A presto, Dante Alighieri!

In which I peer into the passato remoto (like, molto molto remoto) Dante, the poet of Italy, so famous the last name is basically superfluous, died seven hundred years ago today. Seven HUNDRED years. WHAT. He had contracted malaria while staying in Ravenna at the request of its prince, Guido II da Polenta. Scholars estimateContinue reading “A presto, Dante Alighieri!”

9/11 at 20: A Non-Remembrance

I have no memories of 11 September 2001. I have memories from earlier in childhood, including plenty of memories of New York, so whether this was perhaps a willful block I know not. That city has always symbolized resilience—and, ironically, safety—to me personally. Because of events in my early life and my family that necessitatedContinue reading “9/11 at 20: A Non-Remembrance”

New Fears from Pandemic Me

Or, a year and a half in mini-phobias I realized I ought to counterbalance the habits list, because these eighteen months haven’t been all new quirks and self-improvement and bleak jokes about the End Times. Here are some things I’ve developed irrational, or maybe rational, aversions to—some of which are really just the habits’ flipContinue reading “New Fears from Pandemic Me”

Never Write a Hasty Review or You Will Live to Regret It

In which I CANNOT let it be (naked) Last week I read Juliet, Naked, a novel by the illustrious Nick Hornby. It’s the third novel of his I’ve read (if you don’t count State of the Union as a novel), the first two being High Fidelity and About a Boy. Given that Hornby has madeContinue reading “Never Write a Hasty Review or You Will Live to Regret It”

More poetry!

In which new lit is lit 🔥 Ciao tutti— The lovely new lit mag Journal of Erato dropped its second issue today, entitled Hometown, in which my poem “Me and Mike #3” is featured. It began life as a fragment, a half-thought-out meditation on being away from familiar places and people. Then I realized itContinue reading “More poetry!”

Clemens > Dickens

In which I match, or mismatch, wits I just reread The Adventures of Tom Sawyer after quite a number of years, possibly predating the last time I read Huck Finn. Not only is the prose as precise and entertaining as ever, this time around has elucidated something I’ve long struggled with concerning certain contemporaries ofContinue reading “Clemens > Dickens”

New Habits from Pandemic Me

Or, a year and a half in additions, subtractions, and alterations Sending messages just to say hi when I think of people, with no expectation of a reply Writing things down immediately when they cross my mind, meaning there are post-its all over my room & I sometimes wake up to a Notes app fullContinue reading “New Habits from Pandemic Me”

Happy birthday, Bob!

In which I count a love minus zero On Monday the greatest lyrical poet of his generation turned 80. I’m going to eschew songwriter, although (or perhaps because) plenty call him that unhesitatingly—many artists of that generation, male and female, produced songs and/or albums that could justify their bid for the title. But his masteryContinue reading “Happy birthday, Bob!”

I Feel Fine (Or Not)

In which I pull apart a Weltanschauung *CW: suicide ideation* German coming along, is it? LOL I learned that word years ago from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Good weekend, all. This is not a Beatles post; sorry to anyone who may feel misled. Today I’m wondering whether, or when, to say you’reContinue reading “I Feel Fine (Or Not)”

5 Times I Related Way Too Hard to Elton John’s ME

In which I say “oh God same” *CW: addiction* Last weekend I listened to Elton John’s recent autobiography on Audible, read in alternating chapters by the man himself and Taron Egerton, who played him in Rocketman. And let me tell you: you do not need to have had a sixteen-year cocaine habit to find atContinue reading “5 Times I Related Way Too Hard to Elton John’s ME”