Category Archives: Alcohol

Edgar Allan Poe v. Haruki Murakami

Without creative flexibility, I wouldn’t allow this bout in my jurisdiction. And who but a sadist could disagree? As a teenager Edgar All Poe sometimes swam and long jumped vigorously but for two decades alcohol, opium, and heaven knows what else have shredded his body and soul, and it’s certain the inherent chemicals in his […]

Also posted in Boxing, Edgar Allan Poe, Haruki Murakami, Japan, Writers

After the Fight

I recently confessed, in an article about the fighter formerly known as Dwight Braxton, that in the summer or 1982 I was indigent and without cable TV and therefore desperate to find a place to watch the aforementioned light heavyweight champion fight Matthew Saad Muhammad, the man he’d recently pummeled to take the title. After […]

Also posted in Boxing, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Prostitution, Sacramento

Alcohol v. Pot

I was a happy tourist at the pinnacle of Washington’s Monument when I became woozy and awakened an indeterminate time later in a dungeon. God, kidnapped by terrorists, I thought but reconsidered when several white males, attired in green surgical gowns, marched in and one said, “Experimentation will begin when the chief returns.” “Who’s he […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Basketball, Drugs, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Marijuana

Philip Seymour Hoffman

don’t want whole beer only half enough to fall

Also posted in Drugs, Heroin, Movies, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Poetry - GTC, Truman Capote, Writers

Careful, Justin Bieber

I’m surrounded by lots of nasty newspaper and magazine articles and insulting letters and want you to understand this deluge on my doorstep is the same or worse than cyber bullying. Not many understand. I’m nineteen and make fifty million a year and fans love me and I’m doing things most my age would do. […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Calabasas, Cars & Driving, Drugs, Housing, Justin Bieber, Miami, Music, Neighborhoods

Fall of Battling Siki

I’ve never been in a jungle so am hurt reporters keep calling me a wild man from Senegal. I’m from a fine seaport on the Atlantic, Saint-Louis, and lived on a finger of land for poor people where every day I ran, swam, wrestled, fought, argued, and tried to be happy but never really was […]

Also posted in Battling Siki, Boxing, Georges Carpentier, Jack Dempsey, Murder, New York City, Paris, Senegal, William Muldoon

Sonny Liston is Santa Claus

Look at this, my father said, showing my mother, sister, and me the December 1963 cover of Esquire magazine. This is the greatest Santa Claus ever. I didn’t know Santa was black, dear. He is now, and I’ve hired him to attend our corporate Christmas party next week. He’s cute, said my sister, age five. […]

Also posted in Boxing, Christmas, Families, Floyd Patterson, Santa Claus, Sonny Liston

Very truly yours, John L. Sullivan

Happier moments I never have than when as a lad I discover I can beat hell out of friends and neighborhood toughs and soon maybe everyone else. I know I’m not going to do much in school. Classes bore me and teachers don’t behave respectfully and I may have to start in on them. I’ll […]

Also posted in Boston, Boxing, Ireland, Jack Johnson, Jim Corbett, Jim Jefferies, John L. Sullivan, Peter Jackson, William Muldoon

Jack Delaney on the Rocks

I don’t like boxing and neither do my lady friends but we love Jack Delaney who’s about the handsomest man in the world. His thick brown hair is perfect. His eyes are bright and gorgeous. His nose is classic and still straight. His mouth is sexy. His body’s lean and muscular. We love gathering at […]

Also posted in Boxing, Connecticut, Jack Delaney, Jack Sharkey, New York City

Slugging with Sam Langford

I’m a skinny teenager in Nova Scotia but strong and tough. Have to be. My daddy likes to beat people so I leave home and get a job on a farm but lose that for fighting and get fired a couple other places the same reason. When I’m about seventeen a man in Boston hires […]

Also posted in Boston, Boxing, Divorce, Harlem, Jack Johnson, Marriage, Racism, Sam Langford, Tiger Flowers

Letter to Oscar de la Hoya

Dear Oscar, I’m sorry to learn you’re back in rehab but glad you went. Most alcoholics never submit to inpatient treatment. I never did but should have during three decades of excess. I’ve read enough about you to conclude you probably didn’t drink and use daily. Neither did I, and that’s how I so long […]

