Monthly Archives: March 2021

INSTEAD OF SAYING “NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM” AT SEDERS, WHY NOT “WHEREVER YOU WANT TO BE”

Here’s another poem for Passover. “Just Like Brian Wilson” starts as a critique of the concept of royalty, which I despise. It proposes that at the point in the Passover seder when people sing “Next Year in Jerusalem” (“L’Shana Haba’ah

DO WE HAVE A CORE SELF THAT PERSISTS THROUGH DECADES OF CHANGE?

The end of the pandemic represents an opportunity to find provisional answers to an eternal question: Do we have a core self that persists through decades of change? Or are we, like Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, but onions that have only

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DIE TOMORROW?

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I knew I had only one more day to live. A few years back I catalogued the possible activities for a hypothetical last day on Earth. Surprisingly, wild fantasies of exotic travel,

ANYONE MISS LONG BUSINESS MEETINGS IN ICE-COLD AIR CONDITIONING?

One thing I’m sure most people don’t miss during the pandemic are long staff meetings in ice-cold air conditioning with insipid sandwiches and donuts. At least on Zoom, you can dress comfortably, easily distract yourself on the sly with Facebook

WHEN ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE TABOO TO YOU, WHAT DO YOU DO INSTEAD OF PURSUING SEX?

My guess is that most adults have experienced the following, although probably not since the pandemic began: You meet someone and have an immediately physical attraction, and feel vibes that the other person is attracted to you, too. But one

SOCIAL MEDIA & VIRTUAL REALITY ENDOW EVERYONE WITH THE WRITER’S POWER TO CREATE ALTERNATIVE REALITIES

From almost the beginning of literature in ancient times, writers have toyed with the idea of alternate visions of reality: dream worlds, the reality after death, fantasy worlds, the world when under the influence of foreign substances, life at the

BE IT FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE, VIOLENCE OR TRAUMA, RECOVERY IS DIFFICULT

Whatever the reason for being in recovery—be it from substance abuse, childhood trauma, violence, sexual abuse, or war—the feelings are similar: guilt and shame, as survivors of trauma and substance abusers both tend to blame themselves. Both often long deeply

AN IMAGINARY LANDSCAPE WITH 29 BIRDS

Some years back, the University of Pittsburgh’s Frick Fine Arts Museum asked me to write a poem about its exhibition of Audubon bird prints and include it in a reading there.  I decided to do with words to Audubon what

EVEN DURING THE RUT OF THE PANDEMIC, WE CHANGE EVERY DAY—AGE, GROW, LEARN, MATURE, DECLINE

It’s easy to get into a rut during the Covid-19 pandemic, captive at home, apart from most family, friends and work acquaintances, unable to engage in virtually all of our favorite activities. Many describe our current situation as stagnant, stale,