August 1981

Readers Write

Favorite Recipes

When I was first living on my own and learning to cook I always felt compelled to follow the recipes precisely. If I didn’t have one tablespoon of green pepper to chop, I’d have to go out to buy it. I had no confidence to leave it out and add something else instead.

By Our Readers


Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some extrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Do It. Expand!

Thaddeus Golas’ Enlightening Thoughts On . . . Enlightenment

We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.

By Thaddeus Golas
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Two From The Outside, With Feeling

When a friend asked me why I was a basketball fan, I could not answer him either to his satisfaction or my own. Not everyone, I’ve since been told, has seen Walter Davis hit a turn-around jumper. Incredibly, some have not even see Phil Ford explode for a fast-break lay up . They entirely missed Dudley Bradley’s last-second steal and game-winning dunk against State! And Al Wood’s 39 point performance against Virginia in the NCAA semis, maybe never heard of it. At first I thought that perhaps these pitiable few were simply without tickets. An understandable problem, worthy of sympathy. But then, I discovered that some among them were willfully ignorant. They even lacked that obligatory complement to fandom, a TV. By choice. Indeed, this omission, they slyly imply, confers a kind of status. (Sometimes it’s put more modestly: “We don’t have anything against television. We just don’t happen to have one.") Hmmm. The fan and his questioner seem not to understand one another.

By Leonard Rogoff

Three Stories

One day the Lord Shantih was approached by an aged beggar who carried a staff.

By Thomas Wiloch


During the day, he did no writing, but thought to himself that this was okay because chores needed to be done and the garden dug and since free time should be enjoyed he figured it was a good day for a bike ride as well. By the time he’d returned from that, showered, eaten dinner, and then read a bit while digesting, it was well into evening , and he had still put off his writing. On the radio came Bartok, Oregon, Sam Rivers, and a stream of stimulation, usually enough to propel him in the right direction. He chastised himself for not jumping into his work full tilt, and then re-chastised himself for chastising himself. Why can’t I spend a day just being a good absorber? he wondered. What’s the pressure?

By Wayne Perras


Winter in Dallas, Chuck and Morgan and me all tucked into an efficiency apartment with a murphy bed, smoking marijuana in a large walk-in closet that also doubles as my writing space because Shorty the landlord says if he catches you smoking pot he’ll throw you out. Shorty is king of this straight baptist red-brick apartment and square lawn in the middle of a block of black chicano low-riders and jesusfreak vans with holy fire painted in orange running off the front fenders, gunshots at night and sirens in the alley behind the supermarket, taxi driver asking on the corner have you seen that blonde hooker that’s always here, flat brown bottles on the sidewalk when I walk to work past the park in the morning, everybody asking me are you sure you should be walking to work?

By Pat Ellis Taylor