The Novel That Won’t Go Away

it just won’t go away

Dear Friends,

That’s right, the manifesto, Brokeland, begun in 1994; the package of writing that earned me a Fellowship at Breadloaf Writer’s Conference in 1996?; the writing that was a bunch of short stories that evolved from a stack of columns I wrote for a rag newspaper in Brooklyn under the name, Dr. L.H. Casey in 1992, the writing that my then literary agent suggested I turn into a novel because she couldn’t sell a first time author’s short stories, a suggestion which overwhelmed me as I attempted to weave the stories together into a novel or novella or novelette and failed. Continue reading

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What is it like to be around the lazy summer Martha’s Vineyard ‘In Crowd’

After performing at Rebecca Wild Baxters 60th birthday bash on Edgartown Pond, with Rusty Scott on piano, Todd Baker on bass and some great Peruvian on drums, we – Rebecca and her entourage – were invited for cocktails at the home of someone with a winter home in Sarasota and six pugs. Only one pug was in attendance and he played with my dog, Howard. The house was very large and the nice rich people served sliced tenderloin for dinner, with homemade macaroons for desert. Homemade macaroons have big fresh strings of coconut sticking out all over them. Continue reading

Voila! I’m Fat!!

Voila!

It’s all relative, but finally menopause has brought about an interesting phenomena. Although I go to weight lifting classes, jog, fast walk and eat lettuce for dinner, I am now, suddenly, without a waist!! Wow! Now I get it!

This obsession with the battle of the bulge. I used to think, “just eat less, fatso”, but now I GET IT. It doesn’t matter what you eat, or what you do, UNLESS you begin to live like a human being was meant to live– i.e. hunting and gathering various berries and carcasses, on the verge of starvation, Continue reading

Is it possible to raise a healthy daughter in a sick society?

First, the good news, unlike your great great grandmother, your floor length skirt will probably not catch fire at an open hearth while you are cooking up another bunch of corn slop..

All you’ll need to do is punch two holes in a plastic bag, place the bag in a microwave machine, leave it there for 6 minutes, take it out and dump it in an expensive Italian ceramic bowl. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot. Other Serving suggestions: add salsa and sour cream for an ethnic flair. If your husband is bringing home the boss, punch two holes in two plastic bags. Follow directions as applicable. Cover with layer of lobster and steak for a surf and turf extravaganza. Serve with cornbread.

More good news…
You will not have to get pregnant every nine months after servicing your husband, and plow fields, grind grain or pick berries in a field of poison ivy while carrying a seven pound human in your stomach. You will not have to give birth without pain killers, in a hut next to a donkey. Continue reading

Are we lazy?

Take time for yourself“Take time for yourself” !!

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Many people, after attending one of my lectures, tell me they struggle with the guilt of nonproductivity, or worse, substandard accomplishments. I try to comfort them with examples of my own inability to attain success, of which there are many.

We must face the fact that hard work often does not remedy the problem. Hard work is hard, and when it is for naught, we wonder why we are working at all.

This sense of futility is, I believe, the number one cause of mental illness in the United States of America today. It has certainly caused me great pain, especially when I realized that I do not have a wallet. Continue reading

What is Performance Art?

There are no rules to break with performance art, because there aren’t any. This would lead one to assume that it is a farce. Sometimes it is.

Performance art encompasses so much territory that it almost consumes itself. Anything goes, and that includes an artist not showing up. I have a friend in Berlin who actually posts elaborate, expensive posters for his shows and does not show up to perform. People pay admission, sit down and wait for something to happen. And things do happen. A room full of strangers, for the most part, sit and start talking to each other. With time on their hands, frustration and confusion in their brains, they try to collectively figure out what happened. When they exit, they are given double their money back. Sometimes this artist has the whole thing taped. It has now become somewhat of a “happening” in and of itself. A party. A place to meet people who like performance art and discuss issues of the day.

I offer this example because I think it conveys what we’re dealing with. If you think you “have the right” to the normal expectations of an audience member, you’re mistaken. And that, I think, is the main difference between “legitimate” theater and performance art and cabaret — a form of performance art that always includes music and signing. Continue reading