Advance Notice

I’ll be reading in two weeks at the Earshot reading series at Cafe Ludlow, Friday May 13. More info., here. ($6 admission, yes, but it gets you a free drink.)

Keeping It Short

Graduating NYU creative writing program MFA students reading, Thursday, 4/28, 7pm. 25 of us, 3 minutes each. Free and open to the public. More info., here.

Addendum

To my mention of Cynthia’s new Accidental Nostalgia album; it’s now available for purchase at Amazon.com, and at CD Baby.

(Also, note to self: performing music in front of an audience, after not having done it in a while, is not like getting back up on a bicycle. Unless you’re getting on a bicycle with a guitar, and a blindfold on, and an earplug in one ear, and a monkey on your back, singing the national anthem in your other ear. That’s more of what it’s like.)

After the Fall

The last couple times I’ve walked down Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, I’ve passed union organizers handing out leaflets in front of a grocery store, asking people not to shop there, as the employees, they say, are poorly paid. But I love what they shout at passers-by: “Boycott the Garden of Eden!” they holler, over and over again.

You could base an entire “I’m not fired, I quit” school of theology based on that idea, couldn’t you? We weren’t kicked out; we left in protest.

So there. Take that, big guy.

Art and Society

It is actually pleasant on such an evening [at a reception at Gerald Ford’s White House] for a writer to pass half disembodied and unmolested by small talk from room to room, looking and listening. He knows that active public men can’t combine the duties of government with literature, art, and philosophy. Theirs is a world of high-tension wires, not of primroses on the river’s brim. Ten years ago, Mayor Daley in a little City Hall ceremony gave me a five-hundred-dollar check, awarded by the Midland Authors’ Society for my novel Herzog. ‘Mr. Mayor, have you read Herzog?” asked one of the reporters, needling him. ‘I’ve looked into it,’ said Daley, thick-skinned and staunch. Art is not the mayor’s dish. Indeed, why should it be? I much prefer his neglect to the sort of interest Stalin took in poetry.

—Saul Bellow, “An Interview with Myself” (1975), It All Adds Up: From the Dim Past to the Uncertain Future

Overheard (Misheard?) #2

…and possibly paraphrased slightly:

A: Think about it! Fratricide, patricide, matricide. There is no word for a woman killing her sister.

B: There’s also no word for a parent losing a child. There’s widow, widower, orphan…

A: There really is no word for killing a woman.

B: Maybe you should do your PhD thesis on it.