Wednesday, April 30, 2014


That's me when I was 4 years old in Theodore, Saskatchewan. It was about this time of year, April, that I was allowed to do something important all by myself. I was to go down the road for few hundred feet and across to the Egg Woman and bring back a dozen eggs. I wasn't sure it was a good idea. The Egg Lady had only one leg and in the place of the other was a wooden peg like a pirate. My mom told me it would be okay and I should just go to the door and say "Yaytsya".  That meant "eggs". So I did.

But when I got there, the house was actually just a hut, set back from the gravel road about a hundred feet. And there was mud. But I got to the door finally, and there was no door! There was a heavy woven blanket instead. So I couldn't knock, so I said in my brave 4-year-old voice "Yetzes!". And while I was seriously thinking about running for my life and never listening to my mom again, the blanket pushed aside and there she was. Not that much taller than little me, with the peg leg and the wart on the nose and the babushka, she beckoned  like the Hansel and Gretel witch "come in".  I came in.

It was a tiny dark space with a dirt floor and another heavy blanket (like the one instead of a door) hanging from a rope across the room dividing it in half. (I later learned that she and her husband hadn't talked for many years and had divided their hovel into halves to accommodate their enmity.) I stood there, trembling inside, hating eggs and my 4 year old life in general, when the Egg Witch bent over, grasped the dirt floor, and pulled up a trap door. How she did it I do not know, but she then descended into the earth and returned with an apron full of yetzes. She hobbled up, put the eggs in a paper bag, patted me on the head (which I initially mistook for a death grasp, but turned out to be merely grandmotherly) and I carefully, gratefully, took them across and down the road and home.

Mom was waiting at the end of the driveway, looking suspiciously as though she might have followed me all the way there and back, but who knows what really happened?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

One Afternoon in the New York Fish Market

"The fish is talking" screamed Nivelo,
Not knowing now what to do with the knife.
Rosen says today"Ah, enough already about the fish",
But then, right then, he dropped the phone and ran to see
And saw the carp, already lifted out of the ice-box
And seconds away from the rubber-hammered end of all times,
Speaking clearly, in Hebrew:
"Tzaruch shemirah. Hasof bah."
Get it together, kids, this is it.
Pray. Repair and pray, the end is here.

Zalmen didn't agree that it had happened at all,
But Nivelo had slid down the wall onto the slimy floor
From the horrible might of a carp speaking so plainly.
And, admittedly, Nivelo did not speak Hebrew at all
By all reports, but Rosen did, and anyway a talking fish is a talking fish,
And the spirit of God is not something small.

Cory Kilgannon of the New York Times reported in March 2003 that
"The fish flopped off the counter and back into the carp box
And was butchered by Nivelo and sold."

So, it's not exactly news. Just a sly indication.
And if there's news, it's that Nivelo and Rosen and Zalmen
And God
Are confused.

Photo © The National Center for Jewish Film

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Words are sensuous creatures, waiting to be rolled off tongues, sung in harmonies, whispered into ears. And the books that contain the words beg to be touched, opened, fingered. They wait, those handsome volumes with their sleek bindings and smooth covers, on bookshop shelves and in library stacks, to disseminate their pleasure if one would just open...."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Marie Wilson's steamy new novel now available as a Harper Collins e-book.

The Gorgeous Girls

 On Sale now as an E-Book
See More Retailers
Book Description

   Erotica for the thinking woman, this well-written and sexy novel
    is driven by three gorgeous women on the prowl. Rose, Con, and 
    Wanda, all disciples of the legendary Dorothy Parker, meet
    regularly for drinks to dish on their romantic and sexual exploits. 
    From Toronto to Vancouver to Paris, these three strong, beautiful 
    women are out to explore as many sexual possibilities as they can 
    while also finding l’amour. Featuring shoes, martinis, clothes, 
    champagne, and of course sex, The Gorgeous Girls is a smart, 
    playful and delicious sexual extravaganza that delivers non-stop 
    thrills and a great deal of fun.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

As this year goes out
And another comes in

Hold the door

Every year, day and breath
Brings its own

Stories are

In the eyes of
The little ones
Older ones
Lovers and minstrels
The ones at the wall

Stories are there
In the eyes of them all

Hold the door open
So then can go out
and then
Soon will come in
Fresh air
Will flow.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Flaneur

Highly self-aware, and to a certain degree flamboyant and theatrical, dandies of the mid-nineteenth century created scenes through outrageous acts like walking turtles on leashes down the streets of Paris. Such acts exemplify a flâneur's active participation in and fascination with street life while displaying a critical attitude towards the uniformity, speed, and anonymity of modern life in the city.

The term flâneur comes from the French noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", "loafer"—which itself comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll". Flânerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations.
The flâneur was, first of all, a literary type from nineteenth-century France, essential to any picture of the streets of Paris. It carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoiseur of the street. 

In the 1860s, in the midst of the rebuilding of Paris under Napoleon III and the Baron HaussmannCharles Baudelaire presented a memorable portrait of theflâneur as the artist-poet of the modern metropolis:
The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not - to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.

.... wikipedia

See here for more words.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

iPhone photography

It's odd to me how some people think making images with an iPhone is somehow "cheating" or "too easy" or "not real photography". All photographs are manipulated. A camera is a camera, a machine that fixes the effects of light on a medium. A post-processing "app" is a darkroom. Just not so smelly. So while I have some admiration for purists and curmudgeons and luddites for their staunch stubbornness and pinhole vision, I will embrace any invention that makes life more fun and allows me to do what I want to do and doesn't spoil the planet. Maybe iPhones + apps put creative possibilities in too many grubby hands; maybe camera gadgetry and darkroom alchemy sent us down a sinful and impure path from the beginning; and maybe any art that isn't scratched into a cave wall with a rock is too damned easy. But I don't think so.

(see more iPhotos by clicking here)