I Am not a Baudaud, says a Walker in New York

“In the flâneur, the joy of watching is triumphant. It can concentrate on observation; the result is the amateur detective. Or it can stagnate in the gaper; then the flâneur has turned into the badaud.” –Walter Benjamin

“The flâneur must not be confused with the badaud; a nuance should be observed here. […] The simple flâneur […] is always in full possession of his individuality. By contrast, the individuality of the badaud disappears, absorbed by the outside world, which ravishes him, which moves him to drunkenness and ecstasy. Under the influence of the spectacle that presents itself to him, the baudaud becomes an impersonal creature; he is no longer a man, he is the public, he is the crowd” —Victor Fournel

A Walker in New York

As birds in air or fish in water, I am a walker, and the streets and their people, their bustle, the coming and going and to-and-fro(ing) . . . all the banter, the many voices, the vices, the noise, all the cacophony of the streets–my milieu. Yes, a walker in this city, what city is this that I speak of, New York, Manhattan, Brooklyn, any other city–I love cities–we visit cities when we vacation and become in them, walkers . . . yes, I am as I have been for many years now a walker, this particular flaneur in this Brooklyn–

Brooklyn, another city, a city apart–a city separate from the city it belongs to, belongs in  . . . into what space do I fit? Is it fitting? Once separate from New York City, this Brooklyn itself it’s own remains aside, not necessarily off to the side, apart in a lesser way, if only a less conspicuous way. Brooklyn less conspicuous? No, it is mighty conspicuous, my Brooklyn, Whitman’s Brooklyn lost.

Yes, Brooklyn and New York City were once separate cities; they merged in the 1890s–I’ll look up what year exactly, but later, not now. I was always something of this kind of walker, another kind of flaneur, we could say, who else has said as much about this man-about-town I do, I engage, I fulfill because there are expectations to fill . . . Fournel, Benjamin, what of Baudelaire . . . Paris Spleen, I recollect my first venture through those pages. Manhattan Spleen? Could it work? I have written it on the pages of leather bound quadrille and blank paged notebooks, two sizes, one more like 6X9, the other more like 4X6? Am I accurate or only loosely approximate?

I have had poem journals in my walking, how many times keeping a verse journal, I would have to look throgh the boxes in my closets to find just how many pages , , , how many thousands of pages of writing and writing and writing, writing, yes, in verse, my observations on me about the town, my about-ness here and there on the streets, in the streets, Manhattan Streets, once again, for decades now, the journeying without destination . . . wherever I would wind up I would wind up, no intention . . . an active=passivity in letting the world happen to me, a passive-active walking about, to go about, be about, run about, look about . . . what more was there is there to do in doing nothing but . . .

Still and so–you could say–what could you say, could I say about this Brooklyn and this New York City that remain apart, separate . . . more than 3 million people in Brooklyn . . . more like 4? I do ask. What’s the latest census figures? I hear one of you say, in love with data as you have come to be. There is not data in my conveying what i see have seen will expect to see next, what i am experiencing? Are you experienced in this way of moving with being . . . Statistics are not observation but support, footnotes–my feet walking, moving about the streets of Manhattan are not the notes I take–what am I trying to say? Once more, to say or not to say what I have done seen been around . . . pausing at an outdoor table to watch the passers-by? I have three reels of 8mm film developed . . . a motion picture flanerie. To observe, serving the ob-ness of my vision . . . toward, to, on, over and against . . . to serve toward something, to serve to something, some things, persons, places, details . . . description is reciprocal observation . . . to serve on, on to serve . . . serving is being of use? What utility is there in observing? Is it a matter of utility?

To be a walker in Brooklyn, to be a walker in Manhattan . . . I am, I was, I have been, I will be, I will have been . . . these are my stomping grounds, as we used to say–did we say this? Did I? Yes, I am sure I can recall, recollection something else not entirely. What means this to stomp around? My eyes opened–I see so many people walking around town oblivious to what is happening, too many with their eyes down, looking to their feet? Not even les baudauds. Looking to the pavement, diverting their gaze as I do not–mine is set, fixed here then there then on this one that one which perosn, what woman, that woman with her child in a stroller . . . to stroll is what the flaneur does, no? I gaze at women all the time–I see them–girl watching we used to call it when we were teens. I am sure there are those who imagine something else. I bear no apologies. The walking in itself for itself; to walk in itself walking; this is non-utilitarian–the flaneur is without utility in his or her flanerie . . . I am the greatest flaneur of Manhattan and Brooklyn–and this I can say with confidence. I have been such since I was a boy? Since I was a teen, for sure.  I am; I was; there is an I am in I was; the past is not past I recall Faulkner trying to mean. My observations as in all observers are perpetually now.

Today neither too hot nor too humid, neither nor, really, but not nearly the opposite of either. Not bad, you could say, the weather . . . 7th Avenue, the shops, the shop owners, managers, the people who enter them, shop in them, window shop by them, the lunch I have at Yamato . . . a video I take of the outside reflected in the window of one fo the doors left opened to receive deliveries . . . 5th is a different street than 7th; I am a different flaneur on one than I am on the other . . . yesterday the pressure was shifting in an impossible to endure way for me . . . was it the barometer, of course that’s what we mean when we talk air pressure, the barometric pressure . . . sometimes my joints are in need of WD-40.

Horrible headache–excruciating . . . yesterday . . . Could have lead me to think I was having a migraine . . . maybe I was. I’ve never really had them, headaches like I had yesterday, that is; not specifically migraines. But what I felt yesterday . . . I could not even make it home without first buying a packet of two extra strength Tylenol, 500mg each . . . I took them both. It took a while for them to take affect, or so it seemed to me.

Walking today, observing today, Park Slope, today, on 7th Avenue, walking between Union Street and 7th Street, the people I saw, the men and women merely players in this stage the world . . . yes, women mostly noticed–always noticing women, without leering, and I know this without having to ask. A man is supposed to know the difference between looking and leering. He should, and in this should is my mandate.

Grand Army Plaza–how many times have I walked its perimeter . . . and this day from the Number 2 and 3 train stop to the Main Library, again, the perimeter, passing the center island of the Circle . . . the fountain was going today, how many people I noticed passing without looking or without looking noticeably intentionally. Yes, walking, later after my meeting in Central Library learning Center, from the Main Library to Union Street, and yes, then down Union Street to 7th Avenue–literally down, what we mean by Park Slope . . . what slopes down to the water of Red Hook from Prospect Park.

