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These Hands

These thin old hands—
veined, spotted, scarred,
knuckles enlarged, tendons
sliding under the creased skin. Continue reading


The Gift

There is tiny statue of Buddha on my desk—just to the right of my computer monitor, made from brass or some cheap composite metal and no more than two inches high. This tarnished Buddha, whose facial features are indistinct, is sitting straight-backed in the lotus position on a raised platform. The statue in itself is pretty unremarkable. But there’s a story to it… Continue reading


The Jesus Man

For a very long time there was a man who preached on the streets of my Upper West Side neighborhood on Broadway; a black man—actually, coffee-bronze would be a better description of his color Continue reading


Childhood Memories

It seems to be common knowledge that old people tend to recall their childhoods with increasing vividness; and as their short-term memories become spotty, images and sensations from many decades ago seem crystal clear.
I know this is true for me. My memories of sixty-plus years ago—usually appearing on a time schedule entirely their own—are more frequent and, as time goes by, more achingly sharp and beautiful.
Continue reading


You Have One Second To Respond

I’ve been watching a lot of debates on C-Span, House and Senate races.
Aside from the fact that lies and distortions are prominent (mosty by Republicans) what is really clear is that the formats of the debates are constructed in a way that virtually guarantees that most of what any candidate says is bound to be superficial or just plain meaningless. I’m talking about the amount of time give to each candidate to answer questions and for rebuttals.

In most cases it’s around a minute or less. When a senator or member of congress goes over the allotted time, a buzzer goes off or a bell rings—as if they were a dog or a lab rat in an experiment. Why stop with a bell or a buzzer? Why not have the candidates hooked up to an electric current—give them a quick shock when they go over 60 seconds? That’ll teach ‘em to try to express themselves above the level of pea-brained game show. contestant.
Continue reading

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