Also posted in AA, Boxing, Cocaine, Oscar de la Hoya

Stanley Ketchel Survives

Reluctantly, I accept the assignment to go back to a dreary 1910 Ozark ranch where the only woman is a plump and rough-looking cook. When Stanley Ketchel arrives for breakfast, carrying a .44 pistol, he heads for his usual chair but she offers another, and the nervous middleweight champion surveys the kitchen and places the […]

Also posted in Boxing, Carlos Monzon, Drugs, Harry Greb, Marvin Hagler, Murder, Opium, Ray Robinson, Stanley Ketchel

When Termperament is the Winner

On a June 1991 Sacramento night at Arco Arena, hometown junior welterweight champion Loreto Garza defended his title against Edwin Rosario, who despite being only 28 and a three-time lightweight titlist was perceived to be in decline and a dramatic underdog. Perhaps oddsmakers believed Rosario had already begun to crumble from abuse of alcohol and […]

Also posted in Boxing, Drugs, Edwin Rosario, Loreto Garza, Mental Health, Vinny Pazienza

Adopting Sonny Liston

For fifteen years my wife Ellen and I, Memphis educators both, tried quite hard to have a child. Our failure to conceive was alternately attributed, by purported experts, to my sterility and her barrenness. Perhaps both reports were correct. We did not argue. We decided to adopt. Paperwork and prejudice at local agencies compelled us […]

Also posted in Boxing, Crime, Drugs, Families, Sonny Liston

Doctor in Chimney

While practicing internal medicine I soothe patients because I listen even during weeks I see more than two hundred people, workload most physicians consider too heavy. But I love work, and also owe two hundred thousand dollars to federal government and thirty grand to state and have recently defaulted on eight hundred thousand dollar loan […]

Also posted in Doctors, Mental Health, Romance, Short Pieces - GTC

Drink Vacation

Had too much last night or wouldn’t have left underwear stacked in motel rushing to early Mexico City flight. Soon proud to attract beautiful señorita in loud bar but regretted smile disappeared shortly before she did.

Also posted in Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC


Bill suddenly believed he’d just thrown away years of sobriety, consuming many drinks and other evil substances, and was ashamed and frightened and sad, and wondered what happened to clothes and why, butt cold to street, he was knocking on unknown door.

Also posted in Dreams, Short Pieces - GTC

Taxi Ride

Drunk American lumbers into Tijuana taxi and in Spanish asks for señoritas and marijuana. Fine, says cabbie. Few minutes later American admits he really wants cocaine. Cabbie reminds that’s not what said then silently drives way out and says here’s best place for you. American enters and thinks goddamn guy dropping me where there’s only […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC

The Right Room

First time in Puerto Vallarta I was hungover standing at basin, looking into fright, when woman popped from stall behind and said sir are you aware this is women’s bathroom. Years later long sober I stood in Bakersfield theater as two women entered and one said what’s guy doing here. Leaving quickly I forgot to […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Mental Health, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Short Pieces - GTC

Professor Party

He taught English or something at Berkeley and students called him Professor, admired clipped beard, and cheered when he entered parties. Students eventually said they didn’t know when professor asked, and he stopped anyway because they hindered drinking, and teaching too proved inconvenient before he lugged ragged beard into streets of Bakersfield.

Also posted in Bakersfield, Drugs, Education, Parties, Short Pieces - GTC


On cold night drunk in another bar he met chunky woman who opened purse and showed white powder they snorted in car. At apartment she called neighbor who walked over, sold more, asked for hit, and took three, firing thousand words before leaving. They burned noses and strained hearts two hours before moving upstairs and […]

Also posted in Drugs, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Deadbolt Rules

During helluva hot day fishing in thin mountain air, sun scorched Harold and he drank too many beers but didn’t worry he caught no fish. He was thinking about rat hole he’d return to behind house in area few lived voluntarily. Harold shoved key into rusty deadbolt lock which seized key he jerked and twisted […]

Also posted in Housing, Mental Health, Neighborhoods, Short Pieces - GTC

Middle of River

Don’t go in the American River, kids in our neighborhood were often told. There are branches, rocks, and an undertow you can’t see. Here, read today’s newspaper; another boy’s drowned. We still couldn’t stay out and swam whenever we wanted, never meeting danger until mature enough to drink Friday night. The cops yelled, hey you […]

