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Monday Quote

Poetry is a rival government always in opposition to its cruder replicas.

~ William Carlos Williams


Is this an impeachment inquiry quote? I dunno, I've just been so in love with Williams lately. I never exactly know what he means but he always inspires me. 

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Almost a new year, the chance to set things right, aim better, get on the mark. Happy New Year, l'shana tova, to all, whether or not it's your holiday. May it be a sweet & healthy new start, may you find your passion, & make a start on repairing the world.


I'll be off the next two days but a Monday Quote will magically appear nonetheless.

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In the neighborhood

Two women with 4 bags apiece, including two I could hardly budge, were at the West 4th stop, looking to get to West Canal Street. Not the F, I said, it goes to Brooklyn. I got off with them at Broadway-Lafayette, planning to help them haul their stuff upstairs to the 6 train, when they let slip that they were going to the Chinatown Bus (way east! on) Canal. I told them to get off at East Broadway. They didn't believe me, asked a man, who said East Broadway. They were headed for Cincinnati. We got back on the F. You'll have to walk a couple of blocks from the train stop, I said, can you manage? We'll have to, won't we, she side-eyed at me. No thanks at any point. Did I look like a scary New Yorker who was trying to scam them or run away with their luggage? They did not like me! The nicer I was, the more resentful & suspicious they were. 

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In the neighborhood

Someone spilled half a cup of (tepid, thank goodness!) coffee on me then said it was really my fault, that I'd bumped him while he bumped me. C'mon, manners, people! I'm the one wet & ill-smelling, just apologize for the inconvenience, yeah? 

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In the neighborhood

I sat on 5th St half-hearing then listening to (& recording pages of) this woman talk for at least half an hour (& I left while she was still on the phone). She was addressing "Detective" & telling a incident-filled tale of woe: her apartment broken into & art stolen ("I'm a well-known artist & surrounded by a lot of celebrity stuff"), which unfortunately wasn't identifiable ("people who sign their drawings are not serious artists"), her elderly parents were in the hospital, her bank account defrauded, her building broken into, her boyfriend Derek Jeter was wildly jealous ("he flipped out when any man came near me") but the Yankees didn't respond when she complained about his behavior, she also does bigtime corporate design work & was a prodigy ballet dancer ("I'm in better shape than any of them"). 


I sort of imagine the detective putting the phone down, going off for coffee, or maybe playing games & throwing in uh-huh occasionally. 


Do I sound as crazy as her when I tell people I divorced Derek Jeter & am happily remarried to Didi Gregorius? 

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Monday Quote

A writer is in the end not his [sic] books, but his [sic] myth. And that myth is in the keeping of others. 

~ V.S. Naipul


Yet another reminder that doing the work is what’s important, not worrying about what happens to it. 

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Whitney Biennial

Nicole Eisenman's ginormous, funny & desperate sculpture. I thought she withdrew her work? 


Finally made it to the Biennial, just a couple of days of days before it closed. 


I liked everything & I didn't like anything. 


I don't know what I mean by that. 


Last night I stopped by the Salmagundi Club to see the American Impressionist show. It was depressing—like a bunch of MFA poems, competent & lifeless. The Biennial was full of life but a lot of the work seemed entirely conceptual, so there was no point in actually executing the piece, or they were op-eds. It wasn't depressing but I didn't leave wanting to charge home & make art. 


Then He Who Must Not Be Named stepped on my foot & now I can't walk. 

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Poem of the Week

The Alphabet's Dilemma


For want of a bee the hive was lost

For want of the sea a ship was lost

For want of a gee the wonder was lost

For want of an I the novel was lost

For want of a jay the aviary was lost

For want of an ell privacy was lost

For want of Em Dorothy was lost

For want of a pea the soup was lost

For want of a queue no time was lost

For want of tea the afternoon was lost

For want of you I was lost

For want of a why the philosopher was lost

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Monday Quote

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. 

~ Toni Morrison

My birthday twin (same day not the same year!)


I hope this is true.

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Mt. Zion Temple in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, celebrated its centennial this weekend & my sister took this picture of a newspaper article about Sukkot on the prairie. 

It's hard to write a light account of a bad week. There was Buster (who's doing better! long saga); & September 11 anniversary (for some reason more talked about this year than of late); a friend with a sudden (benign!) brain tumor (diagnosed the day before they were leaving on a month-long birdwatching & Galapagos trip) (she had surgery the next day & seems like it'll be fine); & a horrific gun/domestic-violence tragedy involving a family I'm tangentially aware of (too awful to be in this list except as part of a tough week). 


Well, there was one little bright spot (right): Yours truly as a member of the largest consecration class ever at Mt. Zion. It's pretty easy to tell which kid grew up to be a pawnbroker, isn't it? I had a crush on him when I was 5 because he tanned so dark & fast. What a great trick! How'd he do that?

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