July 24, 2017

It's quiet & golden on the roof of a morning. It's like a midwestern dawn, with the air as sweet & fresh as silence.

I love the hectic city & I love the sleepy city.

Into the Valley of the Dolls Rode the 600

July 23, 2017

How is it I never used this title for a poem?
How is it I never wrote a whole book with this title?
Another wasted opportunity.
It's so good I wonder if I stole it
except I found it in a file more than 10 years old
so the answer to provenance—
one way or the other—
is, I'm sure, permanently gone.

Body by Mary Shelley

July 21, 2017

Johnny in a non-Armani t-shirt that he had made about 1990, lost recently, & just ordered again.
At the Armani store on Fifth Avenue, which we only went in because some guy at the bus stop said go, it’s amazing.

Johnny immediately said, let’s get out of here, I don’t like to be greeted so much.

I made him look at these wispy little shirts, quite ugly, with sequin butterflies on them, & others similarly kitschy. I can’t believe that wife beater is $345, I said.

It must be a trophy wife beater, he said.

Mysteries (part 2)

July 20, 2017

This was on my roof. It's a crocheted cover, covering something bigger than a pumpkin (& displayed on a cloth). I confess I was afraid to poke at it.

Mysteries (part 1)

July 20, 2017

I don't know how to get 2 pictures into one post, so there'll be 2 today but it's really one, & I have one question: What the hell are these?!?!?!

This one was outside my office on 5th St. It is foam with some cement stuck to it. A giant drain stopper, it looks like, but what? what? what?


July 19, 2017

Tags: Rachelle Garniez

My long-time neighbor & friend Rachelle Garniez is an amazing songwriter, musician, & performer. We went to see her last night at Rockwood 3, right around the corner on Orchard Street. Accompanied by a stand-up bass player & a violist, she sang a few new songs + a couple of familiar ones, with a little Mose Allison-Leonard Cohen medley in the middle. As Robyn said, (more…)

25 Things About Me

July 18, 2017

Another work that turned up in my vast sweep through the vault & files.

25 Things About Me

1. I like to get fired. Time off & something better always seems to come along.

2. I’ve been to 49 states. Lately rethinking my ambition to round it out by going to Alaska.

3. No matter how many times people learn that I’m from South Dakota, they usually remember it as (more…)

Beach house!

July 17, 2017

This is on the roof of a building on my corner. You can only see it from kittycorner across the street. I once heard that the guy who built it said all his friends had houses in the Hamptons & this was as close as he could get.

It's for sale! $3.5 million. You also get (more…)

Notes on being a Jew/Jewish writer

July 16, 2017

This piece, published probably 20 years ago, resurfaced & (unsurprisingly) still has many of my concerns & thoughts.

Notes on being a Jew/Jewish writer: the start of my questions
(one Jew, six opinions—old joke)

“To be Jewish is to have left home early and arrived nowhere.”
—Edmund Jabes

I am a Jew because (more…)

Jack Collom: Poetry Everywhere

July 14, 2017

Tags: Jack Collom

Sad to learn about the death of poet Jack Collom out in Colorado where he had lived for many decades. He always used to point out that he was older than Ted Berrigan, so I knew quite well he was older. I have so many memories—of him calling me late at night from Idaho, where he was teaching & lonely. He would sing & yodel & I would be half-asleep. Of going bird-watching at Jamaica Bay with Jack, Doug Oliver, & Shelley Kraut. They were birders & I had a car. Of poetry being at the center always. Of how useful his Teachers & Writers books were in every class & workshop I ever taught. How kind & encouraging & responsive he was. I hadn't talked to him much in the last couple of years, but as I've been typing up poems, I have found several with or for or about him.