Friends -- as we reach the end of July of this strange, unreal feeling year, I am experiencing with renewed force the power of the Jewish holiday known as Tisha B' Av. Tisha B'Av commemorates the fall of Jerusalem Temples 1 and 2, but in a larger sense, it commemorates the totality of Jewish catastrophes. … Continue reading lamentations/celebrations/lamentations — attempt #2
Dear friends -- I'd like to invite you to take a look at my introductory essay to the Summer Issue of SHARK REEF literary magazine, an online journal that I've had the honor to work with for several years. The link to my essay is here: "Better" Better yet, (what is better than better? just … Continue reading “a revolutionary moment”
Dear friends -- Somehow May has been a blur and a whirl. I'm teaching two writing classes and taking 2 classes, but somehow I am beginning to finally not know what day it is. I think it's a combination of the laundry piling up and realizing that it is unlikely that I will be able … Continue reading uh…. what day is it? a May greeting
Dear friends of writing and reading – Today is Yom HaShoah, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Holocaust. A long time ago, before I converted to Judaism I taught college courses on the literature of the Holocaust. It was during this time that I got to know a friend of a friend, the scholar … Continue reading Argue with your mother, recite a poem, experience a moment of grace: Ruth Klueger at Auschwitz
In this now surreal and dystopian 2020, this magical realism blogger turns, not to a magical writer, or a realist writer, but to a writer who was arguably an absurdist or an existentialist. Or maybe both and neither. Yup. Albert Camus. I guess alot of us are thinking about Albert Camus because of his famous … Continue reading March 2020 What would Camus say?
Friends -- while we're gearing up to write we can also read something. Read something by a friend or a stranger. Read something by a stranger who became a friend. A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of Gloss, the new poetry collection by Wendy Barker. It's fantastically good. I met Wendy at … Continue reading and… read something
Dear friends -- I haven't posted in a while because, in order to pay off a tiny bit of my trip to France last fall, I taught at Edmonds Community College this quarter. I had been looking forward all winter to planning a big end of April trip to SoCal, the area that I still … Continue reading no return to normalcy– so? write about it
https://images.app.goo.gl/YrEbzqUVGKMtNN8R8 (phab photo of comedian Phyllis Diller by Lee Cerano) Friends -- I've been asking myself this alot these days. Brilliant poet Judy Kronenfeld warned that at a certain stage in life, creativity comes less easily, and I am certainly experiencing that. But I also feel a certain futility about a lot of what I … Continue reading why bother?
Friends -- This is a rough, inelegant attempt at a bundle of issues that I'm trying to grapple with vis a vis this author. I wish I could say what I want to say better. But here it is. Long before I became a creative writer, in another life I was a comparative literature scholar … Continue reading me and Peter Handke
What is moving us now in this strange historical moment of lies and spectacle? What art speaks when kids are caged at the border and families get shot as they shop for back-to-school supplies at a Walmart? An American resident who is a journalist who gets murdered and dismembered in an embassy? What can get … Continue reading We cry because we laughed and vice versa – thoughts about the unreal in performance