• Poetry
  • Longing, And Adieu

    “In Kyoto …” In Kyoto, hearing the cuckoo, I long for Kyoto. –Bashō Translated by Jane Hirshfield This wonderful short poem feels like an appropriate adieu to 2010. The collage above is by Susana Jacobson and dates from our days of sharing a loft on the Lower East Side, on Henry Street at Rutgers, so […]

  • Books
  • Tucking In for the Winter

    East First Street in South Boston on Monday morning (my studio is on the right) Ice lace on my studio wall The highlight of that infamous genre, The Christmas Letter (which is, let’s face it, a mixed bag) for me is the yearly book recommendations that arrive from my long time friends Mary Pat and […]

  • Art Making
  • A Deep, Quiet Place

    A recent shot of my studio table Some periods are creatively fecund, and some are not. After many years of being an artist, I have come to expect both the ups and the downs of a life in the studio. As I have observed many times on this blog, the nature of the work that […]

  • Psychology
  • 21st Century Montaignism

    My recent reading of Montaigne has increased my interest in how simple, straightforward “how to live” advice is made available. In our era we rely on data to validate our claims, so contemporary advice takes on a different hue. I was struck by this when I came across The Ψ Project blog and a list […]

  • Current viewings
  • Mark Bradford: Silent Strength

    Mississippi Gottam, by Mark Bradford I’ve been a fan of Mark Bradford for a while (and most recently was completely knocked out by the Bradford in the permanent collection at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles), but the current show at the Boston ICA offered me new insights into his work. Because there are so […]

  • Poetry
  • The Books, Now and Always

    And Yet the Books And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings, That appeared once, still wet As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn, And, touched, coddled, began to live In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up, Tribes on the march, planets in motion. “We are, ” […]

  • Books
  • A Second Helping of Montaigne

    This is an additional serving of Montaigne and an addendum to yesterday’s post regarding the book, How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell. A few more passages and thoughts from the book… On the relevance of Montaigne to our age and time: Some […]

  • History
  • Licking Life

    As unpleasant as air travel has become, it still serves up that delicious, “put your headphones on and block out the world” slot of time to just read. This weekend it was spent devouring Sarah Bakewell’s captivating and award winning book, How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Stella, Smee and Subjectivism

    Chocorua IV, 1966. Fluorescent alkyd and epoxy paints on canvas. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College © 2010 Frank Stella/ Artists Rights Socety (ARS), New York. Photo by Steven Sloman. In a recent review of the Frank Stella show, Irregular Polygons at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee ended […]

  • Personal
  • Gills are Given

    Together The water closing over us and the going down is all. Gills are given. We convert in a town of broken hulls and green doubloons. O you dead pirates hear us! There is no salvage. All you know is the color of warm caramel. All is salt. See how our eyes have migrated to […]