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05/01 Direct Link
Just left a snail at circulation with Aurelio, a Romanian. "Good for eating," he notes. A thunderstorm cracked the sky an hour ago, during puttanesca. It rained, now the sky is open, turning wonderful dusk colors. Cincinnati sunsets are deep as the best Everglades sunsets. Tonite the air is moist and thick, fragrant- like Romanian summer.

I stood on the walkway by the new, abandoned dorm, looking down at the trees. Jasmine? With small white flowers that remind me of Israel’s orange blossoms.

Aurelio just grabbed me--- he gave the snail some apple. You can see his mouth chomping. Perfect.
05/02 Direct Link
Day 2
Looking around the site, I am perplexed / turned off / confused by so much sadness, angst, violence, pain. Have we all become this? Creative people lost in their own pain? Amos Oz said that Flash Gordon, Tarzan and other cinema heroes have ruined our ability to love, to be real. Too perfect. Who doesn't want a lover with perfect teeth (tits)? We like to call it McWorld, but perhaps we've already moved out of that into Radioheadland.

I'm training to be clergy. I want snails who smile and beautiful boobies in the sun and no disease and cake.
05/03 Direct Link
Morning starts with a chat about eating cow udder in an Afghani restaurant in Israel. Is that milk or meat?

Remembering being ripped off in Romania by a gypsy girl then a Romanian man, all in the same afternoon. I really should have gone to the club with those gangster kids, “Friki friki.” Maybe I could have gotten some Romanian play.

Girls there were all pretty; no bra in summer. What a holy man I shall be. Better than the girls were the flowering trees, especially in the abandoned park, growing out of what had been a large articifial lake.
05/04 Direct Link
Rain, Sigur Ros, sadness.

Cool. Now I’ve established emotional cred. Sitting in the car in the rain. Writing 100 words in my head. Sunday afternoon in the rain.

I have forgotten the 100 words in my head now, hours later. I had a Christian Sabbath nap, yesterday a Shabbat walk. Never assume that the greens at a cajun chicken place are kosher.

What the fuck are these 100 words? It’s becoming a pretentious diary. I wonder if Olga is keeping up with hers. Of course we want our words deep. Like the gilded vision of blog. More words words words
05/05 Direct Link
Even the “enlightened” are shackled by habit. I led services today, in a chapel that has seating for well over 100 people. These days, we get less than 30 on weekday mornings. Rarely upper-classmen. For some reason, people gravitate towards the rear rows, so the prayer leader on the bima (dais) stares at four empty rows before finding a friendly face. Today I blockaded the back rows with chairs. People looked stunned. Not surprised, but literally stunned, unable to reckon what to do, how to sit down, if the back rows were closed.

These are the future leaders of Jews.
05/06 Direct Link
Today begins: “The Baha’ii are a peaceful people.” Apostrophe? One-fifth done with my 3000 words; still wondering what I am driving at here, what any of them are. any of us. Oh well, I’ll just save it until next month, THEN I’ll really write it up def. Then I’ll really write brilliance, because someday I am going to be a brilliant writer, I feel it in my heart. Some day my words will touch the souls of many and will be made into movies starring Alan Cumming and Ewan McGregor. Perhaps Monica Bellucci as well, but in a non-sexual role.
05/07 Direct Link
I encounter two snails this morning on the walk to the library. I hadn’t heard a storm last night, but the ground is pretty wet. One snail looks up at me and sighs in that snail way; perhaps a snail sigh is just a regular exhalation in snail time. Can he even see me when I walk by at human speed? The other snail is hardly anything, crushed and ground into the cement. A large black ant stands by the mess. Nibbling? Or perhaps guarding the remains until proper burial can be arranged. Burial society of the small creatures. 100
05/08 Direct Link
I wanted to explode today, watching all these Rabbinic students chatting during the moment of silent prayer. So cocksure. So intelligent and above prayer. Why the hell can’t we have 5 minutes of actual silence as part of a “prayer” service? This is unelegant ranting. I’m sweaty.

