Why buy books?

Why buy books? I’ve had people ask that question, rhetorically, of course. They can do their reading electronically on a hand-held device like Kindle. It’s cheaper. If you’re living in a dinky little apartment, in one of the cities where rents are headed up to orbit around Saturn, you can use the storage space for […]

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Election Night, San Francisco

We’re strolling in San Francisco waiting for the returns not wanting to wait for the bus gawking at modern forty-niners silicon miners so young so white so tall flush with hi-tech bucks and desperation. To stay in the game, to be seen as taller, better looking, young forever, they spend: here’s a store uniquely devoted […]

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A Woman of Courage: Marion Youers

Marion Youers, April 7, 1929-September 15, 2016 October 17, 1961: the French-Algerian War. 30,000-40,000 Algerian men, women, and children demonstrated in Paris against a curfew imposed on Algerians by the government. The police arrested 11,000 protestors, beat and tortured some, killed several hundred, and threw their bodies in the Seine. Marion went out that night. […]

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Airborne

 Leaf-eating beetle This poem, like most of my recent work, grew out of the garden, along with the greens and berries we’re harvesting now. It entered my kitchen on a turnip leaf: one round and perfect beetle that I’d rather not steam with the evening greens, black as patent leather, gleaming, small as a sesame […]

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Memories of Stonewall

   The Stonewall Riot The Stonewall Riot happened on a Saturday night—June 28, 1969. I was passing through Greenwich Village that night and saw young guys throwing things at cops, but had no idea why. I assumed it was an anti-war demonstration, because they occurred fairly regularly during those years. I only found out that […]

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Advice for Passover 2016

 Pharaoh Tutankhamen We were promised a trickle of silver while billionaires swallowed the mint. Instead a mighty river of advice runs down on us, advice like an ocean of corrosion from the faucets of Flint: Don’t ask for paradise. We’ll dribble out an extra dollar or two over a few years, while we hike prices […]

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A Different Species?

 Louis XVI in his coronation robes, 1777 Recently I heard a self-styled “futurist” predict that the super-rich would find ways, with the help of modern science, to extend their lives beyond that of ordinary humans. Even more, they would genetically engineer themselves to become a different (and presumably superior) species. I wasn’t terribly impressed. While […]

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Death Without Dignity in Oregon

Big Pharma–profiting off disease and death IMO, death is never dignified, but it can be made less ugly and painful. However, that’s not necessarily how Oregon’s law is carried out. A bit of background: almost two months ago, Sylvia and I traveled to the home of an old friend in Florida. Marion is 86, is losing […]

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