Married domestic by day, dashing secret agent by night, Pamela has done and seen it all. But the years have taken their toll and it is finally time to hand the work over to young blood. In this exclusive exit interview, Pamela describes her closest calls, her greatest exploits, and the trip to Paris that nearly did her in.
Summer preview! June 30 is poet and professor Czeslaw Milosz’s birthday, born in Szetejnie, Lithuania in 1911. He maintained “Language is the only homeland,” was fired from his radio position for his leftist views, and received a tip that the Stalinist government was going to arrest him and put him on trial so he fled.
It’s spring in New York and I’m in a flap of a mood having found a stack of papers and books in Columbia’s Butler Library with titles like “The Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald” and “Conversations with F. Scott Fitzgerald”. The best of the writings deal with Fitzgerald before Zelda and, in the deep of the season, I like hearing from the man himself about how he held together through transition, time, and matters of the heart. Fitzgerald knew something about pain.
So many poems have been falling out of the sky lately and landing on my head/page/lap/grocery list/tire repair receipt– everywhere. I love this gift of life and learning, the hard work that goes into it, but also the inevitability. The roll of it. Honoring this means stopping to get against a solid service to get the line down, and it also means granting permission to do so rather than denigrating my talent with bullshit like “Oh, that’s stupid” or “Who even reads poems anyway?” or “I can’t do this.”
Answers: “No it’s not.” “Everyone, whether they realize it or not.” “Yes you can.” Good, glad that’s clear now.
…Turn those lemons into a short story complete with a raucous reading by old friends and score provided by hubby-to-be! I wrote this piece for a competition (that I lost), but went on to place it with FIVE:2:ONE and their esteemed audio-centric site. How funny to watch a truly terrible professional experience emerge as belly-chuckles art. Lemons! Lemons, everywhere I say!
Today, the Guggenheim exhibit “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” closes here in New York City.
I did not go expecting to see any works of great beauty. To be sure, there were none. But so, too, did I not expect to see a view of China’s artists straining so mightily—and exclusively—under the weight of the CCP regime. That is the singular narrative. Portrait after portrait, list after list, needle after needle, video after video: oppression. I wondered: could there not be even just one alternate voice, one perspective from a slightly different angle that had turned its head not to the sun but, instead, toward the sky?
Lately I’ve been thinking about misunderstandings. Like, when you’re talking to a friend in your kitchen and she’s looking for something and you say “on the shelf,” and she hears “honest help.” Now she’s confused and you’re confused because she’s confused. Stuff like that. It’s especially common in song lyrics. I love Creedence Clearwater Revival and their song Bad Moon Rising is a true gem. But how many people spent years– years!– hearing “there’s a bathroom on the right” instead of “there’s a bad moon on the rise”?