first round game
(9) the damned, “shadow of love”
(8) clan of xymox, “louise”
and play on in the second round
Read the essays, watch the videos, listen to the songs, feel free to argue below in the comments or tweet at us, and consider. Winner is the aggregate of the poll below and the @marchvladness twitter poll. Polls closed @ 9am Arizona time on March 6.
A TREATISE ON NARCISSISM IN THE SMALLTOWN ADOLESCENT MALE: p.r. griffis on “louise”
In 1985, when “Louise” came out, I was in stuck way out in the post-agrarian landscape of central Texas. Your flavors, if you were a white kid, were country (lots to most), top forty, then dominated by various hair metallists (Poison, Bon Jovi, etc.), or classic rock, most prominent of these, of course, Led Zeppelin.
Louise, it seemed a long time ago
Louise, I'll always remember that day
I crawled on my knees
Begging you to stay
You made me shiver, Louise
You made me quiver
And but so, “Louise,” by Dutch proto-gothists Clan of/Xymox. Sometimes they are Xymox, sometimes Cult of Xymox. On the band’s Netscape Navigator-era website, singer/songwriter/last remaining original member Ronny Moorings explains that this CoX/X naming convention is dictated by changes in lineup, going on to say that Xymox was a moniker he’d made up for himself when he was a kid, but that instead of calling himself Xymox, he decided to make a band of it instead.
Xymox, then, his multiply incarnated persona. Clan of Xymox, Cult of Ronny, last remaining original member.
All the components are here in “Louise” for this to be a goth track. The swirling synth, the electronic drums that sounds like a drum machine but is in fact a human person whapping away on rubber, the Ian Curtis/Peter Murphy groaning baritone, a great weight pressed upon him, always him. An Atlas of emotional tumult, or more precisely, its aftermath. Spent from longing. Shivering in the cold, ashes of the aftermath of punk’s white-hot scorch.
Goth. Blame Edgar Allen Poe. Blame Byron and Shelley. Blame Goethe’s Sturm und Drang ass. Goth is a sorrowful young Werther with a drum machine. A wasting illness in musical form.
I could have written these lyrics. I may have written these lyrics. How do I show rather than tell how tortured I am? Shivering and forgetting, blinded in these empty streets, engaging in aqua-speleology.
This song illuminates the truth that I could have been goth, had I known what goth was, had I known that there was such a way to express my childhood angst, had I the strength of will, had I not been invincibly ignorant of such a means of personal expression.
Had I discovered Co/X in high school by who-knows-what-means, I would have listened to them in secret, the way I listened to Led Zeppelin I, nursing sickly hopes of the girl I wrote a shitty poem for, modeled on the romantic, proclaiming my willingness to scale Olympian heights to prove my pure and perfect ardor. I don’t remember all of it, but the last line went, approximately:
Because I hear, as in dreams
The wind whisper her name:
And if that was painful to read that, think how I feel.
There were no mental health services. There was metal, and there was methamphetamine, and so I made do.
Colleen wasn’t looking to make her life any more complicated than it already was.
I’ve always imagined goth musicians being too emotionally incapacitated to fuck. A depth of pain even in bringing forth the words. What would he do with Louise were he to get her back, besides sit in a darkened room and stare at her with unnerving intensity for an uncomfortable amount of time?
Like the goths, I didn’t even want to fuck. I thought I wanted something higher, nobler. But really, I think it was a terror of intimacy. That, and narcissism. Which is, of course, at the heart of romanticism, which is, of course, at the heart of goth, and thus at the heart of “Louise.”
Colleen, object of my noble obsession, ended up with a dude of my acquaintance who just wanted to fuck, and things went alright for them for a while, long enough for them to get out of Italy Texas, which is all it’s ever really about.
But then, you can take the youth out of Italy Texas…
Was there ever really a Louise? Was there ever a Colleen?
Artist Herbert Duprat has provided caddisfly larvae with an aquarium filled with flecks of gold, rubies and lapis and other precious and semi-precious stones, and the caddisfly larvae are equally happy to cobble some incredibly floss cases out of these.
The caddisfly larvae builds a protective case out of what’s at hand in the ponds and streambeds where they spend their early larval lives.
