Josh Ruffin

Josh Ruffin


World Cup Massacre

World Cup Massacre

I was sitting in Gate E at Logan Airport, waiting for my plane and reading through the Apache massacre section of “Blood Meridian” when the Germany vs. Brazil World Cup semifinal game started. My wife and I had just finished eating lunch at the airport bar that boasted the terminal’s only six televisions and, though […]

The Scope of Our Lives

The Scope of Our Lives

Whether we realize it or not, we tend to measure the scope of our lives in events. Sometimes, these events are seemingly disconnected, held together by the common thread of their sheer historical gravity: my grandfather fought in World War II, was around when the Stock Market crashed, experienced the cultural gut-punch of integration in […]

The Ever-Shrinking Buffer Zone

The Ever-Shrinking Buffer Zone

After about 15 years’ procrastination, I’m finally reading “The Stand.” I’m not sure why I resisted actually tackling the book for so long. Its length doesn’t bother me; I’ve read denser stuff in graduate school. Likewise, the horror, to my palate, comes across as fairly muted; it’s harrowing in some parts, gruesome in others, but, […]

Raging Storms

Raging Storms

About a week ago, I sat in my living room on the third story of our apartment building in a quiet suburb of Madison, drinking coffee, watching World Cup highlights and listening to a tornado siren caterwauling. I don’t know whether it was the fact that I’d closed the bar the night before and was […]

Poetry, and Sports, for White People

Poetry, and Sports, for White People

When I entered the MFA program in poetry at Georgia College & State University, the poetry faculty took a two-pronged approach to mentoring me and my fellow graduate students: First, we delved deeper into the classics, dissecting and annotating — line by line, word by word, beat by beat — poems by Keats, Hopkins, Berryman, […]

It’s okay, Georgia

It’s okay, Georgia

Don’t know if you guys heard, but a federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage this past week. It comes as a great relief to us bleeding-heart liberals, because we were frankly pretty baffled as to why state legislatures in such bastions of open-mindedness like Utah, Oklahoma and Idaho were ahead of the […]

Really, Children’s Book Council?

Really, Children’s Book Council?

I was running at a pretty good clip on a treadmill at Supreme Health and Fitness last week when I saw on CNN that Rush Limbaugh had won the Children’s Choice Book Award for Best Children’s Author for his book “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.” The resulting rage-induced blackout is why I have a […]

Serve Each Other First

Serve Each Other First

I’m still young enough with regards to the Wisconsin portion of my life — which, unless the both of us land dream jobs in Portland, Oregon, will soon graduate to “permanent portion” — that I go through some measure of culture shock each time I travel to and from Georgia. I bring this up for […]

Gun, guns everywhere

Gun, guns everywhere

By now, you all probably know that Governor Nathan “Y’all Try Hard not to Make a ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Reference, Y’Hear?” Deal recently signed into legislation the smoke-and-mirrors-named Safe Carry Protection Act, also referred to as the “guns everywhere law” because it allows guns, well, pretty much everywhere: churches, bars, schools, etc. College campuses […]