On my way to the Main Library Building at the confluence of Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue, a couple of homeless men, both black . . . one reading a paper, the other obsessing, it seemed, over dilapidated styrofoam cups in a dirty plastic bag barely containing them. I glanced at them, my gaze diverted by my sense that these men must bear the gaze and the stares of so many people with a lot less awareness than I possess–and this is something i note well every day walking the streets of my cities.

Earlier, I had come to Atlantic Terminal at Pacific Street on the D train. I got off there to switch for the 3 to Grand Army Plaza, from having previously boarded the D Train at 20th Avenue on 86th Street in Bensonhurst . . . walking 86th street, watching the bustle, the hustle, the to and fro of this one these those women, men, children, teenagers, elderly from China, Guatemala, Mexico, Russia, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Algiers, Egypt, Poland, Turkey, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Italy, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Belarus, Albania, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Brazil, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Bangladesh . . . all together speaking, exclaiming, shouting, crying, screeching, whispering, keeping silent, watching, turning away, looking, gazing, stumbling, tripping, falling, buying, selling, cheating, stealing, embracing, pushing away, bumping into, cutting off, brushing past, confusing, confounding, misunderstanding, dis-undertanding, allowing, dis-allowing, touching, loving, liking, hating, loathing, disturbing, littering, exposing, meeting, missing . . .

Later, from Park Slope, I got on the R at 9th street/4th Avenue; I walked there from President and 7th, after having had lunch. There, I waited nearly twenty minutes for the R to 36th Street station in Sunset Park. It was at 36th Street Station I intended to make a connection with the D train. I made my connection, yet because of so many delays–why I still cannot fathom, as they have increased under De Blasio–the D was sent express from 9th Avenue station to Coney Island. It only made stops at 62nd Street and Bay Parkway on its way to the last stop at Stillwell Avenue, skipping 20th Avenue where I would have gotten off. But it was no never mind because I have been needing to put more walking into my daily routine because I have been carrying too much weight as of late, the last year, you could say. I recall the site of the Williamsburg Savings bank Building at the butt of Fourth Avenue where it comes to its end at Atlantic Avenue at the triangle completed by Flatbush right next to Atlantic Terminal, the largest subway stop station by the number of trains that stop there . . . right by Barclay’s Center where the Nets and the hockey Islanders play. That building was once one of the top 50 tallest buildings in the world, I thin number 49 or 48 . . . I would have to check the Britanica Atlas/Almanac I had acquired when my parents had bought me the complete Britannica encyclopedias when I was a boy . . . another kind of Flaneur, walking through the pages of what the collection itself intends by its name . . . encyclopedia is another way of saying to walk about.

A walker in my city, in this city, in the city–I recollect Alfred Kazin . . . I remember Benjamin, Baudelaire, who else among writers since the 19th century . . . the only true sovereign of New York, myself, the flaneur. I remember my dad’s stories off his growing up in Depression era Brooklyn, east New York, City Line, between Brownsville and Queens.

How much time I spent doing the like in Manhattan, years of it, going with no other purpose than to do just that, stroll about, strolling her and there, a wandering aimlessly, an aimless, purposeless wander-lust? An intense urge for self-development? What else could it be, unless experience becomes another content for conspicuous consumption? Things, things and more things, some likeness to Mr. Gradgrinds facts, facts and more facts . . . I never get lost in foreign cities . . . tourists without the spirit of the Flaneur are lost even when they have guides. las Ramblas in Barcelona . . . everyone misses the journey for the destination, preoccupation with being designed . . . destiny obsessed? It’s not the destination but the journey, we used to say when we wanted to appear wise without much effort or cost. But what of the journey without a destination . . . these were my afternoons on Fridays . . . days when I was off from any one of my many or just several teaching gigs, Fridays alone, always off, the man about town, I was; the idle wandered, the wandering idler, but also this looker, seer, receiver . . . yes, spending time learning how to write standing up, commenting on one page after another, journal after journal after journal, all of them piled in the closet filled with flanerie . . . new, old and other understandings, commentary on commentary, response following response, put again and again with pen to page . . . these observations, these conclusions . . . those . . . what else can I conjure from standing-under the rich variety of the city-scape, the urban landscape, the photograph in motion? I ask you thus I think of what you might say, how you could respond, all becoming a kind of monologic dialogia, or dialogic monologia?

Thus the videos I will take in this capacity of the flaneur of New York . . . the artist-poet of the modern metropolis . . . the birth of modernism has what to do with what I am talking about . . . the site I will maintain and couple with my YouTube site . . . I need to rename the latter. Something of the videos I have talken and have edited in other forms/formats for dissemination, I have a YouTube channel and I will fill it with these flaneries . . . a video flaneur  . . . the POV of the flaneur.

To look without seeing is not my intent; the gaze is not a gawk, thus when I employ the gaze, I am not a gawker.


A Crab from the Beak of a Gull, Dangling

The sea. What is it now with me and the sea, how long has this been, my relationship to seawater in waves at the shore, which shore . . . all those years in Rockaway, how long ago was it . . . how long had it been? The only place in NYC at the ocean’s edge. Brighton and Coney Island are not the ocean.

I do remember, think I can recollect, the gulls lifting crabs in their beaks to hover the boulder jetty, then to drop the dangling crustacean on the rocks. You wanted to swear that you heard it crack, the crab I swore I heard crack once, but it was not likely possible with the waves coming as they would . . . waves not as big as they are sometimes in Montauk, but certainly once in a while huge . . . sometimes rough, the ocean at the shore in Montauk . . . we have been going there every summer for fifteen years already . . .  fifteen years!


Italy Missing the World Cup is . . .

Italy missing the world cup is summed up below by Antonio Chiaese

“It hasn’t gone right since the beginning but we somehow managed to keep afloat due to the really poor level of the other teams in the Group G, aside from Spain, of course. The 3-0 loss in Madrid was a dramatic turning point. After that, the inadequacies Gian Piero Ventura had desperately been trying to hide came to the surface.

“Our football association is led by incompetent officials who are keen to bow to top clubs’ demands and are unable to craft a long-term plan. The choice of Ventura as manager was the outcome of these logics. Ventura has always been a minor player among Italian coaches and his main flaw was a stubborn adherence to his old-school tactical creed. The way he used Lorenzo Insigne only sparingly and called up someone as good as Jorginho for the last play-off match only was criminal. His lack of charisma compared to his predecessor Antonio Conte also worked against him. There was mutiny in the ranks between senior players such as Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini and the management. It was never going to end well.

