Category Archives: Drugs

Tiger’s Green Jacket

I can’t sleep. I’d get up and do something if I could but my back’s too sore. It hurts all the time. I’ll take another pain pill or two. I’ll take whatever’s necessary to quit hurting. I think my mind hurts more than my back. What I’ve got to do is quit thinking. This all […]

Also posted in Brooks Koepka, Golf, Infidelity, Marriage, Masters Tournament, Sex, Tiger Woods


Admiral Steve Morrison demands his son stand at attention. Jim says no way, he’s going to sing for The Doors. Despite often being in an alcohol and acid haze he soon emerges as a star but his emotional and legal problems worsen, especially after melting down at the concert in Miami. Jim’s tired of performing […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Jim Morrison, Los Angeles, Miami, Music, Paris, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, The Doors

Abused and Enslaved

I’m Virginia Isaias, and I want you to use my name. I had twenty-three brothers and sisters. No, not from the same mother. My dad said he’d lived with eight women before my mom. They had six children together, but he wasn’t home much. He’d go away for three or four months, supposedly to work. […]

Also posted in Human Trafficking, Mexico, Prostitution, Sex

Alive in the Cemetery

There aren’t any squatters among a million deceased residents in vast Manila North Cemetery. If my family doesn’t pay the lease every five years, someone living among the headstones and colorful tombs will earn three bucks to dig me up for cremation. That’s reasonable work. Six thousand poor people need a little food and shelter […]

Also posted in Homeless, Manila, Philippines, Poverty, Rodrigo Duterte

Elvis is 83

(Elvis Presley would’ve been 83 on August 16, and that’s hard to fathom. Thirteen years ago I wrote a story below on his 70th birthday.) I can’t imagine I would’ve been seventy today. And it’s hard to believe I’ve been gone more than twenty-seven years. Of course, I’m not really gone. Through my music and […]

Also posted in Elvis Presley, Music

Campaign Mexico

i was running for mexican office in unnamed place but dropped out after cartels killed more than hundred politicians and many journalists

Also posted in Mexico, Murder

Vicente Fox Counters Trump

Lights glow, TV cameras roll, and Donald Trump says, “I want you to remember my remarks at Trump Tower the day I started my campaign for president. I used the word rape, and people said I was too tough. Now they’re saying I’m right. On the journey coming up here, from Central America through Mexico, […]

Also posted in Donald Trump, Immigration, Mexico, Murder, Vicente Fox

The Estate of Charles Manson

Issues of confidentiality, centering on the amount of the bribe and who received it, prevent me from revealing how I get into the Bakersfield morgue and in front of a long metallic drawer containing Charles Manson whom I pull out and address, “I know you’ve got a right to privacy, but I have some important […]

Also posted in Charles Manson, Guns N' Roses, LSD, Movies, Murder, Music, Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate

Donald Duterte

Bearing a big smile Donald Trump for a hefty man strides rapidly into Malacañang Palace and extends a hand to his host, President Rodrigo Duterte, who says, “No, bro, like this,” and holds out his right fist, evidently a more macho version of the Nazi salute, which after all was open-handed, and nods for Trump […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-Un, Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte

Heath Ledger to Tiger Woods

Dear Tiger, I’m not going to preach, from a faraway place, but I’m damn well going to tell you about prescription drug abuse. You may know I’ve been gone more than nine years now, and like you mixed drugs that taken together dramatically increase their effects and stop many young, strong hearts. Choose any statistics […]

Also posted in Elvis Presley, Golf, Heath Ledger, Mental Health, Movies, Tiger Woods

The Marijuana Fair

Poor Curt, a naturally nervous sort, had daily been peeing a lot and obsessing about ancient slights and, prior to showering, cursing those he should’ve socked and those he planned to still. He could not take this anymore but hadn’t much considered what he should do, noting only he’d been having fantasies from decades ago. […]

Also posted in Marijuana, Marriage, Woodstock

Against the Wall

Waving for his aide to sit down, the dapper man in Los Pinos squeezed a phone and dialed about twenty numbers, waiting while the White House phone rang. “Hello,” said a woman. “This is President Peña Nieto. Who’s this?” “Melania.” “Please let me speak to President Trump.” “What country are you from?” “Mexico.” “Oh, you’re […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Donald Trump, Enrique Pena Nieto, Immigration, Melania Trump, Murder

