Literature, Writing

Dickinson riffs on summer

No, not Angie.  Emily, the original Goth Girl, sums up summer beautifully in this poem, courtesy of DailyLit: A something in a summer’s Day As slow her flambeaux burn away Which solemnizes me. A something in a summer’s noon— A depth—an Azure—a perfume— Transcending ecstasy. And still within a summer’s night A something so transporting bright…

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Current Affairs, My back pages, New York, Vespers, Writing

Summer’s Lease

The giveaway happened this morning.  It came in the form of a sneeze—several, actually, all so forceful that my coffee flew out of my cup into my face.  No burns, only embarrassed, accompanied by NY1’s confirmation of my suspicions: ragweed had launched its ugly spores into the air.  Zyrtec, take me away. In this way…

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Art, Short Cuts, Sketches, Writing, Writings

Dig Two Graves

The sound of the wind was strong.  It was that, and what felt like sudden warmth that made Christina sit up, then shield her eyes from the sharp light.  She’d fallen asleep in the field.  How long had it been—an hour?  Minutes?  She yawned.  The inhalation rephrased the moment, reminded her why she’d come back…

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Art, Current Affairs, Gay, My back pages, Politics, Travel, Writing

Another Page

Live from New York: this morning as a family of starlings chirped me into cognizance, I thought, the past is present again.  Funny—it remembered the first day of my Woodstock residency almost a month ago, less evocative of home than a clue to the sheer volume and diversity of bird stock in that neck of…

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Art, My back pages, Writing

Retrieving My Enthusiasms

It’s a chipmunk world, and I’m just living in it.  At the Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock where I’m doing a month-long residency, the animals have it: with their rust-colored coats, those cute chipmunks ripple through the grass like glints of bright copper; cats (domestics named Celeste and Bob) strut across the lawn at night, their…

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Current Affairs, Religion, Theater, Writing

You wish to have the curse reversed?

New York In A Tizzy Dept: The Times was ablaze this week over the City University of New York’s decision to deny Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Tony Kushner an honorary degree over his alleged inflammatory remarks about Israel. This morning the paper reports their repentance, after other past recipients like Michael Cunningham and Barbara Ehrenreich threatened…

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Current Affairs, My back pages, Travel, Writing

Home Fires

I’m a memoirist; in my mind’s eye the past is a series of boxes filled with people, events and places that time recasts over and over.  Depending on shifts of perspective and mood, the land of what-used-to-be can emerge in ways that can baffle, annoy or overwhelm.  In Cincinnati, the city of my birth, my…

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Current Affairs, Film, Writing

Ronald Neame 1911-2010

An extraordinary artist whose uneven output as a director nonetheless yielded some gems.  Thrice nominated for Oscars (the screenplays of Great Expectations and Brief Encounter, special effects for One of Our Aircraft is Missing).  From The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to The Poseidon Adventure, few directors could match him for sheer craft or versatility….

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