The fiercest hearts are in love with a wild perfection. —Stanley Kunitz

Advanced Bertian Theory

The fact that I’m a writer doesn’t really get mentioned at the game, mostly because it’s hard to instill fear and/or respect in other poker players when the fact that you’re a poet comes up. Who’s scared of a poet? Only a smaller poet, or a really young child.

We're Like Crystal, We Break Easy

You wanted to hear Blue Monday because the speakers were doing lovely and permanent damage to your delicate hearing and the strobes were strobing and you knew the dance floor was going to fill up and it was gonna be physical and sweaty and nearly perfect.

Alvarez and McManus

I'm reading A. Alvarez's The Biggest Game in Town, a book about
the 1981 World Series of Poker, and I ran across a quote about a poker
player losing his roll and then "sleeping for an hour, then crying for
an hour, then sleeping for an hour."

Tenderized and Terrorized

Ours is a tough game. Some new players have come for some action and then lasted for only one game; they come in, buy in for forty dollars, quickly get down to felt (run out of chips), get this shocked look on their faces—What the hell just happened?—and then never come back.

My Book Makes a Great Gift

Why the fuck isn’t my book selling? I stopped checking my sales rank when it sank into six digits. Now, it’s almost at seven digits. I am mortified. Reviews Reviews: I don't have any, and, at this point, it's a little embarrassing. There are some books on Amazon that one wouldn't think would have sold a single copy, but they have, and somebody has taken the time to write a review. So, you lazy bastards, I thought that I'd help you out by giving you some sample reviews  that you can borrow and make your very own.

This book is  so beautiful, that if it were sitting at a bar, I'd go up to it and "make my move," probably get shot down, and then go home and weep gently into my pillow.

A Poker Emergency

If you want to take my money playing poker, get really, really drunk.

Let’s Ride the Pony, Gentlemen

It was Ivan’s turn to deal. After the deal, we all go to look at our
cards before the first round of betting. Ivan, to “get it started
right,” then says, “Let’s ride the pony, gentlemen.” There was a
horrible, awkward pause.

I Know What You Dig, Baby

We both know what you’re into, and it’s cool with me.

I Love Canada Like a Republican Loves Injustice: A Lot

The West Coast Museum Tour culminates in Vancouver, a town that I love all out of proportion to the amount of time that I actually spent there. Explanation: for grad school, I went to the University of Washington (the less said about that place, the better), and whenever I needed to chill out, I would drive up to Vancouver for some excellent Chinese food (go to Hon’s for the pot stickers) and then walk around Stanley Park, looking out at the bay and thinking vaguely sad and romantic thoughts. I'm a poet, man, give me a break.
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