The Loaded Lip

Listen to me. I’m determined to kill a hundred thousand drug dealers and users and to fatten fish in Manila Bay where I’ll dump all destroyers of our children. I won’t actually be doing the killing and the lifting and dumping, of course. I’m president of the Philippines and before that was the feared and […]

Also posted in Murder, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte

In Other Hands – Published and Available

IN OTHER HANDS — In search of stimulating stories, George Thomas Clark interviewed prostitutes in Madrid, Mexico City, Havana, and Managua and on many boulevards in the United States, and talked to detectives and rode the rough roads of social workers who deal with human trafficking, which is contemporary slavery, and toured the tattered, handmade […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Ecuador, Homeless, Human Trafficking, In Other Hands, Mexico, Poverty, Prostitution, Spain

Snapshots from the Van

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Bakersfield, Prostitution, Sex, Slavery

The History Teacher

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Cocaine, Education, Prostitution, Sex, Slavery

Pfizer’s Little Pills

This story is from the rousing campaign book “King Donald”

Also posted in Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Pfizer, Poetry - GTC

King of the Pimps

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Cocaine, Dennis Hof, Nevada, Pimps, Prostitution, Sex, Slavery

Interview with a Vice Detective

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Los Angeles, Murder, Pimps, Prostitution, Sex, Slavery

Getting the Girls

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in AIDS, Cocaine, Los Angeles, Siege of Vicksburg, Slavery

Gypsies in Madrid

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Cocaine, English, George Thomas Clark, Gypsies, Heroin, Immigration, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Marijuana, Poverty, Racism, Spain, Theft

The Trafficked Life

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Bakersfield, Highway 58, Highway 99, Interstate 5, Michael Fagans, Pimps, Prostitution, Slavery

Homeless on the River

This story is in “In Other Hands,” a collection of riveting stories about human trafficking, prostitution, poverty, and homelessness.

Also posted in Alcohol, Bakersfield, Economics, Health, Homeless, Kern River, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Nicotine, Poverty

Chapo Guzman Returns to Prison

“I’m in charge of Altiplano prison, Chapo, and didn’t come here because you asked. Or did you think you ordered me? Remember, the director who preceded me, and helped you escape, is locked in a nearby cell and will doubtless be incarcerated the rest of his life, as will you.” “Of course, comandante. I’m honored […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Mexico, Movies, Murder, Prisons

Moonshine Sip

The moonshine, clear and innocuous as water, is offered in rustic form, in a jar. I inquire about its potency and Mike says: two hundred proof plus. That alarms me since tequila, an unforgiving force from the hallucinogenic mescal cactus, only packs eighty proof. Intrigued by the spirit of youthful experimentation, I sip a little, […]

Also posted in Alcohol, George Thomas Clark

Chapo Recaptured

okay the cabrones recaptured me and killed five amigos before taking me back to prison where i’d tunneled out and i asked for my old cell but you know cabrones they said i’d be somewhere else

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Mexico, Murder, Poetry - GTC

Beer Binge

A lot of kids in high school mature much faster than I and at age sixteen are already six-month veterans of dating, drinking, and pot smoking, and quite ready to play the expert when I decide to try alcohol and ask what it feels like to get drunk. Everyone assures me it’s fun and to […]

Also posted in Alcohol


street signs claim gun and drug free zone

Also posted in Crime, Guns, Poetry - GTC

Love Medicine

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Marriage, Sex

Yaqui Lopez Remembers

Please trust that people often used to tell me, “You have the best memory of anyone I ever met.” I could, and often still can, recall details of events decades ago and usually enhance the anecdote by noting the month and year: I moved to California in July 1958, I got my first car in […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Bobby Chacon, Boxing, Dementia Pugilistica, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Yaqui Lopez

Chapo Discusses Great Escape

This is Chapo Guzman’s first interview since escaping from the Atiplano high security prison fifty-five miles from Mexico City. His representatives blindfolded and administered narcotics to an anonymous journalist before taking him/her to meet the man. Anonymous Journalist – Congratulations on your thrilling escape. Chapo Guzman – Those cocksuckers were loco to think they could […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Donald Trump, Mexico, Murder, Prisons

Chapo Guzman Escapes

I am at once humiliated and outraged that hypocritical Mexican officials have fired me as director of Altiplano prison in Mexico and loudly accused me of incompetence if not outright cooperation in the recent escape by celebrity mass murderer and narcotics trafficker Chapo Guzman. That is unfair. I am merely one decent man in a […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Mexico, Murder, Prisons