Also posted in American River, Rivers, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC

Executive Jack

Monday after high school graduation kid was required to become adult, moving long miles to Los Angeles and working in south central warehouse owned by gray parental friend named Jack who invited to dinner first night. In large Palos Verdes home south of city Jack and wife greeted kid and promised he’d have great summer. […]

Also posted in Families, Football, George Allen, Los Angeles, Short Pieces - GTC

Was Vincent van Gogh Murdered

Two clever biographers appeared on Sixty Minutes and said Vincent van Gogh didn’t really shoot himself in a wheat field more than a bumpy mile from town since he couldn’t have walked so far bearing a wound destined to finish him in thirty hours. Instead, the sleuthing biographers state two teenagers in Auvers, a spot […]

Also posted in Art, Bullying, Campaign 2012, Mental Health, Mitt Romney, Painters, Suicide, Vincent Van Gogh

Pool Player

Fourteen relatives, who’d already lost in Christmas 8-Ball Shootout, encircled pool table and were joined by everyone else, and all swigged beers or sodas and munched rich appetizers as watched finalists and pre-tourney favorites Bill and Fred strike and counter with deadly long shots, cut shots kissing balls into unlikely pockets, and taps leaving cue […]

Also posted in Families, Food, Health, Pool, Short Pieces - GTC

Thomas Kinkade Meets Another Artist

God rang the bell quite early and told a short bald man, “Here’s your new roommate. Put down that brush. You’ll be painting together until further notice. Now turn on the TV. I’ll check on your progress directly.” The old man aimed huge eyes at a pudgy, gray-goateed fellow, and activated a large flat screen […]

Also posted in Art, Mental Health, Pablo Picasso, Painters, Religion, Thomas Kinkade

Blood Alley

I don’t want to take fast two lane highway from Central Valley to coast but it’s only way there. I really don’t have to go but need to relax at concert with friends who introduce me to lady I decide is no fun and not to stay. Highway back is no worse late on clear […]

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Murder, Poetry - GTC, Short Pieces - GTC


stranded soul implodes

Also posted in Drugs, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Mind Afire

mind afire doused with gas

Also posted in Drugs, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Ambitious Diet

much younger wife serves spicy meals and strong drinks

Also posted in Diet, Food, Marriage, Poetry - GTC

Downtown Drinkers

Tim and Billy were barhopping in brand new old downtown. They always drank too much and Tim used buzz to talk to women. Billy usually became quieter. On Saturday night Tim brought young woman back to table and charmed her while Billy tried to say few words. When she went to restroom Tim told Billy […]

Also posted in Families, Friendship, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Baseball Bat Killers Sentenced

Two years ago a murder story in Bakersfield haunted me and, despite uneasiness, I decided to view the crime scene. A forty-year old man, Patrick Matsuda, who lived in a neighborhood of new and expensive homes, had been killed by bat-wielding miscreants. For weeks residents had been complaining to each other and the police that […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Bodybuilding, Drugs, Housing, Mixed Martial Arts, Murder, Neighborhoods, Wrestling

Female Beverage

she kept drinking and the phone stopped ringing

Also posted in Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Bobby Brown – The Whole Truth

Before presenting what Bobby Brown allegedly said and did, I must explain this book was originally conceived as an autobiography and author Derrick Handspike, according to his account, hung out with and interviewed the singer for a year, diligently wrote the book, and later squirmed as Brown and his advisers delayed final preparations for publication. […]

Also posted in Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Drugs, Families, Heroin, Marriage, Music, Whitney Houston

Just One More

said have drink come on let’s party least one more now no one listens so exhorts himself

Also posted in Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Reviving Whitney Houston

Only in quite rare cases am I permitted to intervene retroactively and attempt to salvage lives of those recently deceased. Heretofore my efforts, results of which cannot be discussed, focused on people unknown to the public but intimate with some of your neighbors. In this instance, I was summoned not merely to recall the decedent […]

Also posted in Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Drugs, Music, Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

remember one beautiful as whitney houston who made star spangled banner soar and moved heaven singing i’ll always love you may harbor soul broken as man in gutter and seek relief same way To watch Whitney Houston sing the National Anthem before the 1991 Super Bowl, please click here

