Fabrice Samyn, "The Mask of Your Image"

Accounting For Loss

My insurance agent called a few weeks ago. Thankfully we seldom need to talk. The only reason he usually calls is to remind me that a payment is due on…

Poulati, Sifnos, Greece (author's photograph)Poulati, Sifnos, Greece (author's photograph)

Seeing White

They call it kastro, the castle. The settlement, which crowns a cliff on the west cost of the island, is unlike most citadels. Its fortifications are not battlements and stone…

Calligraphy in the form of a Sufi dancer

A Haunted Eye

I now have dancing cobwebs in my eye. In the left one, to be precise. They are more like floating wisps of brownish smoke that dart to one side or…

Tina Barney, Yellow Wall

The End of an Affair

My protégé Menander left to work for the enemy. Before decamping, he put together a long list of reasons why he was leaving–most of which followed the theme of overworked…

Luc Tuymans, Insomnia, 1988

Sleep by Numbers

Most people fall asleep soon after they lie down, and if they do awake in the middle of the night, fall back to sleep quite quickly. I don’t fall, I…

Hollywood Ivies

The Yale Daily News reported yesterday morning that James Franco, whom Salon.com named “the sexiest man living” in 2009, has been accepted into Yale’s Ph.D. program in English. Franco, perhaps…

A Laying On of Hands

I said I was sick, but that’s not really true. Well, not true in the sense of how we usually think of sick. Infection, fever, bleeding, swelling, pain, I had…

The Sleep of Sharks

I stopped writing in this blog seven months ago when I got sick. I got better in a few weeks, but somehow I just couldn’t get back into the discipline…