Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

January 1, 2008, New York City:

Looking Back Upon 2007: A Year of Many Perfect Moments

First and foremost, I would like to wish very a very happy new year, feliz año nuevo, feliz ano novo, joyeux noel! May 2008 truly be the best year ever for you and your family and friends!

Albeit 2007 had its disappointments, some fairly major disappointments (i.e. My first book was supposed to be published, but the publisher made some crucial business blunders and now it is supposedly slated for 2008….Also, things at work were a bit topsy-turvy over the last year, so I had to deal with that...), but overall it was quite a spectacular year for me, I really can’t complain.

I experienced many wonderful and sometimes perfect moments, many of which I shared with and were due to the time spent with my dear family and friends.

As I’ve been cleaning out the photo archives for the last two days, I got to reflecting upon all the wonderful moments of 2007.

Hence, following is a look back at some of the highlights for me and the stories, poems and musings that came about to complement the pictures that I took to remember all the good times.

As per one my first posts of year Wake Up! It’s Almost Midnight! 2007 began with a focus on a few other things than photography, including fatherly duties, finding a new flatmate and writing.

Reflecting upon life, I realized that “I miss a lot of things these days: my boys, the comfort and security of a house you call home, the comfort and security of someone who loves you and provides you with a consistent source of affection.” Ultimately, I concluded that I will survive, if not thrive, because of the life-altering decisions I’ve made.

I also shared some of my innermost thoughts with excerpts from my forthcoming book, 25 Lessons: The Art of Living, Lesson 12: Persevere.

“Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won.”
William Shakespeare

On January 18, I had a fantastic time my friend John Davis, the impresario of the music group Body & Soul, at their 10th Anniversary party at Pacha, which was attended by over 3,000 revelers.

February began with a heartfelt tribute to my former flatmate and freunde, Claudio. Within my musing I discussed the infamous 24-42 rule...and the crude differences between men and women, a key difference being that men can be crude, and women usually are not, as the ribald discussion therein will attest.

Soon thereafter, Flavia comes knocking at my door looking for an apartment, and it is “love at first sight”. Subsequently, a budding romance ensued and showed me the Meaning of Happiness once again

In turn, February ended up being a fairly fruitful period of poetry for me:
By The Time Light Showers The Earth
lovers crossing
I Knew That
The Weight of Love
In February, I also spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun with my dear friend Suzanne. I miss her much.

The love fest continues in March and starts with a long love letter, I Love a Rain Night.

Oh, how crazy love can be! For as surely as we all die, love inevitably fades away too. And with a pretty serious slicing of my thumb, symbolically, the severance seemingly seems to mark the beginning of the end.

Nonetheless and allthemore, the loss of the use of my thumb, made me realize that there’s a memory that is inherent to the various parts of our bodies, an observation that I elaborate upon in The Sticky Memory (of Myelin)

Moreover, to compensate for my loss, I began an affair with fruit, a love fest that lasts into spring and summer and beyond. Ultimately, I ended up with a cornucopia of verse from my torrid appreciation of nature’s Ambrosia & Aphrodisia.

And of course, as in the beginning is the end for many poets like me, and so, once again, we see a torrent of verse come as a consequence of lost love:

The Knot (what to do)
The Exorcism of Love
Funny How it Hurts
The Empty Bed

Oh, and how it went on (I’ll spare you).

Thankfully, I have wonderful friends like Suzanne, with whom I spent an absolutely perfect afternoon, so that I might cheer up and realize that regardless of the disappointments, life is truly wonderful.

Moreover, and most importantly, it was then that I realized and decided that “the rest of my life should be devoted to All Women.” In sum I wrote the following:

From now on I will only love, learn about, learn from, laugh with and live for all women.

No more of this one-woman-only nonsense. Such singular endeavors only confuse me.

Adapting to and dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the female individual only make achieving ideals like loving continually, laughing freely, learning and discovering exuberantly, and living harmoniously to help one another fulfill each other’s greatest potentials—all the more futile.

Recently, I realized that my heart is merely a muscle—it tires, it palpitates, it often skips a beat, and most importantly, it is subject to being bro


Merely the size of a fist, if I open it, it comfortably accommodates one person—practically, affectionately, sometimes quite perfectly.

Alas, although I am inclined to enrapture one by closing that fist, I know that true love is free, and thus, it must be left often. Herein lies the dilemma, for she can jump out at any given time.


To read the rest of this craziness go to: One Perfect Afternoon (and All Women)

Subsequently, I also conjure up a crazy plan to market 25 Lessons and save the world at the same time, or at least raise awareness and money to save a few breasts...

Because after spending a blithesome happy hour with my good friend Stephanie, she helped me realize that my love for all women was really about my belief that—every woman is special.

She also helped me realize that all breasts are special too—Buy A Book, Save A Breast

Finally, at the end of the month, the boys, the ex and I all took a day trip to The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

I began April by reading The Secret and subsequently decided to test it.

Alas, it seems that it didn’t work, because yesterday was the last day of the year and in the list of ten things I wished for, I wrote:

3. I want a million dollars by the end of this year, 2007.

Uh, well, sadly enough, it didn’t work and I remain poor as ever....

Speaking of things that don’t end up working, admittedly, half way through April the pangs of lost love still lingered. But then, one morning, I suddenly woke up from a bad dream and realized that I’ve got to move on and take hold of my life again.

“Wisdom and love have nothing to do with each other. Wisdom is staying alive, survival. You're wise if you don't stick your finger in the light plug. Love—you'll stick your finger in anything.”
Robert Altman

Thus, I pressed on with a cleansing of the soul and a week-long vacation in Florida with the family.

Then, of course, as luck would have it...I met somebody new.

Alas, that was ultimately, short lived too, but it was at times quite exhilarating and on the last day of April proved rather extraordinary when we shared a perfect moment—Last Night.

On the third morning of May, as I was walking to work, I came upon this behemoth of a building that is being put up on 29th Street. The signs that span across the construction site boast "55 Stories of Luxurious Living."

The irony is that I used to live there—there where there used to be a two-story building with a small apartment above the sacristy, the room where priests dress and prepare the Eucharist for mass.

