Category Archives: In my words

Tulips

    I brought tulips home to lift Akram’s spirit, and he took two photos of them that lifted mine.                        

Reuben Gelley Newman

  I read with Reuben Gelley Newman at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn a while back and enjoyed his work; he sang a song too, which is something I always like. I asked him then and there if I could include him on my blog, […]

The English Garden around 11 oclock in the morning

  Yesterday, August the third, my friend Tom and I took our walk through Central Park. We always meet at 96th Street Central Park West and walk east from there through the ravine to the falls where we sometimes go up the hill from there […]

Hound Dog

  Hound Dog, a twelve-bar blues by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was first recorded by Willie Mae Thornton on August 13, 1952 in Los Angeles. I, whose birthday was on August 15, would have been turning three at the time, and have no recollection […]

The Water’s Work Song

I wrote the words to this song when I was twenty-three; it came in a burst of writing three other songs as well, just the words, not any music. Over the years as I learned to play the guitar (always badly) I tried various melodies […]

Seven Books

… … I … … I will only write about books that are on my bookshelves now; if the book is not here, then I won’t mention it, so I won’t be mentioning books like The Idiot, which may have been the book that changed […]

James Baldwin by Carl Van Vechten

… On September 13, 1955, Carl Van Vechten photographed the fairly well unknown James Baldwin who had just published his first collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was already published, and his next, Giovanni’s […]

La Plaza poems for the Rites of Spring

… In celebration of New York City’s parks and gardens, Felicia Young asked me to contribute to the annual Rites of Spring, which is usually held with costumes and a parade through the Lower East Side. This year because of the pandemic, it went online. […]

First Walk During the Pandemic

… I went to the Post Office today, the first day I’ve been out in ten days. I was wearing a mask and was aware of my own breathing because it was totally quiet—all the construction that has been going on everywhere has stopped—so not […]

Nine Albums

… … … … Bought this when I was a teenager, and it traveled with me during my hippie years. I would often upset the mood when everyone was stoned and or tripping by putting Ella on—it was like parent music at the time I […]

What Would You Give?

… Just practicing. I heard this song sung by Bill Monroe and Doc Watson—no one can do it better—certainly not me. I added some words, some verses that I think fit the times and also defines how I feel about the indefinable soul. I hope […]

The Struggle Continues

… Yesterday, after many years—2007 perhaps—I did some work in La Plaza, a park that I, with many others, began to save in 1987 when the city, state and federal governments wanted to put up a housing project on the site. It was a fight, […]