Crawdad Nelson

Crawdad Nelson

Crawdad Nelson is an independent journalist specializing in underground movements and literature. He has worked professionally as a wildcrafter for over twenty years, memorizing habitats between San Francisco and the Oregon border. He is an aesthetic imagist and does not care who knows it. He works as an English and writing tutor at a community college. His essays, interviews, short stories, microfiction, poems, satire and experimental prose have appeared in many alternative and literary journals. From 1991-96 he edited The Steelhead Special, a working class literary and cultural review. His books are Fresh Water, poems, 1989; Truth Rides to Work, poems, 1993; The Bull of the Woods, poems and stories, 1997; and Big Drink, poems, 2009.
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  • It's Time to Show a Little Class in Seattle
    It's impossible to read an online article on the 49ers without having to scroll through or read insulting and arrogant posts from understandably excited Seattle Seahawk fans. Over time, we hope they can learn to win with class.
  • Accelerating Decay
    If you live in an area where trees lose leaves, you live in an area with free fertilizer. All you need to do is gather leaves and pile them in your garden to improve the soil there. This method speeds that process up with little extra effort.
  • It Looks like a Pretty Good Year
    This is a piece I think of as fabulist; it describes a kind of world unlikely to exist in time but desirable nonetheless. First published on Medusa's Kitchen.
  • Huitlacoche in the Garden
    Since moving to a place with hot, dry summers, I've had a few chances to try things I hadn't seen before. Now I've had huitlacoche
  • How to Hunt Wild Mushrooms and Survive
    Toxic compounds in many fungi make foraging a dangerous experience unless you know precisely what to look for. Luckily, that's a lot easier than you may think.
  • How to Actually Find Mushrooms
    In over twenty years' experience searching coastal forests, I've learned how not to waste time picking rotten mushrooms or hiking through empty woods.
  • Eat at Isleton Joe's
    There are two reasons to go to Iselton, and one of them is to keep going. The other is this little place.
  • Road Trip 1: San Francisco to Sonoma County
    Getting out of the city; where to stop in the first few hours; possible overnight destinations; recreational driving.
  • Major League Baseball Name Game
    This form of fantasy baseball goes back to the 1970s at least. It evolved from Stump the Chump, a form of baseball trivia contest.
  • The Dirtiest Beach in California
    I spent the better part of an hour on Davenport beach, picking up trash. It was by far the worst, but by no means the only beach with little heaps of beer, soda, juice and water containers marking the paths and convenient areas.
  • The Joy of Sea Glass
    I've gathered agates and sea glass at dozens of beaches, and nobody really had to show me how.
  • Getting Over Melky
    It's time to move on. Luckily, a great pitching staff makes that a whole lot easier.
  • Is Expendables 2 the Worst Movie Ever Made?
    Will Rocky, Sean, Chuck, Bruce and Arnold save the world or just make it a little worse?
  • Getting Your Work Out There
    Through planned saturation bombing of pre-selected and willing editors, writers can improve they way they offer work to editors, and editors can learn more about the writers they solicit work from.
  • How to Dominate at Arm Wrestling
    It's probably one of the original contests of strength, but what you really need is a determination not to lose; how to make your good right arm pay off and earn you a little respect down at the local sports bar.
  • Dungeness
    Spectral Lines anthology, July 2012
  • The Crows of Sacramento
    One quickly understands that crows run things around here.
  • Squirrel Stew
    Anderson Valley Advertiser, 4/18/2012. Satire, with truth blended in. Warning: do not take this content literally. Any statistics found herein are entirely fictitious.
  • Sorcery
    A few words about transformation.
  • Celine and I Stay in a Residential Hotel
    For a month upon my arrival in Sacramento, I was obliged to stay at the Marshall. As published in Convergence
  • The Foot in the Shoe
    roadside debris
  • Voyeur
    Life in the Big City! As published in the Sacramento News and Review
  • Incantation
    As seen in Red Fez #37
  • Obsidian
    What one sees near the river. As published in Susurrus
  • Ishi
    my look at history through the lens of a hole in the ground, Winn Park, Midtown Sacramento
  • Leave it to Me
    There's value in used organic matter, in fact we can't afford to waste it.
  • Two Rounds on the Roadside
    My daily bicycle commute through bucolic Bayside is transformed into a deadly adventure with tweekers. As seen in the Anderson Valley Advertiser.
