Gringo Pizzeria

29th August

What tho’ my Name stood rubric on the walls,
Or plaister’d posts, with claps in capitals?
Or smoaking forth, a hundred hawkers load,
On wings of winds came flying all abroad?

Pope, “An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot” 215-218

Happy Dog Stories, Heteronym

22nd August

Has anyone ever written a happy dog story?

Seriously, need to know, contact me.


What’s up with the orgy scene in Perfume? One of the more unsatisfying orgies I’ve seen.


Does Richard Bachman qualify as a heteronym? Is his style different enough from Stephen King’s?


20th August


Shostakovich and Dvorak make The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis easier to read, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the novel’s rhythm, a drowsy pulse of commas, that begs a counterpoint. Also enjoying Music for 18 Musicians. 

I tried it with Dr. Funkenstein, no luck.

Took my first steps yesterday. Strange to feel the ground again beneath my soles.


Hotel Breakfast?

17th August

Absent from Hotel Theory?

Ricardo Reis had told the manager, I would like breakfast brought up to my room at nine-thirty. Not that he intended to sleep so late, but he wished to avoid having to jump out of bed half-awake, struggling to slip his arms into the sleeves of his dressing gown, groping for his slippers, and feeling panic that he wasn’t moving quickly enough to satisfy whoever was standing outside his door, arms laden with a huge tray bearing coffee and milk, toast, a sugar bowl, perhaps some cherry preserve or marmalade, a slice of dark grainy quince paste, a sponge cake, brioches with a fine crust, crunchy biscuits, or slices of French toast, those scrumptious luxuries served in hotels.


What A Buzzword Taught Me About Healing

8th August

The English language lacks a tense for “was that – am this – will be.” We have the past tense, which is for revisiting old failures, and the future, for imagining a better self. But there’s nothing in our vocabulary for the condition of being in-between. For example, when I tell people “I ran seven miles every day,” or “I liked to drive on the freeway, by myself, with a Red Simpson record on the stereo,” or “I would go to the bagel shop for breakfast,” I don’t mean that I will never run, never drive, never get bagels again on an early Sunday morning. They see my wheelchair, my legs, and think that my past tense is a time beyond retrieval. It’s true that I can’t walk on my own right now, that I had an “accident,” and I …

John Cage to Elizabeth Bishop

5th August

Did John Cage read Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Letter to N.Y.”:

In your next letter I wish you’d say
where you are going and what you are doing;

I ask because Cage delivered a “lecture” at Pratt in 1961 titled, “Where Are We Going? And What Are We Doing?” A lecture that was actually four in one. A performance of “Where Are We Going? And What Are We Doing?” consists of three pre-recorded tracks played simultaneously while the same speaker reads a fourth script. For his collection of essays Silence, Cage printed the four lectures in different typefaces, mixed together incoherently. In a brief introduction, Cage qualifies the print copy:

The texts were written to be heard as four simultaneous lectures. But to print four lines of type simultaneously–that is, superimposed on one another-was a project unattractive in the present instance. The presentation here used has the …

My Maria

2nd August

He straightened and with his two arms around her held her so tightly that she was lifted off the ground, tight against him, and he felt her trembling and then her lips were on his throat, and then he put her down and said, “Maria, oh, my Maria.”

Heartland Rock and John Cage

1st August

Trailing the musical history of Tastee-Freez. Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With The Boy,” a story about Katie and Tommy, reworks John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane.”

Katie and Tommy at the drive-in movie
Parked in the very last row
They’re too busy holdin’ on to one another
To even care about the show
Later on outside the Tastee-Freez
Tommy slips something on her hand
He says my high school ring will have to do
‘Til I can buy a wedding band.


Suckin’ on chili dog outside the Tastee-Freez
Diane’s sittin’ on Jacky’s lap
He’s got his hand between her knees
Jacky say “Hey Diane lets run off
‘Hind a shady tree
Dribble off those Bobby Brooks
Let me do what I please.”

John Cage, “Indeterminacy”:

Virgil Thomson and Maurice Grosser were driving across the United States. When they came to Kansas, Virgil Thomson said, “Drive as fast as possible, in no case stop. Keep on going until …

From the Notebook
In Search of Lost Steakburgers

I  published this essay on July 7th, 2011, on my old blog, which will eventually pass into the great Internet beyond. It’s one of my...

The Oxford Diet

On my old blog, I posted installments of “the Columbia diet,” a description of all the foods I ate over the course of a...

Charles Wilkes

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