February 7, 2014 |
Philip Schultz's "The Wherewithal" is a book in which time has come undone. Taking place in San Francisco in 1968, it also reaches back to the Holocaust - specifically, the Jedwabne pogrom of July 1941, when Polish civilians killed more than 300 Jews. The link is 25-year-old Henryk Stanislaw Wyrzkowski, whose mother sheltered seven Jews in a hole she dug in the floor of her Jedwabne barn. Now, Henryk has retreated to his own subterranean hiding place, trying to dodge the Vietnam draft by working as a clerk in a basement office, filing public assistance claims.
January 9, 2014 |
Almost exactly halfway through Randall Mann's third collection of poetry, “Straight Razor” (Persea: 68 pp., $25.95 paper), there's a poem that stirred an inadvertent smile. Not because it's funny but because it almost perfectly highlights something that's been in the ether of late: the way we use because . This week, after all, the American Dialect Society selected "because" as the word of 2013 for its evolving usage; Mann's poem, entitled “Fling,” deftly illustrates the point.
November 26, 2013 |
The small group of reporters covering the president at particular events, in order to report them back to the larger group of White House reporters, is called the “pool.” The Times' Kate Linthicum has been in the pool covering President Obama's visit to Southern California, and herewith are the great liberties taken by me to edit her tidy prose reports into … a Beat poem. “SHORT STOP - BEVERLY HILLS …” Marine One at a baseball diamond in Cheviot Hills - motorcade!
September 18, 2013 |
John Pollono, author of the much-feted "Small Engine Repair," has supplied Rogue Machine with the world premiere of another gritty New Hampshire drama, "Lost Girls. " The play, about the reunion between a stressed-out retail clerk and her recovering alcoholic ex-husband after their teenage daughter goes missing, provides further theatrical evidence that the traumatic past doesn't die but rather moves underground, waiting for justice yet grateful for even a flicker of sympathy. The production, directed with emotional sensitivity by Rogue Machine artistic director John Perrin Flynn, lays on the local color a bit thick in the opening moments.
July 25, 2013 |
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was onstage at the ESPYs, making a fashion statement in a red sports coat and Hollywood shades. He threw out the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game, surprising the crowd - and the catcher - with an 87-mph throw. He made headlines for what he took off (his clothes, for ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue) and what he put on (a Miami Dolphins hat, in a pot-stirring Twitter picture). So far in 2013, Kaepernick has gone just about everywhere he has wanted to go. Except into that end zone in the Superdome, where his 49ers were stopped five yards short of a Lombardi Trophy in a 34-31 loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII.
June 17, 2013 |
Watching "Love, Marilyn," Liz Garbus' pointed, poetic and occasionally overwrought documentary about the life of Marilyn Monroe, I kept thinking about "The Great Gatsby," another tragedy in two acts recently resurrected for our viewing pleasure. In each story, a magnetic and ambitious enigma rejects a threadbare past and tirelessly works toward a single illusory and ultimately unattainable goal. Each tale is heavy on imagery, light on plot, rooted deep in a particular era and very American.