Good Gore

Sometimes a story is so good it doesn’t matter how it’s told. The facts against a flat surface remain dense, flamboyant, no matter how simply they are thrown. Which is not to say that Paul French’s “Midnight in Peking” is a poorly told, simple read. Quite the contrary. The Edgar Award-winning true-crime tale is the […]

Medieval Times

As we strolled under the S train underpass at the intersection of Franklin and Lefferts on the way home from my son’s construction camp he asked: why do people need to be dirty. I was about to correct him. People don’t need to be dirty; some people just are dirty. But, he was right. We […]

Slightly Off

“I try to dress in a way that is just slightly off, so the spectator, if he notices, will feel slightly bemused but not excluded, remembering his own imperfect mode of dress.” Poet John Ashbery, as quoted in The New York Times in an article about his death    

Crayola names are getting so good. Timberwolf. Tumbleweed. Goldenrod. Does this mean tumbleweed = amaranth? And magenta has no translation? All beautiful thoughts.


About a week ago I visited the Georgia O’Keefe retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum: Living Modern. The exhibit not only centered around her well-known paintings and photographs, but also around her self-made clothing, and how her choice in dress was part and parcel to her conscious artistic identity. Her clothes were black and white, androgynous […]

Dodging Bullets vs. Shooting Them

By bullets I mean unwanted, unyielding change. By dodging I mean dodging. By shooting I mean effecting. This, then, is the title with which I catalogue the past year and a half, not only my own life, but of many of those close to me. There may be cosmic reasons for the dodging, the shooting. […]


The silence of the poem returns: Perhaps it is by sudden, suburban death Close enough to cry in dry heaves of breath Perhaps it is by ever-lasting absence Of right mother — The slamming down of my infant head Confirms all sweetness now is fled But then there are benches in this town To go […]

Take Note

Joan Didion on the importance of note taking.  From “The Year of Magical Thinking”. 


Remarkable thoughts from Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.”

Poet-Aches and Toothaches

Pains of the soul versus pains of the tooth. From Hans Christian Andersen’s story “Auntie Toothache,” found in the  Penguin Classic compilation of his “Fairy Tales.”

Magical Thinking

For a few weeks this book has been on my mind. Didion, Didion, Didion. And her “Year of Magical Thinking,” written during the first year she mourned her husband’s sudden death. This for me has proven to be a year of magical thinking, a year of metamorphosing concrete barricades into trampolines via transformative thought. Magical […]

Once a Shipwreck, Always a Shipwreck

So I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Relato de un Náufrago” (“The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor”) in one sitting. I had my doubts when buying it beacuse I tend to find that all shipwreck stories are the same. Sun, thirst, hunger, dead fish.  Indeed, my favorite part of the tale was Marquez’s introduction, which included […]

Bon Voyage

I can think of few things I enjoy more than buying a new book at an airport. The thought of being trapped in the air inside a metal tube for hours with nothing to do but read or watch bad movies is thrilling. The more so with a brand new glossy book upon my lap. […]

Break Point Break

British artist Fiona Banner turned the opening scenes of the cult classic Point Break into a huge canvas with red words. The point? Convey the break, the chiasm between what is experienced visually and mentally. Suspense is lost. Impact becomes flaccid. Scenes become silent. In the case of high-voltage action, Banner implies that sometimes the […]

Survival of the Horniest

During a recent blissful Sunday afternoon on a London rooftop a friend dutifully informs me that, from an evolutionary perspective, our happiness is problematic. He then plops open the book he is currently logging around town to the page above. Writer Yuval Noah Harari makes a good point: our evolution is not based on survival […]


The event of reading, of unearthing meaning applicable to life, is the only event of art. When reading is truly reading, then reading and writing are the same thing.  Signs such as the one pictured above and below are not unevents in the event they transform walking into reading and reading into, eventually, writing. 

Le Cahier Pharmacie

Voilá our very own drugstore notebook making its début at the uber fashionable shop Colette. Guess we are on to something: a sign to keep trucking. 

The Best Gallery in Paris

After three days of intense art immersion, I took the early afternoon off to browse the book stalls along the Seine. Here, I found what I consider to be the most beautiful works of art in the entire ville. A child-drawn cover on Raymond Quenueau’s “Zazie dans le métro,” one of my favorite books of […]

Warhol Wisdom

Words to live by on display at the Banksy/Warhol exhibit at Amsterdam’s MoCo Museum. 


Almost now, immediately, I feel certain I must read Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” once again. Just saying.