In the spring of 2005 I moved in for three months and lived in virtual isolation during my first marital separation. The experience was life changing and the primary reason why photography became one of my greatest passions. These three months and subsequent enlightenment, also serve as the basis for my forthcoming book, 25 Lessons , which was to be published in July by Cyan Books.

Hence, when I came upon this monumental structure gleaming against the deep blue spring sky that morning I couldn't help but pause and reflect upon my stay there exactly two years ago. The fact that I lived in solitude and more frugally than I had ever lived before, was an amusing contrast to what “Sky House” would soon be offering—139 luxury condominium residencies.

The greatest irony for me though was that I actually came to understand the luxury of living in and of itself via these three hermetic months. It was an incredibly beautiful and enriching experience, which I would not trade for all the wealth in the world.


My editor Stephanie and I worked on the book for a few hours the night before, so, at the time, I was getting very excited as we approached the first scheduled publication date.

Subsequently, considering the experience of that morning, I was inspired to share some of my experience from that special time two years ago. Hence, I posted the tentative text from the preface of 25 Lessons. Click on the on the following, if you would like to read it: The Luxury of Living (Living is a Luxury)

June began with a beguiling by The Perfect Woman, perfection being found in no particular woman, but rather in practically every women that had some little something to bewitch me with—a mere scent, a smile, a bad-ass tattoo.

Midway through the month I attended a little soiree with one married woman and a thousand gay men at Gracie Mansion. The entire evening was interesting to say the very least, read all about it— Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk.

On the tenth day of June I met Debbie; she's not only lovely and fun, but she also happens to literally live around the corner (how convenient). We met because her work colleague discovered her photo by chance, serendipitously on my website. I had taken a random photo of her in October of 2006 while on the subway one morning and wrote a piece called Waking in the Obliquity of The Ecliptic. To this day it is one of the most popular of my photos and stories on flickr.

So, after her friend found this piece, Debbie sent me an e-mail. I e-mailed her back. Then we met in the park and ultimately spent a lot of time together over the summer.

In June, I also began a project where I looked to a pair of my favorite photographers, Rose and Olive, for regular inspiration, subsequently creating other photos, prose and verse simply by following their work. Ultimately, over the rest of 2007, I created 78 works based on this initiative. Along the way I collected them in a set called Ode to Rose & Olive.

The month ends on a high note, as my friends Christina, Mel, Ally and Jessica hold their annual June Rager, which exceeds all expectations.

On the last day of June I realized that one should wear pajamas often.

As you may have gathered by now, I believe that Life is a Party!

Hence, the partying continued on July 4th, when my friend JD, hosted his annual backyard BBQ. Needless to say, I took a lot of photos of the kids and was particularly happy to play and watch the boys swim in the pool, especially since Nicky had just taught himself to swim. Much like his older brother, he never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

A few days later my father, who was visiting from California, and I took the boys to Bear Mountain for good wholesome, get dirty-and-smoky by the fire and jump-in-the-lake often camping.

Subsequently, inspired by my boys and some of Rose & Olive’s work, I wrote a piece about the importance of courage titled The Spine of Life.

In sum, their picture made me think about courage and my own experience with having the gall to pursue the fulfillment of my own potential as a person, as an individual, as an artist. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “Pursuing one’s passion is the spine of life,” in other words following your bliss often requires one to muster the nerve to consistently take many risks.

To illustrate this musing, I posted a photo taken of Nicky while at the lake. My hopes were that by my example my sons learn how to avoid the apprehension that comes with age and responsibility, and to continue taking the risks that are the privilege of youth.

“Youth is a gift of nature, Age is a work of art.” – Scott Allen –

A few days later upon my return to the city, Debbie and I took a day trip up north and it ended up being a Perfect Day (at Storm King), in really so many incredible ways. I ended up taking hundreds of great photos that day of the beautiful sky and sculptures and woman I was with.

July was also marked by a couple of crazy parties, both in one night. And once again, for the first half of the evening, as had happened the month before with Donna at Gracie Mansion, I was accompanied by a married woman and surrounded by hundreds of good-looking, likely gay, men.

I was with my great friend and editor, Stephanie, at “an evening of cocktails and celebration” being hosted by Esquire Magazine and the Canadian design house Jack Victor. The summer soiree was being held at The Garden Rooftop of 620 Fifth Avenue, with an exquisite view overlooking the Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

A couple hours and half a dozen drinks later, after we had had some rather ribald fun at the expense of one of my best friends Rayner, we parted and I continued to party on with my friend and an old school chum at a Penthouse Magazine DVD release party being held at AZZA, a French Moroccan Restaurant and Lounge on the Upper East Side.

The highlight of the evening for me was when we were introduced to the Penthouse Pets and I naively asked one of girls “So, what do you do?” because I had no clue as to what to say otherwise. Hence, my surprise when she nonchalantly replied, “Oh, I do girl-on-girl adult videos, and sometimes ones with my boyfriend….”

To read the whole story click on the following: A Touch of Evil

At the end of the month, and into August, once again I had my boys for a week and this time we spent it exploring the city and its incredible architecture. I deemed the week to be “Architecture Week,” so that our activities were focused on the beauty and art and the amazing craft of what it takes to plan, create and build the houses, the apartments, and skyscrapers that we all live and work in today.

Subsequently, we went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited the ancient Egyptian obelisk and Belvedere castle in Central Park, took a tour of a “green” Architect’s office, saw movies like The Fountainhead and My Architect, as well as visited exhibits of giant sculptures at the Richard Serra retrospective at the MoMa and a return to Storm King.

Throughout July I was inspired time and time again by Rose & Olive’s work and created many traditional and experimental pieces of prose and verse. I invite you to read them via my blog, The Art of Living.

August was hot and so much of it was spent trying to escape the heat.

The highlight of the month was when I went down to Atlanta and spent some time jumping into the lake with my good friend, Captain Harry.

We spent a substantial amount of time on his boat and once again, the experience reaffirmed my belief that, indeed, Life is Good.

The month of September began with Nicky and Enzo’s first day at school; it was Nicky’s first day ever, as he was starting kindergarten. I was ecstatic and very proud to watch them that morning.