Also posted in Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Drugs, Mental Health, Music, Whitney Houston

The Right Room

first time on puerto vallarto tour quite hungover stand at basin looking into fright woman pops up behind and says sir are you aware this is women’s years later long sober at bakersfield movie women enter one says what’s guy doing in here leaving rapidly forget to say heat intoxication

Also posted in Bakersfield, Mental Health, Mexico, Poetry - GTC, Puerto Vallarta

Middle of River – Part 2

(This poem has been rewritten in prose in posted July 24, 2012.) stay out of american river kids in neighborhood often told there’s undertow you can’t see branches either here read today’s newspaper another boy’s drowned still couldn’t stay out of water nor could other kids swimming whenever wanted never meeting danger until mature enough […]

Also posted in American River, Poetry - GTC, Rivers, Sacramento

Executive Jack

Click here to read and excerpt from “Snapshots of Distressing Events”

Also posted in Families, Football, George Allen, Los Angeles, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Drink Vacation

had too much last night or wouldn’t have left underwear stacked in motel rushing to early mexico city flight * * * proud had attracted beautiful senorita in loud bar but regretted smile disappeared shortly before she did

Also posted in Mental Health, Mexico, Mexico City, Poetry - GTC, Travel

Nightmare Returns

many years vowed never would again but defiled mouth and head convinced really had awakened

Also posted in Dreams, Drugs, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC, Sleep

Tijuana Taxi Ride

american drunk in tijuana night lumbers into taxi and in spanish asks for senoritas and marijuana fine says cabbie few minutes later american admits really wants cocaine cabbie reminds not what said then silently drives way out and says here’s best place for you american enters and thinks goddamn that guy dropping me where there’s […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Drugs, Mental Health, Mexico, Poetry - GTC, Tijuana

Fallen Star

Producers and directors often exhorted Martin Stevens to beat or at least be like Errol Flynn, and that seemed attainable. In terms of facial structure, Martin looked as if Flynn had fathered him. Hell, maybe he did. So the sequence was logical enough. Martin was outfitted in tights in his first starring film role and […]

Also posted in Arnella Flynn, Beverly Aadland, Drugs, Errol Flynn, Homeless, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Warner, Lili Damita, Mental Health, Movies, Short Stories - GTC, The Bold Investor, Warner Brothers

Deadbolt Rules

(This poem has been rewritten in prose and posted September 22, 2012.) hell of hot day fishing in thin mountain air sun scorched harold and he drank too many beers didn’t matter he caught no fish he had to return to rat hole room at rear of house in bad area rusty deadbolt jammed and […]

Also posted in Housing, Mental Health, Neighborhoods, Poetry - GTC

Flowers for Errol Flynn

on sunny forest lawn fresh pink flowers lie across errol flynn caressed by lady lost in distant dreams To read “Fallen Star,” a story about a disturbed actor who looks like Errol Flynn, please click here To read “Arnella Flynn, Too Much Like Errol,” please click here

Also posted in Errol Flynn, Fallen Star, Los Angeles, Movies, Poetry - GTC

Proper Rest

father died from drink but also suffered arising early carlos avoids that asleep all day mother ironing his clothes

Also posted in Families, Poetry - GTC

Table Top

shag carpet reached through invisible table top shattering wine glass

Also posted in Poetry - GTC

Buried Drinker

i don’t drink anymore and neither does the man who quit shortly after they buried him

Also posted in Poetry - GTC

Professor Party

taught english or something at berkeley and students called him professor and admired his clipped beard cheering when he entered their parties students eventually said they didn’t know when the professor asked and he stopped because they hindered his drinking and teaching too proved inconvenient before he lugged a ragged beard into the streets of […]

Also posted in Education, Homeless, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Was Vincent van Gogh Murdered?

