The Corporate Assault on Architecture


There’s something about architecture that arrests us, often without our being aware. Even as Jesus was about to bring Lazarus back to life, he asked for help in removing the stone sealing the tomb. 

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This Isn’t Kansas, Toto


When I was a little boy, my father would occasionally bring home a puppy that someone was trying to get rid of. The dog would spend a few days with us, tire my parents with its continual rug-soiling, and eventually wear out its welcome. My father would take it away. I never knew where he took them. 

My parents wanted a puppy to be a paper-trained little playmate for me, I think. But before the puppy had figured out where to poop, it was too late. Dad would keep bringing home puppies, hoping one of them would work out. None ever did.

Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out the role dogs play in the society of humans.

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Pariah Words


“For last year's words belong to last year's language

And next year's words await another voice.”

                                   T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets


In 100 years there will be all new people. In 1,000 years there will be all new words.

I guarantee it.

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To Correct the Past


They promised a world of total pleasure. There was only one thing you couldn't have—your thirtieth birthday.

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Bosom of Love


She is not a philosopher, mystic or teacher. Dottie is simply the best-known and perhaps most beloved waitress in Vieques, where she has lived for 40 years.

“You have a certain amount of love in here,” Dottie told me recently, patting her bosom. “As long as you have somebody or something to give your love to, you will be happy.” 

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A Father’s Day Gift to Women


On this Father’s Day weekend, when lots of men are the recipients of ties, favorite meals or golf outings, I’m wondering about the opposite. What is it that women want most from a man, whether he’s father, husband or friend? It’s a gift they never actually put into words and ask for, but it’s one they deeply desire.

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The Coywolves of Cape Cod


Threaded through the Jurassic Park movies is the romantic thesis that “life finds a way.” It's happening on Cape Cod right under our noses. Our little spit of sandbar has become home to a new kind of animal.

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The Next Larger Context


There are three brothers.

The youngest delivers milk to institutional customers each night until he slips on ice in the darkness, suffers a hairline fracture of a collarbone and dies days later from a resultant blood clot.

The middle sibling leaves college three-fourths of the way to his baccalaureate and finds work as a bill collector until he succumbs, an amputee, to adult-onset diabetes.

The third brother, the oldest, is me.

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Good Vibrations?


Yet another spring has passed and I haven’t been invited to give a commencement address. Not even to a high school graduating class, much less a university.

So here are a few words of wisdom that I would have offered new graduates if I’d been asked: The poop might be phony!

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Children of The Dream


I’ll never forget the Memorial Day when my Uncle Paul slapped his daughter across the face because she used a small American flag as a plaything.

It happened when we were little kids—about the age of the girl in the photo—and the memory of World War II was still vivid for people like Uncle Paul, who himself had not served. 

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