There was no internet in Italy Texas in 1985, and thus no Napster. There was no MTV. We wanted our MTV, but so tough shit. The radio was our only source for music, how we knew when tickets to the arena rock shows would go on sale. I could not, then, imagine going to a show that didn’t take place in some sort of sports venue. Dio and Megadeth at Reunion Arena. Van Halen and Metallica at the Cotton Bowl. Pink Floyd at Texas Stadium.
Now, I do the strangest things
I think such lonely thoughts
Just forgetting you, Louise
Anything at all
Not to think of you
Anything at all
There was Country, there was Top Forty, then dominated by soft-edge Hair Metallists like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison. We were too far flung for college radio. REM was edgy. We wanted our MTV, but so tough shit. We had to make do with grainy VHS somebody’s cousin had taped in a larger, better town.
Sport stadiums were our music venues. We didn’t know about club shows. We didn’t know about dance clubs. And there is no goth without dance clubs.
We didn’t know about dancing, either.
In 1985, I lived with my grandmother, who worked at the post office. We didn’t have money for Nikes of any stripe (or swoosh). Them shits were like sixty bucks, and it wasn’t in her depression-era ethos to spend money unnecessarily. Shoes, she said, were shoes. And thus it was Pro Wings from the Payless, Ponys from the Wal-Mart. They were new shoes, which I went through about then with shocking rapidity, and I knew I should be grateful and so I tried very hard to be, but.
There were Pro Wing shoes looked like Jordans, but were not Jordans. You wore them, and you told everyone that you didn’t care, that these shoes were just as good as Jordans, but everybody knew you were an off-brand motherfucker. They knew where you’d gotten them shits.
I would kill for a pair of those Pro Wing knock-off Jordans now.
I wanted to be popular, and so I tried to assemble a persona out of parts I’d seen others enact successfully. But I worked against myself. A black denim jacket instead of blue. Brown tortoiseshell knock-off Ray-Bans instead of black. Those goddamned Pro Wings that I would kill for now.
I wanted to be like other kids, which is to say an idealized version of those other kids.
In 1985, I was still a half-decade off from meeting my college freshman dorm mate, Ben, who introduced me to Bauhaus, Nitzer Ebb, Nine Inch Nails, the JAMC, etc., and etc. Ben, who began my goth tutelage, who wore eyeliner and black mock-turtlenecks and wanted to be Peter Murphy at least as much as anyone has wanted anything ever.
I feel I'm getting weaker
A life blue on gloomy waves
I feel I am diving deeper
Into the darkest caves
There's nothing at all to find a way
Was there ever a Clan of Xymox, or only ever Xymox, multiply incarnated?
Hair is, of course, a crucial staple of youthful expression. Our hair tells others who we think we are, who we aspire to be. I tried spiking my curly hair, back then in ‘85. But all the pink Dep gel in the world couldn’t coax those pointy tips into being.
I tried to cultivate a bit of rebellion-in-the-back, but my hair kinked and rolled, resisting the forms I would have it take. What was meant to be a flowing wing of individuality off the back of my skull and down my shoulders stayed safely tucked at the base of my neck.
With what, except from what is around us, would we ever cobble an identity together? The milieu of synth and baritone, a guitar line from here, a mood from there. Of course we enjoy Clan of/Xymox, because all its component pieces are so goddamned familiar.
The Italy High School dress code forbade hair touching the collar for dudes. Or pierced ears for dudes. You couldn’t wear shorts in that stultifying Texas heat. You had to tuck in your shirt. The dress code may have survived intact from when my dad graduated from that self-same school in 1968.
I wish I’d had the access and means to be goth. I had the sense of being existentially wronged that classic rock and metal could only get near to.
Colleen could see my deeply problematic ass coming a long way off. It wasn’t my off-brandedness, but something deeper, an essential off-ness about me in every other wise. It wasn’t the Pro Wings or the knock-off Members Only jacket (the brand was called Numbers Only, and you got it at Wal-Mart, and the pleather peeled in no time flat). It wasn’t my failed mullet but how hard I tried to cultivate one, how hard I tried to be everything I wasn’t. I didn’t have the first fucking clue how to go about discovering who I was, because I didn’t know that was even a thing.
Here’s the thing about goth, about the velvet-clad romantics. About me. It isn’t about the putative object: The Louise, the Lenore, the Colleen.