“I hope that this ‘apocalypse’ will bring a shockwave to the football power system, starting from its elites – the federation and possibly Serie A – to strike a new deal for the next generations of Italian players. It would also be nice to do so without Carlo Tavecchio’s infamous racist jokes.”

—-Antonio Chiaese

She Did Not GOOGLE It [Flash Fiction]

Diatribunal . . . “What is it about Ashkenazi women dying their hair blonde?” She asked. “I mean, since the Holocaust? What is that?” No she did not look this up. No she did not Google this. No, she did not do anything but look back in thought on how many times she noted that there seemed to be far more blonde Jewish women than there had been when she was a girl. “All in an attempt to become more Aryan?!” She asked. “What else am I supposed to assume?” she said. Like one time when she asked a friend more than 20 years ago, “Have you noticed that some Synagogues in Brooklyn have resorted to lining the perimeter of their roofs and the top of the gates that enclose them, or cut off access to their side and back,  with barbed wire  . . . fucking barbed wire!” “What is that about?” She asked, raising her voice slightly. “I do and I don’t want to understand the the nature of formerly oppressed–repressed people . . .” ‘people’ here meaning a People, not just any amalgamation of several anybodies. “I understand that hair color need not have sociological or psychological significance beyond what it could–I can’t even say what I intended to say–it’s just odd, very, very odd that . . . never mind,” she cut off.

“If we wanted to understand better how a People are affected, we could just as well examine the psychologies of persons who have suffered the kinds of repression and oppression and hostility Ashkenazim remind us they have suffered historically–and this is not a rhetorical maneuver. I am not suggesting that Jews have not suffered what it is they have repeated forever that they have suffered for all time . . . I mean, it is for all-time that they have suffered what they say they have suffered, right? It’s just, if any individual suffered what it is they say they have suffered as a people, what would we suspect about him and his psychology . . . and then multiply psychology into mentality, and what do we have?” She asked. She paused. She did not think about what she had said.

“But to examine further just how suffering influences a People, we need look no further than the politics and politicking and policies of Ashkenazim in Israel, first socially making Sephardim and indigenous Israeli second class citizens in their own country, new and old . . . and how they have managed Gaza and the Palestinians over the last few decades,” she said.”If that is not an example of how people learn from their oppressors . . .” she trailed off.

“And this Esther Perel trying to make of Judaism a pro-sex, pro-body religion–have you read her shit? Is she deluded about Eastern European Jews? The fuckin’ Orthodox. I mean, the Puritans also had sex, but don’t give me her shit as if it were some grand revelation,” she said. “Is she deluded or merely closing her eyes to the ways of the Ancient Hebrews?” She asked. “Perel is just another dyed Blonde denying her heritage trying to pass for Northern European Aryan like  . . .” she said. “Oh God! It’s too much, isn’t it?” She insisted. “They dye their fuckin hair blonde and change their names to sound and look more Anglo . . . wily, aren’t they?” she said. “You haven’t noticed that they change their Yiddish names for Anglo names here, or whatever the mainstream is wherever they find themselves in their continuing diaspora . . . but can the Magyar claim central Asia as their homeland . . . I mean, after all this time. What the fuck is that?” She asked.

She did not vote for Trump. She did not Vote for Hilary. She would not vote for Sanders. “Nothing less than 300,000 heads,” she said. ‘We should be building Guillotines, you know.”

“I’m tired of Protestants and Jews trying to make something else out of Catholicism and Catholic cultures and their civilization,” she said. “Yes, the Judeans were horrified by the Romans, as any modern Arab Muslim would be,” she said. “No, really, the only person more annoying than an Eastern European Jew is some pasty faced American Protestant from the Mid-fuckin-west,” she said less emphatically than many readers would assume.

“I love it when Jews try to tell me about Catholics,” she said, “as if Ashkenazim are so much less uptight than Italians, the French and let’s say, Mexicans,” she insisted.

“Please!” She pronounced pedantically.  “If I woke up tomorrow a Jew, or worse, a Protestant . . .” she trailed off. I can Imagine what she said next. You can do what you want. “You know if you examine Luther and the zealousness of Lutheranism, the Nazis are not as much of an anomaly . . . and Luther was an even more virulent Anti-Jew (not Anti-Semite) than Hitler.”

Everyone’s a solipsist at one time or another, or so even she would agree. “But do these women unconsciously imagine that if Jews looked as they look with their hair dyed blonde that the Nazis would not have come for them? That’s as absurd as Americans believing that Anti-Semitism was essential for the Nazis seizure of Power. It was not. Again, as an argument I have heard before: if there were no Jews in Europe, there would have still been Nazis, Nazism–a Nazis Germany. We make a gross error when we think otherwise. We fail to understand the nature of Power and just what the Nazis achieved and how to combat that. You do know that achievement is neutral; it is neither good nor bad,” she ended.

All Good Reading is Re-reading

“Words are miserable mountain climbers and miserable miners of meaning,” Kafka reminds a childhood friend in what has been assumed to be Kafka’s first recorded text, which means what exactly, and to whom, for what purpose do we clutch at these reeds in the marshy waters of literary history and biography we sometimes confuse for criticism or an aid to criticism, at least as something adjunct in the way it might help some critic gain insight–but i am not calling him or her a critic in exactly the pejorative way we assume when we, who are or pretend to be the lovers of literature, the protectors or supporters of what we could call the literary, at the very least in what we would like to see become pervasive in general diction, speech less ephemeral because it would become more memorable . . . that, this whatever else in the least, Kafka warns us that words never say what they mean ta, never mean what they say at, or I repeat, although poorly, something Faulkner said or had Addy say in his novel, As I Lay Dying. Could Faulkner have read this by Kafka? I do not think so. This of course has been a common theme for writers . . . saying what has always been said but best, if not only better than most?

I’ve been back into re-reading Kafka’s The Trial, glorious, I should say, do say, without hesitation–what would hesitation mean anyway, if not only that I was taking my time to adjust my diction and suit word to the appropriateness of Kafka’s literary actions, no? It’s in English translation, the edition I bought sometime in the last several months, having then wanted to re-read what I must have read now decades ago as an undergraduate. Loving it–understatement.

I can say with impunity, as I have grown accustomed to say: No book is ever the same book each time you re-read it. No man is ever the same man from one week to another–not unless he makes a very concerted effort not to change, not to confront himself or slay his dragon-ego in the dark. The abyss is within, Kafka knew. Writing, I think he had said, was like tak9ing an axe to the frozen sea inside. It’s amazing how Freudian and Jungian so many writers in the age of Jung and Freud were. I am not referring to influence as much as I am referring to Zeitgeist.

