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Apr.07.2014
I think this will be a story of some sort in no particular sequence. I suspect it will be an elaboration on PLAIN TALK #1 AND #2. And, as I said, in no order at all. Here goes: 1. In late July 1967, not for the first time burning bridges behind me, I decided to return...
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Mar.24.2014
     Short of a miracle these essays will be the limit of my abitlity to write. I can write comments on other people's work. I can write reviews or these short essays. But the undertaking of a novel seems too forbidding to face. My relationships seem confined to mindless,...
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Mar.22.2014
I'm becoming sick of people. Irritability is one of the symptoms of clinical depression and one that I've manifested through much of my life. There are words I don't like to use and do try to avoid, such as "suffer" as in "suffer with". I don't like to call myself afflicted because as with "suffer...
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Mar.16.2014
     Back in 2007 I wrote a poem I titled Orphans. It was written in anticipation of a picnic my family had arranged to celebrate the arrival of my mother and her three siblings from Ireland. These were the orphans of the title and I believe the first line of that...
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Mar.13.2014
Leaving my cramped little apartment at two a.m.I crept up the stairs to the third floor, nearly stopping on each step. In my hand I carried a poem sent to me from a fellow Red Room member in England, already scotch taped and ready to affix to the elderly poet's apartment door. I crept, not to...
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Mar.03.2014
The east coast of this country has had it rough this year. I mean it is a cold climate and we are used to difficult winters. And summers. But this year has been especially unpredictable and in some places severe. I'm in Cape May, NJ and for some reason we often are spared the worst snowfalls,...
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Mar.03.2014
For anybody who hasn't heard about them -- and I would expect that to be a fairly large group -- The Muslims Are Coming is a comedy team travelling the United States. At least they were. I don't know whether they still exist. There's a documentary of their tour, which I watched. Here's my...
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Feb.27.2014
After several days in the hospital, shortly after arriving home, I checked my dashboard. A nosedive followed by an unexplainable rise, then another nosedive. I didn't know the graph could go so low. Despite feeling ready for one of my interminable naps, after two days of this, I...
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Feb.07.2014
Since the age of about twenty I've never met a con man who wasn't transparent. Because of this I've always been baffled by the number of people who are completely taken in by them. Just about everybody, it seems. In 2004 a good friend of mine, one of the nicest, sweetest people I've ever known, was...
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Feb.04.2014
Coming out of Mass Sunday evening a friend, a woman half my age but a good friend, asked if I'd heard about the actor in New York who had overdosed on heroin and died. I shrugged and said, "nothing new about that." I asked if she remembered his name. When she said, "Philip Seymour Hoffman," I...
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Feb.02.2014
     I was young then, still working for the wire service, still lying about the degree from Temple. Still getting away with it. The stuff I covered was mostly routine. The magistrates' hearings were still held in the police stations then and they could be fun. Dropping into...
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Jan.29.2014
When I decided to review this book I thought I was lending a helping hand to an unknown author. As it turns out J.R. Moehringer is quite successful in his writing career. So the review will be appropriately short. Early today a friend in Los Angeles emailed me about this book. She had it on CD and...
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Jan.23.2014
Where to start? Nobody's listening anyway. But let's go after "for free" again. The ubiquity of this usage tells me I'm the Don Quixote of the grammar dinosaurs. Just forget it, Charlie --Nobody cares! Of all the popular grammatical monstrosities I think "for free" is the dumbest. ...
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Jan.20.2014
This is a story that I hope, in more detailed form, to be a book. It involves three Pennsyvania cities: Reading, PA; Lancaster, PA; and, mostly, Wilkes Barre, PA. It's a story about a woman who made mistakes and paid for them far beyond anything just or reasonable. It has been six years since...
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Jan.19.2014
Nine and seventy summers she had known when alone She faced the new invaders.   The first used swords those centuries before  the worst Arrived. Barbaric hordes   Had come, sailed away, or stayed, making   homes benign and borne,  with their hosts,  An enemy'...
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