U

 Unreal City.           Rosy used to say that New York is a fairground. “You will know when it’s time, when the fair is over.” —Hannah Sullivan’s “You, Very Young in New York” Back to the ever-curt and oft respectful transactions of New York City delis, markets, and bodegas—the equivalent of the steering wheel finger-lift on rural … Continue reading U

S

So, the bizarreries of Mirabell and Scripts, their sometimes beautiful poetry, their sometimes agonizing poetry, their sometimes not-even-poetry; the fact that Merrill succumbed to New Age thinking even in the act of trying to bypass or circumvent it, and that poetry didn’t, in the end, provide any kind of guaranteed immunity from it: a certain … Continue reading S

Q

Quarantine.  Self-imposed isolation.  Today’s terms apply to yesterday’s poets.  How to occupy oneself when stuck at home all day?  Pull out the Ouija board, have a small party with non-corporeal and therefore non-infectious guests.  While away the hours in conversation.  Cardboard, Sharpie, teacup.  Batteries not required, screens not involved.  Pen and paper will do.  Zoom … Continue reading Q

N

November has turned into December.  Keegan and I each have multiple small roles in a dramatic adaptation of A Christmas Carol.  We are phantoms of the past and people of the present.  Ebenezer Scrooge first threatens us, then showers us with munificence.  I haven’t been in a play in decades.  It’s intimidating to share the … Continue reading N

L

Life keeps hitting the stands.  Having spent the weekend in Boston, I’m now in the small town of Stonington, CT, five miles east of Mystic and just west of the Rhode Island border, on a small peninsula that gestures towards the Block and Long Island Sounds, staying in an Airbnb just around the corner from … Continue reading L

E

Every reader of James Merrill’s poetry is a detective by another name. Frequently, accessing the meanings of Merrill’s poems requires the exercise of the science of deduction, or good close reading, the two being not dissimilar from one another. There will be regular “Eureka!” and “Aha!” moments for the patient reader, as a connection is … Continue reading E