I do recollect something I used to say to my freshman composition class students when I was teaching it at CUNY colleges”

“All good reading is re-reading.”

The Pursuit by Richard Holmes

Back reading The Pursuit by Richard Holmes. Bought it at Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn, 7th Avenue. Great shop. Great biography. Published originally in 1974. The edition I have is a paper edition from New York Review Books, New York.

It’s published with a new introduction by the author–not certain as to when .

The Preface to the new edition by NYRB was written in 1994.

Another’s Shoes [a short story]


When he was an undergraduate, on all forms to fill out for the college bureaucracy, there was a choice labelled “other” when the question of race or ethnicity was raised. He used to check this choice “other,” and in the line provided would write Non-White Caucasian. There are essays he has written explaining what he thinks; however, herein is offered a quick look, a scan of what he might mean by Non-White Caucasian. Let’s follow her who had known him–yoiu need names, don’t you? Well, none will be forthcoming. Another mile traveled. 


. . . and so she said he had said: 

I find it amusing, if not sometimes also annoying, when younger, white Protestants,  living now in NYC, from somewhere outside of NYC no one from anywhere in the world not interested in agriculture, or being a rabid Trump supporter, or hunting deer, alligator or students (on days when the world seems bleak) would want to visit, ask me if I know what the Day of the Dead is, having themselves recently discovered it, and in their protracted adolescence of mind assume they might be some of the earliest finders of such knowledge, exactly the kind of thinking that lead the West to call Columbus landing on what he later called Hispaniola, a discovery.



She added that he had said,

I once in a while ask if they are really asking an Italian Catholic, who is also Irish Catholic, that particular question because the Day of the Dead and the festival of All Hallow’s Eve (the origin of Halloween) and All Saint’s Day, November 1st and All Soul’s Day, November 2nd, have all of them been familiar to me since childhood.”

And she said he had said that these were

“. . . familiar to my Irish Ancestors since the fifth Century A.D., as Catholics, and centuries before that, as Celts, in Ireland, celebrating their Ancient Festival of the Dead that coincided with their New Year, which coincided with what became our November 1st. Our October 31st was Celtic New Year’s Eve and was a time when the Here of the Living converged with the There of the Dead.” 



She paused thinking of what it was he had said after what she just said he had said. She then said he had said:

Patrick Christened it, and November 1st became All Souls Day until it became All Saints Day, a day commemorating the lives of Saints and the Death of Martyrs.” She had an incredible memory, powers of recollection few I have ever known possessed.



She then aid he had said:

The following day, November 2nd became All Souls Day, and thus there were two days commemorating the Dead, the two principal days of the three days of Mexico’s Day of the Dead Celebration.”

To say or not to say has become her question? Another to be or not. 



. . . and he continued, she said, saying what she thought she recalled, sometimes apart from what she would and could recollect, recollection and recall not being one and the same thing, just as all recollection is remembering but not all remembering is recollection . . . 

When White Protestant farm boys and farm girls from Nebraska, Iowa, North Carolina or anyplace else where everyone is,  how should I say it, pasty-faced–yes! Whenever these pasty-faced White people come to Brooklyn to gentrify black neighborhoods, and then reconstruct out of their own guilt the term ‘White’ so that a new-found rhetoric of outrage gets adopted by other really stupid White people, to include all the Caucasians the term had never included before–yes, there are Non-White Caucasians. Let me then say that White-White People had never allowed inclusion to me or mine in any kind of real or imaginary America before; and so they now reconstruct Whiteness, principally, so they can then condescend to Northern, Eastern, Urban ethnic Caucasians, most often Catholics because in their Protestant uptightness, greed and prudishness, they found themselves compatible with Northern Urban Ashkenazim, allowing the Neo-WASPS to point a finger at these Non-White Caucasians as if these non-White Caucasians were like their pasty-faced Protestant Grandfathers–whether Klan members or not, or whether among those who benefitted from Klan or not  . . .

I do not mean Anglican when I say Protestant–yes, whenever these contemporary Brooklyn White-People assholes talk to me like they are going to educate me in the ways of my own culture, it reminds me of college students I’ve met over the last thirty years talking to me in their half baked, pseudo intellectually managed third-hand dis-coveries of Post Structuralist or Post-post Structuralist critique, as if they were the first ever to think what they were parroting in one American received idea after another, all or some of it, most assuredly usually, from some pseudo intellectual rehashing of French anti-humanism. Enough!

Yes, real White people parroting received ideas about diversity while remaining truly terrified of races other than their own . . .including all the ethnic Caucasians they manipulate the image of in order to deflect critique of white people and hopefully get them to share some of their over-burdened WASPy guilt–and fuckin’ WASPS are not just the Old Money WASPS, nor are they the old New Money WASPS trying to lace curtain themselves away from their cracker red-neck ancestors. And after shitting where they live and eat here in Brooklyn, they mostly go back to their White People lives, the fucking closet Crackers!



He paused, she said.

She then said he said, I am Italian and Catholic–there’s nothing contemporary White Protestant Americans can teach me in just about anything, especially concerning Passion and Death.; that is, as far from their traditions as too many of them are, becoming as heinously  bourgeois as too many of them have, even when they think they are continuing traditions, only managing to make one grotesque bourgeois revision or another, themselves lost to their Folk wisdom, and Folk traditions and culture, succumbing to one semi- or il-literate notion or another, half-baked as they persistently are, always criminal as illiteracy is in bourgeois terms; but then, as mentioned above, they want to forget their Folk and so become even more insipidly bourgeois. But then, I can’t even begin to ell you how many people share one or another of my identities who are equally lost to their traditions, their culture, their Folk . . . or so I have begun to think as of late.



. . . and he said, 

Being a man who used to walk around with a copy of the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, a transcription of the Papyrus of Ani which was nearly 4000 years old at the time of Christ, myself chanting some of the Hymns to Aman Ra and Osiris in an invocation to the rising sun on the sands of the beaches in Rockaway when I lived there how long ago now I will not count, having viewed as many corpses and carried as many coffins as I have . . .

“I really do not suspect that the pseudo intellectual, systematically under-educated college under graduate has a whole lot to offer in the ways of understanding Death, or any of the ways people deal with death, as grotesque as his being has become, crassly bourgeois, insipidly Wonder Bread, hopelessly materialistic, ahistorical, contempo-centric, emotional rather than passionate.”

Don’t puzzle too much over the use of quotes and absence of them in other places.



