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Sam Shepard (1943-2017)

Shocked & heartbroken to hear of the death of the great writer Sam Shepard. I've been a fan since the late 1970s, when I reviewed Buried Child for the City College newspaper. His genius was that his characters talk plain prose that’s also perfect poetry: how people should talk if they talked as they should.  Read More 
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Johnny in action, 1991

The back steps of St. Mark's Church in the Bowerie, home of the Poetry Project.
This was taken while he was being filmed for a (never finished) documentary about Jack Kerouac. I haven't seen the footage for a long time so I don't remember what he said, but he emphasized his points by bouncing down the steps. One of the few participants who was theatrical as well as smart.

I love this guy.

Update: This was the same project we filmed Sam Shepard for. Funny that I posted this picture the day he died, without knowing it.  Read More 
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Tesla! I would just regurgitate the link, so go there—it's a comic—you will whiz through & be amazed!

Is it true that Edison mostly stole other people's patents? I used to spend time in northern Ohio, & I believe he's from Milan. Or am I somehow mixing him up with the Milan (pronounced MY-lin, by the way) Melon Festival? I must have read a kids' book about Edison—I remember he was deaf or near-deaf because someone boxed his ears on a train, & I spent a long time trying to understand how one's ears got boxed.

See, I'm doing the same thing  Read More 
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My window

I like that this photo makes it seem like my house is spare & serene, & practically in the woods. It is none of those things. We are borderline hoarders & have a giant cat who likes to leap out of nowhere & scare the bejesus out of us, & our courtyard is a dump. Also, the curtains & windows need to be washed, & we don't really get any sun.
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Oxford treasures

A faire felde ful of folke
"500 Years: Treasures from the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford" was the show we went to this afternoon at the Center for Jewish History. Early books—some handwritten, some printed—in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Anglo-Saxon, & Middle English, that have survived for hundreds of years. Works about the King James bible, biology, astronomy. I was moved by much of what we saw, maybe especially this page from Piers Plowman, because I know some of it & in fact borrowed a line for my "found" manuscript of medieval baseball:  Read More 
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Scientists embark on expedition to submerged continent Zealandia

It's like science fiction! Or the crazy UFO-history channels: Atlantis found! What makes our hearts beat harder than a "lost continent"?

Zealandia is half the size of Australia & surrounds New Zealand. It's an actual continent.

Read the article (link on photo caption)—it's interesting but I can't boil it down. I guess file this post under gee-whiz-science that I am interested in knowing exists but not so interested that I want to learn more.

October 3 Update The scientists are back & excited:  Read More 
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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.
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Into the Valley of the Dolls Rode the 600

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.
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Body by Mary Shelley

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.

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Mysteries (part 2)

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.
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