Sunday, June 26, 2016

How sharp and unpleasant the telephone ring was on Paul Bowles’ telephone as it rang and rang! and so he cut the telephone cord with a wire cutter that you can pick up at any hardware store or even lumber store such as Fitch Lumber here in town although you cannot expect a sale price because now they are promoting tick and bedbug remedy since it is summer whereas a few months ago they had a sale on little chicken eggs for Easter.

Monday, June 20, 2016


So in the matter of a few short years
The Ritz modified its surroundings
until it was a mock apple pie.

I know you are thinking: 
“It’s a hotel” –
well, it’s really a pie that used to be
a hotel, and inside of it are no apples
but it is quite crunchy and
elegant in taste it is tasty

I want you to think about how
lucky you are to have lived
when you did –

Once, people
would simply eat pies
and not hotels.

You had both.

Everyone wore a hat.

Hello bottle of absinthe we hate you.
We drank a thimble full which we used
to make a sweater once I think in 1971.
It tasted like licorice and we thought
of all the things in the toy store licorice
was the one thing we never bought
well no appliqués and old ladies too
but I don’t think you buy old ladies
at the toy stores. For old ladies or
their purchase, you must go to the
old lady store. Sometimes you can
find them on a whale, But this is rare.
And no whale on earth will give up
their old lady. No, on. Earth.

Yummy licorice on top of my day.
Absinthe. No real whale.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


There was a fictitious man named Buttercup because there could be no real man named Buttercup although it is better perhaps to say there is no man named Buttercup but there should be a man named Buttercup because think about it: You walk up to someone and they say, “Hi, my name is Buttercup” and you can’t help but smile a little and already you like Buttercup because who doesn’t like Buttercup? You would have to be a monster not to like Buttercup. And then you would tear him into tiny little yellow bits and there would be no man named Buttercup.

I find it pleasurable to use words that I love regardless of the appropriateness of their definition and context. Why, only yesterday I wanted to say “cloyingly” while referencing a certain pop song and instead said “The Earl of Coventry.” In this case, the Earl became an adverb and he was happy to do it, and in doing so, beautifully described a rather cloying pop song. Now I am not certain he was truly happy to do it, but I feel as though by being so kind as to use words that I choose to use that I am granted the liberty of using them and their emotions as I see fit. At least with others. And others feel the same way, too, only about me.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Everybody reads JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë and I wanted to read something different by Charlotte Brontë so I read THE PROFESSOR which begins with a very loving letter written by a girl to a boy named William or should I say from William which I later discovered and it was all about their love for each other and naturally I assumed it is a girl writing the letter but I was wrong it was William. By the second chapter the letter is discovered to not have found its way to its lucky correspondent and so there is no more letter writing. Still, it made me about things. For example:

This boy that wrote this letter was a boy and not a girl.
John Kennedy was a boy and not a girl.
Fidel Castro is a boy, and not a girl.
Captain Kangaroo was a boy, then a man, then a kangaroo.
No he wasn’t a kangaroo!
Mr. Green Jeans wore jeans and was a boy.
The Professor could be a boy or a girl.
Professors are smart.
I enjoy salt water taffy upon occasion.

After that I thought:

Charlotte Bronté.
Charlotte Brontè.
Charlotte Brontê.
Charlotte Brontë.


Sunday, June 12, 2016



It has a gardenia on it.
The gardenia is in a can of tangerine juice.
It has six candles on it.
It has a little basket on it.
It has a jar of honey in the basket.
It has a ticket to Lincoln Center in the basket.
Beethoven is looking at the table.
GI Joe is looking at the table.
It has a woman cut in half on it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

I wrote an entire paragraph about my experience in the barber shop today. It was a very pleasant experience and I wanted to tell everyone I knew about it. Once I had written it, I erased it. Even though the experience in the barber shop was wonderful, and  writing about the barber shop was wonderful, what I wrote was not. It was not fair, I felt, to write about a wonderful experience poorly. And then something happened to my pencil. And so what I have left is this:

My barber’s name was Bradley. He cuts his wife’s hair. He loves his wife. He has brown hair. He has two children. And a mustache.

My pencil.

Swimming, my hand disconnects water from water.
I know the feeling of being broken in half.
It’s a good feeling.
You get to see yourself go away.
You, just like you.
Watch you.

As a human being, you are a map of the world.
Well, a map of my world.

I change the picture in my wallet frequently. Right now I have a picture of a cow in a tree. It is a beautiful Japanese cherry tree that blossoms in April, and bears fruit in July. This photograph was taken in October. The leaves of the tree are golden, and it was a beautiful day. I must mention that the cow in the tree is an ordinary cow, made of plastic. His coloring is black and white. He is about the size of a child’s fist. He is smiling, which cows can do but it is not always obvious. With this cow, it is more obvious than with most. The cow appears to be resting comfortably in the tree. Winter will soon be here, for the cow and the cherry tree. Of all the photographs I have had in my wallet, this one –

Friday, June 03, 2016

My mother was older when she had me, and she used to tell me that she was worried that even though she was certain that she had happy memories, she couldn’t remember them. And so when I was a very little boy, she bought me a small blue diary and instructed me to write down my happy memories every day, without fail, and I did. I started in the morning after I woke up until breakfast, and then after breakfast, and then during school at recess, and then after school, and then before dinner, and then after dinner, and then just before I said my prayers and then right before I went to bed. And every time I wrote about my happy memories I always wrote the same happy memory: “writing.”


