Wednesday, June 22, 2005


The first gleaming enormous new skyscraper at the World Trade Center has no tenants. No one wants to rent, no one wants to work there. My accountant had his offices on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center. After the 1992 attack, he moved to Wall Street. After 11 September 2001, he moved to Midtown. Someone recently asked Bush about Osama Bin Laden. “I’m sure I haven’t thought about him in months,” he replied--as if he had solved that little problem.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Birds entertain the eye. I try never to look at human females age 12-45. What’s left but art, architecture and the movies? Ben’s spending July in the Pyrenees, and so we spent Sunday afternoon traipsing about Clay Pit Ponds State Park breaking in his new hiking boots. Catbirds, nothing but catbirds. I prefer baseball on the radio to the real thing but still can’t “hear” a catbird’s meow. And I’ve never consciously seen a cowbird. Cowbirds lay their eggs in other bird’s nests. But a catbird, they say, will always spot a cowbird egg, and over the side it goes. Hey, they’re pretty, and they don’t all have birdbrains. Vin Scully the baseball play-by-play commentator popularized the phrase “the catbird seat.” Catbirds do sometimes swing on a tree’s topmost branch, although in my limited observation mockingbirds do so moreso. I like Charles Bukowski’s Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck. I pray nothing bad happens to my son in France.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Albertfine

Today, according to Butler’s Lives of the Saints, is the feast of the founder of the Albertines. Albert was canonized by John Paul II; he also wrote a play about St Albert. In the late Seventies, when John Paul became Pope, Unmuzzled OX published The Poets’ Encyclopedia. Ray Johnson wrote a piece about Albert M. Fine called The Albertfine. As part of a collage, Ray defined “the Albertfine” as “a soft, plumpy, decorative throw pillow perfect for throwing onto chairs and sofas.” As for the real Albert Fine, he invented his own alphabet for the Encyclopedia. He defined many strange things. Albert resembled a street person; he inspired that nervousness. The Albertines work with the homeless.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Sharon Gilbert

My dear friend Sharon Gilbert died yesterday. Sharon illustrated with Colette the most recent Unmuzzled OX, a translation by W.H. Auden of Carlo Goldoni’s Arcifanfaro. Sharon’s daughter Elena interned at the Unmuzzled OX Foundation. Sharon’s husband Vyt Bakaitis, poet & translator, is my deluxe co-conspirator. Today we arranged for Sharon's cremation.