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Wake up & fight

How about that, I already have my motto for 2018.

I usually figure it out in the course of the New Year's Eve festivities, which consists of me & Maggie having a giant hours-long conversation: how was your year? what does the year ahead look like? how are we going to accomplish our goals?

The best innovation in 2017 was identifying 3 top goals & focusing on them. I had a some additional ones but kept the heat on my top 3. So I will do that again this year, I expect. Last year it was easy: finish a manuscript, prepare for my karate promotion, improve my Norwegian. I'm not sure I'll come up with 3 as timely as these but I'll find out tonight.

Wake up! & Fight!  Read More 
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Kenneth? Kenneth?

I don't mix up Bob Holman with Bob Rosenthal, or Charles North with Charles Bukowski, so why can't I remember the difference between Kenneth Patchen and Kenneth Rexroth?
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Pound for pound there are only around twice as many rats as raccoons in NYC. A raccoon can weigh up to 20 pounds, & a rat weighs half a pound. If there are 2 million rats (not the old estimate of 1 per person), that's a million pounds of rats. Divided by 15, the average weight of a raccoon,  Read More 
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A street story

"Can I ask you a question?" a tall young man asked in front of the Rite-Aid on my corner. "I'm not asking for money, I just have a question."

"Yeah, what's up," I said impatiently, in a hurry, in the cold.

"Can you buy me a $4 box of cereal?" he said. "I just asked everyone in the Rite-Aid & no one would." This was said a little indignantly.

"How is that not asking for money?" I said.  Read More 
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A subway tale

A woman in her 40s (?) with very bleached hair pushed through a crowded train. "Marriage is slavery," she said out loud to herself. "They beat you when they want, make you have a baby for them, beat you. Marriage is slavery."

The woman standing next to me caught my eye. "He beats you twice, why you hanging round?" she said.

"You know that old song?" I said & and sang softly:  Read More 
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Not as expected

I'm dreaming of a white December... January... February... Rain is NOT the next-best thing.
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El Greco

The main reasons we went to Toledo:
* Mercè had never been there, despite having lived in Spain her whole life. I liked the idea of being on somewhat equal grounds in both of us experiencing it for the first time.
* El Greco. The best museum show I ever went to was El Greco in D.C., maybe 25 years ago, with Janet. It was different to see him everywhere in Spain—in a church, in his house, in a museum, in the cathedral, in the sky & landscape he knew so well.

Still my favorite painter & I still can't really say what he does that no one else can. The humanity of his people, I guess. His apostles (this is Peter) are full of both grace & flaws. His Jesus is perfect yet human.

El Greco has only art on his mind. He paints what he has to.

Bonus reasons for going to Toledo: marzipan ("bread dough"), softer & less sweet than what I'm used to, & manchego cheese–it's from sheep & has been made there (La Mancha) for 2,000 years.  Read More 
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This was the Johnny I didn't fall in love with. That beard! He's so much more handsome now (the day before our 26th wedding anniversary).

And the youngster I have so little connection with, the kid I've only seen a couple of pictures of. He graduated high school at 16, before he'd gotten his growth spurt. My main image of high-school Johnny is seeing him with his first wife, who was his high-school girlfriend. With Johanna, he's playful in a 1950s way, & I love watching them together.
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First day of winter...

... and I just picked up copies of my (our) new chapbook! It's a dos-à-dos book, with my long poem called Snowbound back to back (or upside-down) with 3 essays by Steve Willis, also called Snowbound. I can never figure out how come it works but both books start on page 1 & collide correctly in the middle.

At one point I thought it was going to be a book but it melted into this chapbook. Happy winter!  Read More 
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Acting genius

Before & after.
I love this girl.

This hilarious, brilliant, sweet girl.
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