Jeanne Carr and John Muir

20. January 2016 300 words a day 0
We spent a few days this winter in Yosemite. I hadn’t been there since I was a child. On the school trip there in 5th grade, I remember seeing a family of six quail walking beak to tail in descending order of size. I remember a Quonset hut. I remember heroic narratives about John Muir. I ...

Are you free from sin?

Sitting in a café at the edge of downtown, I’m near the midpoint in my usual commute to work, at the edge of Los Angeles’s district of gentrified warehouses, the Arts District. A couple of generations of actual artists have lived around here. Some of them are now being edged out, by the successful marketing ...

A Pandemonium of Parrots

17. September 2014 300 words a day 1
The weather is angry, the heat comes down like a curtain within an hour of sunrise to suffocate the days, these storied Los Angeles days that put your teeth on edge. Los Angeles Is Burning goes through my head. Palm trees like candles in the murder wind. Except there’s no wind. Yesterday, when I went outside to walk ...

Saudade

Once upon a time, I sold everything I owned and moved to Brazil. This piece, over at Avidly at the LA Review of Books is mostly about that, and also, about soccer: No one in Rio understood why I had come. I wasn’t married to an oil man. I didn’t have a Fulbright. A young woman alone, ...

How we know each other

06. January 2014 300 words a day 7
At the end of 2013, I sat with S. while she smoked a cigarette out on the patio at a bar that we like. Two guys came over and bummed a smoke. They asked us how we knew each other. S. said, “Drinking and writing. ” This strikes me as the best possible way to ...

Re-entry

27. November 2013 300 words a day 0
I was only gone for three days, but coming back into Los Angeles is sometimes hard. On my commute, a piece of cardboard flips up off the road. It hits my windshield and flies towards the shoulder. I fight the reflex to veer. Something else makes the noise of a heartbeat as I drive over ...

Reading Katy Perry

At the dinner table, my four-year-old girl sings out: “There’s a stranger in my bed! There’s a pounding in my head! Last Friday night!” And I am so busted. “Oh, we don’t listen to that song anymore…” I say, sheepishly. My husband is not convinced. My daughter adores Katy Perry… this.blue.angel at Trop Mag  

Marine Layer

Underneath a heavy June gloom, on a cross street off Sunset Blvd, the sidewalk is pockmarked with the black remains of chewing gum. Is it that people on near-derelict blocks are more likely to spit out their gum? Or is it that such blocks are cleaned so infrequently human waste builds up, a film of ...

Next To Me

Emeli Sandé is singing to herself. To her own talent, to be more exact. We watch from above as she walks into a warehouse. The man next to her — as she sings her song — drums. He keeps the beat. The paint on the floor is worn through. In a palette of blacks and ...