elevator sinking toward the basement and every shift in temperature as the boilers kick in. The snatches of an argument from …

Moment of Love Read More »

Things Already Past

Things Already Past

The bath is its own season, a submerged oasis, scented vaguely of almond bark, diffident toward the stark onset of Winter in the valley. She peels the washcloth from its stiff perch on the soap dish and whisks it slowly through the water like the tail of some rough crocodile, swimming lazily on the current …

Things Already Past Read More »

The Sparrows Tale

The Sparrows’ Tale

Sometimes the most horrible things that happen to us don’t show up in theatres or along the spines of novels. They have no title, and the blurb is too deep and felt too inarticulately to imagine. But horror can rescue us, too. We can’t describe the nameless thing that is trivialized by the mere attempt …

The Sparrows’ Tale Read More »

Forever Car

Forever Car

The car isn’t routinely maintenanced. It is never booked or reserved. Its passengers never disembark. No engineer can remember coupling or decoupling it. I certainly can’t. No conductor ever passes through or punches a ticket. The car is there and not there, depending on the level of your attention. One thing is certain – it’s …

Forever Car Read More »

The Ashernet

Visit Asher's Other Haunts