In mid-September I had my national TV debut when unexpectedly my friend Karen informed me that a video clip of me was used for a segment she had participated in on NBC’s TODAY show.

A month before, on August 18, we were at a BBQ in Brooklyn together and one of my best friends, Rayner, her boyfriend, videotaped my reaction to Karen's new straight hair style. She has naturally curly hair and I have a thing for curly hair BIG TIME (My estranged wife has gorgeous long curly hair ). So, when I saw that they had straightened her hair I screamed, "Ahhh! What did they do to your hair?" Alas, my screech made national television. Click the following to watch one of my most embarrassing moments of 2007: Straight or Curly?

In September I also ended up spending for absolutely fun and fantastic days with my friend Carolyn, part of which we spent exploring the abandoned Small Pox hospital on Roosevelt Island.

In the process, I was reminded that true wealth is not a matter of money, but rather one of appreciating the many wonderful things and people and small pleasures of one’s life. To commemorate this moment I wrote:

For although, considering my situation I am rather impoverished in so many ways, I am filthy rich in others—great friends who I love-love-love to party with; wonderful flatmates with whom I have enlightening long conversations; two beautiful boys that I love more than anything and anyone in the world; and a great sense of purpose, an overabundance of happiness, confidence, heightened awareness and knowledge about life and the world I love and live in, all of which I aim and strive and would love to share with others.

How could anyone want much more than that?

The more flesh, the more worms;
The more possessions, the more worry;
The more study and contemplation, the more wisdom;
The more charity; the more peace.
— Rabbi Hillel—

To read more about my thoughts on this matter and to see some cool photos of the ruins Carolyn and I explored click on the following: Less is More and the Ruins of Renwick

October started by celebrating Nicky’s 6th birthday. We hosted a soccer party for him and all his new friends at the Montclair soccer stadium.

In the middle month, I got to spend some quality time with myself. On particular day that I spent alone I went to the annual Photo Expo at the Javitts Center, and then wandered about the city to take some awesome photos. Even more awesome though, was the reaffirmation of the importance of solitude in my life.

"I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will."
Henry David Thoreau

This realization was especially important considering that I was reminded of my choice to be alone and separated from my wife, when we didn’t celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary, which occurred on the 25th of the month. Ironically, it was in a dream on that day that I regained some of what had been lost between us over the years.

Instead of moping though, I celebrated life that night by participating in a photography show where I debuted my first video montage for public consumption, Lunacy. I also ended up swallowing my first “tequila worm,” the coveted gusano.

November started in spectacular fashion, as I finally realized that I had to get my act together per se and organize all my writing via a “blog.”

Hence, on November 3rd I launched The Art of Living. In turn, I archived three years worth of writing and associated photos.

Half way through the month, I began to ponder the matter of time passing or rather its weathering of our souls, our lives and the beauty of our youth.

Domenica had passed onto me a photo of former Mayor David Dinkins and I taken 15 years prior while I was in graduate school. Albeit, it duly reminded me that I was turning 40 this year on Thanksgiving, and for a moment I lamented the start of my middle age, I began to see how rich the second half of my life will likely be—I am beginning….

Of course, observing my boys play Monopoly with their grandmother, my Mom, when she paid a visit in the middle of the month, only reinforced the realization about how rich my life really is and taught me that how to truly play when we are playing—I’ve Got A Monopoly!

Ultimately, I celebrated my 40th Birthday twice with my wonderful two flatmates, Jane and Doctor Lorenzo. The first time was on a spontaneous night out on the night before my birthday and the second time was at a dinner party they held in my honor a week later, which was also attended by Stephanie, her sister, Caroline, Ezra, and Robert.

I am very grateful to have such great friends.

At the beginning of the last month of 2007, I not only attended The Circus of Love, but I also had the opportunity to present my second photo-video montage, Six Stories of Love, which was inspired by the theme of the show, “What I think about when I think about Love.”

The following week I was invited to a weekend writer and artists’ retreat, on a private island off the coast of Stonnington, CT, called Elihu Island. My dear friend and fellow writer, Beth Jannery, had invited me. The experience was truly invigorating and not only generated new friends, lots of great pictures, but also a good wholesome poem that reminds us to stay “real.”

As has been the tradition for the last four years, on the second Thursday of the month, I celebrated the holidays with my friends down in Atlanta. As always, we had a wild time…

Around the same time, I was contacted by a major advertising agency which wants to use me and my work to launch a national advertising campaign for their client, a Fortune 100 company. The campaign will feature emerging artists and I was picked to launch the initiative. Although it ain’t set in stone yet, and God knows I’ve been through enough disappointments over the last year to know not to get my hopes to high, I’m duly honored and thrilled to be recognized in this way nonetheless and allthemore. Subsequently, I was asked to create a portrait that they can use for the campaign, here is what my friend Chelsea and I came up with on Christmas morning at 2 AM.


And of course, how could we end the year without a party to celebrate all the wonderful and beautiful and often perfect moments of 2007?

Last night, New Year’s Eve, Chelsea and I started out the evening by going to one of our favorite restaurants, The Queen of Sheeba, a great Ethiopian restaurant at the corner of 47th and 10th Avenue. We shared the vegetarian platter, which is an incredibly delitable of traditional dishes, complemented by lots of tasty Enjera, a spongy and moist, sourdhoughy flatbread of sorts that one uses to eat the meal with.

Afterward, we caught a cab and went to a friend’s shindig at her boyfriend’s newly purchased $12 million dollar apartment. He kept telling everyone, “I have the apartment across the way and half the floor above us, Oprah Winfrey rents the other half.”

The party was being held in the part of his abode with rooms that functioned as a gymnasium and an art gallery. In the corner of the living room with the view of the fireworks in Central Park, he had a signed almost life-sized book of Helmut Newton’s photography; and all over the place were smorgasbords of catered food. In one of the two bathrooms, he had a Jacuzzi with a view, with a chandelier hanging over it.

As many of us know, how you enjoy and appreciate life is not determined by money.

That’s one of the many reasons why Chelsea and I ended up having such a great time last night despite how boring the party might have been for others. It is also one of the many reasons why I like her so much.

