BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia

In which I take arms against a sea of troubles and wind up drowning MIRANDA How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t! PROSPERO ‘Tis new to thee. : The Tempest, Act V Scene 1 *WARNING: SPOILERS* Friends, Americans, countrymen! We have enteredContinue reading “BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia”

Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

In which I play the Cecilian Defense *WARNING: SPOILERS* I suspect I was always one nudge away from playing chess. Growing up I might have had the makings of an enthusiast if I hadn’t devoted almost all my energies to literary pursuits. Or if I hadn’t been so troublesome at board games, a jealous playerContinue reading “Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT”

So Beautiful It Hurts

In which I direct my readers to a departed talent Gwendolyn Brooks, poet and relentless voice, left us twenty years ago today. For those unfamiliar with her name on sight, she was the mastermind behind the oft-misread “We Real Cool,” She was also: The first Black writer (of any discipline) to win a Pulitzer PrizeContinue reading “So Beautiful It Hurts”

Write What You Know?

In which I question the sagacity of some so-called sage advice We writers have long had the adage “write what you know” lobbed at us, supposedly an encouragement to use our lives as fodder for crafting powerful stories. I started hearing it soon after expressing any sort of long-term interest in creative writing. It’s beenContinue reading “Write What You Know?”

Warren Beatty Reacts to “You’re So Vain” (A McSweeney’s Castoff)

In which I house a homeless monologue Here follows a piece which was rejected by not one but TWO online humor mags, one being the illustrious McSweeney’s Internet Tendency of Boston. Given the double distinction, I felt it merited self-publication. It is, I think, no meaner than the song. • It was a yacht party,Continue reading “Warren Beatty Reacts to “You’re So Vain” (A McSweeney’s Castoff)”

Washington Irving, Berlin

In which I ruminate on an eerie visitation and the man behind it Excuse me while I congratulate myself on that terribly clever title. A writer I love overlapping a composer I love overlapping a city I love which happens to be where I live? Oh, Cecilia, you crack-up. *pats own back* Just kidding. (SortContinue reading “Washington Irving, Berlin”

A Birthday Salute to Paul Laurence Dunbar

In which I mark a poet whose work has occupied my mind Allow me a moment out of my other endeavors to devote to a topic of true import. A few months or lifetimes ago, as social institutions and governments responded to the pandemic by mandating masks in public, it didn’t take long for aContinue reading “A Birthday Salute to Paul Laurence Dunbar”

Lit Review: THE GIRLS

In which I defect to the dark side *WARNING: SPOILERS &/OR TRIGGERS* Social distancing has inspired me to make considerable room for pleasure reading. And I find myself branching out, an instinct which was enabled but not precipitated by our isolated conditions. While to some extent I’ve been drawn to beautiful dark twisted tales sinceContinue reading “Lit Review: THE GIRLS”

Scott & Zelda Get Hitched

In which I celebrate an historic union One hundred years ago yesterday—on 3 April 1920—F. Scott Fitzgerald of Minnesota and Zelda Sayre of Alabama were married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They had known each other a year and a half and the letters were intense. Scott had recently been the latestContinue reading “Scott & Zelda Get Hitched”

‘Breakfast’ Epiphanies

In which I poke at a kooky classic With all this extra time on my hands lately, I figure I might as well get as much of a cinema education as Netflix will allow. Leading me, the other night, to watch the 1961 Blake Edwards-directed Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Based on Harper Lee’s best work. JustContinue reading “‘Breakfast’ Epiphanies”