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What Muay Thai Teaches You About Feedback

When someone’s leg is flying at you, it’s important to feel like you can trust them. At the Muay Thai gym in Oakland I trained at for over a year, I learned that feedback is all-important.

You Have to Live in the City for Years to Really Appreciate the Country

If all you’ve known is the enormity of a country day, have never known the tightness of constricted, scarce space, have never spent years without walking a dirt road or seeing a naked hillside at dawn, you can’t appreciate what you have.

How Starting a Literary Magazine Made Me More Optimistic About Rejection

I have a different reaction these days when I get a submission rejected from somewhere I have sent it: it still doesn’t feel good, but I take it less seriously than I used to.

Recent Creosote Journal Posts

Black Panthers, Burning Man, and colorful dystopian paintings: recent posts on The Creosote Journal.


The maligned urban vertebrate known for its smoke-gray feathers and runny white spoor. The habitue of telephone wires. The bird who no one loves enough to cage.

Our Robotic Future

Recently a book came out called “Wired for War” by Pete Singer. I saw Singer on the Daily Show and heard him on NPR and the Commonwealth Club. He’s trying to tell the world about the quiet revolution in warfare that has happened during the Iraq War. These aren’t the self-directed robots of sci-fi, but remote-controlled robots whose pilots are in some computer room thousands of miles from the site of the conflict.

In Las Vegas a few months ago, I turned on the TV and saw on the local station that there was a bomb threat at the Folsom Street Experience. A robot came to scout the area and clear it. I recalled I’d seen bomb-defusing robots before, in a documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The College Bubble

In her book Generation Debt, Anya Kamenetz portrays a generation desperate to keep up, to achieve, and to be financially independent, taking massive debt for granted as part of life, hooked on cheap luxuries and trapped by ever-more expensive necessities—primarily education.