My Pitch Video and Application for the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition 2018

I learned about the Holman Prize from my Friend Laurie Rubin last year, but did not have the time, nor a clear project to pitch, but this year I was ready and waiting! I managed to talk Alabaster into being my videographer, and we learned so much in the filming and editing of this little video, that I’m pleased to… Read more

Aromatica Poetica, My New Magazine Dedicated to the Arts & Sciences of Smell

Aromatica Poetica combines our love of literature with our love of smell in a colossal endeavor to promote and celebrate the oft-disparaged sense, the “fallen angel,” as one of our inspirations Helen Keller named it in her attempt to raise it. We hope to give beautiful language to a sense that is usually denied literary efforts, and in such a… Read more

Mapping & Mixing the Senses at the Mall of America, Essay 8 of #52essays2017

This is my answer to the Mall of America Writer-in-Residence application question “What would you like to write about during your writer residency? ” which doubles as my #52essays2017, written with all four senses and remembered sight, offering this busy week of state and house-hopping. I will write about beauty with all four senses and remembered sight. What is beautiful… Read more

Adulterated Rose or, The Smell of Regrettable Youth, Essay 7 of #52essays2017

The guy with the hard metal name was beautiful in my degenerate eye. Beautiful with a girlfriend. And a Volkswagen bus. This was around the time of the earthquake of ’89, when the influences of flower power still loomed large in San Francisco. I’d been pining for so long and then he said they’d broken up. We climbed into his… Read more

Hannibal: From Acting to Aromatics, essay 4 of #52essays2017

Two winters ago, I got a call from my agent in LA to tape an audition for Hannibal, and it led me on a journey from stars in my eyes to a brand-new appreciation of smell. I was, as an actor, thoroughly green. I did not even know that for TV/film auditions you sit or stand still with the camera… Read more

Helen Keller on Smell, The Fallen Angel

[“SMELL, THE FALLEN ANGEL” is Chapter SIX of The World I Live In (originally published in 1908), a magnificent book that tells of sensations beyond seeing and hearing. It is also the book from which I took the heartbreaking preface that ends Helen Keller Tries To Tell You Her Story. This has been gently edited for apparent scanning errors and… Read more