written word

I’m a prolific writer, if a sometimes reluctant one in the arena of getting my work out there, working in a variety of styles and media. My subjects range from the day-to-day to the intensely personal, from the characters that populate the world to the reasons why we do what we do. It’s all about the story and the moment—the simple narratives that we tell ourselves and each other, rendered in the way that suits my lumpen history.

I’ve been writing in online venues for decades, and some samples are below:


My favorite written form is the essay; the transcribed ramblings of a stream of consciousness that’s always roaming, always playful, constrained by not much more than a limited page count. Over the past several decades, I’ve touched on nearly every subject imaginable, writing on my long-running blog and in a variety of other outlets. Some pieces end up as spoken-word performances, some end up in print, some end up online, and some just hover, waiting to emerge. Read some of my favorite pieces right here, organized by my somewhat peculiar criteria.

Essays from online media:

An unfamiliar hand” – 2016
—on those moments when life just pulls you along.

My perverted agenda” – 2016
—a manifesto on what my people want.

Raise a glass” – 2015
—coping strategies for family life in a politically divided world.

It pays to read the assignment” – 2016
—on why one ought to prepare appropriately for class.

Orange helicopters” – 2014
—reflecting on the horrors of the eighties and my briefest career.

You get it on ‘count of sex” – 2014
—a moment of youthful braggadocio.

It goes ‘clunk” – 2013
—discovering that the world has not changed enough.

A new suit” – 2013
—on facing maturity with flailing arms.

Joe continues to move the rubber band” – 2012
—how literature moves us.

A wooden Christmas” – 2011
—on shedding the obligations of holidays as imposed by modern tradition.

Until we’re overtaken” – 2010
—travel through the eyes of two generations.

They way they speak” – 2009
—on dogs, old and new, and what they say to us.

Don’t quit your day job” – 2008
—remember to spread your wings and fly, but it’s okay to crash, too.

To pry open the ways,” a photo essay – 2007
—notes on things over, and things renewed.

Regarding poetry” – 2006
—on taking the irrational view as a revolutionary act.

Dialogues from the grand salon” – 2005
—sometimes, one’s best off not answering the phone…or calling.

Joy” – 2005
—a simple moment near the end of the world.

Dump” – 2004
—on discoveries of unseen worlds and poor toilet habits.

Last night I dreamed I was you” – 2003
—encounters with the police in the new world we live in.

Southbound to lost places” – 2003
—on where I come from, musing about what’s mine.

Essays published in print media or webzines:

From Radar 1: “Thinking Small” – 2002
From Link 7: “Seeking Out Sparks” – 2001


Fluid Movement Baltimore’s “Cirque de L’Amour” – 2001
Alphasmart 3000 portable word processor – 2011

All work © Joe Belknap Wall except where noted