  • The Beggars at Sant Felieux
    A little touristic snap from a day-trip into the old city of Girona, home of Dali. As seen on Sacramento Poetry, Arts and Music.
  • The Second-to-Last Conniption
    A look at the what business does to life.
  • Gazing at the Ivory Sea
    As seen in the March 17, 2011 Sacramento News & Review
  • Cabazone
    the potato patch
  • Equestrian
    A quick look at a horse in the woods.
  • Whistletown
    Marking time in the indurstrial era.
  • Cold Water
    Prose poem from a series I'm working on. this is only part of the poem.
  • Haywire
    A prose poem, which takes advantage of the mish-mash resulting from formatting problems in recent posts. I thought, why not take out the middleman? This is a work in progress, subject to revision. The opening image owes thanks to Dave McCain.
  • Bullfight
    While I'm digging in the garden, I often get complex ideas suited for this type of poetry.
  • Skun
    travel poem
  • Black Widow Hole
    Out back and down below
  • Stripped and Searched Mendocino County Style
    The evolution of marijuana culture.
  • Meg Whitman's Mini-Scandal
    It makes for better television than just more Meg commercials, but the nanny scandal won't change much.
  • The Todd's Point Lights
    We saw strange lights, and nothing actually happened, but 30 years later nobody has ever explained the peculiar pattern and movement above us.
  • To a Dead Rat
    Where do all those almonds come from anyway?
  • Giant Isopod Soup
    Those otherwise irritating little creatures that hop through your toes on beach outings may actually be welcome at your next clambake!
  • Where the Bucks Are
    A poem about a hunting trip from a youthful point of view
  • The Road to Legalization
    Sooner or later, weed will be legal everywhere in the US. Why not get started now?
  • The Beggars at Sant Felieux
    Rebirth and the texture of eternity engraved in stone, ala Catalunya
  • How to Write Better Poems in 25 Easy Steps
    Anyone can write poetry, but not before they are prepared. These simple steps take you from shmo to pro in the shortest time possible.
  • Nothing Burns Hotter Than Manzanita
    Obviously, some things do burn hotter than Manzanita. But I was actually issued a poetic license in 1987, so I can make absurd statements such as this title. This one appeared in Susurrus a few years ago.
  • Big Drink
    It's not every day a poem earns $500, but this one did. Published in Nota Bene, 2008, and winner of a Reynolds Scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Things We See
    What's art?
  • Mushroom Arcania
    in the woods, watching for secrets, one takes chances
  • Working Class Infraction (2)
    One from a series of infractions.
  • Working Class Infraction (1)
    One from a series of infractions.
  • The Lovers
    A noirish trifle. In the tradition of Patchen, more or less. As published on Sacramento Poetry, Art and Music site, 2004.
  • Life at the Fort Bragg Mill
    Originally written for an published in The Redwood Coast Review; also appeared in the AVA in 2003.
  • Insurgent Memoirs
    In trying to plumb the depths of cognitive dissonance and the restructuring of language, one inevitably bumps into words which seem to mean one thing while actually meaning another.
  • The Bottom
    Arcata is the best place in America, if you're from elsewhere. Stop by some time and have a revolution.
  • Drunk
    As Jack H. used to say, "Beauty is everywhere, Baudelaire!" And so it is.
  • Gazing at the Ivory Sea
    A poem about an antique building in Kibessilah, a ghost town.
  • How to Be a Poet
    A guide to poetic behavior.
  • Four Way Stop
    Aren't all poems really about everything?
  • I Get the Impression the World is Made of Roses
    A poem from the new chap, one of my favorites...giving thanks.
  • Democracy Comes to America
    Pro athletes like Tim Lincecum have an important message for the insurance and medical establishments: roll your own.
  • the Lovers
    A little something noirish, in the vein of Kenneth Patchen.
  • the Scientific Method
    A short story
  • BNSF
    A poem inspired by a typical on-the-grid Sacramento situation
  • Wartime Rations
    A poem about the appetites of eternal conflict. As published in Sacramento News & Review Poet's Corner, 10 October 2007
  • Changing the Changer
    Last December, I entered the SCC essay contest. I had two days to write this before the deadline for entry. It's really just a meditation on change. It took first place, a $1,000 prize.
