Lilo's Diary

Lilo: 1944

That I am beautiful it cannot be denied. My face. My eyes. My hair. Surely, few are endowed as fortunately as I have been. How it bores me! Alex stares and stares, as if he could discover some meaning in my loveliness, a reason-- there are no reasons. To be beautiful is my fate. (Lilo's Diary, p. 11).

An Education In Blood


Dear Tolmach,

'...I remember blood, Judith's, a great pool thickening against the floor as in a shallow basin. The tiny octagonal floor tiles slanting ever so slightly toward the base of the old crow-footed yellow tub. Each tile hiding flecks of blood.

'Within the tub more blood, liberally marbleizing the smooth porcelain in clots, fibers, speckles, flakes: some partly hemolized; others gummy resins; or little red rainbow bubbles on the dark soapy surface of the water bobbing...

Crossing Over and Other Tales


An ordinary life can be a disaster. You don't despise people any less for not being very much at all. They are people, and we all make errors, some of us, of course, more than others. If only they knew there were others making errors just like themselves they would be no less ordinary. But they are not our peers, or friends, just our brothers.


A Coat for the Tsar (1958)

Early one April morning, in the year 1905, Herschl Schenkman, a soldier in the army of the Tsar, ran out from behind a thick clump of meadow grass onto the dirt country road between Pinsk and Brest-Litovsk. He stood for a moment blinking in the sun. The run from the meadow had been uphill, and Herschl felt exhausted when he was out on the road again. Only fifteen minutes before he had been walking hurriedly along that road, with his head bowed forward, but in looking up once he fixed his eyes upon a think column of men, moving around a bend in the turf, some five hundred yards ahead.

The Menu Cypher

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Disco Frito


"Disco Frito" is a work of fiction. Some of these stories were told to me and, perforce, became fiction in the act of retelling them. Some happened to me or my friends, and when I think of them again they are as fiction.

Fiction is one of the metaphors we have for experience. Except for certain public an historic figures mentioned herein, all the characters in this collection are fictional, including the principal narrator, Rik. Any resemblances to persons living or dead is strictly a coincidence.

Taxi Driver


This all started happening to me sems to me musta been a long time ago, in the winter, my first in New York City, maybe two years ago. More. There was still a war.

It was cold and snowy. Filth everywhere. Just like now. I didn't have any love in my life. To speak of. No love at all, and nobody to care for. Just very little self-respect.


Worse than my Christmas year before with the dog. When Junior and I didn't have any place to stay.

Little Lives

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