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Monday Quote

Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.
~ Thomas Hardy

Johnny's next tattoo?

I asked for a response to the quote & he said, "I'll put that on my leg."

We all have those stories that are too unlikely to be good fiction & too suspect to be nonfiction. Read More 
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Yesterday I read my favorite section of the Torah, two columns of Matot-Masei known as the Journeys. I like it because I love lists & the heart of this read is a long list, sans detail, of the places the Israelites camped in their 40 years wandering in the desert.

The pattern is: They traveled from  Read More 
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One day in New York City

Whoohoo, I finally figured out that my stupid insurance covers a cleaning & visit so I was reunited with Dr. Lucente and the wondrous soft-handed hygienist Alma. Everything else is ala carte; I cheerfully & gladly dropped $150 to have a loose crown soldered back into place.

Meanwhile, my insane but lovable husband got a new tattoo. I have to admit that they all fit him perfectly in some wacko way. This one's the catchphrase from his brilliant novel Mangled Hands: I Tarcisius Tandihetsi say so.

And while I was sitting in Tompkins Square Park, two NYU marketing students interviewed me about electric cars & family brands—I'm not sure what their main topic even was. They said I was the best person they had talked to. And I thought, I'd better be!  Read More 
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Johnny's Universal Botanica Mystical Shop

4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
I love to find businesses run by Johnny. There've been bars & maybe a shoe repair shop but this is the first botanica. His secret life.
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World traveler

Brooklyn, baby!
Will I ever stop marveling about leaving my neighborhood? It really wasn't tough to get to Park Slope, only took 1/2 an hour, door to door including the several blocks of walking, & I got a nice lunch from Martha & Baz, plus brainstorming about our next season of Prose Pros & a few minutes of this complex architecture. Outdoor subway platforms—my happy place.

Martha writes in a memoir that when they bought this house in the 60s, someone they knew shook his head and said, "Brooklyn? Are things that bad?"  Read More 
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Monday Quote

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.
~ James Baldwin, Paris Review Interviews, II

True, true, true. Endurance through illness, dissipation, poverty, distraction, shiny desire. Talent is such a small part of anything. Pouring yourself into something is what creates or discovers talent.  Read More 
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Sunny summer Sunday

Host Sanjay Agnihotri, me (the tall one), Lally.
Feeling happy to have gotten through my Local Knowledge reading with Lally this afternoon & that so many people came despite it being one of the first lovely days in a while. Read some work I'd never read out loud—loved some, was OK with others. I love poetry, I love thinking about poetry, I love knowing poets & listening to their work, I love when poets (& others) are smart about or interested in my work.  Read More 
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My name on a building!

Houston & Norfolk streets.
I never thought I had that sort of ego. My name on the spine of a book, for sure, but on a building...

Eh. Feh. Ech. (Sound of indifference.)

But I did get a little excited by this.
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Reflecting on fireworks

Every year they shoot 'em off from a slightly different place. For a couple of years it was downtown & we could see really well. Last year we got nothing & this year we got some. It was almost more intriguing to see the reflection & hear the echo in the building a little to the southeast—that pink wash in the upper right is sparkle bursting in air.

Just as I love snow most when I don't have to go anywhere to see it, I love fireworks most from my own roof, even truncated, half-hidden, leaning onto the shaky parapet.

This year... this year it's harder to feel wholehearted—as someone said, it's like holding a birthday party for someone who's been kidnapped.
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Buster talks back IV

That sweet little face, I could just eat him up. I love that all he really wants is to be near me. Cuddle cuddle, little man.
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