Despite being a doctor, she bares no arrogance or pretension whatsoever, she’s full of life and incredibly compassionate about the patients she cares for and nurtures back to health or, unfortunately, as often is incumbent of the job of a first-year resident, the ailing people she needs to console into death. Yet, despite dealing daily with the depressing troubles and pain of others, she knows how to smile at the end of some very long days.

I sincerely admire that about her and I am often inspired by this extraordinary display of calm and courage.

Hence, I happily end the year, and began another, in her company. As the photos will attest, we had fun, to say the least. Thanks Chelsea…


So, there you have it…my take on 2007, and now you know how I feel…

Much Love, Peace and Happiness,

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me

And I'm feeling good

Feeling Good, Michael Bublé

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Circus of Love

The First Time Ever You Looked At Me...
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Granted, I agree, these pictures suck.

But sometimes, like most other people, I take pictures simply to remember the moment.

Thus, much like love can be, when the mood’s not right, the subject’s unpredictable, or the circumstances are otherwise inconvenient; I turn to other ways of biding my time; and most often, when the picture's not right, I turn to words to convey the art of life, the art of living.

That’s when a picture is no longer worth a thousand words, but a thousand words are worth writing, if only because they can relay and preserve the beauty and the wonderful stories of both our extraordinary and everyday experiences.

This time, the story begins on Sunday, December 2, the day of the Arts in
Bushwick (Brooklyn) "Open Spaces" festival, which sought to “foster connections within the arts community and create forums for artists to show their work.” Over thirty galleries partook in the event, including Studio 304, which had invited me back to submit photographs for a slideshow.

The first time that I had presented at Studio 304 the theme was Lunacy , and I showed a video montage of photos inspired by "the freedom of childhood" to convey some of my thoughts on the subject. (See related story: And Now, For Something A Little Crazy…)

As we left the studio after the show, the owner and organizer asked, “What should the theme be next time?”

I thought for a moment, thinking, “What would be a good follow-up to 'Lunacy'? What do we experience in life that’s crazy?”

That’s when it suddenly occurred to me and I blurted out, “Love! How about ‘Love’”?

The next time I heard from Mara, it was an invitation to submit for the art show, and this time the theme was going to be—“What we think about, when we think about Love.”

Albeit, the actual introductory comments at the show were a much-abbreviated version of my original notes, I prepared the following explanation for what I ultimately created:

Love Notes

There are three things I would like to convey about this piece:

Firstly, and you’ll have to please excuse the cliché, but, INDEED, I do believe that love is a many-splendored thing.

Thus, I found it imperative to convey a multitude of perspectives concerning “What I think about, when I think about love.”

Secondly, I feel that reflecting on the experiences of love naturally lends itself to the narrative.

Hence, this piece presents six very-very short stories about love, using photos I have taken over the last ten years of my life.

And being that I just turned 40 on Thanksgiving, a little over a week ago, I’m looking forward to creating three more pieces about what love meant to me during the fist three decades of my life.

Finally, I have personally, never known love without a face.

So, integral to each vignette is the face of a person I have loved and who somehow represents the kind of love conveyed by the respective story she is featured in.

And with that, I present to you: Six Stories of Love


Apropos to the moment, I had invited one of the six subjects to come view the premiere of the video with me at the show.

And of course, as fully expected, she stood me up, yet again (yet again). She actually had the gall to blame me for some inane reason (i.e. "You didn’t tell me it was going to snow…”) and later asked if I was “angry” with her.

I tried my best not to be perturbed and to be “mature” about it, and replied, “I don’t know if anger is an appropriate response—when people meet your expectations.”

Nonetheless and allthemore, I learned that we never learn when it comes to love. We are bound to forget the past and gamble against the odds, betting that indeed, this time! she will exceed my expectations...

Alas, once again, I was wrong.

Thus, after the show I trudged through the snow and toured a few of the other studios, all by lonesome. I tried not to wallow too much, telling myself that a true artist is always bound to walk alone.

Thus, whim showed me the way, and eventually I ended up at Ruby Streak Trapeze Studio’s Circus O’ Love, which was hosting a performance of its students.

Among the performers, there was a certain beautiful redhead that kept looking at me from across the room. Admittedly, since I was beguiled, I felt somewhat self-conscious and blamed her gawking on the fact that I was using my camera. “She must be glaring at me because she's mad that I’m taking photos without consent,” I foolishly thought to myself.

Alas, I was flustered and wasn’t thinking straight, because not too long afterward, she came and sat right next to me. She occasionally gave me sideway glances, but once again I chalked it off as pure coincidence, “It is only by chance that she is sitting next to me.”

Now, that I can think straight, looking back I must say that I was likely shamefully wrong, for although it was certainly a rather small room, she could just have easily chosen to sit elsewhere; and in error, shy as I was, I didn’t even say “Hello,” “Hi. How are you?” “Nice show you have here.” Nope, nothing, nada.

Having, in a sense just being stood up by an old girlfriend for the millionth time, I suppose I was afraid of rejection in some strange way. I was afraid that she’d think, “Here’s another guy trying to pick up on me,” because, surely, I thought, she must get hit on all the time.

But ironically enough, she could have also have stared at me and then moved toward me, because that is exactly what she wanted, that’s exactly what she was expecting, she wanted me to say something, say anything, to her.

Alas, instead, I chose not to roll the dice and meet any such expectations. Instead, I cowered, coyly bowing my head, so that I might continue to take more lousy pictures.

“Two people could be at a party together, sitting right across from each other and never find each other. And another two people could be on opposite sides of the world...and nothing could keep them apart.”
Richard LaGravenese, The Fisher King

Thus, I suppose this time, this love was simply not meant to be.; which is a pretty lame excuse if you ask me, much like blaming others for the things we do not do, the commitments we do not keep, or the life we do not lead.

Everyday there is an opportunity to either love or be loved, we simply must not be afraid to embrace those moments, to say “Hello,” to say “Fuck it!” when the odds are against us and the only thing we really have to fear—is fear itself.

We must not be afraid to say hi to strangers, if only because our best friends, our greatest lovers, our wisest teachers, were all once strangers too.