She said he had said as much. The when and the where and the to whom are not important, are they? He said:

And you want more, I can suspect, have suspected, do know from experience–I cannot say that I really cannot stand fucking Protestants–I grew up imagining that Protestantism might be a disease, at least one of culture . . . crackers are WASPS, red-necks are WASPS, the KKK are fucking WASPS irrespective of the pretenses many white Anglo-Saxon Protestants want to evoke . . , of course, I cannot say all Protestants are uptight, pasty-faced, narrow-minded, fat mother fuckers–although a whole lot of them are . . .  but there is something metaphysically incompatible with me and mine and them and theirs, something I know I have felt, have seen obliquely, understood intellectually, historically, interpersonally in incidental and other than incidental communication . . . mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I want to say in order to say that I understand I should have another understanding, the ability that comes from having stood under what I need to carry, hold up, a variation on walking in another’s shoes? I do not want to walk in any other’s shoes.

Letters to Alice (A Letter Writer Writes Letters to her Friend about Gay Marriage) [A Short Story]

The Falling Leaf Review

The following are a series of letters sent to Alice Buconiglio in the summer of 2012, July, written by a friend of hers while she, the friend, was on vacation in Madrid.

Who goes to Madrid in July? You might ask. The answer would be, the same friend who went to Paris in February, but then, prices are cheaper for Spain in July and for Paris in winter, right? What you think you need to know about her friend you really only have to read the letters to find out. What she says is what she says, everything anyone could want to know about the letter writer, should want to know about this letter writer–how the letter writer thinks is a big part of who the letter writer is–the letter writer expresses views and opinions and these should tell you all you need to know about her, but nothing about…

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Notes from Another Native Son [a fictional essay]

Yes, we knew decades ago that American oil companies had sold oil to the Nazis out of Mexico; why should anything surprise us about the Oil Gangsters or even the Koch Brothers Cartel. And their names on places for the Arts does not make them philanthropists anymore than the Nazis building theaters made them philanthropists. There was State Ballet in the Soviet Union. But please remember when we talk about the dark waters of Republican support that we do have to recollect that there had never been any President deeper in the pockets of Wall Street than Obama; and it was Jefferson who warned us about banks being more dangerous to a People and their Liberty than standing armies of occupation, moreover, did we heed? Obama, with all good intentions, served another political marketing strategy, one set against the People as firmly as anything that the Conservative Moshiac Regan had done, or the heinously oily Anti-New Deal Bill Clinton did–and he was an oily piece of carnival barking shit, wasn’t he?

Now, Democratic Party shifts to the right aside–and there has been a nearly monolithic shift to the right of the dividing line between eternal liberal and eternal conservative in American politics, make no mistake about that. Any decision between Hilary and Donald was one between more and less conservative–and I am here to say that Hilary was certainly the lesser of the two evils irrespective of whatever John St—– tried to pontificate after the election, speaking from Power and Monied elites, having garnered his small fortune in TV (I could never understand why until I looked further) and that was either for what some call talent or what others call the what-he-is, more important than what he could do, the being what he was part of the what-you-are the first and the last of who gets to play . . . others in Hollywood have to pay with sexual favors . . . just ask the  women in Hollywood who are not what John St#$%^& is . . . whatever he is . . . always the same forms of who you know rooted in what you are . . . nevertheless  Hilary was Obama’s McNamara.

The terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have lost their valence in our current Political Science, neither one maintaining any acuity when we talk politics, our talk becoming an exchange of monologues as if the dynamics of ping-pong were best going to serve our rhetorical strategies in argumentation. Yes, both of them are devoid of their traditional sense, a sense that naturally runs an over arching course through history, mostly lacking in keeping their senses because we no longer have dialogue in America, having lost the capacity for any trenchant dialectic in the Self. Nonetheless, there has never been a man to occupy the Oval Office who is more dangerous to We the People and our Liberty, our security, whether that be personal, social, political, or national, than Donald Trump; and this is mostly because he is a horribly stupid man, something assessed by examining his long career in the media spotlight (the ironies derived from this upcoming). Furthermore, continuing in the White House his terrible arrogance, his being incapable of showing anything but solipsism, the latter culminating in the geo-politics of nihilism? Hyperbole intended. And irrespective of what you think about Donald, the fore stated is hyperbole.

All of these persist in Donald’s actions or acts, having been refracted through the prism of gross egoism, resulting in Vanity being every kind of verity for him and his decision. One delusion follows another and another delusion follows yet another; more and more delusions mounting in a Lear-like tragedy for all?

Perhaps the only leader of so powerful a country as ours with less sanity was Josef Stalin!? The exclamation point preceding the question mark makes a necessary split. I knew the Donald was an idiot forty years ago.

Let us not play the rhetorical ping-pong we love to play in our political arenas, back and forth with slogans and received ideas, half baked hypotheses we bandy about as if they were socio-political theories, and all in keeping with It is so because we think it is so, the result in a reformation of epistemology where knowledge is virtually impossible and Truth is a lie. Yeah, that Post-post Structuralist cluster-fuck in thinking was going to lead somewhere positive. We have been so systematically under-educated, kept so dismally semi-literate when we imagine ourselves to be educated, we can no longer handle anything but to mount one will to power in face of another will to power, thinking having gone the way of knowledge, Truth and wisdom. All of us creeping about day in and day in once more and again, today, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, every petty fragment of a notion arising in the masquerade of thinking we perform for ourselves to the last glorious tolling of whatever bell we imagine tolls for a humanity we have abandoned by relativizing human nature until it has become virtually impossible for too many to mount a defense of human rights. Randomly passing images in our minds as if this were all we needed to do to think, all of these grotesques creeping in their petty paces through the labyrinthian twists we imagine we should call–I’m tired; I’m exhausted; I’m afraid, very, very afraid for our future.

Ever increasing shifts to the Right by the Democratic Party, with a persistent confounding of what the political terms, positions, affiliations, arguments and policies of Liberal and Conservative mean, we must not allow the Donald and the Republicans off the hook. Nonetheless, facts remain facts, and a fact of the 90s was that no man made greater dents in the New Deal than did Bill Clinton. He was directly responsible for unleashing the banks that lead to 2008, and this is not a contemporary Republican party polemic against the Democrats: Clinton’s Pro-Wall-Street deregulatory actions began while Democrats were the majority in Congress, beginning with the appointments of Robert Rubin, and the Harvard University darling, Larry Summers, in the Treasury. Does anyone recall his dissolving the Glass-Steagall Law from the Great Depression, which had been passed to bar Investment Banks from Commercial Banking activities? No, of course you do not. Does anyone recall the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, “which left the derivatives market a laissez-faire Wild West,” according to the Columbia Journalism Review. No, of course you do not. Clinton got away with a lot of policies that led to the gutting of what we have called the American Middle Class. The only time we reference class is in a blanket over-arching assessment of income that is devoid of any trenchant political analysis of class structure, one that could lead to valid critique of Power and Monied Elites and allow us to see Regan, Clinton, Bush I and II and Obama as all of a piece in the protection of Monied Elites and and the perpetuation of Power as an Elite only endeavor governmentally.