It’s a self, masturbating in front of a mirror in a darkened room. Louise is his reflection in a darkened mirror. I didn’t know what I wanted. To have a stable point in a terrifyingly uncertain world, maybe. Someone to love me, to prove I was loveable, to show me how to love myself.
It’s a room that’s dark by choice.
Had I been goth, I could have pouffed my hair up like Robert Smith and any number of other musicians with hair like my hair. But even if I’d had the gumption to pull off some such radical, outside-the-outsideness, I couldn’t have known about options like that.
I was chock-full of desperate plans. I thought that getting my hair chemically straightened would make it possible to have long-rather-than-big hair. And in so doing, right about the time “Louise” was synth-slinking its way through the speakers of black-walled dance clubs redolent with the sweetish smoke of incinerated Syzygium aromaticum, I became the only white kid in Italy Texas with a blow-out afro.
Check that. The brothers were all kicking box cuts and high-top fades by then, proto-New Jack, and so I was the only kid in Italy Texas with a blow-out afro.
Fuck this song. This is the song that’s playing at the dance club at 3 am, when the cool kids have gone off to have dispassionate sex with one another on the floor of someone’s apartment, and your own drugs have either worn off or you’ve finally had to accept the fact that the ecstasy you bought was actually Tylenol, and no amount of wishful searching inside yourself is going to make your life one iota less unsatisfying.
This song is that Honda Rebel motorcycle that my friend rode around on, which looked like a cruiser but had a 50cc engine and it sounded like a toy that was about to blow up.
This song is that pair of Pro Wing Jordans.
That kid could, to his credit, rock a serious mullet. But his hair was red, and his face was round and peppered with freckles, and I called him Pie-face behind his back, which ingratiated me with the cool kids, as did my calling his faux-cruiser the sewing machine. As in, y’all see pie-face ripping around on the sewing machine the other day?
We could have been goth together, me and Pie-face, if I hadn’t jettisoned him in eighth grade, on account of his lack of cultural capital. I mean, I was barely scraping by, socially speaking. That kid was weight.
Listening to Cult of Xymox in general, and “Louise” in particular, reminds me how off-brand I was as a kid, how large and impossible my hopes, how desperately I tried to overcome what is essentially meaningless shit, the things one meets in life and either goes through or around, and in going around, loses essential moments of growth.
I could have been goth. I could have forged an identity based on not fitting in, instead of the one I did forge on trying very hard to fit in.
But so, Co/X: An album entitled Subsequent Pleasures? Could you hump Joy Division’s leg any harder?
Goth says: We feel nothing. We are so far into the pain that we’re past it. We’re post-pain. We’re goth. We are paving the way for Industrial Metal, which will be far more commercially successful than we are, filling the arenas standing forlorn in the wake of Hair Metal, while we continue to play the clubs.
Louise, Louise, Louise
My heart used to beat
Now it only weeps
Louise, Louise, Louise
Uncaring, the city sleeps
I'm twisted in the streets
The Victorians, with their various wasting illnesses. OG heroin chic. Velvet clad, brooding around under an overcast sky. See him there, mourning his lost love. His Louise, his Lenore, his Colleen. Standing there above the moors, cruel winds whipping about him; where last he saw his love, just, you know, feeling it.
There must be death to ponder. These memento mori. Hamlet seeing his own reflection in Yorick’s skull. Seeing his reflection in Ophelia’s watery end. Hamlet’s loss greater than Laertes, greater than her loss of life.
It would have ended the same. Goth or no. Black clad with my eyeliner running in the rain, I would have played “Louise” outside of Colleen’s family’s single-wide, synth and drum machine blaring out of a D-battery draining jambox held over my head. I could have stood there outside her bedroom window like that until those D-batteries ran all the way down, “Louise” on repeat, and she wouldn’t have come out, because she had better sense than that.
I thought she could save me, somehow. He thinks Louise could have saved him.
This is, of course, about salvation, and the aftermath of its shunting, and how we can only ever save ourselves, if we’re lucky.
Maybe Co/X’s essentially derivative nature is no more their fault than my off-brand persona was mine. Maybe it’s because they’re Dutch. What the fuck can the Dutch know about post-punk? England had Thatcher, and we had a somnambulant b-movie actor who’d lucked his way into a starring role in a block buster, and the Germans had the wall, and the way that boundary acted as a kind of estuarial for cultural development. The Dutch had health care and bicycles and sound, non-interventionist government and natural gas reserves to here in the midst of the eighties energy crisis.