Character X found a package addressed to him at his door when he came home from worship. He was sweaty. Thick drops fell from his chin. They exploded into dark amoebas on the manila wrapping, and ran off the crinkled strips of packing tape that encircled the outer edge of the oblong package.
05/09 Direct Link
He picked up the package curiously. Not quite excitedly, but somewhat curiously. “Maybe it’s one of those awful manuscripts I sent out years ago,” he thought. “Maybe some editor was cleaning the crap out from under his desk and found it, thumbed through it again for a laugh, then wrote a spite-filled rejection letter and had it mailed off to me, just for fun.” He sighed deeply, and tore open the wrapping. Inside he saw a small white towel. He pulled it out, held it up in front of his nose, and wiped the sweat from his chin and neck.
05/10 Direct Link
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
The Holy Shabbat, day of Rest, day of Prayer, Selah!
05/11 Direct Link
Below the towel was a thin stapled booklet. "State guidelines for Tahara." He looked down at the torn manila on the walk. The correct address and name, alright. "What the hell is a Tahara?" Still sweaty. Confusion, welling up from his neck into the front of his skull, pushed out even more glistening droplets. In the pacakge a sticky note stuck to a bundle of soft, blue plastic sheeting. "A Tahara is a ritual procedure to purify a meis before burial. A meis is a dead person. We will pick you up at 6:37 promptly. Please bring the blue robe."
05/12 Direct Link
The blue plastic bundle unfolded into a thin protective apron.. Looking around to see that none of the neighbors watched, he slipped it over his head, put his arms into the sleeves tied the rear sash. A small loop at the end of each sleeve fit over the thumb. Tentatively, he slid his right thumb into the loop, pulling the end of the sleeve up along the back of his hand like a gauntlet. Through the plastic he could see his watch. The face was blurred. Leaning forward until his nose pressed against his arm, he saw quarter to six.
05/13 Direct Link
6:19 pm: at window looking at juniper bushes. whose black car is parked near the fire hydrant? 6:24 PM—back at window, peering from behind curtain, glass of lemonade in hand. getting dark late these days. 6:26 P.M., pacing living room. lemonade’s too tart. 6:29 PM- opening front door. a scrap of manila paper in the shrubbery… 6:31 p.m.: a dead person? checking watch-- >6:37<… 6:32 P.M. resetting watch to correct time, maybe a minute early-- >6:32<… 6:33 P.M. running to kitchen, gulping a glass of water. the booklet and robe on dinette table. kitchen clock ticks loudly. 6:36 P.M.
05/14 Direct Link
6:36 P.M. Ridiculously, the road is empty, not a sound but for the rustling of a small plastic bag blown across the intersection by an oddly ominous wind. “This is stupid,” he thinks, standing in the doorway. “I don’t even know any dead people.” He turns his head inside. In the kitchen, the blue robe sits on the breakfast table. He wants to wear it again, and walks toward it. As he reaches the table, a motor hums up the driveway. A van with fake wood panelling has parked in front of his house. The two front doors open simultaneously.
05/15 Direct Link
-----It’s that damn default laziness that kills everything. Like the on-line study course I signed up for during the Omer counting (Passover to Shavuot). I’m still in week 2, and there’s more and more reading piling up. So this 100 words I come to every day, pretty dutifully, but then I have no gumption to write something of value. So I whine. Maybe this will get me attention.--- A man who looked like a Rabbi stepped from the driver’s seat: white shirt, blue pants, frizzy beard and covered head. Another Rabbi, somewhat large, climbed out of the passenger side.
05/16 Direct Link
“Hello,” said the driver, “You must be Ezra. I’m Rabbi Feld, Netzach Feld. Hop in, we’ve got another pickup before the funeral home.” Ezra looked down and saw that he was still holding the blue robe in his hand. He looked up at the van, then the large oak that arched over his driveway, then back at his watch one last time. 6:41. Tuesday. Rabbi Feld seemed hurried; the other man, as yet unintroduced, had climbed back into the van and opened the side door. Ezra closed and locked the house, glancing somewhat imploringly at the mezuzah on the door.
05/17 Direct Link
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
Shabbat—eat 11 White Castles; nap; study Leviticus in Hebrew.
05/18 Direct Link
Rabbi Feldkreis grunted. “This code isn’t working. Blumenkohl, do you have the phone number?” The enormous man shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. “Shraga said the code always works.”

After Ezra had gotten into the van, Feldkreis had zoomed across town, pulled into a residential neighborhood doing sixty, and stopped abruptly in front of a large house, out of which came the equally large Dr. Blumenkol. He climbed in and nodded to Ezra, who was tucked in the very rear seat with a young Israeli named Shraga.

