Season the meat, not the mixture.

This tip, plus technique, plus two secret ingredients, which never really were secret and surely won’t be after I publish this history, are what, if anything, sets my chili apart from others. I don’t follow recipes, which doesn’t mean I don’t use recipes. I use them for ideas and inspiration, but I leave taste to… Read more

Greyhound

B looked down and saw his childhood dog curled by the blue chair. He hadn’t seen the dog in many years. Across the room a small child picked up a fireplace poker and dropped it. The child did this again. Then again. And so on, revelling in the clanging each time, his hands now blacked… Read more

About: “March 15, 1910…”

“March 15, 1910 Grampie was” is a warning story. It is a description of life during a time in America that some have recently called “great.” In particular, the essay compares certain aspects of the narrator’s life in America, 1980 with aspects of his life in New Zealand, 2016, providing a insider-on-the-outside’s perspective of the current political… Read more

I felt no envy at

the Sefton Pub, no sense that anything was out of reach. We had traveled all day. We made a loop around the Canterbury region on part of Inland Scenic Route 72, starting at our rented bach (pronounced “batch” meaning a holiday (meaning “vacation”) house) just outside downtown Christchurch, just outside the zone leveled by an… Read more

It’s not up to me

, the meaning of things, the things I write. I put ideas into words, but the words aren’t mine alone; they’re all ours, and I’ve no claim to ownership over something so sublime as their meaning once they’re out in the world. Lately I’ve been thinking about the scenes I write — and I don’t mean… Read more