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Tales from the Playa


By Deidre Howell - The playa is a life-sized people trap.

Some Things to Not Forget
By Christine “Gato” Imfeld - Freakers, sneakers, singers, dancers, floating streakers ...

Nine Years
By J.Love - Years go by for a Burner.

Impressions of the Burning Man
By Gawaine Caldwater Ross - a poem

BM starts in Reno
By Sunn - Haven’t we all had the experience of misjudging the Third Guy?

The Night of the Burning Man
By chris logan - Fire, darkness, and silence.

I Come to Dance
By Shannon Kennedy - You can dance if you want to.

Tale from the Playa
By Gandalf the Grey - Why are you here?

Your Most Valuable Possession
By Chad Deal - The Man doesn’t have one either.

Playa Magic
By Mercy Mee - One click at a time, and not from a camera.

After the Burn - a Reverie
By Annie Lalla - The fractal reality of Burning Man.

By Nicholas McInerny - We haven’t had a poem in a while ...

alone again
By sonja claire - … so we’ll give you two.

a tale
By James Hogan - You went to the FUCK YOU window, so what the fuck did you expect?!

Nearly Naked-ist
By jlv - Take it off, take it almost all off.

Burning Man Pictures
By Paul Chhabra - Taken the mind’s camera.

Inhale... it's time
By Kara Zamora - Young and connecting with the universe

This Is the End of the Story of Don
By Steve Engel - Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly attend another Burn.

They say the Burn changes you…
By Storm - Breaking eggshells on the playa.

Burning Man 2006: Installment #1 de la Hekter the Virgin
By Hekter the Virgin - Burning Man is not an experience you can spell-check.

By Spun Lepton - It takes a few days and a 20-story dust devil to get you settled in.

By Derek Sloan - How to put it into words for inquiring minds.

It’s Raining Mud
By Tedward - Just when you thought it couldn’t get any thicker.

Finding It
By Josh Skywise - The miracle of loaves and cheeses.

The Buena Vista Diaries: Confessions of a Virgin Burner
By Doctor Fun - More entertainment for the buck than Hollywood can provide

A True Story
By Green Druid - Her Majesty would not be amused.

a day in the burn
By artformula - Adventures in a temporary boomtown.

Why Don’t You Come With Me, On A Mythical Carpet Ride…
By Dena Frandsen - A poem

Two Men Enter – One Man Leaves
By Jorg Ihle - Mortal combat is needed to get rid of an old nemesis.

The Gauzy Strip
By Boombox - The veil drops.


Goddess of Love in the Liminal City
By Cybele Knowles - One flaming rite of passage

You Can Go Back Home But Sometimes It Might Not Be There
By Freeze - The playa out of season

The Cyclopath
By Justine Smith - Random encounter, with bicycle chain

Somebody Went to Burning Man and All I Got Were These Lousy Crutches
By Kimmananda - Severely painful encounter, with bicycle chain

By Karen Tracy - Random encounter, with toothpaste

By JayLynn Bailey - A drastic way to detangle

Moving a Head
By JK - Send some guys out to get more firewood

My Thoughts about Burning Man 2005
By Leon (Big Urb) - There's no Dark Side of the Playa

Happyland Saturday Night Desert Fun Time
By Sapito - The Way-Back Machine says it was much safer and more coherent back in '97

Final Chapter, Burning Man 2005
By Dave Darling - Sorry, officer, I'm going right back to Leave No Trace remedial school

Scorched Earth
By David Norman - A moment to rise into the air with the flames

A Kid Again - 2004
By David Kinkead - All the adults here are above average

Rocky Horror Sex Show
By Wade Beesley - But can you sing along to it?

The Heart of the Man
By Michael Rossow - The where and why of Burning Man

By Nurse Wasabi - I was what I saw

Feeling Distant ...
By Claire Cochran - She's got sequins on her butt and music to get lost by, and she's in love, in love, in love.

Experience of 2003 Burn
By Will Garner - Yes, it IS like the biggest party ever (dude!), but it's also more.

Stevie's Breath
By Shannon Kennedy - The playa can also connect you with the soon to depart.

Burned Out - reflections on one hour of Burning Man
By Katweazel - Oh, just loungin' around.


Pack It Out - Reflections on BRC '04
By Chris Dunphy - Take some of this back with you.

I Went to Nevada
By Judy Copek - A mother and daughter poem.

Playa Reflections 2004
By Phoebe McAfee - Around this beehive, it's all building, buzzing, and burning.