Pimp Online

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Incest, Poverty, Prostitution, Slavery

Dear Friends

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Alcohol, Bankruptcy, Cocaine, Divorce, Economics, Friendship, Marriage

Bruce Jenner Opens Up

I was twenty-three in the spring of 1976 and often played basketball in the Sacramento State University gym and then drove to the all-weather track on the south side of campus and jogged before running wind sprints. People often complimented me for being in good shape, and I considered myself a stud but must’ve known […]

Also posted in Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, Elvis Presley, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Murder, Newspapers, O.J. Simpson, Sex, Television, Track & Field, Transgender

Here Comes the Bride

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Marriage, Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC

Curing Dan Gilbert

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Basketball, Chris Bosh, Cleveland, Dan Gilbert, Detroit, Dwyane Wade, Elvis Presley, Lebron James, Manu Ginobelli, Mental Health, Michael Jackson, Tim Duncan

Interview with Chapo

I’m a young reporter and delighted to be first to interview Chapo Guzman in his new cell at Altiplano, in the state of Mexico. I’ve met some celebrities but never such a big star. I imagine he must be pretty sad and discouraged living in a prison that has proven impregnable. Walls three feet thick […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Cocaine, Mexico, Murder

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 Alcohol, Barack Obama, Basketball, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Marijuana

Free Chapo Guzman

No one paid us. No one gave us food or alcohol. No one told us to march in the streets of Culiacan. We marched and carried signs with hundreds maybe thousands of others because we love Chapo Guzman and want him freed from prison immediately. Chapo is our hero. He creates jobs and gives money […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Cocaine, Mexico, Murder

Chapo Guzman’s Five-Star Prison

You think I’m worried they captured me. Don’t be dumb. I let them take me. I’m tired of hiding in hovels in the Sierra or scurrying like a rat through city tunnels. I want the good life I’ve earned as a billionaire and one of the world’s most dangerous men. I want luxury and safety […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico, Murder

Philip Seymour Hoffman

don’t want whole beer only half enough to fall

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

End of Suffering

Frankly, I don’t often feel well and really should say I never do. I don’t know what the problem is but try to feel better by smoking bath salts, not the stuff you use in the tub but a combination of chemicals that’re way stronger than amphetamines. This morning the bath salts hit me much […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Families, Mental Health, Murder

Prime Real Estate

Come on in. This Tijuana home may be modest but it’s yours for a tenth you’d pay in San Diego. Now, step back here and check out the kitchen. You won’t have to go out front or back doors. Leave through this fine tunnel and relax in the little rail car rolling seven hundred yards […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Marijuana, Mexico, San Diego, Short Pieces - GTC, Tijuana

Another Rogers Family Tragedy – Reggie Dies

This book is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Basketball, Cocaine, Donald Rogers, Football, Reggie Rogers, Sacramento, UCLA

Stanley Ketchel Survives

This story is part of the collection “Death in the Ring”

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

When Termperament Wins

This story is from the collection “Death in the Ring”

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

Adopting Sonny Liston

This story is part of the collection “Death in the Ring”

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

Barack Marijuana

Flanked by secret service agents I entered Oval Office and was stunned to see several people circled around presidential desk, inhaling, coughing, and passing pungent marijuana. As female aide placed joint to lips President Barack Obama lunged by three people, snatched smoke from her hands, shouted, “Intercepted,” and took deep drag he long held, as […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Marijuana, Politics, Short Pieces - GTC, Tobacco

The Hector Camacho Experience

I’m only fifteen but in jail and then out I can’t slow down and don’t want to everything’s moving so fast I have to fight fuck dance and talk and I love speeding in stolen cars and taking other things and get more excited in the ring. I’m so much quicker than opponents I belt […]

Also posted in Boxing, Cocaine, Crime, Hector Camacho, Julio Cesar Chavez, Murder, New York City, Oscar de la Hoya, Puerto Rico, Ray Leonard

Cocaine Budget

Prudent buyers know coke’s twenty-two hundred a kilo after harvest in Colombia, five grand in northern port of Cartagena, ten grand in violent Honduras, twelve in exotic Oaxaca, sixteen in Ciudad Juarez war zone, twenty-four in Dallas, home of America’s team, and twenty-seven thousand in New York City, where housing’s also damned expensive.

