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Never enough rain, never a long enough night

It rained through the long night, the thirteenth longest night of the nearly discarded crumpled year. Polly didn’t put the kettle on. I did but couldn’t wait for the whistle so covered dry tea leaves with not-boiled-tap-water while listening to the swish/slosh of car tires; to pauses, to spatters, driblets, sprinkles, sprays, swash. In bed(…)

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Short straw

He drew the short straw. Blanched. His task unwelcome. She picked the long straw. Blushed. Her task uninvited. Poem by Samuel Beckett, translated by Samuel Beckett they come different and the same with each it is different and the same with each the absence of love is different with each the absence of love is(…)

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Didn’t get around to

re-reading Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories  promoting NNJ, PE, TWWBMBFTD or EITLR finding Japanese publisher for ASF the gym the beach John Le Carré’s The Pigeon Tunnel going through cd’s, dvd’s, vcr’s, Playbills, maps weeding the garden polishing tarnished silver wear visiting the cashmere sweater shop in the center of the earth Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of(…)

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Trolls bite ankles and wrists

Worse than mosquitos, discord-sowing, antagonistic – provocateurs in gnat-like swarms – trolls have been biting at my ankles, my wrists, at the tender bottoms of baby’s feet. They’ve been whining in my ears nonstop, have made a feast of my peace of mind and proven to be immune to swats including stinging slaps. They swarm in ceremonial formations, also hit-and-miss randomness. Regardless of how many(…)

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Salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar

Early one sunday morning in the middle of the 1950s, my parents piled us kids (there were three of us at the time) into the back seat of our second hand two-tone green and white Nash Rambler. We set off for Jones Beach. A small mountain of Tuna salad sandwiches had been prepared and wrapped with wax paper; carrots(…)

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In the dark, on the conch

It was pitch black outside when we woke at four. I made coffee while my guest from Santa Fe dressed, finished packing. We sat together on the conch (couch) sipping from our mugs – mine was the Tower of London, my guest’s, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Fifteen minutes before the arranged appointment, the driver rang to say (in an almost(…)

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the smell of young tomato vines

I’ve got a patch in a communal garden across the street. In it is a rose bush that came from a small cutting taken off an aromatic climbing rose belonging to my friend Lily (now dead) that flourished for years on her terrace on the Isle of Hydra in Greece. It’s miraculous annual flowering reminds the olfactory me of the many(…)

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Banging heads against the wall

What I was told to do by my mother when I was a child: Geh shlog dein kup en cant! (Go bang your head against the wall!) I didn’t know if she was kidding so I’d study the off-white wall, or the striped wallpaper. Did she mean my forehead? Or the crown of my head? At other times I heard her say about(…)

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Calm

Memorial Day Weekend about to kick off. Recollections prickle, musical first, icons like Come On Baby Light My Fire, (the Doors summer of 1967) and (much later), Every Time We Say Goodbye (Annie Lennox, 1990, from Cole Porter’s lyrics), reminders of buoyant times long gone. As pre-summer peeks around the corner, that familiar wave (as always) rolls in. It’s book-ended by(…)

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