This poem has been rewritten in prose and posted May 28, 2012 two clever biographers appear on sixty minutes to say vincent van gogh didn’t really shoot himself in a wheat field more than a bumpy mile from town he couldn’t have walked so far bearing a mortal wound destined to finish him in thirty […]

Also posted in Art, Bullying, Mental Health, Painters, Poetry - GTC, Suicide, Vincent Van Gogh

Criminal Justice in Islam

In blighted but affordable east Bakersfield old bank transformed into new mosque hosts annual Islamic Conference where keynote speaker Main Al-Qudah, PhD in Islamic law and imam at large mosque in Houston, steps to podium. He’s slim, stern, middle-aged, dressed in suit and tie, and resembles prosecutor as power points to screen bearing principles of […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Crime, Drugs, Islam, Jordan, Main Al-Qudah, Marriage, Middle East, Rape, Religion, Saudi Arabia

The Education of Ulysses S. Grant

I loved this wonderful horse that cost twenty-five dollars but when the owner brought it to our house my father said it wasn’t worth more than twenty and that’s what he offered. The owner wouldn’t yield and left but I so earnestly urged my father to help he gave me confidential instructions and ordered me […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Civil War - American, Dominican Republic, Mexican-American War, Mexico, Ohio, Politics, Ulysses S. Grant, West Point

Material Handler on the Road

I still wonder if my adult working career for many years progressed like a tortoise in sand because of apathy or a reflexive hatred of manual labor that began too soon, at age nine, when my mother remarried and her new husband, a drill sergeant masquerading as an electrical engineer and contractor, drafted my stepbrother […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Auburn, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Burbank, California, California Youth Authority, Carmel, Cars & Driving, Chico, Clint Eastwood, Coast Ranges, Construction, Drugs, Electricians, Errol Flynn, Families, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fresno, George S. Patton, George Thomas Clark, Grass Valley, Hollywood, Interstate 5, Los Angeles, Manual Labor, Marijuana, Media, Mental Health, Monterey, Newspapers, Pacific Ocean, Rocklin, Rolling Stones, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Sierra Nevada, Stephen Stills, Stockton, Television, Unions

Death on the High School Website

Last fall, just before deadline, I bought a ticket to the forty-year reunion of my high school class in Sacramento. I wanted to see about ninety percent of the people on the party list but had hesitated, fearing that a few of the rest might say something insulting and there’d be unpleasantness so a few […]

Also posted in Cancer, Cars & Driving, Education, Energy, George Thomas Clark

High on Hallucinogens

I must begin by warning you not to try hallucinogens because they’ll transport you to very strange places there’s no good reason to be but where curiosity and the devil may compel you to venture again. I remember my first trip, in the summer of 1970. I’d just graduated from high school and was already […]

Also posted in Drugs, George Thomas Clark, Hallucinogens, LSD, Mental Health, Mexico, Mexico City, Mushrooms, Oaxaca

Shooting Baskets in Dreams

Generation after Hal moved from two small dingy rooms connected to old house in battery-stealing part of town, he thought dreams had disappeared so was saddened to see himself there shooting baskets. Old friend sat behind and watched errant shots. Damn ceiling’s too low to shoot right. Friend should’ve agreed but only stared as Hal […]

Also posted in Basketball, Dreams, Drugs, George Thomas Clark, Housing, Mental Health, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Golf Course Braces for Wild High School Reunion

Sacramento, CA – Officials at scenic Ancil Hoffman Golf Course, which stretches along the American River east of town, issued an emergency decree this morning after police informed them that a (publicly-unnamed) suburban high school, notorious for its rowdy alumni, plans next week to attack the links with ten foursomes celebrating forty years of parole […]

Also posted in American River, Education, Golf, Sacramento, Tiger Woods

McSorley’s Cats Soothe John Sloan

I’m shy and nervous and can’t get much from women except in brothels where they’ll at least pay attention awhile. In 1898 I meet Dolly at my regular place and suddenly feel I have a chance, maybe I can relax with this woman and really have her, away from here. We start going together right […]

Also posted in Art, Ashcan School, Diego Rivera, George Luks, John Sloan, Jose Clemente Orozco, Mental Health, New York City, Painters, Robert Henri, Williams Glackens

George Luks Knocked Out

Stick with me and you’ll have a great time. I’m alive and witty and drinking plenty and proud to tell you I’m a real American artist and tired of too many dollars going for European art which is fine but no better than mine and probably not as good. How could it be? Those guys […]

Also posted in Art, Ashcan School, Boxing, George Luks, Jim Jefferies, Museums, New York City, Painters

