Dear Reader:

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Illustration by Tom Sturch

I owe you an apology. I’ve overstayed my sabbatical. The one I never cleared with the Editor. The one, which by definition comes “every seven years”, I took five years early. And now I can only fall on my sword, which is my pen, which of course is this keyboard. Mea culpa. I very much desire reunion with you, Dear Reader, in its pain and joy. Yes, pain, salved in confession and return to labors, and joy that is regular mindfulness of you. So by the gravity of guilt and the hope of renewal, I sit to write.

A Guide to Great Arms

Umberto Boccioni, Synthesis of Human Dynamism, 1913, destroyed.

Umberto Boccioni, Synthesis of Human Dynamism, 1913.

My sister and I used to have picnics in our family garden and study Greek Mythology.

Well, not exactly.

What we actually did was sit on a blanket with flowers on it—our mother referred to this as the garden—and watch Xena and Hercules. We probably ate pizza on paper plates. Come to think of it, the paper plate thing may have only happened once and, for reasons I cannot even begin to explain, I just remember that one time quite fondly.

Blind in Depths: The Delusions of Carmela Soprano

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Altar Cross Gian Lorenzo Bernini Date: 1657-1661 Style: Baroque Genre: sculpture Location: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican


I thought therapy was going to clear up the fucking freak show in his head.”
     —Carmela Soprano

In The Sopranos, Tony Soprano and his wife, Carmela, spar over differences, but they’re largely united in their delusions about Tony’s line of work. Tony believes he is a “soldier” carrying out orders—sordid, illegal, it doesn’t matter—for the good of the mob Family. And he does. Not always unflinchingly, but unfailingly.

Creativity Connects

Suzanne Szasz, 1915-1997, Photographer

Lunchtime Classical Concert in Bryant Park – Suzanne Szasz (1915-1997)

I was in a porn film. The previous sentence is actually factually incorrect, but it’s an attention grabbing introductory line, right? Where substance doesn’t grab us, spectacle usually does the trick. I seem to recall coming across a McSweeny’s Internet Tendency entry that suggested a simple fail proof way of attracting (and keeping) more readers: insert GIFs of jiggling breasts throughout the text. For those of us who laugh, is there a ring of fatigued disillusionment in it? As song writers or poets or visual artists or composers our creations feel sterile without some type of social interaction, or at least recognition. Having an audience is nice.