Category Archives: personal essay

Reading Ashbery’s “Three Poems”

Before I comment on this I’d like to emphasize a passage just read: It becomes plain that we cannot interpret everything, we must be selective, and so the tale we are telling begins little by little to leave reality behind. … Continue reading

Posted in personal essay, poetry essay | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Amazement in the Writings of Wilhelm Reich

In March of 1957, during Wilhelm Reich’s court-ordered psychiatric examination, Reich heard the sound of an airplane. He turned to his examiner and informed him that the plane was a sign that he, Reich, would be protected. As an expert … Continue reading

Posted in personal essay | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

My Bob Dylan

1976 was the year I discovered music. Not that I hadn’t noticed it before. I had been an enthusiastic member of a Baptist church choir for several years and had even sung solos. But I hungered for something else. My … Continue reading

Posted in music essay, personal essay | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Personal History of a Troublesome Phrase

For a long time I was troubled (troubled as in the sense of a persistent itch) by a phrase that appeared on the jacket cover of the 1989 Farrar Straus Giroux edition of John Berryman’s Collected Poems.

Posted in personal essay, poetry essay | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Berryman @ 100

One October day when I was 21 years old, I taped six large sheets of newsprint together and attached the whole sheet, six feet square, to the wall just above the bed in the tiny cell of the Manhattan YMCA … Continue reading

Posted in personal essay, poetry essay | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Fredric Brown: A Pal For Life

When I was in 7th grade I met a boy who, like me, enjoyed writing stories and poems. He and I were awarded pens for our work on the school magazine. Later on, in high school, we worked together again … Continue reading

Posted in book review, personal essay | Tagged | 10 Comments

Portraits, Chairs and Barney’s Heart

I went through a period of calling every picture I made a portrait.

Posted in drawing, personal essay, poem | Tagged | 5 Comments