• Poetry
  • Mourning Mumbai

    Taj Hotel in Mumbai, August 2008 The last several days my thoughts have been focused on the tragedy in Mumbai. I have only been to Mumbai once, and I have no family blood ties to that or any other part of India. But sometimes a place or a culture captures you inexplicably, and that is […]

  • Sexuality
  • Those Who Can’t Do, Write?

    In the spirit of keeping things light at this time of year when the food and the body can start feeling just a little heavy, here’s the Guardian‘s update on one of my favorite annual awards—The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction. You gotta love it, these laughable attempts to describe one of life’s greatest […]

  • Slow art
  • A New Flavor of Slow

    Barbara Ganley, near her home in Weybridge, Vt., thinks of blogging as a meditative art form. The article below from the Sunday New York Times caught my attention immediately. Slow blogging. But of course! As aligned as my blogging efforts have been with the relatively new term “slow”, I must admit I had not heard […]

  • Art Making
  • Elizabeth Peyton: In Between

    Flower Ben, by Elizabeth Peyton I have had a long relationship of ambivalence with Elizabeth Peyton’s work. And I’m not alone. As famous as she is–she is a true art world “darling”–there are many like me who cannot find their deep way into her work, to that place where you really feel connected. Sometimes a […]

  • Poetry
  • Lewis Hyde, Poet

    Desert “We have to be in a desert, for he whom we must love is absent.” –Simone Weil Early morning and the mist, saturated with light, obscures the disappearing powerlines. A damp obscurity but a desert nonetheless: birds that fly into it lose their bodies and survive as the songs of birds, the tallest locust […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Stoppard and Friends

    Tom Stoppard in Manhattan! Here, there, everywhere. This update on several of his sightings was filed by Terry Teachout on behalf of Gwen Orel. For readers of this blog, it would be the ultimate in redundancy to say that Stoppard is my favorite playwright, bar none. So redundancy be damned. What a guy. Worth the […]

  • Art Making
  • It Isn’t About What is Seen

    Artist Agnes Martin, 1912-2004 Another thank you to Pam Farrell for leading me to artist Susan York’s account of her relationship with the legendary Agnes Martin. I’ve included the text at the end of this post. It offers a compelling window into Martin’s way of seeing the world. Martin is a quirky but powerful presence […]

  • Personal
  • Gussying Up Main Street in Cambridge

    Thinking about the transformation of the Lower East Side (see the posting below from November 17) has put me in a neighborhood state of mind…Boston/Cambridge, my home for over 20 years, made for entertaining reading in Ethan Gilsdorf’s recent piece about Boston for the New York Times‘ “American Journeys” series. Focusing on the Main Street […]

  • History
  • Jonestown, 30 years later

    Thirty years ago today more than 900 people died Jonestown, a settlement in the jungle of Guyana. Often called a “massacre,” the victims in Jonestown participated in their communal demise willingly. They had practiced dry runs of this mass suicide several times before they did it for real on November 18, 1978. The Jonestown community […]