Monthly Archives: February 2021

VIRTUAL EVERYTHING FOR WHICH PEOPLE GET PRAISED OR REWARDED COMES DOWN TO LUCK

The argument that the rich deserve their wealth because they earned it serves as the basis for a lot of governmental social policy, including our taxation system. But even for the billionaire who started with nothing—and by the way, there

WE OFTEN REMEMBER EVENTS MUCH DIFFERENTLY FROM HOW THEY REALLY HAPPENED

The mind can sure play tricks on you! I remember years ago, when we lived in Miami during high school, my brother and I once saw a rainstorm three blocks away, moving in our direction like a forest fire or

A FEEL-GOOD POEM FOR A DREARY PANDEMIC THURSDAY IN FEBRUARY

Someone asked me to post a feel-good poem. What could feel better than a poem about playing word games with a three-year-old on July 4th, then feeding the ducks and watching them glide away from the pier when you’re out

THE PANDEMIC PROVES AGAIN THAT NO ONE CAN ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD

Rich folk live in gated communities or on private islands to escape from the world. Many well-off people send their children to private schools hoping to avoid having their kids come in contact with anyone who might make them doubt

TWO VICTIMS OF THE EXPECTATIONS SOCIETY FORCES ON WOMEN: SYLVIA PLATH & A HOUSWIFE NAMED DOT

One of the main characters in my soon-to-be-released novel, The Brothers Silver, is a mentally ill housewife literally beat down by the expectations that others place on her. In creating the character, I used as my models the poet Sylvia

FROM SCHOENBERG’S LIFE, WE LEARN THAT REMAINING TRUE TO THE SONG INSIDE YOU IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SOCIAL CLIMBING

One of my most requested poems at readings is “Schoenberg’s Second Conversion,” my version of the life of Arnold Schoenberg, an important composer of the 20th century. Schoenberg created what is called “12 tone music,” a technique of composition that

WALKING AWAY FROM A CAR CRASH WITHOUT SCRATCH

Sometime in the summer of 1984, I was driving my wreck of a Toyota stick-shift on a rural Georgia backroad, exhausted from driving for ten hours straight from New Orleans. I fell asleep and ran the car into and out

MISSING THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF A WALK WITHOUT ANXIETY

Going outside during a pandemic resembles running an obstacle course, especially in a city as densely populated as New York. The obstacles are maskless people and the poisonous invisible monsters they spew everywhere. I walk cautiously, crossing into the street