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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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Post-coitus tristesse, or

…postpartum depression, or jet-lag, or there’s-no-there-there, or bonjour tristesse, or s.a.d., or depleted, or low t., or Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me, or stone in my shoe, or Stop the World – I Want to Get Off, or gas, or A Hole in the Bucket, or Pictures of the Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti The world(…)

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bad good luck, two

Speaking of bad good luck, here’s an excerpt from my book Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival, Europe 1939-1945 recently reissued with new material by TMI Press from Part I, Chapter: “Uncanny Luck” [Kohn is on the far left in the photo] Sometimes a crumb foils From the table of joy Sometimes a bone is(…)

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This place, three

I occasionally order a cream pie from a tiny kiosk at the port beside what once was the old old bakery run by brothers. After heating the opulent pastry, the pleasant owner shakes a powdering of confectioners sugar across its crusty surface, smiles and asks, Cinema? I nod. She shakes on a small cloud of cinnamon. The(…)

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What’s NOT NOT A JEW about?

“In 1930s Berlin, Eli G. is an abstracted young Jewish painter addled by Marxist idealism and tangled memories of his mother and the shtetl. Longing to move to Paris, Eli feverishly paints maps and watches the baby while his wife Vera gives up her ambition of becoming a doctor and works as an accountant. This is where Not(…)

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Guest: “Capitalist Girl”

By Johanne Rosenthal (Johanne has a successful blog named sunnysidehanne.com, featuring her original recipes) When I sit down to relate the story of my soldier it feels as if I am relating a Bubba-miser, a fairytale, as if the snow that fell was really goose feathers, the moon in the sky a matzo ball. The Norwegian(…)

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Bad good luck

Speaking of bad good luck: [Example #1] In summer one of my guests (a friend who I’ve known since she was four years old) told me that some beads she was wearing while washing her hands at the bathroom sink while staying at my Greek house had broken, scattered, many disappearing down the sinkhole. Since the necklace was the last(…)

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October 9th

Various statuettes loiter in a corner of my enclosed terrace. Joining them, my father as a young college graduate about to take on the world. And my mother too. Little could he imagine the bumps and tripwires he would encounter concluding with his death in New York overlooking the East River on October 9th a few years ago.(…)

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