Tuesday, March 27, 2007


While I'm in chu"l ( that's "chutz laaretz," for all you who don't live in G-d's chosen land) my internet access will be sketchy at best, since the connection at home is never reliable and my cousins in Monsey don't actually have internet. However if something interesting happens and I get the chance, I may post anyway. Chag Kasher Visameach to all!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Passing

To all of you who have been reading my blog for awhile and might be interested to know, Clarence Fitzgerald II, my pet potatoe, has passed on at last.
For the last several days there's been an odd smell near my bed that I couldn't quite place. It suddenly occured to me this afternoon to check out Clarence (who lived and died right next to my head) and sure enough, he was dripping potatoe rot.
He had a dignified burial, and will be much missed by all. As a tribute and kind of obituary, I have written Clarence a poem:

Proudly sits the potatoe
in dignified repose
watching contentedly from his corner
as the world comes and goes
sometimes he hums a little tune
to keep himself amused
but mostly he just sits and stares
and sometimes spouts bits of philosophy
as all good potatoes do.

To Clarence Fitzgerald; a better potatoe I never knew.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Excerpt

"The continual motion of matter, therefore, in less than infinite transpositions, must produce this economy of order; and, by its very nature, that order, when once established, supports itself for many ages if not for eternity." David Hume, "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion."

Or, things bump around until they find a self-sustaining order. Sounds like single life in college.

I'm going home in a week!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Ever wonder why the words stop? Sometimes, they just stop. This is one major reason why I could never get a degree in English or writing (aside from the fact that I think degrees in creative writing are basically bs); bc when the words just stop, you can still make words. They're just really really bad words.

Back in the alter heim, my sister and I have a weekly open mic that we like to go to. It's about equal parts musical performance and poetry. There's this one guy who gets up there every single week and just rants about whatever he feels like ranting about. Bush usually. Artsy liberal leftists. Some weeks its more heavily musical, some weeks it's almost all poetry. Just depends on what the cowd is like that week.

We come for both, being from a family which is both intensely literary and vaguely musical. But I mostly go for the poetry. You get a lot of ammatures, who's work is quite frequently embarassingly painful, but just as frequently, just enough so it's funny. (Mean, I know. Look, I write bad poetry too. I just have enough sense not to read that stuff in public.) And then you get people who are so amazingly talented that all you can do is sit their in awe as the words stream from their mouths in a harmony of rythm and emotion and meaning that just blows you away; so that afterwards you're left turning over the phrases you liked in your mouth, savoring the taste, and so so frustratedthat you will never, ever be able to write anything like that.

It's usually after such experiences that I manage to write my best stuff. Inspiration, I guess.

But it's those long stretches of time when nothing flows, and everything sounds contrived and fake and cliched that get me. I tell myself I'm gathering material, that you can't write a good poem without having anyhing to write about. This is a period for gathering experience, not for being productive.

But it's frustrating as a motherload of maggots when you want dsperately to say something and have nothing to say. I need Divine Intervention: dear G-d, please pour Your words over me so that I may be a vessel for your Work. G-d writing through me, not me actually writing at all, just moving the pen across the page. That's all great poetry really is. That's all great literature really is. Even the atheistic stuff. Sometimes I think G-d wrote all that Himself, in order to bring forth a new aspect of the human condition; which is, after all, a microcosmic metaphor for G-d.

Sometimes I wonder if G-d is an atheist. Wouldn't that be something? A G-d as truly complex and confusing as we are. I know that it makes no sense and sounds like pretentious poser-intellectual babble, which is partly bc that's what it is, and partly bc it's currently after four in the morning. Nevertheless, the more I consider the idea the more I like it.

I should just go to sleep now, shouldn't I?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

ad dlo yadah

so, there's a lot of stuff on the blogosphere about Purim and general drunkeness this week. and I want to say something too but I'm still not sure exactly what. it's all too vague.... but there's definitely something about that place where perception gets hazy and happy, where it's easy to talk to people bc the things inside you that always hold you back are suddenly gone, and you think "why not? why the hell not?" and I'm the first to admit that excess alcohol can turn messy and ugly pretty quick. it isn't, by any means, always pleasant for more than just the individual involved. but there is stuff about it....there is stuff of beauty and truth embedded somewhere in the land of the drunk people, (or people otherwise stimulated) that normally stimulated people don't see. and I personally have made an art form out of getting high on life. or, well, too little sleep and too much coffee, which, trust me, is not totally dissimilar to highs of other kinds. but there is a difference. there is. I just don't know that it's worthwhile defending it....I get so annoyed with all the denigration bc I do think G-d wants us to get drunk sometimes. I think that He wants us to see the world that way sometimes. maybe it's my naivete that still leads me to think that there are deeper dimensions in everything, that everything really does serve some more layered and more interconnected purpose, that everything has a something more if you just look close enough, are open to more possibilities.

anyway, I don't know. I'll end with a pleasant drunk-boy story. I went into Yerushalayim for a seudah in Har Nof with my adopted family, and in the middle of the meal a boy who no one, as it turned out, actually knew, knocked on the door and greeted, and was greeted by, the baal haboss as old friends do. he was invited in, he sat for a bit...couldn't have been more than sixteen, was probably aaround fourteen; very clearly drunk, falling off his chair etc. but all he asked for was some singing, a dvar Torah, and at one point insisted on dancing even though he could barely stand. "rikud rikud! chayevim rikud!" ("a dance a dance! we need to dance!") it was cute. we were all amused. he went off on his way soon enough; I just thought it was cool to see someone that drunk still intent on fulfilling the spirit, not just the letter, of the laws of Purim.