<p>The new official residence for governors of California, unlandscaped, unfurnished and unoccupied since the day construction stopped in 1975, stands among eleven acres of oaks and olives on a bluff overlooking the American River outside Sacramento.</p>
she parceled out the flames, one for each tip, & then three heads, which could eat wood, but only fingered the corner mirror, the stair; & put her face in her hands, & asked more crumbs of daily breath, less quarreling from us, leprosy for hitler; i never knew, but i remember the candles giving up body without absence, their light from week to week climbing our petty drifts, to thank god. it was so simple.
"Harold, can I ask you a personal question?" "Sure." "Have you ever worked?" "Sure." "What as?" "I won’t tell you." "Huh?" "I won’t tell you." And, son of a gun, he means it; suddenly I realize that. But wait. You have to understand: though this is just the third time I’ve been in Harold Brodkey’s rather serious presence, we’ve already talked at length about things more intimate than, God, jobs.
An editor is advised to remember his roots. His roots are what keep him in line, keep him in touch. This editor remembers, for example, what he felt on the first day of work, which was his first day in New York, which was the first day he had to examine his roots so he’d never forget them.
I don’t know who he was or what outfit he represented, but the man in the maroon pants in the Konover Hotel on Miami Beach last Super Sunday morning said it for us all. His eyes were slits or wished they were, his moustache looked as if he had passed out on it wrong, and his sport coat was sort of bent out of whack.
When I picked up the phone and said hello, he didn’t say terrific, so I knew it was not another P.R. man returning one of my calls. He just said hello and told me he was the one who’d been trying to find me to buy a movie option on one of my novels. I recalled his letter catching up with me just before I left Atlanta.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is boring but important
No Washington columnist in his right mind would write about the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are no good yarns about those bureaucrats—no Mary Hartman stories, Polish jokes, alibis, sermons, foreign menaces, well-dressed oddballs or any of the other flourishes that have turned politics into flash entertainment.
No one has ever accused Gerald Ford of being the best mind of his time, but at least he had the sense to veto the suggestion that he become an absentee vegetable gardener. When he was pushing his W.I.N. program back in 1975, the National Garden Bureau proposed that a vegetable plot be set out for him in the White House backyard.
Harry Crews’s Robert Blake story (Television’s Junkyard Dog, October) was like stew with bones in it. Your cover should have been Crews with his tongue in Blake’s ear; then we would have known what to expect. I finally got wise and just looked for quotation marks so I could find out what Blake said, but sometimes Crews tricked me and quoted himself.
A couple of months ago, someone around here hired D. Keith Mano to write about the book business without asking me if he might not be encroaching on my turf, which if you want to know the truth I think he is. I don’t write much about the book business, but I like to think of it as a fallback, a nice big thing that’s there to write about anytime I run out of things to write about journalism.
We walk outside and everything is changed: the evening dissolves into daylight, the sun’s dull balm glosses over the larkspurs and pine. The illness of argument is over: your body becomes a foreign country, my tongue’s language is useless against your lips.
A review—in words, pictures and music—of the sixteenth consecutive Worst Year yet!
WE RE SIXTY RUSSKI BIRDIES WE’D LIKE YOU ALL TO KNOW WE DOO-DOO AND WE DOO-WAH WE HOPE YOU LIKE OUR SHOW Soviet machine fitter Leonid Germatski reportedly trained a choir of 60 songbirds to sing Russian folk songs and Strauss waltzes. According to Tass, the bird choir, led by a blackbird and a nightingale, surpassed even ice hockey in popularity among Soviet TV viewers.
1960 It was a very cold night, the first night of the year, and I had just come out of the Astor Place subway stop and was approaching the theater where Kevin McCarthy and I were appearing in an off-Broadway production of Marching Song. It was my first play and we'd opened the week before.
Chartered yachts need not be for a chosen few, people with hyphenated names who never lift a hand except to summon the steward for a drink refill. Mediterranean yachting can be like that (remember Swept Away...?), but in the Caribbean, where most crews don’t include stewards anyway, such behavior would bring a chilly shrug.
