Tag Archives: style

‘Stretched by an Unholy Desire’

“Stretched by an unholy desire to be outrageous.” More than I care to admit, my pleasure in reading art criticism can amount to quivering at a splash of brandished lingo. I also quiver to Kahn’s paintings, which remind me of … Continue reading

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John Lewis

[When I inserted the photograph of Mr. Lewis included in the NYTimes I triggered the above warning, so I substituted a sketch of mine for the photograph.] Representative John Lewis died on July 17, 2020. These are the last words … Continue reading

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Cheryl Marie Wade

Cheryl Marie Wade died in 2013 at age 65 from complications of rheumatoid arthritis. “She embodied and modeled disability pride before it was a thing,” Judith Smith, who worked with her in two Bay Area performance groups, Wry Crips and … Continue reading

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Blood & Rabbit Enchiladas

Spencer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter) was slashed at an NYC restaurant! Or maybe not. Dried blood remained Saturday afternoon outside The Black Ant, whose dinner entrees include $24 rabbit enchiladas and $27 braised pork cheeks… “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer downplayed his … Continue reading

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Memo to U.S. — Sort of How to Speak English

Boris Johnson speaking to the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg: “We didn’t understand (the virus) in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months… The single thing that we didn’t see at the beginning … Continue reading

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Irish and Not Proud

William James arrived penniless in Albany, NY from County Cavan, Ireland in the late 18th century. Over the next 30 years he created a fortune second only to that of the Astor family. His grandsons, novelist Henry and philosopher William, … Continue reading

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What Makes a Poem ‘Hard’?

“Syntax” is the answer to the fudgy question. It’s hard to reach image and reference through muddy syntax. In narrative and exposition, context comes to the rescue; in poetry often not, because a poet revels in flare-gunning lap dance moon … Continue reading

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How It Gets Ugly

Half a thousand academics want Steven Pinker dropped from the list of “distinguished fellows” of the Linguistic Society of America for allegedly minimizing racial and sexist injustices. Because this is a fight involving linguists, it features some expected elements: intense … Continue reading

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A Conservative with Elite Style

But there was one small difficulty: This hawk was no Truman or Reagan, but rather a reality-television mountebank whose real attitude toward China policy was, basically, whatever gets me re-elected works. Who has heard recently, or ever, the word “mountebank”? … Continue reading

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Why Do Poets Ampersand?

The poem is “Sacrament I” by Robin Gow (Poetry, March 2020). Excerpt, first stanza: & all the faucets pour oil or milk.We fill father’s bottles, the brown and green;thick glass blood cells, a throat-slit pouring silk.When will the baptisms make … Continue reading

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