But maybe lyrics aren’t the point. Maybe lyrics are the excuse for the song. If not for the writer, then for the receiver, the listener. The human voice as just one more instrument, adding texture. Maybe it’s equally impotent to try to parse meaning from the synth, the drum machine.
This song playing in the dance club at 3:30 in the a.m., not enough bodies to absorb the sound, a near-entirely empty dance floor, your eyes closed, swaying, waiting for the drugs to take hold, or back the fuck off, trying to collect oneself sufficient to leave. Focusing on the music, the voice another instrument, focusing on that, and not on imagining what one looks like there on the empty dance floor, not/hoping that one of these other leftovers, those remainders, will find this sufficiently compelling for you not to spend the night alone.
Everyone is somewhere else, somewhere better.
I would have played Louise in the car at night, driving too fast down twisting backroads, imagining what it would be like if I crashed, if I died, how every girl I emptily obsessed over would rue the squandered opportunity to be the sole object of my romantic passions, the reflection in my darkened mirror.
There is something so deeply satisfying about imagining one’s death when one is young, and how one’s loss will destroy the people we said we loved before we knew fuck-all, except how existentially painful it is to be alive.
I went to Colleen’s house after I’d wrecked my car, walked there in the darkness, imagined how I would look to her, bloodied but alive. So, so alive. But haunted. Definitely haunted. This is what my love for you has driven me to. This is the depth of my tragic love. I have destroyed a car in the attempt to destroy myself.
It wasn’t about her, or anyone else, ever. I think she might have told me exactly that.
Maybe if I’d just worn all black and eyeliner and pouffed my hair up like Robert Smith and listened to “Louise,” et al, on repeat, I wouldn’t have had to wreck cars and smash my fists into things. Maybe I could have embraced my jaggedness, my sadness, my terror. It wasn’t okay to be weird, and I was weird. I tried to make my weirdness fit in places it wasn’t meant to go. Stoner. Jock. Psychopath.
I am shivering (I feel)
I am quivering (I feel)
Into the strangest things
Lonely thoughts, forgetting you, Louise
And you promised me, you promised me
You told me empty lies
No longer interfere
Leave me, leave me
What if I could have just been weird?
What if I could have just been goth?
When I heard there were people who slept in coffins, I wanted to sleep in a coffin. I think I thought that if I put enough pressure on myself, a la coal-to-diamond, I would become substantial, substantiated. This too great mass of vapor become water droplets or tears.
I was a seething mass of unfortunateness. The kid with the blow-out fro and Pro Wings, trying desperately to fit in, listening to Led Zeppelin and Motley Crue at high volume, sitting on my army cot, thinking about people who had better things to think about, their own existential pain among them.
There was nothing in the student handbook about dudes wearing fingernail polish, black or otherwise. I could have worn black fingernail polish. I could have worn eyeliner. These were things so outside the pale they didn’t have to be proscripted in the student handbook. I didn’t know about those loopholes, so I didn’t exploit them.
Of course, they didn’t have to be. In the same way that there was no proscription against skirts or bell-bottoms or openly expressing same-sex attraction. They could trust the student body to police these cultural infractions.
I want to go back in time to that kid with the failed mullet, the blow-out fro and the peeling Numbers Only jacket. I want to tell him to shave that failed mustache. I want to tell him it’s okay to not fit in, to choose (e) None of the above. I want to tell him to celebrate that shit, revel in his awkward, beautiful weirdness. I want to tell him to explore that shit, because when else as in youth can you do so with such abandon, and with such little real and lasting consequence? I want to hand him some eyeliner and a bottle of black nail polish, tell him that right now isn’t forever. I don’t want to hand him Clan of Xymox’s “Louise,” because he deserves better. The Smiths (yes, the Smiths are goth as fuck, or at least Morrissey is; listen to “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” and tell me otherwise), say. Joy Division, say. The JAMC. Anything but this off-brand motherfucker.
Or but so maybe yes. This as a beginning, a start. A means by which. Through, rather than around, first piece of ethos to which all else may adhere.
PR Griffis is currently shopping a novel and finishing an essay collection about Smalltown Texas. This is a picture of him in 1985, when he was not goth, but totally could have been.