Jackson Pollock Assists Lee Krasner

Some of you may disapprove but I mustn’t care since I know what I’ve got to do to make Polar Stampede right. My abusive, alcoholic, bipolar, philandering, supremely-celebrated husband, Jackson Pollock, is five years dead in 1961 after he’d drunkenly, and I believe with suicidal determination, gunned his car through the night into a tree. […]

Also posted in Abstract Expressionism, Art, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Mental Health, Museums, Painters

Cruising in My First Car

I wish I’d been more on the ball and returned to somehow punish the scoundrel who sold me my first car. The deed occurred on an ominous weeknight when my stepfather drove me east of Sacramento to a fine suburban home where a slender dorky old man at least forty-five opened the door and said, […]

Also posted in Babe Ruth, Baseball, Basketball, Cars & Driving, Civil War - American, Elvis Presley, Football, George Thomas Clark, Grambling University, Grapevine, Highway 99, Jim Cleamons, Kentucky, Lebron James, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Luke Witte, Mississippi, New York City, Niagara Falls, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State University, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Racism, Roberto Clemente, Sacramento, Siege of Vicksburg, Tennessee, Texas, Travel, Ulysses S. Grant, Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Woody Hayes

Billie Holiday Visits Young Obama

I love cigarettes smoking my head with an odor beer washes away until I smoke more then get down with whiskey and mellow more with reefer before a little blow rushes my brain then crashes me alone after a party in an apartment echoing above with other empty people. I don’t care I’m not white […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Billie Holiday, Drugs, Music

Father of Obama

Dear Barry, I’m most proud of you but naturally grieve as I read how you feel about me. Please understand, in many respects I enjoy your book, and do not here write so much to refute, which perhaps I could not honestly do anyway, but to explain. You did not grow up in an African […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Economics, Kenya, Mental Health

Poe at the Gentleman’s Magazine – Part 11

Edgar Allan Poe, despite working for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, seemed not to understand the implication of my being William E. Burton: I paid ten dollars a week, more than sufficient compensation starting in June 1839, and expected him to be a dutiful and deferential editorial assistant.  I realized many readers considered Poe brilliant, particularly after […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Heath Ledger and the Joker

I am weary of, though not entirely unamused by, the preferred psychoanalytic question about my posthumously-released role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Fans gathered at my cinematic altar continue to ask: “Did playing that deranged criminal, and other cutting roles, drive you too far?” No, I explain, it was rather the opposite: my […]

Also posted in Depression, Drugs, Heath Ledger, Mental Health, Movies

Roderick Usher Assails Edgar Allen Poe – Part 10

My family and I are profoundly distressed by Edgar Allen Poe’s recent short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”.  We, who so often said yes when this forlorn orphan begged to visit, now learn he considers our home “melancholy” and one which pervades his spirit “with a sense of insufferable gloom.”  Had Poe […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe – Part 9

I hated gossip about Eddy living with his “child cousin.”  I wasn’t a child but a young lady only three months short of fourteen.  Eddy still made sure our marriage bond said I was twenty-one.  That afternoon in May 1836 a smiling minister married us in our boarding house.  My mother and our landlord and […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Poe the Editor and Family Man – Part 8

When Aunt Maria’s mother died her pension was also buried and that night Edgar Allan Poe raged to dig it up.  Aunty and Virginia guided him into bed from which he two days later arose dazed but determined to be responsible.  Aunty had become his real mother and Virginia, though only age thirteen, was already […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Aunt Maria Clemm Nurtures Poe – Part 7

Eddie was a sweet boy who loved me and my young daughter Virginia.  He tried to help but except selling a young slave I’d inherited he couldn’t make any money for us despite writing hours a day.   Our best prospect was John Allan, and sometimes I wrote him Eddie deserved to do well and would […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Henry Poe – Part 6

Not critically but with pride I suggest that for his third book, Poems, Edgar had copied some of my stanzas.  I also concede I might have borrowed some of his.  I couldn’t guarantee much in the spring of 1831.  Once, I had appeared an impressive big brother, donning the uniform of a merchant marine and […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Poe the Scholar and Soldier – Part 5

In person I may have addressed my foster father John Allan as Pa but in my heart and with others I called him a tyrant who, despite his wealth, denied sufficient funds for dignified survival at the University of Virginia, sentencing me to dress inelegantly and use my own hands to tidy my room.  Fellow […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Poe the Athlete – Part 4

