Counting

Our Aunt Fanny began her measuring, that summer, while dusk stood outside her bedroom windows, preparing to stoop and slide through the screens. She was our father’s maternal cousin, daughter of Senator Joe B, as our grandmother cared to call him, because of the way he clunked ice cubes in whiskeys too fine for the… More

Boy in the Crosswalk

‘Anybody who voluntarily takes an antiviral every day has to have rocks in their heads. . . . There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and it has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything.’ Larry… More

Leeway

I’m just an animal, looking for a home. – David Byrne/Talking Heads (1983). ‘I am‘ includes all that has made me so. – John Berger (2013). I taught two classes that day, beginning at 9:30. Crossing Waverly Place, coffee warming the cardboard cup in my right hand, sensing the ground rumble, the sky groan, I… More

Nice Guys Finish Last…Unless You’re Reading

The first book that ever obsessed me, that changed my reading life, was  ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ by Leo Durocher.  I was 12 when I purchased it with birthday money, from a bookstore in Rochester, New York, where I grew up. What first caught my eye was its bright yellow cover, which reminded me of… More

The Fire Says

What might it mean to be drawn into meanings that, in some profound and necessary sense, shatter us? Christian Wiman: My Bright Abyss (2013) At six years old, distant enough from the ground to realize that you can connect the closely seen and the far away, the detail and an extension of details, I began… More

Imaging Figures #4

Thinking of one of Cezanne’s still lifes, say his Pommes of 1878-1882–which John Maynard Keynes bought “on his own behalf” after purchasing, for the National Gallery, nineteen works from the Degas collection auctioned in Paris in March 1918–I am reminded of its disembarkation-tale, which Quentin Bell reports in “A Cezanne in the Hedge” (1992, 138).… More