The Vladness of Vanian/The Damned are Undead: lawrence lenhart on "shadow of love”
The first track on Phantasmagoria ends with a trumpet whinnying like a spooked horse. The anthemic pipe organ sustains over rebounding snare flams. The song fades, fades some more. Queue track two. From that silence, there’s a belch of reverb. Something wicked is shoveled into a furnace. There’s some up-down picking along an A-minor chord, but then, the goth overtones are tucked under a suspiciously groovy bass line and up-tempo drums. Dave Vanian’s first lyrics are oddly meta, like he’s settling some score among his bandmates: “I’m calling the track / I’m calling the track / don’t be afraid to stand in the shadow of love.” It is a christening. One wonders what drummer Rat Scabies  would have called this one.”  Vanian gets his way. This song, his song, is “The Shadow of Love.”
In retrospect, high school was a waste of energy. 1. I’d mow the extra-large suburban lawn, whack its weeds along the perimeter, yank out the thorny bull thistle, all for a glass of pink lemonade and a twenty-dollar bill. 2. Mom would drive me to the mall. I’d buy a CD or a shirt, begging for a little extra because Westmoreland County’s taxes were higher—and I wanted a button or patch. Yes, at Hot Topic, where else? I already told you: these were the suburbs, 2003. 3. I’d wear the shirt—Operation Ivy, Misfits, Descendents, NOFX, Pennywise, and The Casualties were all in rotation freshman year—and while my friends knew (and often taught me) the difference between ska and skate, horror and hardcore, pop and oi—at least once a week, someone would study me head to toe and label me “goth” with derision, dismissal, even the occasional drubbing.  I only made the mistake of clarifying once: “I’m not goth, I’m punk.” I said it like some kind of clique taxonomist. I spent too much time waiting for the grass to grow back.
While Dylan going electric may have riled my parents, another generation’s subculture groaned at The Damned going goth. An essential punk band, maybe the first punk band , The Damned’s Damned Damned Damned lays the groundwork for all the angst, sadism, and rabble-rousing that punk is now known for. London Calling, Rocket to Russia, Nevermind the Bollocks? Been there, done that. For one of these tees, I’ll meet you in the fitting room of the local Kohl’s. Even your parents, who were bumping and hustling through the seventies, will obnoxiously drum on the dashboard when they hear “Blitzkrieg Bop” like it’s the B-side for the Happy Days theme song. The Damned stayed under the radar, even in their native UK. Guitarist Captain Sensible puts it like this: “[Our single] ‘New Rose’  beat the others by six months… possibly because while the other bands were waiting for big money labels, we signed with a tiny indie called Stiff, doing it the ‘punk’ way.” Add a few personnel changes, including the loss of principal songwriter Brian James, and a shift to an even obscurer genre in the eighties, and The Damned were doomed to never know the fluorescence of Kohl’s, the leather of your parents’ Camry, the “big money.”
To be fair, my MySpace avatar was a photograph of me in a casket (2003-2006):
And Gianni tried her best to style my hair like goth royalty Robert Smith.
And I was in a band called Dead Within. Our only album (self-titled, but mysteriously in Italian) was Morte Dentro:
And we looked like this, sometimes worse.
