A Three-Strikes Sojourn

“Dey, wake up. You have court today.”Oh man. Here we go. Judgment and sentencing. I was about to feel the entire weight of the drug war era justice system… More

Shame

Mama always took me with her to pick up her paycheck at the café on Wednesday afternoons. Sitting on a stool at the counter, sipping a chocolate shake, I… More

Pictures Don’t Lie

So, I’m looking at this car, right. It’s a mess. Yeah, it’s not going anywhere. It looks like a spaghetti strainer. Holes everywhere. Big holes.I’m thinking, “What’s up with… More

Why I Care

Doing outreach work in the Bayview-Hunters Point area of San Francisco can be fun, also dangerous, as the district has seen countless shootings of youth. I was working as… More

Poetrical Muralism

Growing up in the aftermath of the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 70s, my generation and I were the beneficiaries of an abundance of free Chicano health clinics,… More

Origami Heart

When I pick one up at mail call I feel it slide back and forth in the flimsy blue and red striped airmail envelope, a core of your words and so much emptiness enclosed. More

Gregory Rabassa

As one who works at spreading an awareness of what people are writing and saying in other languages through translation, I have long celebrated the labors of PEN American… More

August

The nation at war was not a permanent landscape: Bonnie’s New York, the real New York, was a distant, gleaming city in a lost decade. A lost Bonnie existed… More

Keep Out

There is an American tradition of responding to threats by confusing thoughts with acts and temporarily forgetting what Jefferson set down, in 1779, as one of the country’s founding… More