One does not have to be as mad as Donald Trump to see that the print and broadcast media do protect and support with appropriate spin the interests of elites–why do we still insist on believing that Media elites are not in bed with Corporate Elites, Wall Street Elites, Oil Gangster Elites? With Riegle-Neal, Bill Clinton gutted State regulations of Banks leading to grotesque bank mergers and the too-big-to-fail mind-set. And yes, he was responsible directly for more deregulation that lead directly to 2008 than any President–recall Obama blaming George W. for 2008? I do. But next to Bill Clinton, there has been no greater friend to Wall Street Greed in the Oval Office than OBAMA. But then, there is now no greater enemy of the People than Donald Trump, the charlatan who has harnessed discontent that the press and broadcast marketing strategies for news set entirely on Race, another way we sidestep any prescient discussions of class in America. Are you recognizing a pattern? Class politics structured for the further benefit of Power and Monied elites effects Black America more directly and pronouncedly than even race, but never a peep from anyone in our Politics, our government, our bureaus, our media, our Selves.

Milton Friedman, Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan are my triumvirate in the pit of a new Inferno, but then, there are so many semi-literate systematically under-educated college graduates who imagine themselves liberals who, when they hear me rail against Neo-Liberal Globalization, they assume that I am an American Conservative, when in fact I am actually too linked with the Eternal Left to even be an American Liberal, offended as I have been by the Democratic Party and its grosser selling down river of all people–it’s almost as if the one way Power could think of making African-Americans feel better about once having been treated like and called Niggers was to make everyone else a nigger of Money and Power, much the way women everywhere have been Niggers of the world. But it’s carefully choreographed by absenting the word nigger, so everyone is the nigger of money and power, but no one is called a nigger, or the institutions of Money and Power and Media Influence and Governmental Authority do not permit its expression without chastising the expresser. This of course is not to deny the heinous call and re-call to Jim Crow you hear covertly and overtly in the rhetoric of White Nationalists, White Suprematists and all of their Alt Right allies.

Not to be out-done, Obama went even further than either Clinton or Regan by spending 0ne Trillion dollars to upgrade our entire nuclear arsenal, moreover in the process expanding it, making fifty years of attempts at disarmament irrelevant, meanwhile tweaking Putin’s nose as if he was going to say, Yes, please you arrogant Americans, push further for your MILTON Friedman NEO-LIBERAL Globalization; please take hegemony at our underbelly in Ukraine because we will let you. If Russia had tried to negotiate with Mexico in half the way we tried to get into Ukraine, we’d already be at war. And Obama was a Democratic Party President. IN the seventies, there were many Republicans who would have been opposed to Obama’s geo-political policies; why is it that the American Mainstream Media did not see or say that the President that Obama was most like was Ronald Regan?

Furthermore, and in direct contrast to all the pseudo-liberal fawning over Obama, the former POTUS started more wars than Bush II, deported more people than any President (perhaps primarily because he was able to more easily?), inititated no immigration reform (which may or may not have to do with his intentions), spread the drone assassination campaign to all quarters of the world, and okayed Hilary’s desire to topple Libiya by bombing the shit out of it, destabilizing The North African Mediterranean country to the point it cannot contain its borders and has become a hotbed of jihadist terrorism and a funnel for all refugees from Africa of any politicized persuasion, and without screening, to southern Europe (which may have been part of Hilary’s and Obama’s design: that is, to destabilize the EU and necessitate NATO expansion). Otherwise, Libya has become one of the great cluster-fucks of our geo-politics, and a potential human disaster on the level of Syria–another of Obama’s great geo-political coups, and it will again become convenient for many of Hilary’s semi-literate college student supporters to blame Russia, when it was Obama who laid hands off ISIS for over a year (was it really that long?) in either an effort to pressure Assad (traditional geo-politics) or topple him in Syria (as the United States has had a hand in doing all over the world for decades and decades, using whoever might be the most expedient or convenient). The spin on Obama’s hesitations in dealing with ISIS are in full articulation mode, having at his reputation’s defense, a great many of our mainstream’s most ardent supporters of our former political status quo, something that Trump ironically has us longing for, his election a little bit more than a year after we the people had become fed up with both Democrats and Republicans, especially in Congress, when both sides brought government virtually to a standstill.

Obama has wanted regime change in Syria more badly than Bush did, and Bush was training opposition to Assad, as was later Obama, not caring who the Moslem Brotherhood there or in Libya used as its allies as long as it could meet with U.S. Global Imperialist designs. I just do not get why so many Conservatives have been against Obama, unless it is what his supporters have so persistently claimed, race.

When I tell you that Regan, Bush I and II, Bill Clinton, Obama and Hilary are all of a piece geo-politically, except for style of presentation, spin of the doctors of State and Statism, charisma and shifts in policy, or whether they are in the pockets of oil or Wall Street–why smirk as if your head in the sand is a wiser and more informed position–but maybe it is more in-formed because all information and acts of informing are just that: putting the people in a form the State likes and can easily manage. The media does not lie all the time, that would be absurd and counter-productive; however, the media does serve a propaganda-like function for the State by keeping Power in the shadows, by managing the right image for the Monied elite, by maintaining favorable images in the marketing of Government Authority, so long as the agents of Governmental Authority play the games of Power by Power for Power, as Obama had with Wall Street.

