How does it feel / to be on your own / with no direction home / a complete unknown / just like a rolling stone? I am terribly alight with rage, so laden with sorrow—sometimes in passing, other times for days, weeks, longer (I don’t know what proportion of my days are spent this way, […]Read More Pain // Power // Protest I
The Long Emergency will be chiefly characterized as a “time out” from technology. It could plunge us into a dark age of superstition. My guess is that we will lose a lot of knowledge and skill. But I also believe the human race desperately needs this “time out.” –Howard Kunstler in a 2011 interview So […]Read More Quarantine V
Our neighborhood, the furthest north in Manhattan, has been among the least devastated by this pandemic. The fear is everywhere, though, and the precautions we take have to remain rigorous. In our six-story building, we no longer share elevators, nor are we permitted to enter the cramped laundry space while another tenant is there. Our […]Read More Quarantine IV
Some might call this the The Great Disappearance. Certain industries–whole deaths of the economy–are entirely shut down. Never has it been more obvious that this is a city of restaurants–they, more than anything, populate the lack. Glass-fronted properties reveal darkened, empty dining rooms at the joints of important avenues, they gape, vast and naked. Menus […]Read More Quarantine III
Seeing the streets of New York deserted disconcerts me. The effect unsettles me most when we walk through the 42nd Street underground, in this case, when we’re transferring from one train to another. At any and every hour I’ve passed through this station before, travelers streamed along the dense web of passages and nexuses, Port […]Read More Quarantine II
Not so long ago, many here in the U.S. found ourselves gazing, slack-jawed and perplexed, at the looming shadow of the first global pandemic of our lifetimes. We were not yet immersed in the behemoth, just close enough to its field that not a few of us shivered from being in such proximity: Far too […]Read More Quarantine I
I’m watching this Netflix documentary following the Rolling Stones as they do a series of free concerts around Latin America: Cuba, Peru, Argentina. The audiences in all these countries are enormous, and unabashedly emotional–concertgoers are not only cheering and singing along, they are also weeping with joy. There were also scenes of the band talking […]Read More No Satisfaction.
One of the greatest lights of our time has gone her own way. When I learned she’d died, I found myself wondering: Who was Toni Morrison to me? Instantly, there arose in my mind a trope I intensely despise: the Magical Negro. Regardless, most of Morrison’s central characters were both magical and black. They were almost […]Read More The Queen Is Dead. Long Live the Queen.
Hey Friends, Just a note to say I’m still breathing the same air you are. Sorry for the massive slowdown in posts; I decided I needed to focus most of my writing energy on actual longform essays, instead of dashing off ideas via blog quite as much. If I can’t get the babies published, I […]Read More Open Shop.
“You have blackheads,” he told me. “I don’t.” I said, all the truth in my heart aflame. “You have them,” he continued, “all over your back.” Over the next hour, he performed microscopic surgery on the expanse of flesh between my neck and shoulder blades, his fingernails and tweezers forcing dots (oil? dirt? What detritus?) […]Read More HOW HAVE I LET IT COME TO THIS