Just as everyday there is a chance to see and capture and relay the beauty of life that surrounds us, everyday there is a chance to love someone, old and familiar, strange and new.

That’s why I take pictures, that’s why I write, because art enables me to express my love for my friends, family, and—life itself.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ode to Mia

Mia Darling!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I’ve known Mia for a very long time now, or, at least, a long time as far as my friendships go.

We’ve been through it all—think and thin, big and small, ups and downs, many small joys and a few major disappointments.

Last night, Mia paid me a visit and bought me a small Christmas present, I gave her a big smile in return. It was a bar of dark chocolate, wrapped with an exquisite pin-up painting by Gil Elvgren.

Mia knows I love dark chocolate. In fact, Mia knows a lot of things about me, which most people don’t.

Most importantly though, Mia knows how to make me happy.

We’ve long shared a certain synergy, synchronicity and affinity for many things: music, food, fun.

Upon a whim, we can call one another and make plans with a moment’s notice.

We’ve never expected much from one another; yet have often given to one another unconditionally.

I feel quite fortunate to have a friend like Mia, I am sincerely grateful for her friendship.


When the fire of youthful love begins to wane, work to make it a friendship, so that it may become an eternal flame.

This musing is today's featured post in The Art of Living.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Too Many Lychee Martinis

Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

View LARGE; PC users can press F11 for the full-screen effect.

One Too Many Lychee Martinis
(How The Robot Escapes Every Evening)

I am moving at lithe speed this morning.

My mind floating, my movements disjointed from time.

It feels as if I cannot move fast enough to do the running list of tasks I must do, to get ready for work. While I am doing one, ten more things come to mind, so that it feels as if I am inclined not to do them.

Fuck. Mild panic ensues as I misconstrue the kinesthetic algorithm of actions that must be applied to the rigmarole of a set agenda imbedded in mechanical time.

Chiseling away, with my programmed vision in mind, little by little, chip by chip, one task after another falls from the list.


My confidence shoots up like heroin firing up an addict’s arm; it grows stronger and I am no longer the inept recovering lush that I imagine myself to be.

Another sip of coffee, another blink in the mirror, another breath to let serenity settle in.

I feel better now
that I may begin
my day
as a well-oiled office employee.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter is No Friend of Mine

A Moment in Time
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

“I couldn't help it. I can resist everything except temptation.”
Lady Windermere's Fan, Oscar Wilde —

The late-night indulgences of winter do not welcome the mornings when one has to get up early to go to work.

Since I am curled up in the comfort of my blankets, I can barely hear the radio announcer, but the repercussions resound loudly nonetheless—“35 mile an hour winds, making the ‘real-feel’ temperature—9,” drawing out that nine like an unexpected punch to the gut.


I pull in the blankets tighter. I turn off the bedside lamp I’ve got on a timer. I turn down the alarm-clock radio.

Last night, in the midst of boisterous revelry, e-harmony and somatic bliss, it was quite easy to dismiss all the lessons learned and convince myself that this was indeed the way to go—“Less is more,” I implored, “Less sleep means more pleasure.”

How can one resist such simplistic temptation?

I couldn’t.

Hence, here I am, paying the price, facing the consequences of my life unrestrained and unplugged


Guess I’ll just have to dope up on extra caffeine this morning. Guess I’ve got to get out of bed after all, albeit “Call in sick, call in sick,” keeps playing round and round in my head. Guess I should rethink giving into whims and the pleasure of pleasant company—the next time.

Alas, it will certainly have to be the next time.

Nonetheless, I hope I forget.

Because regardless of the fact that the weather outside is frightening, and the vestiges of my wayward ways enlightening, it was well worth it.

Believe was well worth it.

“Knowing that the things one loves are dangerous lends indulgence a kind a piquancy, the drama of teasing at the far edges of danger. After a hard day of pulling cheese out of prepared sandwiches and ordering my salad with dressing on the side, I enjoy my gin martini with a twist of all the more knowing it's bad for me. As a result, for most of us, life is a weird mixture of bottled water, whole-wheat bread and complex dietary supplements broken up by reckless bouts of coffee drinking, dessert consumption and car travel.”
— A Shock to the System, Mark Kingwell —


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

She said I snore.
“But it is a good snore,” she said.

We laughed almost all night long. At least, until she had to leave; then it wasn’t funny anymore. Loneliness is almost never funny. At least, not alone it ain’t.

I cooked dinner, we drank, we smoked, we ate; and little by little, sip by sip, morsel through morsel, we were consumed by desire.

An hour into sitting at the table, our knees brushed. Actually, it was her knee to the inside of my thigh.

I sighed—an exhale that suddenly pushed the gates open into overflow, a rush of knowing where this was going, a lush full of pent-up yearning, a longing, the demon of lust wiling to overcome me.

I got up to kiss her nape. “I like your new haircut, it allows me to place my lips here...” I told her.

I placed my lips there.

She closed her eyes, her head falling back, ever so slightly. She made the most precious sound that I’ve ever heard come from her lips.

“We don’t have to go out tonight, you know,” I nudged, suggesting the suggestive.

“I’d much rather be here, with you, alone. I really don’t want to gallivant about town, giving face-time to friends,” if only because we must face our friends from time to time, if we care to keep them.

We stepped out of the dining room and into my room.

Then she made the most exquisite sounds I have ever heard come from any woman’s lips.

I have never laughed so much with anyone in bed.

She had to leave in the middle of the storm; snow pattered violently against my window, the wind howled in pain. I asked her to send me a message when she had arrived home, safely.

“Goodnight,” she wrote.

I shut my eyes.

She said I snore.
“But it is a good snore,” she said.

Friday, December 14, 2007


The Retreat
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

December 8, 2007, Elihu Island, Stonnington, CT:


I celebrated life this morning by sitting by myself outside, on the dock, watching the sun rise and skirt in and out of the clouds, reflecting upon the water.

I wondered about wives and sons and fathers, wandering about “family matters,” as swans gracefully passed me by. I realized the power of polyamory, the splendor of seeing love in so many faces, finding stability in diversity and security in accepting that life always changes; it only stops changing—when it dies.

