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Showing posts from March 8, 2020

Poems in Prose: what are they?

In times of crisis... as stocks of toilet paper get low... as one realizes that one is in the higher danger age set... one thinks: have I really made my views on prose poetry clear? Which is why I've been writing this, first of two parts. What is prose poetry? Part 1 Definitions, like stories and songs and jokes and explanations, do play a role in ordinary life. Usually, however, their role is to be enlisted in argument – not argument as per the ideal case of philosophy, where a case is presented for a certain thesis against other theses, but argument as in emotionally fraught disagreement between two or more people. Philosophy and ordinary life overlap: there is always a bit of a case being made in ordinary life, and there is always a bit of an accusatory edge in the philosophic use of definition. Gorgias, that wonderful dialogue, makes this overlap emerge. Out of the pocket of Gorgias, I’d like to say, came the entire existential novel. But I digress. Say I am asked to def

Depoliticizing Trump

It is difficult to wipe away our images of things and see the things themselves. Take Trump. If America was simply a white nation, Trump would have an approval rating in the high fifties. This has an effect on how Trump, whose approval rating has never broken fifty percent and is usually around 45, is seen in the press, which is dominated by white people. And it has an effect on the rump group of whites who are very anti-Trump. One has to pull back and understand how segregated America is, both by race and income. Take the latter. The collapse of African-American wealth – and to a lesser extent, Latinx wealth – is one of the great stories of our time.  And it is pretty uniformly not known to white America . A 2018 survey found that whites severely underestimate the racial wealth gap. They think that black wealth is about 80% that of whites. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that black wealth is about 7% that of whites. In 2014, the median net worth of non-Hispanic white

my query letter

This is the year I intend to publish my novel, Made a Few Mistakes: a chapter from the Bush years. I have been sending out query letters, but have not had a nibble. So I thought, okay, people read my blog. Some people, at least. So maybe I should crowdsource editing suggestions on how to make this letter work. When I used to write freelance, I had a sense of how queries worked, but this is apparently not my world. Two thousand words on a topic, well, it doesn't take that much commitment. 208000 words, which is how big my novel is - around 550 pages - well, that takes effort. I know this. I've edited the thing down, but it has large bones.  So I need help. I've sent out many query types. This is my latest. I've incorporated an insane number of suggestions, overdosing on books dealing with queries and agent interviews dealing with queries. So I am lost in the maze.  So, if you have suggestions, please mail me at Or leave me a comment.