I do not come off as a passionate person in public, but I harbor some hidden urges. One of which is eating. Not to a gastronomic level but merely sensual, in the manner of a sex tourist. I do not know the latest chefs or which cuisines are currently fusing. Like the man once said, I don’t know shit about shit, but I know what I like. And I like a first-class veal parmigiana.
I had my first grownup veal parm at Ben Benson’s Steak House 10 years ago. It was a revelation, a veal chop pounded into submission, forced…
The last gasps of a since-passed thunderstorm hung
a veil over the full moon. The night unrolled
in a particular direction and a thousand people
followed its lead. They didn’t know
where it was headed. How can anyone know?
They didn’t care. Not about themselves
or their own safety. They cared about
the others, everyone else.
The march is its own statement. It is not a body or a group of bodies. It is The Body. It is the organism of peaceful, deliberate dissent against injustice. To be within that body isn’t just a First Amendment right. It is a…
Are you now, or have you ever been?
I was once, but it was long ago.
Where were you? Who was there with you?
I don’t remember where I was or who I was with…
Nonresponsive. Try again.
I remember some faces. I can’t put any names to them.
What were they like?
They looked like me. They sounded like you.
Don’t fence with us. The sooner you cooperate …
The sooner you’ll let me go? I don’t think so.
Why do you hate America?
I don’t. Whatever made you think I did?
Dad passed away last night. It was a storybook ending of sorts, not exactly a heart-tugging finish with violins rising to meet the setting sun, since it involved my mother yelling at him not to leave her while I tried in vain to revive him in advance of the EMT arriving. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll save those details for the end of the piece, where it belongs.
Elmo Accetta was the third son and fourth child to survive childbirth for his parents Rose and Elmo. Dad’s father was the first Elmo, tagged with the name by a…
America is in crisis. America is always in crisis, but most Americans don’t recognize that simple fact of history. We brought the art of the duel to these shores. And the vendetta. We are always looking for a fight because we were Europe’s brawlers and Europe was happy to be rid of us. We brought our choices of weapons, and the subjects of our debates, with us from Europe. Which is why your opinion doesn’t count if you’re not fluent in the Euro-American culture known as Americanism. This is not to say that you’re not the subject of one or…
Life is binary. It either exists or it doesn’t. The Earth is alive, as is the whole universe. In searching for signs of life, we conveniently ignore these facts. Stars and their planets are symbiotic partners, their respective masses acting to massage the other and keep each partner vital. They inhale and exhale. They burp and fart. These are all signs of life. Just because we can’t shake hands with a thing doesn’t mean it isn’t alive. Amoeba are alive, too. The concept of Being doesn’t come with a floor or a ceiling. It only comes with an On/Off switch.
We are all prisoners of the Corporate Monolith. We are all simultaneously its agents and its victims. There is no arguing who we are or where we are, or why. Our intra-species symbiosis is mercantile more than social. We produce and consume, consume and produce. Our evolution brought us here, to this place and time. We will simmer in it for a while before we begin to change, and a while longer before we notice that we have. But we are who we are in this moment, alone among the remnants of the event which brought this light show into…
Many of us on the Progressive side of the aisle feel border security was always a question of conditions throughout the world. If things were hunky-dory in Italy after the First World War, Grandpa Elmo may never have felt the urge to emigrate with his family. If the potato crop hadn’t succumbed to The Blight, my red-headed cousins-in-law would still be drinking Dublin dry. The migration patterns of humanity never took a knee at the foot of any wall. One doesn’t need to be Batman or Robin Hood to accomplish the breech. History tells us physical walls are both a…
I have a message for Jeff Bezos and Amazon as they prepare to add HQ1.5 to the mail-stops for the Long Island City branch of the U.S. Postal Service: Other places you’ve been aren’t New York. Sometimes, even New York isn’t New York. If you’re not from around here, you don’t know what I mean, so let me set you straight. There’s New York, and then there’s New York. In one New York, you’re considered a New Yorker if you were born and raised within a fifteen mile radius of Rockefeller Center, give or take a few hundred yards. Which…
I am, and have always been, a seeker of solitude. It is a contradiction to nature itself, since the human ear is endlessly bombarded by sounds within its frequency range, to say nothing of the memory of past sounds rebounding inside our skulls. To provide more confusion to this premise, I love loud movies, the boisterous fervor of sporting events and music of all kinds. As I write, Glenn Gould is playing (and humming along to) the Goldberg Variations. It is not a simple thing to feel completely alone on this planet.
The concept of noise tracks me as I…