By Howard Hendrix - Calling all cryptanalysts.

"Welcome Home"
By Megan Dixon - Think twice before you say this next time, or at least watch who you say it to.

Burn One Down
By Michael A. Stusser - A first-time burner finds a little Max, a little Marx, and one thrilling carnival ride.

"The Secret Society of Love, Art and Fire"
By Angela Sanders - Four friends go on a little camping trip.


Green Monkey
By Shannon Kennedy - A stuffed animal tells a virgin Burner about looking deeply and living deliberately.

By Cowgirl - It's okay to have a head.

Burn It
By Fresh - When your own hair is a matter out of place.

across the tracks
By felonious asparagus - A trip to the post office begins the yearly dreaming.

By Kristin White Slye - Don't touch that dial!

Being There ... a Cardboard Trek
By James Kitzmiller - How to participate in effigy.

The Man Has No Hands
By Pete Lee - Getting past the excuses and finally getting there.

Yeah, You're Feeling the Burn
By J. Parke - Leaving the other world behind.

White Hot Monday/Temperate Tuesday
By Ellery Sorkin - Two days, two poems.

Tiger Fur
By Pete Lee - Cat fight! These animals are definitely not under control.

For the Grace of God in the Desert Here and the Desert Far Away
By Jordan Gruber - An "integral analysis" for finding enlightenment on the playa.

A Burner's Prayer
By Howard Hendrix - This haiku leaves no trace.

By Six Codig - A place to be free.

The Bell Tree
By Celia Chung - A few things that blow on the playa.

By Corrie Harding - All things bright and beautiful and burning.

Why People Dress Funny at Burning Man
By Dr. Lizard - A veteran burner explains how it all began.

Experiencing Burning Man
By Cecilia Smrkovsky - Like "Brigadoon" in the desert? Hey kids, let's put on a show!

One Month Later
By Bernard - I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter.

Outsider's Journal
By Sonnivhek - Return of the stranger.

The Circus del Fuego
By Chris Konkel - The dancer merges into the eternal dance.

The Robe
By Mark Hinkley - Gifting and regifting on the playa

By Constance Hull - A poem about rekindling the flame.

Ring of Light
By Daley Dunham - A dance transcendent.

Fears of a First-Timer
By Kurt Foy Booker, The Magician - All signs point to ... go!

Visions Through Dust and Darkness
By Kye Brackett - It's your dream - do what you want with it.

Misadventures in Shelter Building
By Sadie Damascus - Helpful hints for hanging on to tent and your cool.

Patty Cake at Center Camp
By Alpha Betty (Mary Jane LaVigne) - Plates required, pants not necessary.

Perpetual Playa
By Constance Hull - An ode to dust.

by Michael Dees - Finding out what it means to stay for the burn.

Whiting Out A Desert Near You
by Supa Star Smurf - A poem on the multitudes of dust.

And the Dust Will Make You Free
by Michael Dees - Don't mind the dust, it's part of the scenery.

It Has Been 3 Weeks...
by Bonnie - A Burner confesses that inspiration requires commitment.

Resolution and Peace
by Bridget - One song makes for a fitting memorial.

Burning of the Mauseoleum
by Christine "Sis" Dye / Camp Bayou - Wondering whether it all means anything anywhere.

A Poem for Lee (from New Jersey)
by Denise-Christine - It's never just another morning on the playa

Cracks in the Darkness
by Desert Wind - Eternal memories resonate in the desert.

What Goes Around...
by Dr. Lizard - Playa takes water, people give water.

Burning Man 2002
by Jam - Airstreams and tornadoes at Burning Man.

6 AM
by Julia Fishman - Morning energy follows honesty in the night.

Came with no idea... left with LOVE
by Mandy - The first time on the playa becomes a lifetime experience.

by Robert Topping - Images of an arrival at Burning Man.

Thank You
by Sanford Ponder - A delayed but intense reaction to the Temple of Tears.


by Andy Moore - An elegantly worded description of what the playa means to many.

by Andy Taylor - Poetry that passionately re-lives the night of the burn.

Lt. Mutti - A Mascot
by Anthony - Memoirs of a trash nazi.

by armadel - A shout goes out for the original flame.

On My Way Home
by Barbara Sicuranza - All the details you wish you remembered to write down from your first time.

by Bevan Corry - One of the children of the Temple of Tears.

The Amsterdam Ambassadors, or, It All Tastes Nice with the Playa Spice
by Bucky Brian - Taking risks is what life is all about.

