THE POET BY DAY

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“Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth and, without pity, destroy most of it.” Collette, Casual Chance, 1964 I remember it well: my first encounter with Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. Picture it.  Brooklyn. A Lebanese restaurant someplace on Atlantic Avenue, ambiance of the Middle East, redolent with fragrances of cinnamon and cardamom and the mouth-watering… Read More

“I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s Of the books I read this year, this birthday gift from my son and my daughter-in-law is by far my favorite … and not just because I’m from Brooklyn and it’s a bit of nostalgia and a stellar homage. I’m a Capote fan and a David Attie fan and Brooklyn: A Personal… Read More

“Even so, there were times I saw freshness and beauty. I could smell the air, and I really loved rock ‘n’ roll. Tears were warm, and girls were beautiful, like dreams. I liked movie theaters, the darkness and intimacy, and I liked the deep, sad summer nights.” Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance The warmth and longer days now in Northern California bring to mind summers in the City of Ultimate Bliss. The… Read More

The courageous immigrants of the elder generations cast the shards of their hopes and dreams across the landscape of this continent as prophecy. They worked hard and long for their visions. These people included my Lebanese maternal grandparents with their first-born children. They arrived in New York in 1897 on a boat from Syria. They petitioned for citizenship in 1925. Included also was my Turkish father who arrived here alone in 1919…. Read More