Wasn't it Mary McCarthy who observed that academics behave badly because so little is at stake? The same could be said of my grounds. The acreage, as it were, that I now manage. Which really means managing the garden crew. Numbering one, this crew does, and going by the name of Ichi. With his occasional assistant, the grounds team swells to two. As for the acreage, this is much better measured in smaller units. Square meters, for example. The lawn mowing involves something in the order of seconds, Read more [...]

Who Knows

I like my open-air carport exercise location, despite some recent second thoughts. Most of the latter inspired by my brother, who does have a point about the general dilapidation of the scene. The equipment being old...though when one considers the person exercising, this seems entirely appropriate. But a spanking new exercise room would frighten me at this juncture, for I like the exposure, the sense of being able to look out from my open concrete 1950s car shelter to see the passing world. Of which Read more [...]

The Wind on Lake Crescent

Losing the plot, the British say of someone spacing out. Forgetting the traffic light turned green, or the library's closing. My question: whose plot? The mythical plot being the most elusive. This seems to be the one that gets cut the minute the aircraft door closes. A mythic sense may be woven through the United Airlines experience. The wax wings of my own wheelchair melting, perhaps, as this earthbound thing sails to inappropriate heights. But, no, this feels like a stretch. The problem is Read more [...]


At least I can say that the mere sound of her voice no longer alarms me. Perhaps it has become familiar, as has the distinctive shuffle she makes in ascending the wheelchair ramp to my apartment. Yes, there she is, Karen, in what may now be a daily visitation. She is rather the worse for wear, thin to the point of emaciated, toothless and haggard and wrinkled and prematurely aged in all dimensions. Ravaged by drugs, according to my late landlord. Tom devoted much of his remaining life energies to Read more [...]


I'm staring at a copy of The Nation, reading the words 'remembering Alexander Cockburn' and not coming to the obvious conclusion...for there is a bit of red graphic in the middle of the line of text, making me think that I am reading two headlines or somehow not getting it. Until I give up, open the magazine and see the shocking truth. He is gone. We are mortal. And who can believe any of this? I am thinking the same thing at the funeral for my uncle. There he is, a slideshow arranged by his sons...he Read more [...]

Tommy’s Joint

In a way, Karen holds the key. She, the aging druggie, toothless, frail and shambling, Tom's friend, perhaps his only one.... Which is hardly true, for was I not his friend? Perhaps complicated by being his tenant. And a few other things. Like a more normal existence. And even this may not be a fair assessment. Certainly, Karen had access to his apartment. Were I able-bodied the same might be said for me. Or perhaps not. Surely he must have known. The general condition of his place could Read more [...]