"As long as we are not chased from our words we have nothing to fear. As long as our utterances keep their sound we have a voice. As long as our words keep their sense we have a soul." -- Edmond Jabes, from The Book of Yukel, Return to the Book

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Poem: 'City of Dogs'

Here is a recording of "City of Dogs," from my upcoming collection Stealing Copper

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Grassroots: Thoughts on Trump

My Progressive Populist column on Donald Trump -- "Trump, sadly, is no sideshow" -- is online.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Mets: The all-time Met-Yankee team

There have been dozens of ballplayers to wear the uniform of both the Mets and the Yankees (plus four managers, all of whom played for at least one of the two clubs). With the arrival to the Mets last month of Kelly Johnson in a trade with the Braves -- joining fellow ex-Yankee Bartolo Colon -- I thought I'd dig into the list and pull together an all-star team of sorts. Most of the players on this list had their best years in Shea, with the exception of Yogi Berra (four games with the Mets as a player-coach) and Rickey Henderson; and only David Cone could be said to have played well for both teams.

C: Yogi Berra. Back-up: Rick Cerone/
1B: John Olerud. Back-up: Todd Zeille.
2B: Willie Randolph.
3B: Robin Ventura.
SS: Rafael Santana.
Back-up infielders: Sandy Alomar Sr., Miguel Cairo, and Kevin Elster
OF: Darryl Strawberry, Carlos Beltran, and Rickey Henderson. Back-ups: Dave Kingman, Lee Mazilli, and Curtis Granderson. Honorable mention to Bobby Abreu and Gary Sheffield, who both had great careers but were not great with either team.
P: Dwight Gooden, Al Leiter, David Cone, Ralph Terry, Doc Ellis, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Reardon, Mike Torrez, Armando Benitez.
 So, who did I miss?

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

#AllLivesMatter: A Parable of Sorts

As the fire trucks screamed down the road heading toward the burning house, she ran out to the curb hoping to flag down at least one. Her house was quiet -- neatly cut lawn, roses adding a touch of red to the picture. Quiet. Clean. Her block a model of stability.

She could smell the fire, the burning wood. It was faint, wafting in from at least two blocks away.

"Stop!" she screamed. She waived her arms. The trucks whizzed past. Police cars raced past. She kept waiving.

"Why won't they stop?" she said.

A reporter pulled up. He'd heard about the fire on the scanner, but was intrigued by the woman. Perhaps there was a story here, he thought.

"What's the matter." he asked.

"Why won't they stop?"

"The firefighters?"

"Oh, my house," she moaned. "My house, my house!"

"Is it on fire?"


"A burglary? Were you attacked?"


"I don't understand," the reporter said. "There's a house on fire down the street. Surely, that house is what matters."

"Surely," she said. "The burning house matters. But all houses matter. All houses matter."

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Quote of the day: Baseball's problematic moralism

I think this comment, from today's edition of The New York Times, fairly sums up the problems with penalizing an entire era of hitters (and one pitcher) because of steroids. It is time to reconsider Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others -- and to stop penalizing via guilt-by-association guys like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell -- and vote them into the Hall of Fame.
“The Bonds story may be the most complicated moral question of our sporting times,” said Stephen Mosher, a professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College. “It’s about an institution that wants to punish these guys but was also an institution that more or less encouraged them by turning a blind eye to what they were doing to keep the cash registers ringing.”

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