Behind the funeral home, Shraga spoke up. “The code does always work!”
05/19 Direct Link
…..Lag b’Omer, thirty-third day since the Creeping Death wiped out Egypt’s first-born, nineteenth of thirty-one 100 words. I left Ezra outside of a funeral home with a group of odd Jews. I wonder about my counting of forty-nine days from Exodus to Revelation. Is it worth counting the days just to number them? What about the deeper meaning of each day: Gvurah sh’b’Hesed and Netzach sh’b’Hod; the Glory of Kindness, the Endurance of Humility, the Foundation of Strength—what if I just count and don’t pay attention, what if my 100 words is uninspired, what if someone writes something better?
05/20 Direct Link
Feldkreis seemed upset. Blumenkohl was pacing, muttering under his breath. Shraga stared dumbly at the keypad. Rabbi Oren, the other man who had jumped out of the van at Ezra’s house, fiddled with his cellphone, brow crinkled in frustration. “Um,” said Ezra (the fourth word he had ever uttered in this company), “let’s try to punch the code again, maybe a little slower.” Feldkreis shook his head. Blumenkohl muttered. Rabbi Oren cursed at his phone. Shraga leaned closer to the keypad and punched in the code slowly, with rather exaggerated deliberation. The green light beeped on and the latch clicked.
05/21 Direct Link
God, it was unbelievable how his skin just glowed. Ezra stared at Jules Kohn the way he might stare at an albino rhinocerous, with a mix of awe and adoration. The dead man looked surreal, literally, as if he might any moment rise up from the metal table and float about in the air or start talking. Shraga and Feldkreis had walked into the cooler and wheeled him out into the preparation room, no ceremony, no advance warning, just a dead man suddenly there in the room with Ezra and the five Hasids. "Looks like a clean one," Oren commented.
05/22 Direct Link
One pregnant drop of blood hung from the dead man's forearm, just below the inner elbow. Ezra had watched it, transfixed, since it had oozed out of a small break in the wrinkled skin and collected there in a glistening globule. The other men had not noticed it yet. They were arranging Jules Kohn on the table. Rabbi Feldkreis and Shraga opened the closed fingers. Dr. Blumenkohl and Rabbi Oren used scissors to gently remove the old man's shorts. Ezra stared at the blood, following the lights reflected in the bubble, which bounced as the men gently jostled the body.
05/23 Direct Link
"We've got blood!" Oren's cry ripped Ezra out of his reverie. "Grab the solution!" Feldkreis directed Shraga while blotting the blood bubble with gauze. Ezra jumped back as Shraga swooped in with a brown unmarked bottle. Dr. Blumenkohl leaned over from the other side of the table and gently poked the small, puffy vein just below the break in the skin. Feldkreis poured some solution onto a clean gauze and dabbed the hole. He looked up at Ezra, a quick smile passing through his urgent expression. "This stuff locks ‘em up nicely." "Can't have blood on the kittel," Oren added.
05/24 Direct Link
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
Shabbat in the North Georgia mountains. My name-tag says "clergy."
05/25 Direct Link
Maybe I have lost Ezra once again, left him without a helpmate. This is my stolen day, I missed today and am writing it tomorrow. After a year and a half of mild socialization, O and I went from house to house, visiting, partying, acting funny. We sat on the cushions and watched Asha bellydance, and the kids ran around and put money in he skirt like a weird Turkish strip club. This new wireless keyboard is a bit small, tyopi scvity. Eighteen words ledt and every other word I have to go back and fix the typo…. Cheap keys??
05/26 Direct Link
Shraga approached the table with two wet two-by-fours in hand. "Lift him!" Rabbi Feldkreis commanded. Oren and Dr. Blumenkohl helped Feldkreis lift Jules Kohn as Ezra steadied the head. Shraga slid the boards under the body and ran back to grab two more. Once four boards were in place, the men lowered the body onto them. Shraga and Rabbi Oren went to fill two large buckets with water while Rabbi Feldkreis looked over his notes. Ezra stepped back and caught his breath. Blumenkohl coughed and breathed heavily. The whole time, Jules Kohn's nose poked at the shroud over his head.
05/27 Direct Link
A broad stream of water washed over Jules Kohn's face and neck. Rabbi Oren tipped the bucket to dump out the last bit and Shraga stepped forward. "Go! Pour! Pour!" Rabbi Feldkreis urged. Dr. Blumenkohl leaned over to Ezra. "He doesn't want the flow should break. Like one natural purifying waterfall. This is the taharah, now he is pure, ready to go to Olam haBa."--------------- "World to come", in which things like this won't be written and certainly not published. This character has become a dumb nobody. At first he was kinda interesting, then I named him Ezra, and then-----
05/28 Direct Link
i cannot sell my car, this is driving me crazy, my investments are down sixty percent, they are charging me two hundred dollars a year to hold my plummeting investments and I do not even know how many Ts are in plummeting. my problems are minute and hardly even problems just a little bit of cash issues but not much; after all, i will be a well-paid clergyman some day, right? after all, clergy is all about the flow; the real issue is this one hundred words, this pathetic dénouement we are heading towards; well, not we, just me. One
05/29 Direct Link
This is my missed day. Some Turkish Georgia Tech student e-mailed me in the middle of the day asking about the car. First response in a year. He was pretty excited, and it seemed like we were going to have a sale. Then stuff got hairy with the title pay-off. Later today I started mad packing in the kitchen. Man, the kitchen is a bitch, bubbles and foam and newpaper….. The Marta brought the piano repo guys over to sell her an old piano. In the midst of all of that, I missed my 100 Words. So here they are.
05/30 Direct Link
In a dream, Ezra was visited by Jules Kohn. At first, Ezra thought that he was dressed like a bishop, which made him somewhat uncomfortable, about the whole circumcision crisis. When Kohn began to sing "Kol Nidre," the Yom Kippur dirge, Ezra recognized the pointy hat of a classical Chazzan, a cantor. "You really wore that?" Ezra interrupted Kohn's incantation, surprised at his own brashness. "Damn straight I did, for forty-three years, my uncut pecker hanging under this robe all the same. Then you fellas have to go and make improvements on a dead man. ‘For the sake of Heaven…'"
05/31 Direct Link
Jules Kohn spent his last night in Barcelona sleeping in a meadow in the center of a ring of tents. It was June, 1940; the shit was hitting the fan. Each tent had two children in it, representing 13 cities in 5 different countries. Jules had slept soundly, although he awoke with remnants of a dream about seraphs and numerous mosquito bites on his face. One tenacious bug had flown up his left nostril, biting Jules just out of reach of his long middle finger.

The next morning he would train to Paris, then board a steamer for New York.