Also posted in Ciudad Juarez, Cocaine, Colombia, Dallas, Honduras, New York City, 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 Alcohol, Bakersfield, Education, Parties, Short Pieces - GTC

Freudian Advice

Sigmund Freud occasionally injected small amounts of cocaine under skin and effused it magically cured depression and induced euphoria while giving strength and endurance of ox. Believing delights caused “absolutely no craving” he wanted to share with fiancée he warned would soon kiss quite “red” to prove “big man with cocaine in body” is stronger […]

Also posted in Cocaine, Mental Health, PBS, Short Pieces - GTC, Sigmund Freud


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 Alcohol, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Quito Hills

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Brazil, Caracas, Crime, Ecuador, Poverty, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, South America, Venezuela

“La india” of Abraham Angel

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue” To see “La india,” 1923, by Abraham Angel, please click here.

Also posted in Abraham Angel, Art, Cocaine, Homosexuals, Mental Health, Painters, Poetry - GTC, Suicide

President Chapo Guzman

Come on. Admit it. You keep having to Google “new Mexican president” because you can’t remember Enrique Pena Nieto. He’s handsome but like generic model and smooth but so’s oily auto part. You know he represents old guard PRI that ruled dictatorially for decades, spoon feeding wealthy while ignoring poor. Trust me, Enrique Pena Nieto […]

Also posted in Chapo Guzman, Cocaine, Crime, Enrique Pena Nieto, Methamphetamine, Mexico, Murder

Travel Advice

Avoid crowded and dangerous Mexico City, stay way from torrid beaches, ignore over-hyped pyramids, and forget boring cathedrals. Instead, come to San Juan in infernal yet enchanting Nuevo León. Here you’ll meet friendly and forthright people. Don’t worry about forty-nine headless corpses on highway under welcoming white arch. Everything’s been cleaned up, and narcotics traffickers […]

Also posted in Crime, Mexico, Mexico City, Murder, Short Pieces - GTC

Tobacco: The Holdouts

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue”

Also posted in Art, Los Angeles, Painters, Robert Colescott, Tobacco

Mexican Journalists Murdered

routine news three mexican journalists found maimed in plastic bags week after female reporter strangled at home To read “Drug Rehabilitation in Ciudad Juarez,” please click here To read “Mexican Society Under Attack,” please click here

Also posted in Crime, Mexico, Poetry - GTC

Mass Murder in Mexico

Hasn’t been much new in search engines about discovery of hundred seventy-seven corpses near San Fernando, Mexico. Occasional reports reminded just eighty miles south of border Mexican authorities ignored mountain of unclaimed luggage in bus depot before finally digging holes and discovering mummified Central Americans and Mexicans who’d headed north to work. Some had been […]

Also posted in Agriculture, Crime, Google, Mexico, Short Pieces - GTC


stranded soul implodes

Also posted in Alcohol, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Mind Afire

mind afire doused with gas

Also posted in Alcohol, Mental Health, Poetry - 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 Alcohol, Bakersfield, Bodybuilding, Housing, Mixed Martial Arts, Murder, Neighborhoods, Wrestling

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 Alcohol, Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Families, Heroin, Marriage, Music, Whitney Houston

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 Alcohol, Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Music, Whitney Houston

Hot Rock

hot rock lungs tattoo brain To read other poems and features about cocaine, please click here

Also posted in Cocaine, Mental Health, Pigs - Oscar

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 Alcohol, Bobby Brown, Cocaine, Mental Health, Music, Whitney Houston

Remembering Mass Murder in San Fernando, Mexico

There hasn’t been much new news in search engines about the discovery one year ago of a hundred seventy-seven corpses near San Fernando, Mexico. Occasional reports merely reminded that just eighty miles south of Brownsville, Texas, Mexican authorities ignored a mountain of unclaimed luggage in a bus depot before finally digging holes and discovering mummified […]

Also posted in Agriculture, Crime, Google, Mexico, Poetry - GTC

Baby Food

mother grabs baby food jar on counter empties food rinses inside top back on knifes two holes then puts torn match book cover around hollow pen shaft shoving in smaller hole burns and cuts copper scrubber into other hole ready for rock soon ablaze

Also posted in Cocaine, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Nightmare Returns

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

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

Teddy Bear

mommy and daddy had rooms full of smelly chemicals rotting teeth and making act crazy and now at night i don’t even have my teddy bear cuz police said it’s contaminated Source – Performing Arts Christmas Extravaganza in Tehachapi, December 17, 2011. To read “Wired in Bed,” please click here

Also posted in Crime, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Poetry - GTC