I’m head track coach at a major university and have trained some of the finest young athletes in the world.  I don’t recruit anyone lacking potential to place high and score points in important meets.  That I explained to members of a literary society when they presented physical data about Edgar Allan Poe.  He was […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Foster Father of Poe – Part 3

Convinced of my correctness I sailed from Scotland to America at age sixteen and immediately began as a clerk in the Richmond tobacco company of my Uncle William Galt.  The old bachelor was the wealthiest man in Virginia but kept me tight to business and doted on his four adopted children and four more he […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Writers

Keeping Hemingway Alive till 109

Never had I craved anything so much as this strange and alluring task.  Thousands of other doctors were clamoring for the opportunity but many piously claimed personal considerations were more important still.  That disqualified them, I am sure.  Only a man obsessed was fit to lead a scientific revolution, and only I was poised to […]

Also posted in Depression, Ernest Hemingway, Mental Health, Suicide, Writers

Eliza Poe – Part 2

In more than thirty years representing actresses I had never received such an astonishing application.  At first, naturally, I considered it a hoax.  Eliza Poe, claiming to have been born more than two centuries ago in England, wrote that she most urgently needed to meet me.  Ordinarily it is difficult approaching impossible to get through […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Theater, Writers

The Pain of Heath Ledger

Last November I said I feel good about dying now, at age twenty-eight, because I feel alive through my two-year old daughter Matilda.  I quickly explained that didn’t mean I wanted to die; I wanted to be around for the rest of her life, and noted this was an interesting kind of little set up.  […]

Also posted in Depression, Drugs, Heath Ledger, Mental Health, Movies

Exhumation of Edgar Allan Poe

Baltimore, MD – During forty years of torment Edgar Allen Poe was orphaned, shunned by foster parents, dismissed from the University of Virginia because of indigence, dishonorably discharged from West Point, underpaid by editors, beset by depression and other organic ailments of the brain, mired in poverty, torn by feuds personal and professional, widowed when […]

Also posted in Depression, Edgar Allan Poe, Mental Health, Short Stories - GTC, The Bold Investor, Writers

A Book about the Talented but Tragic Rogers Family

Early this year I received an email from freelance writer Sean Harvey, who’d read my 2005 article about Donald Rogers, the college and pro football star and a champion in every sport he tried.  Of course, I told him.  I’d be delighted to reminisce about a man as memorable for personal appeal as his athletic […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Depression, Donald Rogers, Drugs, Football, Mental Health, Reggie Rogers

Letter to Talented and Troubled Lindsay Lohan

Dear Ms. Lohan, After grading about 400 English tests during the week and feeling increasingly tired and tense and lethargic, I didn’t want to write or exercise Saturday morning, as I usually do; I just wanted to shower and get out and relax at the movies.  Frequently, there aren’t many good ones in Bakersfield, primarily […]

Also posted in Bill Cosby, Depression, Drugs, Lindsay Lohan, Mental Health, Movies

The Rogers Brothers – Triumph and Tragedy

Twenty-seven years ago this month I went to Norte Del Rio High School in North Sacramento and interviewed a sprinter named Roy Mosley who’d just won two races at a large invitational meet.  As a visiting correspondent I received lots of attention from kids wanting to learn what I was doing and some, after watching […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Donald Rogers, Drugs, Football, George Thomas Clark, Mental Health, Reggie Rogers

Hunter Thompson and Mental Health

Since Hunter Thompson put a gun in his mouth and shot himself last week, I’ve been digging deep into the Internet and reading lots of articles about him.  The first wave of stories commended his hard-punching, eye-gouging, “gonzo” style of insightful political writing in such books as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Kingdom […]

Also posted in Drugs, Hunter Thompson, Mental Health, Suicide, Writers

Arnella Flynn, Too Much Like Errol

For decades the inside cover of Parade magazine has been like it is today, a page glistening with faces of beautiful and famous people.  And as I write this, one of those pages stands out more than hundreds of others I’ve read.  It was from an early 1970’s issue and featured the delightful image of […]

Also posted in Arnella Flynn, Beverly Aadland, Drugs, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Jack Warner, Lili Damita, Movies, Warner Brothers