Puzzling as a sport was not a feature of my father’s love of the crossword. He enjoyed them thoroughly, but there was no fanaticism in his play, and thus neither stopwatches nor blasts of indignation at seemingly disingenuous clues or specious puns. He was a cruciverbalist—the technical moniker for the habitual crossword solver—in the most traditional of senses, at his leisure or on a lunch break. Moreover, he liked doing them in ink and all caps—both no-no’s according to Stanley Newman in his Cruciverbalism: A Crossword Fanatic's Guide to Life in the Grid.Continue Reading →
I was in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, and I went into Bridge Street Books, located nowhere near Bridge Street, from what I could tell. It was on Pennsylvania Ave., off M Street, the main thoroughfare of Georgetown. The proprietor, who sat to the left, immediately upon the entrance, sitting between a two-sided counter, a [...]Continue Reading →
Farrah Fawcett is dead. Let those of us who were young in the seventies observe a moment of silence. And noting this journal’s preoccupation with hair (vide Oppenheimer posting, “We Partied Like It’s 2009,” May 18, 2009) and my own hair being of “urban legend” (ibid), I could not let this occasion pass without paying [...]Continue Reading →
Today, my Yahoo home page informed me of the news that Farah Fawcett “passes away.” No thank you— she DIED. Euphemisms be gone. What next: “Farah Fawcett goes to Jesus”? Or, in weird John Edward (the psychic) New-Age-speak, “Farah Fawcett passes”? It’s sad, people, very sad. I miss her. But that’s no excuse for tawdry [...]Continue Reading →
For years, working in bookstores here, I wished there was a decent guide to the restaurants in New Haven. I knew I wasn't really qualified to put one together myself, but it was so obvious to me that New Haven deserved better than the Zagat guide to Connecticut, which in my opinion is totally worthless. [...]Continue Reading →
As I write this, the hour is late, and I’ve just seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I prefer to call it TROTF, because that sounds funny when you say it aloud. In print it doesn’t look so funny. It looks more like the abbreviation for one of those anxiety-inducing, soul-destroying, opportunity-preventing standardized tests. By [...]Continue Reading →
By Nick Antosca (Word Riot Press, 2009)
Bram pulls into the parking lot half asleep and the crunch of gravel under his tires becomes the crunch of bone. Something screams.
The old deerhound that lives at the bar—it’s pouring tonight and he didn’t even see her.
He gets out of his dented Pontiac, [...]Continue Reading →
My friend Molly and I were strolling through East Rock Park last Saturday morning. Not unlike the joggers and the church picnickers, we were thinking about life and what it felt like to live it on that sunny morning. We were happily yammering away when in the middle of the path, in broad daylight, unmoving [...]Continue Reading →
One of my more interesting reading experiences last fall was provided by Frederick Seidel's Ooga-Booga (2006). I don't know much about Seidel except he's rich, was born in 1936, published his first book of poems in 1962, and didn't publish another book until 1979. His Collected Poems, 1959-2009 was released a few months ago. I'm [...]Continue Reading →
When I was in the midst of receiving my doctorate in American literature from the City University of New York Graduate Center, I made my obligatory pilgrimages to the annual convention of the Modern Language Association. My first was a doozy. I vividly remember a panel I attended on canonical and non-canonical works, where such [...]Continue Reading →
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