Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019


Two photos taken during the few years after my cataract operation when I didn't have to wear glasses all the time. The first is me with my longtime buddy Karen Allen, and the second, shooting into a mirror at the gym, is the only selfie I ever took.


If I was in DC today (Wednesday) I would have been outside the White House protesting the visit of the Turkish Trump, Erdogan, who the resident of the people's house was entertaining while Erdogan's death squads were murdering Kurds who beat back ISIS for us. Made my blood pressure explode just thinking about those two murderous power-mad men meeting while Kurds die. Why aren't people in the street protesting any visit of Erdogan's?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


A four-hour distillation of the last decades of Russia's 18th Century ruler, Catherine The Great, this HBO mini-series depends for its appeal on Helen Mirren who is up to the task. Her ability to transcend any limitations of casting or script (including being too old for the early years of Catherine's rule) is once again on display. As a period costume drama it's sometimes campy fun, but the story is episodic and not very gripping. Mirren's performance, however, makes it all worthwhile, as always.

Monday, November 11, 2019


me and my buddy Murph during basic training in February or March of 1962 when I was 19 and at the beginning of my four years in the military...Veterans Day celebrates all veterans including those like me who didn't see combat (it's Memorial Day that commemorates those who died in wars)...

Saturday, November 9, 2019


"To oversimplify for a moment, it may be said that life stinks, the human experience stinks, every individual stinks, and having said that, from having known the truth of it, the validity of it, you begin to come out from under when you reply to this truth by saying, So what? By saying, Even so."—William Saroyan (from Here Comes, There Goes, You Know Who)

Friday, November 8, 2019


Thanks to my youngest, Flynn, for reintroducing me to this version of a classic:

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Nadia Osuwu (a new friend and favorite writer that everybody should read) and me after our reading at Pace Monday evening. Thanks to our host, old friend and poet Charles North, for pairing us for the event and giving me the opportunity to hear such a brilliant new-to-me voice.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


So I did this reading at Pace in Manhattan Monday, a day when my body and brain weren't working so well (some days are like that). It felt like a struggle for me. Though a lot of people said they liked it including dear friends there to give their support, and several students bought my book.

But the revelation that put the evening over the top for me was the brilliant prose of the other person on the bill, Nadia Owuso. When she began reading from the beginning of her slim book—so devilish a fire—it made up for any problems I was having as I was totally swept away by the imagery and lyrical originality of her sentences, more like a poem's lines (as poet John Godfrey pointed out later), each paragraph the poem.

I bought the book, and when I got back to Jersey stayed up half the night reading it through and being more and more impressed with each page turned. It joins the company of my all-time favorites, this  unique blend of memoir, history, journalism, and literary essay, that gives a deep glimpse into an equally unique life and intelligence. Get ahold of a copy and see for yourself.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Tomorrow, Monday, November 4th, at 6PM, I'll be reading my poetry and Nadia Owusu reading her work at Pace University, Schimmel Theater entrance, 3 Spruce Street (a block East of City Hall), up one curving flight of stairs, then bear left to Bianco Room on right, introduced by Charles North (includes a Q&A). Free and open to the public. And for Old-Timers who can't do stairs, there’s an entrance on Spruce St. halfway down the block, before you get to the Schimmel entrance. The Security guard will know—by 5:00 p.m. probably—that some outsiders may be entering there for the reading. Once past the turnstyle on the right (which the guard will have to open), walk straight to the Bianco Rm., first along a courtyard, then through a door and down an indoor corridor (maybe 100 ft. all told?); the Bianco Rm. will be on the left.