Thursday, June 27, 2019


After a heavy day, I rolled up to my local for a downtime martini and ended up talking to this guy rocking a Make America Read Again pin. After chatting about literature for a bit, it came out that he was a longtime bookseller and dear friends with  Philip Roth. I of course kept him at the bar telling me Roth stories, all of which reaffirmed my admiration for the man, beyond his written words. What a great, random and perfect New York City moment.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No Accountability

"As I sit here today, I can't help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. It's an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here. But you won't be, because accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Where Do I Stand?

I end up at a row of benches on the edge of what looks like it could be Riverside Park, and a group of people from my past are holding court. They're all set up like we were as kids: brown paper bagged 40s, a boombox, legs lazily splayed, but it almost feels like an official meeting. I'm there for an evaluation of my life, but there are no judgements. It's all warmth, laughs and advice, none of which I can remember afterwards, still it's somehow both stressful and soothing at the same time.

Photograph fragment by Jill Freedman

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Cluttered Twist Of Fate

"Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones..."

Saturday, June 1, 2019

I Have Always Been Here Before

I don't recall the first time I heard the album, but I know I scored it at Midnight Records and had my mind blown immediately after putting it on the turntable (before that day I only knew "You're Gonna Miss Me" from compilations). After obsessing over the 13th Floor Elevators small discography, I became even more obsessed with Roky's solo work, which to me equals, and at times transcends the glorious sounds he made with the Elevators. And then years after that, Roky finally made it to Brooklyn, playing at the much-missed Southpaw. The truly electric anticipation in that packed room was pure magic, and once he hit the stage it was like an explosion of thankfulness; an evening of musical solidarity that's hard to describe and a memory that I'll treasure forever. Roky Erickson had a rough life, but he brought joy to countless people, leaving a legacy that's nearly unequalled. We miss you now that you're gone. Rest In Peace.