ArchiveJuly 2020

In two voices


In the fifth and sixth grade classroom that Lou Bradley and I shared, one of our favorite writing activities, adaptable to so many situations, was called Two Voice Poems. In alternating stanzas, two characters who were connected in some way shared their perspectives on the same situations or events – mothers and daughters, teachers and students, slaves and slave owners, immigrants and border...

Reel to reel


I’ve always been intrigued by the sci-fi inspired idea that every sound wave that’s ever been produced still exists somewhere out there in the ether, if we ever had the technological wherewithal to call it back home. So, imagine my astonishment when my wife and I came upon a recording of our 22-year-old selves which we assumed had left on its voyage to Alpha Centauri about 54 years earlier...

A bad trip


In the early Sixties, hallucinogenic drugs were not yet on the banned substances list. A pharmaceutical company in Switzerland was supplying the psilocybin for Timothy Leary at Harvard free of any legal constraints. In my first year in Cambridge, the subjects of his drug “experiments” were artists, writers and musicians he invited to campus. What changed the following year was the University’s...

Timothy Leary was your advisor? no way!


“Timothy Leary was your advisor? No way!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that, or a variation of it. It represented in the minds of others a complete summary of my five-and-a-half-year experience at Harvard in the 60s. Maybe I was complicit in that reductive summary of a complex love/hate relationship with that revered institution. I probably dropped that L-bomb into conversations...

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