Tag Archives: Paris

The Gods’ Take on Swimming the Seine

How I miss the Seine – brackish green-black waters fed by jars where painters clean their brushes. It doesn’t promise hope; one reason whyI miss it.  No one swims there alive,not Poseidon, not Apollo.  During his  lunch break, Poseidon strolls along its shores, then rushes … Continue reading

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L’Eau and Behold

One of Passover’s big themes is water.  The Sea in the Desert sets the stage for crossing the sea, coming through narrow straits, through a “birth canal” towards your own life, passing from received ideas towards self-awareness and freedom, singing in … Continue reading

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Third Eye

“A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears,” Gertrude Stein famously said, in a tumult of the senses.  She was echoing Picasso, and the motif echoes loudly – as a rose is a rose is … Continue reading

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Lightness Lost and Found

Lightness of spirit! I had been chasing my joie de vivre, wondering where it could be hiding. I had been on the front lines of culture wars, in the trenches, laboring to talk to all sides. I was looking for … Continue reading

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A Spectacle and Nothing Strange

Rain in Paris, great whorls of it spinning, falling as knotted string, strung pearls, bird’s nests,gray hair, wire barbed or not, cat gut, old paint brushes,tumbleweeds.  Clean your hairbrush, bad curtainsin strips, cloud shreds, albumen, cauldrons of bouillon, cassette ribbons, phlegm and … Continue reading

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How to Break the Ice in Paris

People suffer and throw themselves into the Seine. The buildings have scars which grow lighter like our skins. Shop women roll their cat eyes jealously,hearing we’re American.   But what provocateurs they’d be, their loving presentation of breastset like cake batter inside a bodice,the body … Continue reading

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Bastille to Puritan Village: Strange Magic

Each time, after countless trips, still strange magic.Hours ago, we were eating croissants in the sun, looking at the soft green column of the Bastille, the genie de la Liberté, golden wings aloft, still leaping.Today I wake up to crisp carpeting … Continue reading

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Baudelaire Walks Pandemic Paris

Walking through Paris in the (imagined) aftermath of a pandemic, I had the uncanny feelings of déjà vu, that things had disappeared and been replaced, leaving behind a residue of scented melancholy.  The gap between then and now ignited a … Continue reading

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Passover, Notre-Dame and the Book Thing

The idea that Notre-Dame might be reduced to a hole in the ground, a collection of rubble terrified me.  When I lived in Paris, or before that, or after, the Cathedral lodged itself deeply in my being. A friend mentioned … Continue reading

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The Intimate Nature of Radical Times

Oh, the curse from the Chinese: “May he live in interesting times.” We’re living those interesting, precarious times: we are in the middle of structures, nations, assumptions breaking apart. London is calling, Paris, Brazil, US falling.  We’re deep inside that … Continue reading

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