The Damned was never purely punk. A former gravedigger, Vanian played shows in a vampiric getup from the start—white-powdered face with black lipstick,  slicked-back hair, often wearing gloves and a leather jacket, an Edwardian tuxedo and sunglasses. It was like when he learned that Bela Lugosi had died à la Bauhaus,  he began auditioning for the role of Count Dracula. To get a sense of how visually anomalous The Damned were, Brian James said, “Other groups had safety pins and the spitting and bondage trousers, but you went to a Damned show, and half the local cemetery would be propped up against the stage.” With its ambient arpeggios and “Bro Hymn”-like chants, “The Shadow of Love” is the most straight-faced goth song on Phantasmagoria (and in the entire Damned catalog). So many of the other tracks are delivered with a wink. Take the other single, “Grimly Fiendish,” for example. Its harpsichord is gothic caricature, the stuff of vaudeville and dark cabaret. As music critic Stephen Toman puts it, the song is “a cartoonish, twisted take on the theatrical mini-operas of The Kinks, with the music dominated by [Vanian’s] deep crooning voice.”  Elsewhere on the album, soprano quavers over an organ in fugue. Without Vanian’s vocal gravitas and Scabies’ unstoppable percussion, the whole endeavor would register as campy goth. Think Jason Segel singing his Dracula musical in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
There were goths in my hometown, the most prominent being those who belonged to the gothic shock rock collective Womb Raider. Their leader, let’s call him Pushnik , was a mortician’s apprentice. Just a couple years out of high school, he had done the unthinkable: let his recreational fascination with the macabre evolve into a profession. It seemed more imprudent than the belief that any one of us would make an actual career out of music. It was like he wanted to prove to us that death really was his idea of fun. I wanted to say, We believe you, man. Now cut it out. It was probably impossible for me to believe at the time that he could have meant it. He would show us the embalming solution in his trunk, talk romantically about rigor mortis and draining the body’s fluids, tell us necrophilic stories that smacked of creepypasta, but had a conspicuous note of the personal. On stage, he was a maniac, victimizing the front row, swinging the neck of his bass toward temples and breasts, occasionally charging the crowd with his instrument like it was a battering ram. He spat on our faces, sometimes stubbed cigarettes on our backs. Another bandmate, who served only as a conductor, wore a black tutu and gestured his baton at Pushnik, affecting the melodic curve and tempo. Pushnik would launch into a dismal crooning. If the conductor pantomimed the slitting of his own neck, Pushnik would hoist a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary above his head (they seemed to have an endless supply, rumored to be lifted from local gravesites) and spike it against the venue’s floor, turning the mother of Jesus into shards. The last time I saw Womb Raider, Pushnik assaulted the conductor. He snatched the baton and switched his bandmate with it. Through all the theatrics, we had forgotten it was just misanthropic improv. We detained Pushnik as the wandless conductor writhed in pain.
This kind of violence is reminiscent of the time Vanian chased Captain Sensible with a shotgun through a studio all because the latter had laid down some irreverent backing vocals. Vanian, upset Sensible hadn’t yielded to his creative vision—indeed, Sensible was mocking it—even fired a few rounds into the sky. I’m calling the track… I’m calling the track… There’s something undemocratic about gothic music. Like, when one finds themselves constantly inhabiting the midnight shadows and fiendish dreamscapes, hollow homes and gloomy streets (just to call out a few of the uncanny locales from Phantasmagoria), all this fantastical isolation makes them comfortable acting out of radical self-interest. This is why punk appealed to me instead; it was insular too, but also idealistic, cooperative, humane.
Punk has always been an existential genre. Its aggressive genesis seemed to coincide with its evaporation into post-punk. Sid Vicious died. The Clash confounded us with their reggae. The Ramones ill-advisedly bought an acoustic guitar. And The Damned, they did their goth thing for a little while. For most acts, punk was certifiably dead; for The Damned, though, it was only undead.
 Imagine typing “Rat Scabies” into a search engine, and all results lead to the image of your face.
 On the expanded version of Phantasmagoria, there is a Sandy-Nelson-inspired drum solo track called “Let There Be Rats.” Indeed!
 It didn’t help this was the same year South Park debuted its goth coterie, Cthulhu cultist caricatures who wore heavy makeup, fingerless gloves, and ruffled tuxedo shirts.
 When a genre’s starting point is in contention, one must be decisive: As punk’s firstborn, The Damned is where early punk meets ur punk.
 Critic Ned Raggett (what a name!) called “New Rose” a “deathless anthem of nuclear-strength romantic angst.”
 … a Cotard’s Delusion
 One thing that’s always bothered me about the Bauhaus song: It’s a hella belated death notice. Lugosi died a quarter-century before the track was released.
 One can hear the moody echoes of Vanian in Glenn Danzig’s Misfits and Davey Havok’s AFI.
 …also the name of a pornographic adventure film
 After a quick search, he’s still an active mortician at a Southwestern Pennsylvania funeral home, balder and smilier than I remember.
 I mean, Crass released “Punk is Dead” just two years after the movement took off.
Lawrence Lenhart studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh and holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. His essay collections are The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage (Outpost19) and Of No Ground (forthcoming from West Virginia University Press). His prose appears in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor of fiction, nonfiction, and climate science writing at Northern Arizona University, and editor at DIAGRAM.