Good Behavior
Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

by Emile DeWeaver
 
Watching the coverage of the Ghost Ship fire that struck my hometown of Oakland, I’m struck by how, as a nation, we play the blame game.
Adventures in Library Standing

Adventures in Library Standing

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I have this thing I do when I see a book lying unattended. I check the copyright page to see what printing the book is in, and then I read the first sentence of the first chapter.
A Weapon of Mass Satisfaction

A Weapon of Mass Satisfaction

by Emile DeWeaver
 
Someone was about to perform a musical, and while Les Miserables and childhood memories of The Sound of Music have seeded some appreciation for the genre, a musical is hardly something I’d shirk work to watch.
Blasphemy

Blasphemy

by Emile DeWeaver
 
A poet held a workshop in San Quentin and told the class, “We shouldn’t fool ourselves. Poetry is not going to change the world.”
The Cure for Broken Noses

The Cure for Broken Noses

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I think we are off course, mainly because I hear very few people arguing the obvious. We need to stop locking up so many people; we need to stop giving people prison terms that amount to civil death certificates because the practice is wrong.
In Memory of Prince

In Memory of Prince

by Emile DeWeaver
I’m not sentimental, so it surprised me that Prince’s death struck me as much as the death of a family member would have. My cellmate woke me up to break the news, and I began my denial stage by grunting and returning to sleep.
Here and Now

Here and Now

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I don’t subscribe to happily ever afterlives. They’re too shiny. Shiny promises defrauded my father into poverty, so I tend to parse them the same way that philosophers parse theories of mind.
Human Value

Human Value

by Emile DeWeaver
 
Perhaps my humanities friends had a dad like mine whose response to artistic aspirations was, “Heck no, Emile. It’s hard enough to be black; you’re not going to be a black painter.”
Homo Absurdis

Homo Absurdis

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I like to think I learn a lot about a person by reading their work, so I’m not surprised when people tell me Jonathan Franzen is an asshole.
Consequences

Consequences

by Emile DeWeaver
 
The simple answer to how I ended up in prison is that I chose to commit a crime, but nobody reads monthly columns to discover the obvious.
The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I can be a cultist when it comes to good books that blow my mind. I persuade friends and strangers alike to read them, then wait for them to return with gleaming eyes.
Elephants and Televisions

Elephants and Televisions

by Emile DeWeaver
 
It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but criminals, even murderers, are people. Though their actions are reprehensible, they, in general, act out of very human motivations.
Needful Things

Needful Things

by Emile DeWeaver
 
I keep learning the same lesson about writing: Write from where you are, not from where you aren’t.
Broken Meter, Needs Fix

Broken Meter, Needs Fix

by Emile DeWeaver
 
Advising Mr. Anonymous to submit less to address inequality in publishing feels like advising me to shoot myself to address gun violence in Oakland.
An Author's Life

An Author’s Life

Writers’ processes differ, but here’s my truth: Writing is hard and I hate it; revision is easy, and I want to take it to the movies, then get to third base.

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