I am an OPPONENT of Trump–it sounds ridiculous for me to have to say this, at least to anyone who knows me, has known me these last few decades. I am still shocked–yet not actually for any length of time that could persist past what I already know about power, the dynamics of Power; about monied elites, about how money drives our media, how television has made and broken presidential campaigns. It is a bit surreal that the Trump we knew in New York City forty years ago has become President. I remember the people being free to go to hell in a handcart was an expression we used in the Seventies as a marker of a democratic society; however, the manipulation of the People, their transformation into a State serving Public is a lot less or other than the People going to Hell in a handcart. There is no time more than now. But Trump was an idiot 30 years ago, and I remember that Aristotle defines an idiot as someone with no general or social concerns–and Trump’s solipsism fits in this definition perfectly. But then, contempo-centrism has come to haunt us; a-historicism has turned and bitten us. Yet, Donald is left as Commander-in-Chief, unable to lead, unable to get out of his own head–there is no reality for him outside of his head. In geopolitics, he is in way over his head, beyond his capabilities. He is actually drowning

And not as a way to say that Trump and Hilary were six of one and a half-dozen of the other, let us also not forget that Hilary and Obama were actually worse than Bush II in the number of conflicts they engaged and the number of times they violated international law and the sovereignty of Nations, allies and foes–and Bush II was bad enough, REAL BAD; but no American IN form(ed) by the mainstream media who are linked with finance capitalists on Wall Street (again, 6 corporations control 90% of our media) will ever read about it except on page 44 in the NY Times, a kind of State Pravda because it is Wall Street Pravda like the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, all meant to keep power in the shadows. And this is not akin to Trump’s rants about the liberal media because we do not have a liberal media, unless in contrast to how much reactionary lunacy the Republicans suffer allows us to say anything left of reactionary is liberal. But then this would also amount to a form of insanity.

Bush was a liar,of course he would have to be. It’s not whether or not a President lies, but how well he does when he inevitably will. I have heard Obama called the blackface the Monied and Power elite wear in a Grotesque Minstrel Show, and the last time something like that was said in the vicinity of my ears was by a black guy in a bar in Brooklyn. But of course, you knew this, right–no? Minstrel Shows from the White House? It’s too much you say . . . do you not want to examine how grotesque our politics have become?

Questions beget more horrible questions. Yet, as endemically racist as we are, was it true that only a black man could sell us the idea that he spoke for the People when he spoke for monied power more eloquently than any President in history? And yes, Obama has appeared more Presidential than Trump can muster, which is part of the Stagecraft of Statecraft.  We all too often mistake being Presidential with being a Great President, or it becomes the only way we judge a President–Obama is inordinately charismatic. But then Americans imagine that Rap is not a new minstrel show when it meets the paradigm, point for point. Rap is no more about authenticity than minstrel shows were. And when I hear the term ‘white people’ mentioned by anyone, I know I am listening to a Machiavellian drawn received idea because there is no political or sociological term that is more overly generalized or stereotyped than the term “White People.”

We have remained so overly generalizing in the way we talk about politics, about people in relation to political issues, about people in their social standing, in their relationship to the society at large and to the government, as well as government authority in its relationship to the people–that a person of color is often no closer to being precise and accurate when he or she is talking about “White People,” than white people of any ethnicity have a clue what they mean when they say “Black people.” Most of White People have little to no clue what they mean when we say anything And there has been no other racial or ethnic term that could possibly be used as we do “White People,” and that’s in Academic discourse and through media conduits, print and broadcast. And I am not even referring to Harvard Professor Ignatiev’s diatribes about Whiteness, White People, the necessity for the obliteration of White People, a particularly virulent form of American Ashkenazi Trickster Politics–one moment white, the next moment not white–and the not-white part I understand, but his blanket inclusion of all formerly referenced Caucasian people to the careful exclusion of Ashkenazi is disingenuous. Out of the other side of another mouth Ashkenazi are White People, perhaps the only White People people of Color can trust in a new Hegemony. Tribal politics at its best–and all ethnicities participate in this grotesque will to power, which is why truths and lies have become so relativized.

Again, I am a Trump opponent–how could I not be one, having respect for my intellect, and what I sometimes call common intelligence (is it Native intelligence, something provided since birth? by genetics? is their cultural memory encoded on genes as we used to think about when we were teenagers . . .? I cannot keep my tongue in my cheek for long); as well as my education and the culmination in what I call higher literacy (perhaps too much in the way of self-presumed)?

I actually liked Obama–his presidential-ness mostly. But the truth is the truth concerning how we frame our discussions, frame our terms. Furthering the idiots’s ping pong Americans love to play, are the people who voted for Trump believing anything he says, taking it as gospel! Trump’s supporters felt like throwing a monkey wrench in the machinery of American politics. But is it White people alone (I am using White People the way I have heard some African Americans use the reference, including in its use as referents all Caucasian people, even those who have not participated in the socio-political constructs of Whiteness in America, historically and traditionally) when 30 out every 100 Hispanics voted for Trump–how many tens of millions of hispanics are there in these United(?) States. More than twice the number of African Americans who voted for Romney in ’12 voted for Trump. So much for endemic authenticity from Record-Industry-created images that match African American reality in exactly the same way as Hollywood Stereotyping of any ethnic group you choose to examine has ever matched their social, cultural or political reality. If you were to take Hilary’s margin of victory in California out of the election, she loses the election in the total of the other 49 states; and this is one more rationalization for the Electoral College–how regional tipping of elections is not more democratic. How is her gross margin of victory in California more Democratic? It’s not. But to listen to Democratic Party leaders and their sour grapes is another reason in a long check list concerning how Democratic Party rhetoric and policy serves itself and not the People, firstly and lastly.

Madison did not frame the Electoral College because he did not trust the people; there were enough popular elections in our dual sovereignty from the on-set. If that had been the reason first and fore mostly, we would have versions of the electoral college at the State level, which we do not. Governors were and are popularly elected. And remember how important Governorships were: John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice (for life), left the position to become Governor of New York State. Madison made the distinction between Federal Elections and National Elections and the election for President was framed as a Federal election and not a National one. We are still insisting that the President and the Presidency become something other than what the framers went to great lengths to circumscribe and reduce the power of. So, in light of this, I reject Michael Moore’s under-read history lessons. Only television constructs the election as a National one–much the way the Super Bowl is framed as a National event, simultaneously shared by most Americans, turning classes into masses, one of the prime ingredients for maintaining, and one of the principal results of, all totalitarianism[s], another reason I call American a Totalitarian Capitalist Nation-State.

I do not expect most of the people I talk to every day to have read or go on to read the Constitution, let alone understand it, not with what passes for literacy in New York City Education. Teaching majors still making up the bulk of the bottom 30% of university students. Stupid is what stupid thinks, and “think” here is not the imagined image but how the process takes place in the handling of thought in matters of great social importance. You did hear recently how 76% of a Bronx High School graduated, as if that were an achievement, but allegedly only 4% were university ready. However, with liberal arts disappearing and themselves becoming vocations or a grotesque sort, reading and writing with any acumen, quality, or advanced standards of achievement will become a monastic endeavor. The Dark Ages are now–how in love with hyperbole need I become in this here Media manipulated/molded America, Marketing, Marketing, Marketing–it’s a cruel irony that we are ruled by what we used to refer to as Madison Avenue–MADmen, all.

