Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The snow appears outside the glass doors without warning. Where does it come from? Undoubtedly from the west. All weather comes from the west, moves east, disappears on the way to Europe over the Atlantic. Sometimes weather comes from the north or the south but not often. The west brings us cold wind, warm breezes, rain, and snow. This particular one is unexpected. And certainly unwelcome.

I notice the sun on my blue tablecloth, the half-empty bottle of red wine. I notice the radio speaking to me about news. Later, the fog rolls in, enveloping the skyscrapers in a white mist. I see them from my perch atop the house, in my attic where I write stories. 

But today the sun shines daringly, elbowing itself from between clouds, like saying "let me out. Let me shine. These people need warmth and brilliance. They've had a long, cold, dark winter." Sometimes the clouds oblige. And we are joyous with light and heat. We thank them, go on with our daily lives, hoping they will stay away for a long time, hoping they will allow the sun to reign over us for a long time, a very long time yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Picture       Sitting and reading - 20 x 16 in. - $150.00

Picture      Los Internacionales - 15 x 19 in. - $100.00

These are two of my collages for sale.  I have many more.  If you are interested, write me.  Make me an offer.  They are ready to be framed and hung.  More coming...

Friday, April 11, 2014


It is the last day of the millennium in Buenos Aires --
another journey after a long absence, lunch
by the river with the childhood friend, Plaza Mayo
with signs demanding justice, café La Biela
where the breeze greets us as we sit by the window across
from the cemetery for rich folks, and the uncertainty returns:
Why don’t I live here?
Why do I travel?
* * *
Llueven gatos y perros en NY dice el taxista
con turbante que corre por la Park Avenue
sobre el asfalto mojado.  En NY todo me parece industrial,
gris y moderno, como el cielo nublado
de esta tarde de abril en Soho.  En NY
la gente linda, joven y elástica se mezcla con los turistas
en zapatillas blancas sacando fotos a todo y a todos.
La gente linda, joven y elástica vestida de negro de pies
a cabeza camina rápido, me atropella.  En NY
las calles humean en blanco.  El tedio me cubre,
me llena el alma aburrida ya de las grandes ciudades. 
Añoro el campo o el mar, la playa, el pueblo.
Añoro el silencio interrumpido por el viento o
un cuervo volando bajito.  In NY smells of falafel
and hummus mix with blaring horns
and sirens.  “August is Anal Sex Month in NY” reads an ad
in the Village Voice.  In Harper’s I read a letter found
with the bodies of two dead
young men from Africa:
Yaguine Koita, 14 yrs. old,
Fode Tourakana, 15 yrs. old.  
Two boys found in the cargo hold
of an airplane, in Brussels.
The letter asks the citizens of Europe
to help Africa.  The boys wanted to
study, to become like us they say.
How is this possible?  I ask. 
Why not? You say.
I can and
cannot believe it.
New York is always trashy,
a madhouse
I want to be like the New Yorkers, 
the frenzied intellectuals,
the funky-dressed women,
the pierced artists.
A thickset woman lowers her pants against
the wall in Brooklyn.  I can see her naked buttocks. 
After she’s done, she struggles to pull them up,
moaning.  People steer away
from her, afraid to catch her disease.
* * *
The mistral blows in Provence.   I sip coffee at
Van Gogh’s Sanatorium’s Garden, the pansies of all colors:
yellow, purple, white, red, the cypresses: I stand among them and imagine him
– the yellows and purples weaker in real life,
not like his, intense, brawny, almost startling.  He
was right about the light here. Did Vincent
sit here too and drink?  Certainly he painted.
After climbing the steps to Bonnieux, we sit overlooking the village
under a cool shade, awed by the gothic beauty
of these perched villages, the stonewalls,
the church steeple bathed in sunlight.
Do we go places to tell our friends
we’ve been there? To tell ourselves?  To keep a list?
True beauty is
in the quotidian, in the small stuff.
The constant motion frightens me,
a reflex reaction from centuries of displacement
and migration, of diaspora,
lived entirely in one day.
It is very warm in St. Tropez and Brigitte Bardot is nowhere to be found.
We sit across from the Casino Monte-Carlo
hoping to see the “rich and famous”
but all we see are Americans with cameras.
* * *
Serene but for the squawking birds
sleep eludes me in Tampere.
This room boasts of windows, of sun and trees, too radiant
in this midsummer night.
The never ending light disorients me.
I have narratives I say: Let me tell you a story.
While I stroll Tampere streets or sip a cup of coffee
fragments of Cortazar’s stories materialize,
Borges’s people appear when I look out
the window.  And I’m back –

in Buenos Aires -- its energy, its night life, its contradictions. 
Borges said he didn’t believe the city was founded;
he believed it always existed.  You
never really leave Buenos Aries, it lives with you forever,
said another writer. 
I know.
It lives in me, has lived
despite the years and the distances.  And now
I try to imagine my life as if I had never left it. 
I paint scenarios.
I question. 
I have no clear answers yet.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

RanDOm thOUGthS & quEStioNs

I just finished reading Redfield Farm, a novel about Quakers, the Underground Railroad, and the Civil War.  Engaging, easy to read, with lots of names of people who marry, have babies, and die.

When will Winter be over?  I'm tired of wearing coats and gloves and socks.

Life takes over. The blog is neglected.

I talk to people.  Strangers on the train, the bus, a cafe.  I talk to people holding maps on the street: do you need help? Where do you want to go?  It's a family thing.  

Last week I found an artist's portfolio on the "L".  No one paid attention to it.  No one wanted to touch it.  I took it, found a name inside, emailed the owner.  He was very grateful.  

Why are people afraid of each other?

I remember when women - young and old - walked arm in arm on the street.  

I remember when brides walked out of their homes to go to the church. We threw rice at them.

What is "Alice in Wonderland syndrome"?

I have fits of yawning.  Often.