  • Salmon as a Working Man
    A poem once used in a philosophy class at HSU. It probably wouldn't get through my editing process right now, but at the time it seemed to do something. Written in 1995 in my office above the Art Center Store in Old Town Eureka
  • The Medieval City of Girona
    The stone walls, narrow alleyways and massive stone building in the old city of Girona, Catalunya, have changed very little since the thirteenth century.
  • How to Have Fun in Barcelona, Spain
    Home to some 3.5 million Catalonians and immigrants from around the world, Barcelona presents and intriguing blend of past, present and future.
  • Ted Kennedy Looked Great in a Suit, but What Did He Actually Do for You?
    The Kennedy legacy seems to be glorious, but when we look at the facts, it's just more shady, back-room, cigar-chomping business-as-usual.
  • Graffiti in Barcelona, Spain
    The Catalan Independence movement comprises a major theme in the graffiti of Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, but what makes it special is the quality of techique and imagination of display.
  • Something About Iberian Ham
    The Old World is not exactly behind the times.
  • Half Moon Bay: California's Pumpkin Capitol
    This year Half Moon Bay will host the 39th Annual Art & Pumpkin Festival on the weekend after Columbus Day, offering something for everyone
  • Who's Calling Please?
    He had a lot to think about, but had other things on his mind.
  • Well
    Short poem about water in the woods
  • When I Died
    Once in a while, the things you know and take for granted become unfamiliar and strange.
  • Trees of Heaven
    A little poem about Sacramento's trees. Published in Sacramento News & Review, Nov. 22, 2007
  • Olaudah Equiano and the Argument Against Slavery
    Late in the 18th century, Equiano used moral persuasion based on his Christian faith as well as practical economic reasoning to argue against African slavery.
  • Wobblies in the Attic
    I met and interviewed Wobbly rep Bill Robinson at an Earth First! Rendezvous in the Marble Mountains in 1989.
  • Cherokee Removal: The Trail of Tears
    Although they expected to deal with the US government as a sovereign nation, the Cherokee discovered that, although many Americans endorsed their rights, the ones who counted had other ideas.
  • Chairman Mao and the Mountain
    In Judith Shapiro's Mao's War Against Nature, four main ideas emerge to explain how China was persuaded to rise in unprecedented unanimity, and what it took to orchestrate such movement.
  • How to Make Perfect Vegetarian Marinara Sauce
    Tomatoes, onions, garlic, pepper and mushrooms are obviously intended to go together. This is a great way to make that happen, and provide good meals for the off-season.
  • Is Slam Poetry Really Poetry?
    Slam poetry has expanded the audience for poetry, but is it really poetry?
  • Sinyone State Park--Best Day Hike in Mendocino County
    Far from the traffic and noise of other state parks in California, you can expore ghost towns and encounter deer, bear, elk and mountain lions in their native haunts.
  • Another Dead Soldier
    Life and Times on the old veneer line and in the Big Mill
  • To a Dead Rat
    A little something about a dead rat, a racetrack, and Blue Diamond almonds.
  • Urban Mycology
    Short poem about hunting mushrooms in the city.
  • Top Four Things to Do in Fort Bragg, California
    There are actually five activities listed here, but mushroom hunting is not much of an option in the summer.
  • King of Pop Had No Soul
    King of Pop may have actually been Duke of Mindless Commercialism, doctors say
  • Bigfoot is Continuous
    A poem in which the idea of Bigfoot, rather than the fact of its existence, is considered.
  • Moonshine
    A mediation of moonlight and life
  • What Does the Hysteria About Michael Jackson Tell Us?
    Love of self, faith in superficial improvements, and an astonishing capacity for suspension of critical thinking in favor of short-term pleasure. It's got us where we are today. Thanks, Michael, for helping turn America into a cesspool.
  • Oak Park Daytime
    Short poem about Oak Park, Sacramento
  • Bon Faire
    Short urban quasi-haiku
  • Why You Should Vote for Pablo Sandoval
    Pablo Sandoval is not eligible for rookie of the year honors, but his statistics and playing style would have made him a favorite.
  • King of Pop My Eye
    MJ was a business phenomenon who lost all claim to being a human being before Thriller ever came out
  • Travels with Crawdad
    The story of my bicycle trip from Arcata to Sacramento, as published in The Arcata Eye shortly after it occurred, July 2003
  • Valerie Bertinelli's Weight-loss Secret
    a poem about weight-loss secrets of middlebrow tv stars.
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