After two and a half years of writing and rewriting, editing and re-editing, I am thrilled to have my two books out in the world! With a Good Heart: A Walk From LA to Brooklyn and Imagine the Sea: One Hundred Poems From a Long Walk (a companion book of poetry) are available for purchase! Please consider buying them through the publisher’s website. You can … Continue reading BUY BOOKS HERE!
I wake up to thunder. Directly overhead. Not the sharp, crackling kind, but rather a nonstop grumble that makes it impossible to count Mississippis after orange strobes flash inside my tent like paparazzi. Last night I strategically set up camp under the canopy of a tall tree, but the rain is falling like hammers and I’m taking a beating anyhow. I know the cloudburst won’t … Continue reading Final Countdown Story: Rogersville, TN
My brother Mike and I weren’t super tight growing up. Likely because I took an inordinate amount of joy in harassing him insufferably. I distinctly remember the pleasure I’d feel when my teasing made him cry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he now discusses such things with a therapist. But as they generally do, things changed as we grew older, and the beginnings of our … Continue reading Countdown Story #13: Hutto, TX
An older white woman slows her car to a stop and wants to know what I’m raising money for. Her crunched face assures me my answer doesn’t compute. “Oh – I thought you were the man I saw on the news,” she says. “The Black man walking across America with a lawn mower. Mowing folks’ lawns along the way to build community.” I apologize, tell … Continue reading Countdown Story #12: Mount Crawford, VA
I can’t figure out how the hell I got poison ivy on my butt crack. And I’m pretty damn sure it is, in fact, poison ivy. But I’m no doctor, so it very well may be something else. Either way, the screaming and mysterious eruption is causing major distress I’m at my goddamned wit’s end. After a shower in my hotel room’s off-kilter tub, I … Continue reading Countdown Story #11: Texarkana, TX
Just beyond Lucifer’s Liquor Store, a customer at a roadside antique shop calls me over. Hands me twenty bucks then promptly gets in his silver Mercedes and peels away. I stay and chat for a while with Rod, the shop owner. I ask if he’s originally from the area. “Yep. Grew up on a farm not far from here,” he says. “Was up at 3:00 … Continue reading Countdown Story #10: Jasper, TN
Still on the Trace, I walk past a man sitting in his parked truck on the roadside. He calls me over and I oblige. He exits the vehicle and we give each other a thorough once-over. On his t-shirt is an image of a guitar and a punny slogan that says, Pick Jesus, I Have. His black leather vest is biker style. On the left … Continue reading Countdown Story #9: Natchez Trace Parkway, AL
After crossing into Virginia, I beeline toward the nearest gas station where I’ll celebrate another state with bad coffee and a big danish. Along the way I pass a marquee at the entrance of St. Anne’s Catholic Church. It says, “In the tapestry of life, we are all connected.” I park Little Buddy on the quiet side of a station mini-mart and head inside … Continue reading Countdown Story #8: Bristol, VA
As I rest on the curb on the shady side of a gas station, a young Black man in khaki shorts, a pink polo, and tortoise shell glasses approaches. His elbows are locked with his hands in pockets. “Hey there, sir. Where you coming from?” he asks. “Los Angeles,” I say. His face tells me that wasn’t the answer he was expecting. He careens to … Continue reading Countdown Story #7: Friendship, AR
Ray and Jimmy invite me to their alley stoop then commiserate about their friendship. “You know how sometimes God puts someone in your path?” Ray says. “That’s what happened with us.” Their adoring eyes meet. Ray lets out a nervous laugh. “Yeah. It’s our energy that brought us together,” Jimmy says. They take turns telling me where to go and what to do in San … Continue reading Countdown Story #6: San Antonio, TX
As I span the two bridges across the Neches River to complete the last few of the day’s 30 miles, I imagine a flat and safe place for my tent on the opposite side. Maybe at the water’s edge. I yearn for a restful night with my body pressed against the earth. Within a quarter-mile of the bridge, there’s a sign for the Camper’s Cove … Continue reading Countdown Story #5: Flint, TX
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