I found peace in the sleepy snore of fog horns calling each other from afar, some sounding as if they were lost somehow—but blind to the notion that they were actually already home; buoy bells chimed in on occasion, to call in the jellyfish and the sparrows and oysters to mass.

I received communion with them by basking in the slowly rising sun, noticing the glistening crystals of frozen goose feathers and watching flocks glide across the calm white sheet of water, as I walked, alone, along the shore’s edge.

Getting too excited I almost slipped as I walked on the slimy black rock to take a closer look; I slowly turned back and admired the beauty of the menagerie of broken shells and fallen leaves under the water, if only, once again, from afar.


Then I farted. Because no one can hear you fart when you’re alone, if only because farting broke the monotony of my “deep thoughts.” If only because, one should never take one self—all too seriously.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Reversal of Fortune

Fun With Two Lorenzos
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Reversal of Fortune

Funny how easy it is to feel like you’re on top of the world one day, and then feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel the very next.

And vice-versa.

Last night, I experienced just such a change of fortune, as my flatmates, Dr. Lorenzo and Jane hosted a belated birthday dinner party for me. In attendance were Caroline, Ezra, Robert and Stephanie.

Catered by L&J, we all sat down to a sumptuous Mexican meal of tacos: corn tortillas stuffed with superbly sautéed chicken, peppers and onions; freshly cut cilantro, tomatoes and limes; jalepeños, guacamole, pineapple salsa and lots of cheese (because as Enzo, my oldest son, loves to say “Papa, Mexicans love cheese! They like to put cheese on cheese.”).

Needless to say, the libations overflowed and laughter careened throughout the evening, eventually carrying us all out and onto Havana Central at The West End, where we danced the night away, until midnight, when age became of us and we decided to let the college kids continue on with the revelry.

So, once again, I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have such great friends. Once again, my companions helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. And once again, I could rightly smile again.

Thank you one and all for making 40 years extraordinarily meaningful.


"Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.">

Mary Schmich

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Need Practice

I Need Practice
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

November 29, 2007, New York City, NY:

I Need Practice

I had to look in the mirror to practice my smile this morning.

Lately, it just hasn’t come naturally.

Jane attributes it to the weather, the change of seasons, waking in the obliquity of the ecliptic.

Wallowing, I’d like to think it’s more; I’d like to believe I can blame it on the job, the life changes, the uncertainty and the lingering literary disappointment that just won’t go away.

Yet, such sorrow doesn’t make sense in light of all that I’m blessed with.

I know that, I know this.

Yet, even after reminding myself of my distinct fortune, I find myself struggling to smile.

The lips turn, but my solemn eyes belie otherwise.

There’s no teeth showing either. When I’m truly happy pupils sparkle and whites shine.

Besides, yesterday was an unusually long and arduous day for me—I survived one berating after another.

However, I remain confident that I’ll get over it. It’s just another bump in the road, I’m sure of it.

“Some people greet the morning with a smile, but it's more natural to protest its presence with sleepy sulkiness. "Who asked you to come again?" we feel like saying to it, as if it were a most unwelcome guest.”

Brendan Francis

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Waiting to Die

Waiting to Die
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Warning: In this piece I review three movies from 1990, 2000 and 2002, and immediately reveal how they unfold. In other words, if you care to be surprised, don’t read on.

November 27, 2007, New York City, NY:

Waiting to Die

(Get Out of Line, Damnit!)

Over the last three days I happened to watch three movies about three guys who were waiting to die.

Or, at least, that’s how I am melodramatically interpreting what I saw, if only to spotlight the fatalism of this old man and to make this piece mildly more interesting.

It is no coincidence that all the protagonists of these films were themselves desperately trying to make life itself interesting.

All of them, ultimately, failed.

Actually, one of them failed, but because it was a typical American movie, suddenly things changed, so that we get a typical Hollywood “happy ending.” The other two, were French films. Hence, everyone dies.

The films I watched included Joe Versus The Volcano, Une Affair de Goût (A Matter of Taste), and L’Homme du Train (The Man on the Train).

Joe Versus The Volcano was essentially about a man whose soul was dying because he was stuck at a dead-end corporate job, and thus, felt he never really got to experience life. That is, until he is suddenly given a chance to go on one last journey before he must take a leap into his ultimate destiny (i.e. sacrifice his life for the good of the tribe (i.e. he is a lifelong and faithful Company employee) by jumping into an active volcano).

Une Affair de Gout was a pseudo gay psycho thriller about an eccentric tycoon who hires another man to be his “food taster.”

In reality, the crazy magnate is blasé with his life and thus plays a game where he gets his taster to mimic him in every way possible—to have the same tastes, preferences, and proclivities for everything the sun.

In the end, the taster is driven mad and ultimately murders his boss-cum pseudo soul-mate.

And The Man on the Train happened to also be another pseudo gay psycho thriller (alas, French films are never really thrilling) about two men coming from opposite ends of the track of life, who coincidentally meet and little-by-little find that after long lives of violent crime and quiet and uneventful erudition, they yearn to live like the other man.

In the end, they both die and exchange lives, but only in the afterlife.

So, what does it all mean? (I ask myself, as I write while riding the commuter bus to my corporate job of 8 years, as of three days from now…)

(long drawn out sigh)

Well, I’ll tell you what it means—it means that if you don’t make an extra effort to make this journey (i.e. life) extraordinary, if you don’t ever muster the courage to fulfill your dreams, follow your bliss, be what you really want to be, then, than, ultimately, just like most others, you’re just waiting to die (esp. after you turn 40).

So, get out of line damnit!

Don’t wait until those desperate hours to make a last-minute effort to redeem your life and make it worthy of life’s struggle.

Here’s a few words to inspire you: 25 Lessons

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Old Man!

Happy Birthday Old Man!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

November 22, 1967, San Jose, CA - November 22, 2007, New York City, NY:

In the photo above, my flatmate, Dr. Lorenzo, gives a thumbs-up! to our first evening out together as flatmates. He is one of the two Lorenzo's that make up our household, me being the other one of course. The lovely and fun-loving Jane, is our third flatmate.

