For You, For Tonight, or Help is On the Way

I’m reading tomorrow night with my friend Joanna Herman  at Book Culture, near Columbia. It seemed like a good idea to write a new poem.

Easier to talk about

almost anything my sex life, mother

anything Jewish

than it is to talk about my own writing.

You might want to know why. Yesterday, practicing for tomorrow,

Peter and I sat under an old railroad bridge on the river

in Astoria, a place that is really and truly a poem, and he said

maybe words are just harder

than pictures.

Some people want facts alongside

their words. I don’t know any facts

even how tall I am

make up all facts and then

they’re not facts. They’re poems.

Noguchi’s house across the road

from Costco, in Queens. Is that a fact?

Is that a poem?

Many years ago who knows how many

psychiatrist named Arlene she

wanted me to talk more about writing. Not my mother.

Go home she said. Write a bad sentence.

Then tell me. I spent a whole week

writing bad sentences. This was my favorite: Spot

was the only name I could think of for our dog.

It’s never hard to write

sentences. What’s really and truly hard

is to give my sentences to you.

KING SAUNA in Fort Lee, New Jersey


If I knew how to add a picture (I will ask my son, but maybe if I look sufficiently I could figure it out) I could show you this place, one of the 100 places I LOVE the most (maybe there are more) in the New York vicinity. King Sauna in Fort Lee (if you go to their site you will find a $12 off coupon. It’s $40 without the coupon for 24 hours. Really) is one of those DONT MISS THIS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES places. For a million reasons. Not the least of which is the mandatory prison-like outfit (pink for women, men have their own color)  which is part of the day. I’ve never been there for 24 hours but I intend to. It’s got miracle saunas of every sort, wonderful hot tubs full of beautiful women of every age and shape and country. Large pink couches abound, and it is possible to lie on tatami mats with ginger masques and talk to a friend or two for hours on end. A mugwort PROCESS that is not describable in these pages (though I could tell you all personally) was administered by a woman named NAN. It’s $20 for 40 minutes, and features an enormous pink garbage bag like sack that we all wore. I have a picture that I may be able to show you.

What I Did Today Even Though I’m Ambivalent About Telling You

My friend Fran who is far wiser than I am, that is, she thinks in whole complete intelligent sentences and I tend to think in vague loose colorful images, in pieces of Matisse, she told me today and when she tells me something I often (not always) listen that it was a good idea to tell you whoever you may be what I DID and SAW because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this city and Do and See a little more than usual.  She used the word Tips which is not a word I like. TIPS? Really? Still I will tell you that today I went to the TAIJIN Massage Parlor (they are all wonderful. I go on 72nd between Columbus and Broadway) for a 75 minute (REALLY) amazing massage for $58 which should be more but I try to be as generous as possible with my tip.

Then we had dinner at Pasha on 71st Street in a light gentle Turkish space.

And after dinner we all went around the corner to 65 West 70th to a secret Moroccan bar downstairs which is inconceivably perfect.


There. I tried to tell you.

A Sunday in New York, and a Brief Brush With little Richard a While Ago

Although I have an ambivalent relationship to yoga, that is, I like it but I am almost entirely inflexible (is that a metaphor?) my calves my hamstrings both more or less immovable and I don’t like the yoga language very much (I don’t understand how to move around my spine, how to add more air into my body, how to expand this and that, still I go to class on Sunday mornings when we are in town. I go to a Peruvian yoga teacher, good humored, wildly flexible, a man with seed bracelets. Probably Brazilian seeds. His name is Jorge, but he doesn’t seem like a George. More Juanish. The class is one of those upper west side strivers classes, even though this is YOGA for god’s sake (for ganesh’s sake?) and the entire class is thin. They can do thinks I couldn’t do even when I was 12. How and why is mysterious. And yet, I still go. Also, they were Yoga Outfits. Even the Thin Flexible Men wear yoga outfits. I feel better after class and always reward my efforts by walking straight to Rose in the flea market. One of my favorite flea market people ever. Rose has a $5 table a mile high piled with clothes, and every week she saves something amazing for me. Although one week she gave my dress (this is true) to Little Richard right in front of me. She told me it would have been mine if he hadn’t shown up, but he’s an older customer.

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