Though I’ve tried my hand at longer pieces (short stories and, yes, a novel), I’m most interested in “miniatures,” prose pieces, some narrative, some purely rhetorical, that are composed (at least initially) in a single act and that fit on a single page. I suppose one might call them "improvisations." In some ways this technique is the result of an artistic limitation: I simply have not yet learned how to compose long narratives. But the choice is also a natural one, given my familiarity with shorter forms (poems), and my interest in the dramatic, i.e. the performative aspect of language as opposed to its informative aspect.
I’ve written a number of literary review essays and personal essays, some of which have been published. I take the word essay in its literal sense, as an “attempt”–– at what? At clarifying a certain problem or exploring a troublesome question. It is above all this investigative and provisional aspect of the essay that attracts me. I try to write the sort of essays I want to read, essays in which I learn something new–– not by being told, not by having someone share his or her wisdom with me, but by example: here is someone exploring honestly and dialectically a matter of importance. In other words, I like essays that seem to embody the process of thinking, rather than simply conveying what has been thought. Writing this, I realize there is a connection here to the way I think about stories and poems too: as dramatic acts, as performances. The trick is of course to do it gracefully. For me, the great inspiration here is Albert Camus, whose lyrical essay “Return to Tipasa,” for example, is a masterpiece it requires every fiber of my will not to imitate.
Since April, 2009, I have been writing theatre and dance reviews for The Mountain XPress, an independent news, arts and events weekly based in Asheville, NC. Visit www.mountainx.com/theatre/ for current postings, or click on the "theatre reviews" link to the right.