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

Wired in Bed

cold night drunk in ‘eighties bar met chunky woman who showed some white powder we snorted in car at apartment she called woman who came sold more asked for hit and took three firing thousand words before leaving we burned noses and strained hearts couple hours before moving upstairs about two and were nonstop at […]

Also posted in Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Poetry - GTC, Sex

Rocks Afire

smoldering rocks burning white smoke me till you can’t

Also posted in Cocaine, Depression, Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Prostitutes in Madrid

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in George Thomas Clark, Immigration, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Prostitution, Spain

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 Alcohol, Bakersfield, Crime, Islam, Jordan, Main Al-Qudah, Marriage, Middle East, Rape, Religion, Saudi Arabia

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, Alcohol, Auburn, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Burbank, California, California Youth Authority, Carmel, Cars & Driving, Chico, Clint Eastwood, Coast Ranges, Construction, 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

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 Alcohol, 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 Alcohol, Basketball, Dreams, George Thomas Clark, Housing, Mental Health, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

John Boehner on the Tee

This story is from the collection “Obama on Edge”

Also posted in Barack Obama, Golf, John Boehner, Lobbyists, Republicans, Tobacco

Drug Rehabilitation in Ciudad Juarez

No one I knew used cocaine when I was a kid.  We just drank beer and smoked green mota.  Snorting coke was for rich and poor people in the United States.  It amazed me when I heard they were smoking it.  That sounded stupid.  They could do it all they wanted.  I only wanted to […]

Also posted in Crime, Mexico

Michael Jackson This Is It

A movie of rehearsals in a big empty room can’t excite like concerts alive with screaming fans, but I still hope you enjoy This Is It because that’s what it is.  My dancers show why when we first gather in March.  Hundreds have come from all over the world to compete in rigorous auditions from […]

Also posted in Documentaries, Mental Health, Michael Jackson, Movies, Music, Plastic Surgery

Alexis Arguello Explains

This story is part of the collection “Death in the Ring”

Also posted in Alexis Arguello, Boxing, Depression, Mental Health, Nicaragua, Suicide

Michael Jackson: 1958-2009

In the beginning the boy was wholesome and cute and sang like an angel and dazzled as a dancer.  His early musical success transcended that of most adult stars, and as a young man he generated the light of a supernova.  None of that, we must periodically remind ourselves, is helpful in shaping a tranquil […]

Also posted in Mental Health, Michael Jackson, Music, Plastic Surgery

Billie Holiday Visits Young Obama

This story is from the collection “Obama on Edge”

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

Crips and Bloods

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Crime, Crips & Bloods, Gangs, Los Angeles, Murder

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 Alcohol, Depression, Heath Ledger, Mental Health, Movies

Civil War in Mexico

At press conferences I proudly proclaimed the capture of safe houses and drug cartel hit men in Mexico City, and displayed their powerful weapons, bulletproof vests, and stacks of money.   Here’s what they’re doing, I told the Mexican people.  I want everyone to know that I, Edgar Millan Gomez, am the national police chief and […]

Also posted in Mexico, Mexico City, Murder, Police

Heath Ledger in Pain

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 Alcohol, Depression, Heath Ledger, Mental Health, Movies

A Book about the Rogers Family

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

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

Boehner Rebukes Republicans

This story is from the collection “Echoes from Saddam Hussein”

Also posted in Iraq, John Boehner, Lobbyists, Republicans, Tobacco

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 Alcohol, Bill Cosby, Depression, Lindsay Lohan, Mental Health, Movies

Mexican Society Under Attack

I can’t offer you my byline or a dateline for this column, and I wouldn’t describe the scene outside my window even if the drapes were open. They’ve been closed a long time in Mexico, and I don’t think that’ll change soon. I’ve got to stay quiet and out of sight, two things a journalist […]

Also posted in Felipe Calderon, Journalists, Mexico, Murder

Accepting Responsibility for Gang Violence

Driving home one recent night I inadvertently punched in a radio station offering the local news, that eternal barrage of murders, fires, and car crashes.  I would’ve turned to something more stimulating but was startled by the strident voice, half way to a yell, of a lady who in this story will be called Ann […]

Also posted in Gangs, Hate Crimes, Murder, Racism

Cycle of Abuse

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Bakersfield, Homeless, Mental Health, Poverty

Triumph and Tragedy

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Alcohol, Cocaine, Donald Rogers, 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 Alcohol, Hunter Thompson, Mental Health, Suicide, Writers