My latest essay for IMAGE Journal‘s blog at is now live.

The title posted there is currently “The Rock-afire Explosion and Pizza Parlor Tricks.” I had originally titled the work “Pizza Parlor Tricks,” since I enjoyed the wordplay involved in combining “pizza parlor” and “parlor tricks,” but Showbiz Pizza was never really a pizza parlor, and the essay was not really about smoke and mirrors either.

Since the essay was published yesterday, I have decided I prefer the title “The Plundering of a Temple.” When I compile my essays in the future—after writing about 50 or so—this is the title the piece will bear.

Note: I emailed Aaron Fechter, creator of the Rock-afire Explosion band, and he wrote me back. We are now Facebook friends. Imagine my surprise when I found out he invented Whack-a-Mole, too, of all things!

Read “The Plundering of a Temple” here.