Paladin, the Berkeley Biker-Poet:
Every Damn Body Was Born to Die

What the hell was this guy doing on stage at a poetry reading? He appeared to be an outlaw biker. He’d been introduced simply as “Paladin,” grabbed the microphone as soon as he hit the stage, and started strutting back and forth, loudly clomping his boot heels on the wooden platform, shooting confrontational glances at anyone who was talking, until he’d shut the whole place up—which was not an easy task.

The Starry Plough was a rowdy Irish pub on the south side of Berkeley and the poets who read on open mic night generally had to put up with the less-than-polite din of the drinking crowd. Decked out in traditional biker garb—very grungy leathers, a dirty bandana tying back his greasy-looking black hair—and displaying a shut-the-fuck-up attitude that was highly abnormal on poetry night—Paladin finally stopped strutting when the crowd quieted down. Then he launched into a loud, abrasive, rhyming poem that went something like this: Continue reading DESPERATELY SEEKING PALADIN . . .

Excerpt from RISK OF RUIN, a new novel by Arnold Snyder

 Chapter Ten

It was in the parking lot of a Raley’s supermarket in Reno. He was giving her a ride home from work and they’d stopped for a quart of milk and a Hershey bar. It was a sticky summer day. Leaning up against a side wall of the store, gulping down a few swallows of the icy milk, he saw her photo on the milk carton. He looked at the photo, looked at Stacy, looked hard at the photo again. It was definitely her. No doubt. He read the bad news …

Have You Seen Me?
Julia Gwendolyn Thomas
Age: 15
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 112 lbs.
Hair: Auburn
Eyes: Green
Last seen: Milpitas, California
Call: 1-888-FINDERS

She was licking chocolate off her fingers.


She looked up, responding to her name, then—in a split second—he saw a chill run through her. “Why did you call me that?” Continue reading Excerpt from RISK OF RUIN, a new novel by Arnold Snyder