The people you only knew in paintings are now walking around and eating sandwiches and dancing and laughing.
If we wrote love letters to everybody
everybody would have love letters
If everybody had mailboxes

if the mailboxes were easy to open
if the mail was delivered every day
if everyone could see
if everyone could read
if everyone liked to read

and if there weren’t little wasp nests
in the mailboxes

making buzzing sounds

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Some fiction writers write: “It rained today.” 

Others write: “It did not rain today.”


In the middle of the earth you are in outer space.
Unless you are asleep.


They say kisses sweeter than wine but most wine – particularly good red wine – let’s say from Burgundy – and now I am thinking specifically of Domaine de La Romanee-Conti in Vosne whose wines often more than five hundred dollars a bottle and there is a very small supply available of these wines every year in spite of the exorbitant price – is not at all sweet, in fact, you might even call it earthy,  loamy, with hints of moss and black tea and tobacco leaf, or as the French might succinctly suggest, of redolent terroir, quite delicious, and dry.


I used to write a stories about a little boy named Chopin, but it was so hard to do. Even though this Chopin couldn’t play music and loved baseball and skipped school and wore little blue jeans, every time I would write a story about him, anyone who read it would read my Chopin would start to hum Chopin things and stop reading about my Chopin.

People told me: the only thing you can do if you want to write a story about a little boy named Chopin is to wait until no one who remembers Chopin is still alive. Or go to a faraway place filled with ice and forests. Or simply write a story about a little boy named Chopin, who loves the piano and plays it very well, coughs once, and then dies.


You can buy jeans that are black but don’t call them black jeans. Call them: jeans that are black. Or: jeans of the night.


Laurie is curious.

In her backyard today are many birds.

Laurie would like to go to Mars.

But Laurie would also like to understand things like birds in her backyard. 

Laurie will someday go to Mars, when people can say “Let’s go to Mars.” 

And with her Laurie will bring birds when they say “Mars is now safe for us and for birds.”

When Laurie thinks about it, she realizes that birds are in outer space, just like Mars.

Not like Earth.

No wait.

On second thought, 

I would like a lemonade.
I scream in all my dreams but it is not because I am afraid or angry it is just that it is just because I am happy and well-rested.


I would like a tattoo of someone that is afraid of tattoos that changes as I begin to wrinkle until it looks like someone who is afraid of being alone.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


I told her all about France and she thought Franz.
And she wanted to meet this Franz
with his beautiful cafés and spirited roundelays
and cobbled streets and handsome bookstores
and cheap beer and paintly straw brooms and
fashionable boulevards at dawn until I told her
I really meant France.

But she went to France anyway, and loved it
with all her heart. After much searching,
and staring, she finally did meet Franz,
and he was everything she dreamed he would be –
for truly, Franz was Franz.
If a skyscraper lies down flat, it would be the funnest thing
to play hopscotch on, said a bluebird but a bluebird is
not only too small and of twiney leg  to hopscotch, but flies
about rather than walks upon skyscrapers as is his want.

But were a man to say it, oh
my – a man is almost proportional to the task –
but again, not quite. He would have to be a giant
among men – consider Abraham Lincoln who was
a giant among men for he was so tall

Or Paul Bunyan differently, for he was invented tall, or best
of all, Thomas Edison, for he could invent something to make
him taller – a giant among men  – but his inventions,
well really, they were stolen,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Everyone who wants to go to Charlottesville says that.
Even the people who live in Florida.

And they have porpoises and sea cows and grass.
But Charlottesville has all those things.

They have pictures of them in their very great university.
It was founded by Thomas Jefferson who once said:

“If everybody is smart, then everybody is smart” although
some people disagree with that. And say: “...then they
are stupid.”

But they are stupid. Also in Charlottesville.
You will find many brick buildings and pianos.
And vinegar and hills.

There are cool rivers that refresh you.
As they did the Founding Fathers.
Who had no desire to go to Florida.

Let’s go to Charlottesville! They said.
They wore white hats and breeches.

And were ready to go.
But they were already
there they were.

Let’s go, still, they say
and want to.
When I was younger, I went out to the mailbox every day. Sometimes I went out twice, in case the mailman, who was elderly and kindly, had forgotten to give me something, and had returned in order to assure that I received it, although this never happened, even though he was somewhat older and  kindly and even though I know he would have done this.

Now I go out twice a week: Mondays and Fridays. Or: Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes: just Saturday. And then Monday. I do not know who the mailman is. I never talk to people. I stay inside, and then, on certain days, go out to the mailbox and smell the air.

When I do this, the box is filled with bundles and magazines and letters and things but no actual letters. It feels like Christmas, without the letters. Even when it is hot and sunny, I think: Christmas. If it is raining, I don’t go out, and think what a terrible Christmas it is, and miss my bundles.

Benjamin Franklin once asked: “What sort of bundles?” Usually books. This week I found THOSE WITHOUT SHADOWS. Here’s what I knew about this book: nothing. I liked its title.
It seemed like it could be a romance or a mystery thriller or perhaps some sort of book about ghosts or a BIble.

There were two others: one for frugal American housewives. It has recipes for election cake, caraway cake, tea cake, dough-nuts (spelled that way), cup cakes (spelled that way) and advice that is very smart about how it is important to do certain things, like administer New England rum to wounds, and how to properly care for a raspberry shrub.

The final book is completely in Spanish. It’s beautiful and it was written during World War II. It contains dogs without equal, rare and distinguished gentlemen, two ancient ladies, and Joan of Arc who says: “They hoped to win with their weapons?” only in Spanish, as the flames licked her feet.

It has often been said that the mailbox is the most beautiful thing in the world. I think it is. All my loved ones, gone these many years, would say the same. Yes, they would say, yes.

Helen Keller says: I agree. It’s good to have loved ones.

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