A Strange Day on Planet Earth

September 21

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Genie Bar Purgatory

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An unsuccessful visit to the Genie Bar.  My brilliant and impassioned speech about the injustices I have endured—delivered to the floor manager—may have been more effective if I had not temporarily choked on tears and had to stop speaking.

Some consolation that after the floor manager went back to wherever floor managers go, the Genie Man conceded I was right.  They are shipping my laptop to an unknown location, the cord is in shreds, Apple is evil, and the floor manager is a mean man, but I am right.

I will carry this knowledge with me to the grave, likely with one million frayed Apple cords.

* Note I do not believe in purgatory, nor do I believe in Apple, but this is a post on genies and liars.

La Morale edited via BL.jpgjournal 8.21.14

I again tried to talk myself into twitter.  To get in the mood, I did searches like “feminists to follow” and “best written feeds.”

And again felt like I was in a small room with people shouting at each other in one-sentence increments.

I persevered, looking up every name on “50 Best Book People to Follow on Twitter.”

The only vaguely interesting remark was, “If you have a dream, don’t waste your energies explaining why”

In which case, the lack of a period gave me convulsions.

I remain twitterless.

Image: from page 167 of Aileen Aroon: A memoir [of a dog], by Gordon Stables, 1884, via British Library on flickr

Living for the Ta Da

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Having just finished some baubles for a friend’s birthday, I am reminded there is no greater satisfaction than the tangible preparation for some festivity. I desire a temporary armistice on all political strife and universal angst to declare: Long live wrappings, shiny surfaces, ignitable objects, lined envelopes, and all earth’s joyful and unnecessary knick knackery!

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B's birthday-16

August 15


Afternoon prowl in the garden among all the blooming things.

Contemplating that in some 30 days world leaders will meet not far from here. Wearing synthetic fabrics, walking on tiled floors, and sitting in air conditioned rooms, they will discuss “the climate.”

I wonder who they are, to be entrusted with such matters. And I wonder who I am too, to be entrusted with such a planet.

aerial sunflower august 2014

August 14

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March from Union Square to Times Square.  I never thought I could feel so safe walking directly against traffic on Broadway, buoyed by the merging voices of thousands.

“Hands up; don’t shoot!”

Nor had I realized how much the hands raised in surrender look like a frozen prayer.

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August Garden


I was devastated when I learned I could no longer grow edible things in this soil, on account of a hex from a prior generation known as leaded gasoline.

But then there were flowers.  Crawling flowers, towering flowers, shy flowers, booming flowers.  Deep oranges, addictive crimsons, creamy creams, pops of blue, languid yellows, and everything in between.

This flower garden grew, and my soul with it.  It might be the best thing I have ever done.


Night Walk in Bushwick

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In this neighborhood you can still find shadowy corners and mysterious apparitions after dark.  Tonight I wander the labyrinth of sidewalks, seduced onward by a cool breeze and endless ache for summer.

Statues of the madonna wreathed with flowers, Puerto Rican flags, storms of graffiti, swathes of warehouses, hairy patches of gardens, and bars with halos of light flooding from the doors.

The tortilla factory, baskets of cassava, a billowing curtain, laughter from a cluster of women on a stoop.

Even with the ominous drumbeat of gentrification, even in the belly of the capitalist beast, these streets feel untamed.  Mismatched, dirty, gorgeous, devout, irreverent, and endlessly sensuous.

Whisper to the night air, I want to live forever.


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Kasi edited via BL.jpg

Like many of the eight million souls in proximity, I seem to be always somewhere on this circle of inquiry: Why do I live in New York?  Is this really living, what we do in New York?  How could I ever live, if not in New York?

The cycle may happen over a year, or as today, a few times between Bedford and 1st Avenue.  Then I happen upon two men—one with a glorious white beard, the other with a non-ironic and massive mustache—having a loving, shouted conversation in Spanish across the train tracks in the Dekalb L station.

And I feel the strange pull of the city drawing me in closer, like a moon to some wayward planet.

Image: modified from page 41 of Kasi, or Benares, the Holy City of the Hindus, compiled by John Murdoch, 1894, via British Library on flicker