Monthly Archives: July 2018

Shed Down by the River

From the street it’s nondescript: long and low, homely brickwork giving way to corrugated metal, no windows. Flat, pedestrian, a second-rate, seedy, industrial-looking structure on a humble side of town. Patio and doorways are on the opposite side facing inward … Continue reading

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Requiem for a Walking Stick

You sweet bastard. Just two days ago I transferred you from the risky environs of the patio to the security of the Jatropha bush. Now I find you again on the patio inert, apparently expiring. What has hurt you? Or … Continue reading

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Seduction by Menu

“The menu should read like a poem,” Ms. de Boer said. “You should seduce the diner. People don’t know they want to eat deep-fried mackerel with aioli, so you’ve got to tell a story and get them on your wavelength.” … Continue reading

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Make Someone Smile

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing,” the street artist Banksy wrote in 2001. “And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty, you can make someone smile … Continue reading

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Dear Mother… Charles

Charles Behlen gave me a copy of his “translation” of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Le bateau ivre” (The Drunken Boat). I put “translation” in quotes because Charles readily admits that his version derives from other English versions of the poem, since he … Continue reading

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“Displeasing little man”

Soon Proust was disenchanted by his goddesses. As Weber notes, his “idealizing vision of his ladies changed over time into something darker.” To the Comtesse de Chevigné [Laure de Sade, great-granddaughter of the Marquis], he wrote, “What one used to … Continue reading

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“She’s so competitive”

“It’s funny when they talk about women, saying, ‘Oh, she’s so competitive,’ and it’s almost a put-down… For me, what’s the alternative? To try to lose, or to not give your best? ‘Competitive’ means you’re concentrating, and you do everything … Continue reading

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