Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
So here is the annual list (with links in red), with notes in purple about why people went there. It's not as good as the Top 10 Horror Films, but 2020 was indeed a horror. Of note, the Top 1 about Virtual Dire was second most viewed blog post EVER, going back to 2010. The #3 about my piece in Ink in Thirds, from 2018, made the list that year, and in 2019---and is now 8th most viewed all time because of Joe Pesci!
In this year's Top 10 there are
30% about actual published work of mine, 20% about Virtual Fridays Dire, and 10% each on: a) a cancelled event that people are googling to see if it was cancelled, b) My sobriety, c) stories in Wilderness House, d) a memorial post. and e) Joe Pesci saying, "Do I amuse you?"
On with the countdown
Sunday, December 27, 2020
So, hey Mr. Tally man, I'll tally you all my bananas, right here! We won't mention Election Fraud, (see ya' later, Donnie), Covid-19 (hope to never see you), or life's often challenging lifey-moments (see them somewhere in this blog)
Besides all of that in 2020 was, my tallies were 3 Flash Fictions, 7 Poems, 1 Essay and 3 Podcasts. Slow, consistent, and pandemic friendly. I acted as Fiction Editor for Wilderness House Literary Review for their four seasons of issues.
"The New Coach" , October 26, 2020 Boog City, #137, Baseball Issue
"It's a New Year" , September 1, 2020 Right Hand Pointing, #140, scroll to the bottom
'"Ambien Beatle" January 29, 2020 Oddball Magazine
December 11, 2020 Live Nude Poems
“When You Have This Connection”
“How Lucia Joyce Was Treated”
“Thinking In Long Distant Relations”
April 27, 2020, Muddy River Poetry Review
April, 2020 Boston Literary Magazine
"Being Of Service in the Age of Corona"
"The Oddball Podcast"
"Poetry In the Bar"
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
This blog starts in 5...4...3...2...1.
Okay. That is how I count out most of the beginnings of these videos. Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series started in April, but I didn't start recording until July---enough to have all the Fall line-up to captured below.
Things had not been fool-proof production wise as Jessica Keener's reading was caught on video after she started, and I didn't have a decent microphone until October.
Also if you want to look ahead. Here is the Winter Schedule
To see more videos of Dire features in the future, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. The zoom recordings may look small, but the live stream on the Facebook platform gets 300 views, plus the YouTube videos get another few hundred. That's quite a crowd for a reading!
9/11, Carley Israel
9/18, Daphne Kalotay
9/25, Ryan Ridge
10/2, Marge Piercy
10/9, Kerry Beth Neville
10/16, Yuyutsu Sharma
10/23, Chris Joseph
10/30, Elizabeth Gordon McKim
11/6, Diana Spechler
11/13, Jonathan Escoffrey
11/20, Dewitt Henry
11/27, Brian Sonia-Wallace
12/4, Rebecca Fishow
12/18, Pamela Painter
Here are a few from the summer, when I first started recording these.
7/31, Kim Chinquee
8/7, Jessica Keener
8/21, Amy King
Saturday, December 19, 2020
8 Rick Moody
15 Laurette Folk
22 Mark Saba
29 Sarah Anne Johnson
5 Jennifer Haigh and Josh Barkan
12 Keetje Kuipers
19 January O'Neil
26 Elle Nash
5 Danielle Zaccagnino
12 Marty Beckerman
19 Nathan Graziano
26 Steven Cramer
Sneak peek at April
2 Easter Weekend- OFF
9 The all-open mic One Year Anniversary Event
16 Sandra Simonds
23 George Wallace
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
I was always wowed by her writing, that pure talent, and use of metaphor. The human element in it. It seemed so natural.
Nadine and I met at Scrawl, an on-line writing workshop, and whenever we participated in the Flash and Chat, (an exercise where you write for an hour and give a critique to everyone else who had written), it made me want to either be better, or quit writing. It was that good, and produced in an hour! How was that possible? It was like magic. One thing I've often mentioned is when I am stuck with my own writing, I'll read one of her pieces, just to feel it---to live in its cadence, and explode out of it with something of my own.
Nadine and I shared a love of pop culture, and made often fun of it. When writing my novel, The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan, which is loaded with 70's satire, I used to run things by her to see if they rang true or were too obscure. Nothing was ever too obscure, as she knew them all, from the Brady Bunch to Musical Youth. She was also kind enough to offer a blurb for my next book, which I know, is a very gracious gesture to do.
Then there was the Dire Literary Series. Before Nadine took over an evening of Dire for her book launch she had attended earlier, and telling me how I was a cross between Chuck Barris and Gene Rayburn. Then she made me Gene Rayburn at the launch. It was probably the most fun and memorable live Dire Literary series in the 18 years I did it live. I let her plan everything. She wrote scripts to act out about Oxi-Clean that evening, and re-created the Match Game--with set, sound effects etc. Of course there was a reading from her book, She Came From Beyond, complete with a dog in her lap. Most of this evening was caught on video and I previously posted it HERE.
When the series ended, or when I thought it had ended before the zoom pandemic version, Nadine was asked to feature with an All-Star lineup. "Of course, I'd be honored," she replied.
These things, all of them combined, always made people feel that they were valued and important. It was one of her strengths. She also was a huge battler for women's rights, the toxic masculinity syndrome, the rights and treatment of those LGBTQ community. The energy and bluntness that she and her friends had regarding such social issues helped me redefine where I should be and how I should act---and for an old stubborn white man, reprogramming my learned behavior was.
I am shocked and saddened that she is gone, and my heart breaks for the love of her life, Ken, their three young children and her four step children. She was described as a wonderful mother and pet owner. One of her friends wrote: "Nadine was so worried about how Christmas would be for these children. One of the last things she worked on was a Christmas list for them. We want to do our best to honor Nadine by giving her children a happy Christmas despite their profound loss." HERE
One thing I've always said is to not waste life's time. I wish you all to remember that, remember her especially, to always end interactions with those whom you care about with "I love you."
Some of my favorites
Her review the movie Rudy - boy did it piss off a lot of men.
Friday, December 11, 2020
|Former site of Nightingale's|
Here's the story behind this story:
Sometimes we confess things.Sometimes we confess years later.
Here's my confession.
|Ted Koppel on Nightline 11:30 PM|
Pictured above is Manhattan, 2nd and Avenue C. Back in the late 80's I heard Ted Koppel on Nightline reporting about the "new" drug becoming an epidemic in New York City. "It was called crack cocaine," he said. "Easy to find on the streets of New York and was an inexpensive form of the powdered version of the drug cocaine."
I recognized the street corner in the report on television and the bar on 2nd and Avenue C, where a deal was going down, which at the time was called Nightingale's. That was all I needed to know. I jumped in my car from Massachusetts and and was on that street corner by 4 AM getting high.
The poem, "New York Confession," tell this story but it also tells of the way New York City used to be in in all it's gritty glory, which for good or for bad, has been replaced, ignored, or glossed over today.