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“Three Cigarettes in the Ashtray”

On the anniversary (November 29th) of the last cigarette I ever smoked: A gift. Patsy Cline singing  “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray” (on YouTube, have a listen.) (Two cigarettes in an ashtray My love and I in a small cafe Then a stranger came along and everything went wrong Now there’s three cigarettes in the ashtray..)

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“One less bell to answer”

Received this week: G. found wandering + naked in apartment building last nite. In room 25, 6th floor at [… Hospital]. …had been rapidly deteriorating… First met G. in 1971. I was at a dimly lit disco (Blow Up) down the street from the United Nations on Forty-ninth street at which an oval bar, also small tables, encircled a packed dance floor. At intervals(…)

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R.I.P. Dan Fante

        Died yesterday in Los Angeles where we became friends who also admired each other’s work. Oh Dan! A kindred spirit! A delicious writer who I interviewed for my book  Love in the Second Act in around 2005. Dan was in a very happy time of life, was exceptionally prolific, thrilled by his new love and his new son. Our interview titled Like(…)

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Review: Not Not a Jew

In the midst of these brutal days (slaughters in Paris, slaughters in Beirut, slaughters in Nigeria, slaughters in Tel Aviv), that have bled blame, reprisals, pleas for tolerance, fear, aggression, turmoil, bewilderment, enough impending doom to unsettle even the toughest among us, a young professor actually read and thought about my new novella. Gratefully received, especially at a(…)

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Encomium Andréa

A great friend has come to town. We’re meeting on Sunday morning at Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street. Because I rarely get to that part of town anymore, I leave home an hour early in order to have time to ramble around a neighborhood I once knew in which I should have feared for(…)

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Marking dates

November 7th, marked birth dates of Marie Curie, Leon Trotsky, Francisco de Zurbaran, Edie Beale, David Petraeus, Joni Mitchel, Billy Graham. Yesterday, November 8th, marked birth dates of Bram Stoker, Dorothy Day, Margaret Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, the Roman Emperor Claudius. Today, November 9th, marks: the 77th anniversary of the German Reich’s 1938 destruction by fire, by(…)

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On the horizon

With my little jewel Not Not a Jew recently launched by TMI Press, only one reissue (of five previously published works) remains. Soon it too will be released with a new Author’s Note to blow freely in the wind. The following piece on Georgia O’Keeffe’s last love, written during a snowy winter, is from this nonfiction work – Love in(…)

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November, then and now

Greeks greet each other by saying Kalo Mina [wishing all a good month] at the beginning of every month, like today, as it is November 1. The clocks have ‘fallen back’ and light drains away earlier each day. I’m about to put my garden shoes away and when I go outside, I’v on a scarf, cashmere socks and a jacket. I like the embrace of socks(…)

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