It is easy to tell the difference between the good doctor and I, when one realizes that he looks a lot like the football (soccer) player David Beckham...or at least, that's what his mother recently told him...Mothers say the darndest things don't they?

Man, where would we be without the unconditional and blind love of our mothers? I can't imagine, especially since we truly owe our lives to them.

Coincidentally, it was on this day, some 40 years ago, that I was brought into this wonderful life by my mother. And being that today happens to also be Thanksgiving this year I want to convey a few words of gratitude to one of the women that I love most in the mama.

I wrote the following piece some years ago, but I beleive it bears repeating in honor of this special and momentous occassion. Thanks for everything Mom. Even though we are a country apart, and duty and olbigation often keep me from calling you more often, feel reaasured that I love you dearly and think of you often.

Your Mijo on The Other Coast,

For My Mother

For my mother than and there, teaching truth subsequent years would sully, mar, overturn; her tenets and her rules and her love and her unrelenting piety; bearing her cares and woes and concerns before the Guiding Force that eventually, I would come to disavow.

For how my mother's fortitude always reigned supreme, the sacrificing of everything: trust, hope, dreams, joy, pleasure, greed—the toil taking another day away, with each meal alone being a sacrament of its own: the shopping, the chopping, the stewing, the stirring, the serving, the feeding, the cleaning, the conceding to barely noshing a meal of her own while standing smiling over the stove.

For the countless days of comfort; shameless embraces, kisses and administration of drugs and tea and spoons of honey with lemon-brandy, patient prayers at my bed, the wonderful Seuss stories she read, the surrender of self and never a complaint, its no wonder I know my mother is a saint.

For the devoted dark years she sat waiting, anticipating a call, eventually resigning to it all, preparing for the fall of her faith—the matrimony of the wife to HIS life as sanctioned by heaven, for the embarrassing task of taking him from Alberto's bar where he would inevitably be. For all the lonely nights women endure, while their men sin and cruelly enact their Manifest Destiny.

For all the years we went to school and she held our hands, let us cry, could not deny us the prolonged goodbye, showed us how to catch the bus, packed lunch everyday for all three of us, always made sure we had breakfast too, ensured that no matter how smart we proved and bullies pushed we would never be their fool, and she made sure the homework was done, helping us with everything from one plus one, to "Joe ran with Sam to school."

For the eerie evenings she would sit up with me as a somnolently three pointing to shadows at window sills, to scarier nights when at midnight I'd still not returned, as I had turned from precocious kid to boy-becoming-man who was learning to go out into the land to roam away from the nest, the mothership, the comfort zone of home.

For the skimping with which she had to acquire us clothes, second-hand customer with first-grader, toddler and infant in tow; the pittance of penance she was forced to pray for the doubts and the sentence of a marital mistake; the shy look she might take to the mirror with the ravaging that giving birth left in its wake; a hidden tear shed in fear of what nurturing, the mothering, the matrimonial suffering would ruthlessly pillage and the years of youth it would take.

For the guiding light, the well of joy, the gifts of practical wisdom and undaunted mirth; for the reassurance of our worth with hugs and words, and the constant warmth of mother earth; for the celestial meals that after twenty years I would finally learn to appreciate, and for her ardent belief, despite the grief of my deepest doubts, that St. Peter will be awaiting me at Heaven's Gate.

For the lack of griping when at 6 AM she was typing helping me turn in my essay on time, for the prime example of benevolence, altruistic energy's expense, and the selfless giving sublime; for the magic act of making more of less, and for hiding all her humanness that might be misconstrued as sin or crime.

And by this poor recounting, I am accounting for the pangs of childhood, the bliss of my coming-of-age, and all the strife quietly endured by my blessed mother, the sage. But this is much more than an acknowledgement of Mom alone, for now that I have grown to raise two angels of my own, I must let it be known that their mother, who gave them life, is my Mama cloned, and I could not be more fortunate to have her for my love, my wife and the matron of our home.

Uh, it may seem that the last stanza is a bit out of date, considering things have changed a bit over the last couple of years..., but I will say nonetheless and allthemore, that my sincere appreciation remains intact. Just because it didn't work out between us as partners, it doesn't mean that we still can't and don't try in earnest to act in unison as parents.

The poem above was originally inspired by For My People by Margaret Walker and is part of a collection of 222 poems I wrote some years ago entitled A Letter To A Muse: Part 1 and Part 2.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bored Games

"I've Got A Monopoly!"
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.“
—Ralph Waldo Emerson—

I don’t like board games, or “bored games” as I like to spell them.

I just don’t. Never really have, never really will.

Give me a deck of cards, and I’ll play poker with you for hours on end. But ask me to play Risk or Clue or Monopoly, and well, I’d just have to pass.

However, I learned to like them in a different way today, when I sat and watched my two boys play Monopoly with my mother, their grandmother, for a couple of hours this morning.

I was intrigued, impressed and inspired by their genuine enthusiasm for the game. Watching the boys smile and get excited whenever they passed Go, or better yet, whenever one of their opponents had to pay them, made me realize how fun the game can actually be, if you know how to play it right.

The first cardinal rule of play being: you must play for fun, you cannot take it at all too seriously, in other words, you must play when you play, not work. It’s not about whether you win or lose, its about how you play the game, at least…until you lose, then it’s all about winning.

Nicky, the six-year-old, was the best sport of them all, because whereas Mom and Enzo, his older and rather intellectually astute brother, were buying property left and right, he decidedly to wait and wait and wait before moving to trump over his opponents by belatedly jumping into the real estate mogul game, and somehow pulling out in front within a matter of an hour.

The entire time he was joking and having everyone pay him with the smallest denominations possible, because he felt that having ten dollar bills was far better than simply having one ten dollar bill. In turn, this frustrated his opponents, as it always took them ten times as long to count the money.

As we get older, we learn efficiency—e.g. paying a $40 rent with four ten dollar bills is better than paying with 20 one dollar and 4 five dollar bills; and i.e. buying property at the first opportunity possible, is the best strategy.

Oh, but apparently not for Nicky—because he just focused on having fun, and regardless of whether or not he won, I found that somehow he was slated to come out on top, if only, because he had a genuinely good time playing.