We have to stop being inane and ignorant and semi-literate and a-historical because those are what WE THE PEOPLE are being, turning into state serving Publicans–the Public versus the People has been a contest set by the Media for the State. Oh, and by the way–I do want to piss on the Patriot Act.

Trump won’t know how to do what he imagines he wants to get done? Remember. Obama’s biggest problem was his entire absence of CACHE coming into office. No one owed him anything. He owed everybody else because when a virtual political nobody has the banks behind him as he did in 08 and 12, you know he has to deliver favors if he ever wants to do anything he thinks he wants to do when listening to the better angels of his nature.

I would rather be happy than right, but this here political quagmire makes me right when for 25 years I have been saying that without the Soviet Union, with the Democratic Party shift to the right of eternal center, with the way we educate, with our contempo-centrist views of history to the point of becoming a-historical, with the decline in literacy and a multi-culturalism meant only to become costume for American Bourgeois Capitalist, we were headed for being in a deep river of shit with only our hands for paddles.

Now, I will hopefully unleash the same fury on Trump, only more so? because I like him so, so, so much less than I actually liked Obama. Charisma is worth something; smooth oratory is worth a lot; being able to lie better than the other guy was something as young men in bars with beers in our hands we respected . . . for some reason I pretend is vague.

Closet Conservatives

A reissue from November of 2016.

Now Politics

It seems for years now that being closeted is not reserved for Gay Men or Lesbians, but certainly has become part of America’s Democratic Party’s existence; Closet conservatives, you could say Hilary and Obama were. I am not even so sure we could say that in the 70s, both of them would be moderate Republicans, when in fact I have accumulated enough evidence to supprt the claim that both Hilary and Obama are more conservative than moderate Republicans from the 70s, a decade in which the Republicans had members in its party that were Left of the line separating eternal political Left from Right. Today, the entire Republican Party has shifted right of center, pulling the Democrats gravitationally(?) to right, whereby, a good portion of the Democratic Party is right of the line separating eternal political Left from Right.

Yes, since the days of Bill Clinton, and a building force…

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The Falling Leaf Review

[Short Story.]

What is it that anyone reading needs to know other than this is a typical letter from the editor of a literary review in the traditional sense of literary reviews, the author having been educated and trained in the manner he has been–was? More questions could arise, will arise, should?  

From the Editor

What I wanted to do with this review, with its blog, its pages section I will not discuss, except to say that literary is the first and last consideration I make, thus is the first and last in the publishing of any content. I have said this many times before in references I have made about this Review elsewhere. It seems as if I have exhausted even my patience with me repeating myself–or so I posture and say. What do I mean by literary? The literary is a muse of this review?  If she…

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An Editor Speaks of Reading [A Short Story]

The Falling Leaf Review

A Publishing-Editor of a literary review speaks of reading, the Canon, literacy, Shakespeare, Montaigne and his grandfather, or the books his mother’s father, born in Montmartre, Paris of a mother born in Geneva, Switzerland, had left in his cabin on his farm in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts after his death sometime now several decades ago.

A literary web journal dedicated to the literary essay sounds pretentious enough to too many who imagine that they are reading when they are only superficially skimming the pages of the texts they throw their eyes at like dice at a craps table. I am not optimistic enough about the fate of our pedagogy, or how it is we teach reading and writing; in fact, what it is we call reading and writing–to imagine that anything remotely similar to what I call reading takes place when most Americans (college educated Americans) point their eyes…

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What If You Were Another Kind of Man?

The Falling Leaf Review

The Minutes Buried

[A Short Story]

If he were another kind of man, he might write something completely different from what he has here written, what he wrote in the past, about his review, his literary review that had begun as a literary essay review, one he originally called The Literary Essay Review, the literary essay being one of the forms of writing he had the greatest affinities for, an affinity he developed at a time, as he will have remembered some time afterwards, when the essay, as handed down from Montaigne, in style, in form, in content, in voice, was the axis on which all generic activity revolved, turning, turning, turning, the world is always gira, gira, Angelo used to say. By here–where is here? here is wherever you are; I am here, not there, concentric circles of here-ness displacing there-ness. But what I mean by what is held…

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When You See an Opportunity to Get More Pie

Fiction is fiction when the thing made is all made up? What then does this and has this said about women for centuries and their make-up???

The Falling Leaf Review

Authenticity and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

A short story in the form of a journal entry that would have been made on  July 13th, 20xx, in Madrid, on Gran Via, a few blocks from Plaza D’Esapna, while having espresso; later that day over a bottle of Albarino; and even later than that at the Prado, before going to dinner. It has been edited by us and presented in The Review, not exactly the journal you are reading it in at present. I am one of the editors of this literary journal called The Review. I am not the editor of the journal you are reading this in; that is, there is a fictional journal that this story appears in called The Review, and that is the context for this story in the form of a series of three journal entries made in a single day by…

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A Fictional Essay by a Fictional Essayist in a Fictional America [A Short Story]

The Falling Leaf Review

Pre-prefatory Remarks

Diatribe. A forceful and bitter attack against someone or something, ideas, maybe; unwanted presence, perhaps?

Tirade. Invective. A long, angry speech of criticism or accusation, probably both.

Polemic. A strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.


Hallucinating Van Gogh crows on a canvas I dreamed, I think I dreamed, I remember it as if it were a dream, so much of what has passed has passed without proper citation, I cannot arrange the facts of memory in an order that determines their origin . . .  and Theo’s wife told him she was pregnant in July 1889.

In this cosmos of our creation, the third eye of everyone is his asshole, the anus there looking at the world through its shit flecked stink . . . all of us–all of our wisdom comes from the receptacle of our colon.

I do not wish to be…

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The Wake of a Wave Back into the Sea; or, She Wanted Lunch [Flash Fiction]

The Falling Leaf Review

The sun is approaching noon. The skies are clear. The blue is crisp. The blue is pristine. The sky is unspoiled by humidity. It is dry today. It is as dry as sand today. Blue as when there is nearly 0% humidity, you know—no clouds to speak of except thin wisps of cirrus . . . 

What Ms. Stephens says, she says with pen and paper, often times though thinking out loud in her room overlooking the hill down to her neighbors she on occasions sees and says hello to without much conversation. Speech, ephemeral; writing? Permanence?

Who wrestles with himself except in the dark? She asked. Who knows what he knows, his way among people too strange for him to see himself in, she said, To see himself through? What reflections, those refractions, friends and loved ones are prisms for our light? She asked. Is that true? She paused.

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