She had no name they knew but was called La Marquesa, perhaps in deference to her instructions, or through the pursuit of fable in its variety of forms, as practiced by Ham, who now leaned against the space heater in Wilson’s store, his eyes fixed on the jar of pickled eggs.
<p>The kiwi on the preceding page comes from New Zealand. Native to China, the fuzzy brown fruit has vibrantly green flesh, a white center surrounded by black seeds and a gooseberry/strawberry flavor. It’s ripe when soft. Rub fuzz from the inedible skin, peel and eat.</p>
Handy household hints from the creator of The Lonely Guy Cookbook
Bruce Jay Friedman
<p>A Lonely Guy’s best friend is his apartment. Granted, there is no way for him to put his arm around it, chuck it under the chin and take it to a Mets game. But it is very often all he has to come home to. Under no circumstances should he have an apartment that he feels is out to get him.</p>
<p>My head’s burning off and I got a heart about to bust out of my ribs. All I can do is move from chair to chair with my cigarette. I wear shades. I can’t read a magazine. Some days I take my binoculars and look out in the air. They laid me off. I can’t find work. My wife’s got a job and she takes flying lessons. When she comes over the house in her airplane, I’m afraid she’ll screw up and crash.</p>
Get the philodendron out of the fireplace; it's time to put your hearth to proper use. You will discover that the smoky flavors and wonderful aromas of fire-cooked foods are quite unlike anything you’ll achieve with a kitchen range. Worried about saturating the furnishings with cooking smells? Or splattering the Ushak carpet with meat fat? With proper chimney and room ventilation, fireplace cooking is safe, neat and easier than you might suppose.
You try to remember to forget. But you don't—you just remember
<p>There was a map of Vietnam on the wall of my apartment in Saigon, and some nights, coming back late to the city, I’d lie out on my bed and look at it. That map was a marvel, especially now that it wasn’t real anymore. For one thing, it was very old. The paper had buckled after years in the wet Saigon heat, laying a kind of veil over the countries it depicted—Vietnam divided into the territories of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China, and to the west, past Laos and Cambodge, sat Siam, a kingdom. </p>
Sometime soon a movie called Welcome to L.A. will open in a theater near you, a movie written and directed by Alan Rudolph, produced by Robert Altman, and starring Keith (I'm Easy) Carradine, Sally ("Hot Lips") Kellerman, Harvey (Mean Streets) Keitel, and featuring Lauren (the most famous features in the world) Hutton.
<p>Remember the first time you saw Mason Reese? It was probably four years ago, in the commercial for Underwood’s sandwich spread, the one where he said "borgasmord" instead of "smorgasbord." You thought he was pretty cute, right? Cute, nothing, you thought he was adorable.</p>
January is that funny time of the year when your winter wardrobe seems to run out of steam. The terrific suit you bought before Labor Day may still look fine, but you need a change. With early spring merchandise now in the stores, you’ll find a broad assortment of things to mix with the winter clothes you already have.
He was born in Pittsburgh. With the manuscript of poems Views of Jeopardy, he won the 1962 Yale Younger Poets Award. The citation brought him back from Perugia, Italy—to San Francisco, to read his work in the San Francisco Poetry Festival, a marathon event that convened scores of the nation’s poets.
My grandfather Bought me ice creams And taught me how to count On the wet empty sticks. "That's how old your sister is," He said, when we got to four. "That's how old your brother is," He said, when we got to him. It was my turn next, Then the other relations.
If you're short on money, tight on space, but still have the urge to sit down and play listen to this
<p>Some two and a half centuries ago, an Italian named Bartolommeo Cristofori invented the pianoforte, little expecting it to become the most commonly played instrument in Western Civilization and a ubiquitous hunk of furniture—as symbolic of art under the gun in America’s suburbs as it was of a well-educated woman’s skills in the England of Jane Austen.</p>
Almost alone we sit in the airport drinking tea with milk, wide night windows blurred with steam seal us in. My face burns like snow in your hands. You thumbprint my eyes, passports. Refugee from so many embraces, I’ve lost the homeland. Sky is a luminous canopy of silence, but after I leave electronic stars will radio your tvords to me across the void: Death means nothing.