Said a pseudo-American prophet, “p— is sooooo crucial!” I am really American, so I believe in this very hard. And, as really important things must happen in cool places (the defenestration of Prague was in the castle, births and deaths … Read More
Rarely is one so revised by experience, which like a river washes away the calcified sand of the soul to describe itself there anew. Rare, too, is the ability to recognize this revision. School had just ended, its shoulder-weight just … Read More
I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a quiet settlement eight miles from Copley Square. The Marathon’s route follows Commonwealth Avenue through Newton into Boston. My house is a block from the Marathon’s 20-mile marker, in the middle of Heartbreak Hill, the most notorious of a series of four steep ascents that runners must endure as they pass through the city.
“When you’re famous and say you’re writing a book, people assume that it’s an autobiography—I was born here, raised there, suffered this, loved that, lost it all, got it back, the end. But that’s not what this is. I’ve never been a linear thinker, which is something you can see in my rhymes. They follow the jumpy logic of poetry and emotion, not the straight line of careful prose. My book is like that, too.”
At school, I no longer had to wait. I was free to do as I pleased and ceased observing the day altogether. But strangely, immediately, Shabbat presented itself to me in a transfiguring light, the radical antidote to all that displeased me here.
Sometimes, you forget: there are people out there who do absolutely brilliant, incredible things. Even at achievement-filled Princeton—especially at achievement-filled Princeton—greatness, which is a level below the place I write about, can become benign and unimpressive. Talent becomes the norm … Read More
If you have never heard Van Morrison’s yearning, keening voice—its blues and jazzy swag , the way it stretches words into birds that fly you to heaven, its worn beauty—well, then, you’ve never heard it. But I bet you have; … Read More