By Jamie Brisick

Finned and Gilled

It started kicking in real strong on Day 2. One wave I was Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, the next I was Cortes sailing across a glassy Atlantic, the next I was Lawrence of Arabia riding high across the Nefud Desert. A pod of dolphins frolicked past and squeaked knowingly. A sea hawk glided along the shimmering surface and nodded a subtle "Welcome to the Kingdom." There was talk of a big shark around the corner at Wategos, but that was the least of my conerns. I was finned and I was gilled and nothing could touch me.


photo: Kane Skenner

August 14, 2014

Under A Heaving Rincon Lip He Planted A Hand And Grabbed A Rail And Burrowed Himself In The Water…

...It was less a maneuver than a disappearing act. The crew at the hut turned away. The photographers aimed their lenses elsewhere. The seagull that was flirting with the wave assumed that she was riding solo.

June 8, 2014


The first blow was learning that Santa Claus was a lie. Then I found out that Superman was a fiction, and Speed Racer, and Willy Wonka too. All this would be made up for later in life, though, when I met Mark Cunningham, aka Aquaman.

June 8, 2014

I Was Visited By A Majestic Hymn

I was visited by The Power and The Glory
I was visited by a majestic hymn
Great bolts of lightning
Lighting up the sky
Electricity flowing through my veins

I was captured by a larger moment
I was seized by divinity's hot breath
Gorged like a lion on experience
Powerful from life
I wanted all of it -
Not some of it

—Lou Reed, "The Power and the Glory"

June 6, 2014

In Tava-Tavarua

June 5, 2014

From A Taxi In Beirut

June 5, 2014

Rhymes With Shove

“Put your hand on it,” she said, and he did. “Not there, silly.” She moved his hand to her heart.

They’d been eating lunch together everyday for the last two weeks. His mom always packed him a green apple. She’d shave the skin off with a plastic knife, the way her dad had taught her, then cut it in half. They talked about HR Puffnstuff, Scooby Doo, the fart Mr. Tapie ripped in the middle of class. Sometimes they argued. He was a Nestle Quik man, she’d recently switched over to the new Hershey’s chocolate powder.

“Feel it?” she said, pressing his hand against her heart.

Her heart was racing.

“What is it?” he asked.

“One guess.”

“Gimme a hint.”

She looked out to the handball courts with a dreamy face. A bunch of third graders were playing Smear the Queer. “Starts with an L,” she said. “Rhymes with shove.”

June 3, 2014

Even When I’m Not Thinking About You I’m Thinking About You

In A Mud-Caked Village in Guerrero

In a mud-caked village in Guerrero, Mexico my heart went pitter-patter for this lovely woman. She spoke no English, I spoke little Spanish, but we both knew that four or five lifetimes ago we lived in the same town in the south of Spain, or was it Argentina? I was especially polite to her father. She spent a lot of time in the mirror before Sunday Mass. There was the soccer ball that rolled into her lap during a game with my cousins in the park, and there were the hundred swallows that batted their wings in my belly when she threw it back. We were never lovers, but we yearned for each other in a Garcia Marquez sort of way.

May 7, 2014

The Bekaa Valley

On a Waves 4 Water mission to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley we distributed 100 or so water filters to Syrian refugees.

May 2, 2014

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