"#11, From Living in the Past"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 21 2003 8:03 AM

#11, From Living in the Past

Listen to Philip Schultz reading this poem. Everyone dickers with God. Everyone gets something: Grandma gets one dead husband who does nothing but read Torah and complain, the kitchen ceiling where all her curses live rent-free, a lifetime of oy veis. … Uncle gets his wieners, eight varieties of sauerkraut, five newspapers spread over the kitchen table like a vast strategy, the Paramount screen where he pulls curtains shut on Marlena D who shaves her legs four times a day. Father gets free room and board, a coal-burner to intimidate, all the blame. Mother gets the lower left half of the icebox, where she hides bacon, popsicles, all her glee. I get the best hiding places, Uncle's girlie books, the stained glass attic window where the wind sings of inner and outer things, as Martin Buber said, what are they but things—"O secrecy without a secret! O accumulation of information!" I get faith and intuition and 5763 years of longing and despair, a passion for hearsay, boogieing, and epistemology …

Philip Schultz's memoir, My Dyslexia, came out last fall. He founded and directs The Writers Studio, a private school for writing, now in its 25th year.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

160 Countries Host Marches to Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.