An Experience
by caliban - Sometimes it can be hard to STOP participating.

Captain Thermo's Report from the Playa
by Captain Thermo - What "no trace" looks like.

The Burn
by Carl Sander - In the midst of all the commotion is acceptance.

Burning Man 2000
by Christianne Bradley - Descriptive musings on what the playa might have to say about all this revelry.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (or, A Norwegian Lutheran In the Court of Woo)
by Clint Darling - An early arrival takes the long way home.

Mistress of Pain
by One-eye - A chicken crosses the playa - to take a writer to the other side.

The Temple of Tears
by David Gross - The Temple of Tears turns one participant inward.

Ready for takeoff...
by Dori - The playa isn't home, it's a launch pad.

The Goat Truth
by Douglas M. Goldfluss - How to find and lose truth, without giving up your glowstick.

Tale of Two Cities
by Douglas M. Goldfluss - Dust to dust.

Dust Storm at Burning Man
by Ed Buryn - A meditation on being extremely dusty.

21 Haikus on the Way to Burning Man
by Ed Buryn - Haiku to fill travel time.

It's the Giving"
by Eric Pestalozzi - Good things come to those who participate.

I Need It
by Fritz Liebhardt - One man's art rescues, joins, recedes.

Black Rock Dessert
by Gary Dempster - What does burnt playa taste like after it cools?

by The Great Quentini, Sheriff-by-Consensus, Black Rock City - Wishes he could make Burning Man spiritually dangerous again.

by Hylocori - The losing, and subsequent finding again, of one man's marbles.

Home Sweet Port-A-Potty
by Ira Goldman - Brought together by desire to share a struggle.

My Most Vivid Image This Year
by Jim Gasperini - What the hell are we doing here, anyway?

My Tale from the Playa
by Jerrod Littlejohn - After giving in to the dust, you surrender to your emotions.

In the Eye of the Beholder
by Jerry Smith - Comparing Burning Man to other art festivals.

by Jon Fox - Why people destroy.

Blue Badge of Honor
by Karl - How to earn your badge of honor at the port-o-potty.

Field Report from the Burning Man Front
by Mike Bolger - Enjoy the freedoms you have while you still have them.

My Experience Out with the Mausoleum
by Ranger Gilligan - A brother joins the burn in the Mausoleum.

A Taste of Honey
by Reed Hortie - Justice comes from the strangest places...

by Reed Hortie - Eight lines of spitfire verse on one man's experience.

Priceless Angel
by Reed Hortie - An angel transcends commerce, with help from a passerby.

Burning Man Virgin
by Rob Orndoff - One "virgin" learns that the rules are different in BRC.

Blesses by the Dust
by Rob Sinclair - Different kinds of creative energy.

Seven Stories
by Russell Wilcox - A continuing story about personal evolution.

The Story of the Rolling Mountain of the Black Rock Sibyl of Delphi
by Sadie Damascus - An oracle finds fewer burners seeking answers than she expected.

You Killed Me
by Scarlet Speakeasy - A hauntingly poetic accusation.

by Siddhartha - A brief awakening.

Burning Man and the World I've Returned To
by Shady Backflash - Chronicles of spirituality, reflection, and a propeller beanie.

My Black Rock Wedding
by Steph - An impromptu ceremony takes a new look at tradition.

by Stuart Sheldon - A word slam from sideburning man

by Super Dave - You don't have to understand it, just take it all in.

Drowning Man
by Tyler Hanson - A private offering becomes a window onto another world.

How to Participate in Tales From the Playa:

As with all aspects of Burning Man, participation is at the core of Tales from the Playa. This section will allow for another dimension of creativity and art to be expressed and appreciated by the entire community, through written word. This section will not flourish without participation. Please send your written reflections in a Word document or as the body of an email message to reflections at burningman dot com.

Writing is a wonderful way to express oneself and is indeed a form of artistic expression. Every effort will be made to post submissions as they are submitted, and with as few limitations as possible. Because the content contained within this site is available to anyone who wishes to read it, we do ask that submissions for this section be kept in good taste. Mentions of overtly illegal activity (such as drug use and public sexual acts), as well as submissions that contain false information about the purpose or organization of Burning Man may need to be returned to the author for further editing. Please note that submissions should be carefully evaluated by the author for editorial accuracy (such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure) before being submitted for inclusion on the web site. This will alleviate the need for editing and ensure that the piece will appear as the author intended it. Please send as many stories as you like, but send each separate story as its own submission.

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