Some nights are never-ending hells
for these old veterans in our care.
We do not hand out pills, but shells,
as out of battlefields they stare
from over sixty years ago
on far-off Guam or Guadalcanal.
With trembling hands they try to show
how the bravest or youngest fell. Read more …
My first encounter with a Leonard Cohen song was in October of 1982. I had invited a Polish exchange student to a party in my fraternity house room. He came with an acoustic guitar and played and sang Cohen’s “Suzanne,” a song from the 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen. It was my third year at Alliance College. I was struck by the sublime beauty of the song. Read more …
Did Jesus Christ die on the cross at Golgotha to atone the sins of humanity, offering redemption to all who believed in him? Or was he a heretic Jew who attempted to reform Judaism so as to strengthen the Jewish in-group, which obviously was weak due to infighting and bitter acrimony among traders on the market squares of the Levant?
She finds herself all by herself in bed,
a web of sunshine on the downy sheet,
a wedding day of bells inside her head,
a layer of cream upon her skin, her feet
still sore from twenty years of love and toil,
yet she thinks that life’s been pretty good.
She hears the bacon sizzle, coffee boil
inside the dented pot of spinsterhood.
She has survived the cold and loneliness
of her decisions, and of her mistakes, Read more …
On 27 January 1945 the Red Army had just been defeated in an armor engagement with the 20th Panzer Division, which was retreating to escape encirclement, slightly south of Gleiwitz in Upper Silesia. Two villages were punished for the defeat: Preiswitz, populated by Poles, and neighboring Schönwald, populated by Germans. In total, 200 innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood. Read more …
Joseph S. Salemi was born in New York City in 1948 and grew up in Woodside, Queens. His grandfather, Rosario Previti, was a renowned Sicilian journalist, poet, and translator who rendered Edward FitzGerald’s version of the Rubaiyat into Italian, and who served as the American correspondent for the newspaper Don Giovanni in Messina, for which he wrote a popular series of satiric columns on the lifestyles and habits of Americans.