Archive for August, 2016



In our old basement – 1970 or so? – in a house soon to be sold to a new family.

(Those old Polaroids can never be replaced.)



Maureen Basil passed away yesterday. She was a brilliant and charismatic and artistic person and a surpassingly generous Mom. People who befriended her knew how lucky they were. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer the day before my Dad’s memorial service a few weeks ago. In her last days she was content and radiant and witty. The above photo was taken in Montreal about 40 years ago. The one below, a good deal earlier, I think! My parents truly adored one another.


Satire and Critique

From the very smart libertarian blog “Hit and Run,” presented without comment, except to note that all’s well that ends well (if it does end well):

Last Thursday an Ohio jury acquitted Anthony Novak, a 27-year-old man whom Parma police arrested last spring for making fun of them. After hearing one day of testimony, the jurors unanimously concluded that Novak did not “disrupt public services,” a felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison, when he created a parody of the Parma Police Department’s Facebook page.

Novak’s fake Facebook page, which changed the department’s slogan from “We know crime” to “We no crime,” included a job notice saying that anyone who passed a “15 question multiple choice definition test followed by a hearing test” would be “be accepted as an officer” but that the department “is strongly encouraging minorities to not apply.” …

When they arrested Novak in March, Parma police complained that his jokes were “derogatory” and “inflammatory.” …

Novak plans to sue the police department and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for violating his First Amendment rights. … Elizabeth Bonham, staff attorney with the ACLU of Ohio, thinks Novak has a strong case. She told The Plain Dealer Novak’s actions were “so clearly protected by the First Amendment that the criminal proceedings shouldn’t have even come this far.”

Salut, Mayhew

I have been writing and publishing very little lately; profound family events seem to have taken most of my words away.

In a weird way, my friend Jonathan Mayhew has kind of stepped in, writing so much and so brilliantly that I would not have wanted to be writing anyway. No writer charms me so often or so well.

One of Jonathan’s current projects is a book on the pedagogy of poetry. He’s writing it on a private blog to which I’ve been invited. Ideally I will be providing helpful feedback, but until now mostly I have just been … amazed.