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  • Talking to Girls

    Each semester, my report card made the same complaint: “Eugene’s refusal to speak up in class discussions will hold him back.” I didn’t worry about it, though. As an only child, silence suited me just fine. And being a bookish one, getting good grades came easily to me. But when I reached my teens, I […]

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  • Against My Own Grain

    The challenge of excelling at what doesn’t come naturally. I have always gone against my own grain. In high school, I aced math and rarely exceeded a B in English. With an aptitude for numbers, I could have slid into a good life as an accountant (a profession later experience taught me to respect). Instead, […]

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  • The Quarantined Street Photographer Wanted to be Like Garry Winogrand

    I found you again, a single image, one among thousands from that summer when we could still crowd without a mask. You stepped out into the August dusk,  a low sun shining through your dress, the shape of your thighs a sudden intimacy. I was walking downtown, snapping pictures like my idol Garry Winogrand when […]

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  • The Waste Land in the Age of Google, Part 2

    It didn’t take me long to figure out that Eliot did not write the “The Waste Land” for me, a working class kid from the Bronx raised on the Beatles, Johnny Carson and “I Love Lucy” reruns. Clearly my cultural experience didn’t fit Eliot’s image of the poem’s ideal reader, a classical scholar well versed […]

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  • The Waste Land in the Age of Google

    Part 1: You Can’t Go Home Again With National Poetry month here, I thought it a good time to look back on the first poem that made poetry exciting for me. I like to think that somehow the first stanza of that poem inspired making April National Poetry month (though the Poets.org FAQ gives a […]

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  • Memory Reclines in Contemplation

    She languors there, in full bloom of youth, frozen in contemplation…

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