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Why I don't read science fiction

One winter I lived in the woods in Maine with 4 other people, in a one-room A-frame with a divided, doorless loft. One by one the others read Dune, by Frank Herbert, and one by one they went into a depression (not in the least exacerbated by the fact that we were  Read More 
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Family traits

* Loud sneezes. A family story is the time my folks went to the theater up in the Twin Cities. Just when the murderer was creeping up on his victim, my dad sneezed so loud that even the actor jumped. A few days later, back in Sioux Falls, a client said, Hans, the funniest thing—we went to a show in Minneapolis last weekend, & right at the climax, some guy sneezed, really loud. Do tell, my dad murmured.

* Anti–foot fetish. No pedicures, please.

* Fear of squirrels.

* Couch sleeping.  Read More 
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Thanksgiving Found Poem

Many years we go to my grandmother's in Virginia.
My mother, father, aunts and at least two of my brothers are there.
My son has a football game that morning.
My daughter is home, but needs to get back to school this weekend.
My wife doesn't want to ride for nine hours and turn right back.
Sometimes I have gone alone, but not often.
A couple of neighbors were vying for our company.
One of those my daughter’s boyfriend’s family,
Which we did last year and had fun.
But this year it will be another family,
One we have visited on two or three other Thanksgivings.
I have a turkey freezing in the garage.

Nothing to do with it.  Read More 
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Jim Dine & Johnny Stanton

Jim Dine & Johnny Stanton
This was a Valentine's present many years ago. The art, not the guy, who showed up & never left. And likes Jim Dine.

I want to start taking photos of other visitors to my space. Today it was Becca (with Swiss chocolate), Bob (with beatnik tales) & Anselm (his own sweet self).

And I have a subconjunctival hemorrhage, a giant blood spot right in my eye (that's a photo you do not want to see).  Read More 
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My favorite joke

A skeleton walks into a bar.

The bartender says, Hey, buddy, what'll it be?

The skeleton says, Give me a beer... & a mop.
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Leaning ziggurat of toilet paper

It was either this picture or one of the first Christmas tree of the year, which I saw last Thursday on the Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn. I don't guess I have anything insightful to say about either one except that they're part of my world & my day & what I see when I'm out & about, or in & about.

I'm trying to decide whether to leave the t.p. as it is & buy a few new packs, or destroy the symmetry. In other words, is it an installation or a happening? Read More 
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O Brooklyn II

This is a 2009 glass mosaic in the Jay Street subway station called Departures & Arrivals, by Ben Snead. It depicts the borough's diversity in 6 species: tiger beetle (local but disappearing), European starling (England), house sparrow (Europe), red lion fish (Indian Ocean), monk parrot (S. America) and koi (Japan). We come & we go, & sometimes we end up in a place more to our liking.  Read More 
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O Brooklyn

The stage right before the show started
I'm really glad I went to BAM for Black Mountain Songs, featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Basil King (thanks, Martha!). Baz's down-to-earth honesty was a perfect counterpart to the young people's ethereal voices, singing works by Fielding Dawson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan an others, set to music for this event. I also loved hearing a clip of Charles Olson reading Maximus to Gloucester, in that pure midcentury Massachusetts accent.

What I didn't love was getting lost on the way there: what happened to Fulton Street? Dang, it was right there, if I'd simply looked down the block I would have seen the theater & not taken a giant detour. After the show, I went the wrong way for many blocks before I figured out that I should have gotten to the subway by now. Did I want to become a member of BAM? Thanks, but not until I can get there without getting lost.  Read More 
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A nest of hypers

I wanted to walk by the winter ocean. Johnny agreed to go to Coney Island because it meant we weren't going to go away overnight, to Philly. He's a man who knows how to cut his losses. It was 20° yesterday so I gave in & we dashed up to TKTS & scored excellent half-price seats to  Read More 
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My 15 minutes

I was walking down First Avenue the other day when a young man asked if I was familiar with the neighborhood. Well, I do live here. Do you know the blog EVGrieve? Of course! When he told me he's the person who does the "Out & About in the East Village" feature & could he interview me for it, I was so excited. I love that feature & have dreamed of being in it—basically, a hyperlocal Pulitzer Prize. (Click on the photo caption to read the whole piece.)

I only regret that I didn’t think to tell him about the time I told my cousin that I live in the best apartment in the building, & the best building in the neighborhood, & the best neighborhood in the city, & the best city in the world—& then it dawned on me: I LIVE IN THE BEST APARTMENT IN THE WORLD! And my cousin gently said, I'm not sure everyone would agree, El.

Update: Ah, fame. Somehow this post disappeared from my blog; I've restored it as best I recall.  Read More 
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