Friday, October 26, 2007


My father often comes to visit for Halloween so we can carve pumpkins together. It's an all-day affair involving much planning and an ever-changing set of tools. One of the best discoveries came to us via Martha Stewart, whose show my father used to watch at the gym. She says that an ice cream scoop is the best implement for carving out the guts of a pumpkin, and indeed it is.

One year, my father brought his power drill, and we drilled patterns in our pumpkins. He created a witch on a broomstick, and I made random geometric patterns. Another year, we stenciled our pumpkins and cut out moons and stars.

This year, my father's not coming for pumpkin carving, and I haven't been inspired to do it on my own. But, one day this week while I was walking Buddy, I noticed that the little shop around the corner had two pumpkins on the stoop, each one decorated with various pieces of hardware and twisted wires. Delighted, I ran out to choose my own pumpkin, and today I dug around in the basement to collect an assortment of hardware odds and ends of my own. I even found a spool of wire and a pair of wire cutters to make twisted lengths of hardware hair.

The beauty of this approach to "carving" a pumpkin is that it requires no carving. Once you have the pumpkin and the hardware, you simply screw in the hardware eyes and nose and mouth and ears and hair in whatever arrangement is pleasing to you, and voila! Hardware Pumpkin Man is ready. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 08, 2007


What is she to me?

She is the one they wave to, bus drivers, children, all the neighbors, colleagues in the elevator, mechanics, strangers too.

She is the dancing girl, grinning for the camera in the Luxembourg Gardens.

She is softness in the dark, warm hands that cup my curves.

She is memory, Helen’s kitchen, its pies, fried chicken, eggs and bacon and coffee, Swiss steaks, TV dinners (just the good parts); Bud and Bob’s on Sunday afternoons; Edna’s Christmas cookies, pork cutlets fried just right, pickles (no garlic), endless Jell-O salads, and the fudge the dog ate (was it Tinkerbelle?).

She is the Big Pool, cold limbs pulling in cement’s warmth, plunging back into the waters to start the cycle again, cool waters, warm cement, cool waters, warm cement, a body-firing in summer’s heat.

She is radiance of golden energy, the aura that pulls me in.

She is the one to make me laugh (even though I did once say she isn’t funny), to show me humor in tragedy in absurdity in myself sometimes.

She is the one who knows sorrow, balancing joy on its precipice.

She is the one who sees beauty in silence, snowflakes drifting out of grey sky, yellow leaf settling on lake’s surface, orange fire-moon rising from the horizon.

She is the girl in the dark alley, the one to whom I said, “I need you.”

She is the woman I love.

--on the occasion of our twenty-fifth anniversary