States of States
“Ascension seemed at such times a natural law. If one added it to a law of completion — that everything must finally be made comprehensible — then some general rescue of the sort I imagined my aunt to have undertaken would be inevitable. For why do our thoughts turn to some gesture of the hand, the fall of a sleeve, some corner of a room on a particular anonymous afternoon, even...
on Girls (or Things I Did Before Getting Married)
“And if my experience in that church did nothing else for me, it accustomed me to strange outpourings of the Spirit, and gave me a tender regard for con artists and voices in the wilderness, no matter how odd or suspicious their message might be.” - Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington The first review that appears in a Google search of “Girls HBO” is a website...
Rise up with fists
“I think it is fair to say that the West has lost its place in the national imagination because, by some sad evolution, the idea of human nature has become the opposite of what it was when the myth of the West began, and now people who are less shaped and constrained by society are assumed to be disabled and dangerous. this is bad news for the American psyche, a fearful and antidemocratic...
If our lives are gifts to begin with… in some sense they are not...– Lewis Hyde, The Gift
Simple Pleasures, the spa
When I was hired by Mary and Alice Moore, they gave me a lot warnings. They warned of their bickering, of the shop’s propensity to accumulate soot and dust; the freezing temperatures, the demanding customers, the tedious backroom tasks, the occasional invasion of mice and groundhogs; that I’d have to eat lunch standing up, that I’d have to wear sensible shoes, and finally, that I...
Empire State of Mind
“It was one thing to have rich people in your pasture, but when the Clatterbucks thought of Catholics, they saw statues of the Virgin Mary going up in the yard, ten feet high.” - Ann Patchett, The Patron Saint of Liars There are a lot of things to do in New York City, but if you live there — in the way anyone lives any where — for the most part, you’re going to do...
Wilder Quarterly, Issue II →
Wilder Quarterly, a gorgeous contemporary gardening & lifestyle magazine, will be “hitting the stands” before the end of the month! I had the privilege of serving as Assistant Editor once again this winter, and as it sold out within just a few weeks last fall, I encourage interested readers to pre-order soon (Click on da link)! Below is a tasting of what to expect: ...
Some Impressions of the New Hampshire Primary
“…it seemed to exist only to maintain itself. It didn’t seem to have any relationship to people who hung around gas stations.” - Joan Didion on the 1988 presidential primaries from a CSPAN2 interview in 2000 When my college roommate ensconced with NBC to prepare for the primary, she sent me this text: “Made it to New Hampshire. It’s charming in that my room...
More Publishing Newz
My essay, “Our Bodies, Our Smoke,” is now available in Owl Eye Review, a hearty, Houston-based publication of poetry and nonfiction. Also, once again, please direct your attention to 7STOPS Magazine for my French-failure story “The Strawberry Cake,” as well as new and exciting work by Ben Korman (“Nature Does Not Knock), Lindsay MaHarry (“Difficult...
My short-short duo, “Blue Balls/Two Weeks,” appeared in the inaugural issue of 7STOPS Magazine, co-edited by literary friend-and-ally, Kate Gavino. This month’s theme is “Growth & Decay.” Also, direct your attn: to Robert Balkovich’s deft personal-historical Brazillian tell-all, “Rio de Agosto.” “7STOPS is a monthly online magazine...
Getting My Nails Did
“I remember one day when someone who did have the West Village number came to pick me up for lunch there, and we both had hangovers, and I cut my finger opening him a beer and burst into tears, and we walked to a Spanish restaurant and drank bloody Mary’s and gazpacho until we felt better. I was not then guilt-ridden about spending afternoons that way, because I still had all the...
I recently received an Honorable Mention in the Stony Brook $1000 Short Fiction Contest for my story, “The Age of Automobiles,” and was awarded the Dooley Prize in Nonfiction by the Owl Eye Review for my essay, “Our Bodies, Our Smoke” (publication forthcoming).
There are certain things citizens from Westchester expect everyone to know about: Chicken parm, Rockland County, the Hutchinson River Parkway (“the Hutch”), “cold cuts,” sweet-sixteen parties, and the firm distinction between meat courses and “sides,” i.e. “How can we have dinner? All we have are sides.” I say this with a great deal of affection, and...
I’ll never say that life doesn’t imitate art again.– Woody Allen, Manhattan Murder Mystery
Christiansen's Fine Milk
En route to our Georgiaville Pond excursions, we pass by an an old dairy. It’s a beautiful sight. A few short Divco milk trucks fill its parking lot, above which sits the antique sign: Christiansen’s Fine Milk. Propped next to the letters is a representative bottle. Two model-cows stand on the roof above the bottling center, a simple, stout building. The whole outfit sits to the side...
A People's History of the Future
“In these studies I have sought to re-name the things seen, now lost in chaos of borrowed titles, many of them inappropriate, under which the true character lies hid [by which he means the character of America]… it has been my wish to draw from every source one thing, the strange phosphorus of the life, nameless under an old misappellation.” - William Carlos William, In the...
“I looked about the plain New England kitchen, with its wood-smoked walls and homely braided rugs on the worn floor, and all its simple furnishings. The loud-ticking clock seemed to encourage us to speak; at the other side of the room was an early newspaper portrait of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britan and Ireland. On a shelf below were some flowers in a little glass dish, as if they...
Midnight in the Geography of Our Imaginations
“Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.” - Woody Allen, Husbands and Wives Sitting mid-section at the Angelika Film Center, I wrestled two beers from my purse and handed one to Greg. The theater was pitch dark. A woman sitting next to us glowered as I had needlessly concealed the beers in plastic bags which crinkled throughout the opening credits of Woody...
“And that day at the Great Salt Lake as I looked at my feet, even those feet seemed a great distance away, in this terrain without scale, in which the near and far folded into each other, in which puddles were oceans and sand ridges mountain ranges.” - Rebecca Solnit, “The Blue of Distance,” A Field Guide to Getting Lost Turns out everyone was right about the...
Eugene Wasserman used to live in my apartment. I know this because his name appears daily on junk mail, but also on a rubber stamp, a steel flask, and a fishing vest that were here when I moved into #3D two years ago. There were a lot of other things, too. In fact I bartered the landlord down by relieving him of clean-up duties, promising to do it myself. The floors were sticky, and there were...
On Eating Backwards
“And nevertheless, being comfortable is of prime importance to those who have to face so many weeks of an arduous expedition; at risk is their health, their good moods, this book and its readers, and such excellent reasons justify our prowling, crouching in wait if necessary, and any other legitimate way to set ourselves up as we like. Weren’t cities created this way, and even nations?...
The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been...– “Walking” by Henry David Thoreau