And despite a slightly more earnest demeanor, Enzo also exhibited great exuberance for the game. In fact, and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, he connected the mental dots for me with one such display of excitement.

He had just bought the third hotel to complete ownership of all purple-colored properties, when he suddenly sprang to his feet and began dancing, simultaneously singing, “I’ve got a monopoly! I’ve got a monopoly!”

It was only there and then that I truly made the connection between the name of the game and the ultimate objective. Until now, after almost 40 years, the primary means of trumping your opponents and the 8-letter word hadn’t crossed in my mind. Duh.

Nonetheless and allthemore, observing this dynamic made me happy, and moved me to realize that perhaps the reason board games have always bored me was that I played them with the wrong attitude, for I’ve long found them frivolous, a matter of time that could be better spent in earnest reading or writing or doing something that endowed me with greater knowledge or insight. Not realizing that sometimes there is no greater insight or knowledge than knowing what it is that makes your kids smile, excited, and ultimately, happy.

Moreover, as I will be celebrating my 40th birthday in a few days, I am wholly appreciative of these gifts that my children have given me. For there is no greater gift than when someone teaches you something, especially when that someone is your child.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson—


Originally posted as part of the lost man chronicles, a long-long time ago.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

people are like puzzles

The Unknown
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Relationships between people are like puzzles which originally arrive disassembled.

Some of us enjoy the frenetic nature of the disarray for some time before we play with the idea of making an effort to reassemble.

Most, frenetically try to piece together a person until they are no longer a wonder, a mystery to ponder. And, as a result of dispelling the enigma, they also engender the inevitable ennui.

Alas, there are those rare few of we who consciously make no attempt at all to put together a whole that will eventually resemble anything or anyone all too familiar. These are those who have come to realize the futility of the exercise, for we understand that the integral Catch-22 is that participating is worth more than the prize, and that by solving the riddle we merely turn it into a well-known joke.

Therefore, in the wake of paradise lost and earthly wisdom gained, these lucky folks seek to entertain and understand the whole piece-by-piece, and they have made peace with both themselves and the world, so that they have accepted the terms of a better life which suggests that they step back to see the panorama of a person or their own lives only at the juncture when and where they are too tired and are ultimately resigned to retiring into the inevitable, yet inexplicable, end.

"There’s a line in The Philadelphia Story – “The time to make up your mind about people is never,” It’s a line that I’ve always loved. I don’t want to see a thesis on a character. I don’t want to see an opinion. I want to see the mystery of a person. Some days you might think this; some days you might think that. But there are no conclusions." – Mike Nichols –

Originally posted as part of the lost man chronicles, a long-long time ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am beginning...

I am beginning...
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

A few days ago my estranged wife handed me a photo of me and hizoner, the honorable David Dinkins, former mayor of New York City, which she had come across while sorting through papers.

It was taken 15 years ago when we were in grad school together at Columbia, immediately after I had interviewed him on stage as part of an event that I had organized for my colleagues. I didn’t give the picture much of a second thought, putting it aside, inside my current read, The Divorce Process: Empowerment Through Knowledge, to use as a book marker.

At least, I didn’t think twice about it until Dom started reading the book that I had left on the couch, and upon finding the photo again, asked, “Is he dead yet?” or maybe she asked, “Is he still alive?” I’m not really sure, to be honest, how she asked exactly, but I do know that she essentially insinuated either way that she thought he wasn’t around anymore.

I think he still is, I answered.

Subsequently, this prompted me to ponder my own existence. As I am turning 40 in about 10 days, on Thanksgiving. Contemplating her question, I was somewhat shocked into consciousness about my own age, something that I am not usually all-too self-conscious about.

However, as I took a look at the photo again, it suddenly occurred to me that this was me 15 years ago, the thought resounding within me, echoing and piquing me to assess how time has exacted its toll upon me.

I suppose I’ve survived its wrath fairly well—I still have all my teeth, I haven’t started using a cane, and I’m still riled by desire practically every day.

However, I have gained some weight, keeping it off is an ongoing endeavor, the application of which fluctuates with the tide of life’s demands.

I don’t run as much as I used to, but I think that is primarily because I’ve picked up a number of vices over the last 15 years.

And occasionally I have problems that I have to deal with that slow me down and get me bickering more than I care to admit—heel spurs, back aches, asthma.

Nonetheless and allthemore, I am still alive, and perhaps, a bit wiser than I was 15 years ago.

I am beginning to understand the differences between the thrashing exuberance of youth and the calmer take on life that comes with age and experience.

I am beginning to see the follies of maturity as well, in turn embracing and being inspired by the courage and curiosity of my children.

I am beginning to envision the end and in turn thinking about how I should begin preparing for it—Do I want to fall or roll downward? And if I choose the latter, am I willing to pull back on the reins of the frantic fears of my middle age?

I am beginning to realize what matters most to me is what has long mattered most to me: it is immaterial and will not be considered an asset when it comes time to file for divorce.

I am beginning to learn that I shouldn’t work so hard at those things that will prove irrelevant in the end and to work smarter at those endeavors that will.

I am beginning to know how to let go, especially as things and plans and people unexpectedly perish and no longer take part in our lives.

I am beginning to face adversity with a smile and a grin, more often than with a furrowed brow, tightened fists and chagrin—for life is only as hard as you want it to be.

I am beginning to feel calm among the storms, each one becoming slightly easier to weather, knowing I’ve been through it all before.

I am beginning to understand others more and more; thus, increasingly wanting to know less and less—subsequently, solitude and I are becoming best of friends.

And, I find, that truly, I am beginning to enjoy my life more than ever before.


Oh, and by the way, I checked: David Dinkins still lives. He turned twice my age (i.e. 80) this last July.

Thank you Triborough for sharing the photo above of Bill McCreary, David Dinkins, and John Roland taken in March of this year.

He reports that according to the Gothamist, Dinkins just had his appendix removed a few weeks ago.

Guess I’m doomed, considering I had mine removed long before him, at the age of 32, on Valentine’s Day 1999.


Forthcoming! 25 Lessons: The Art of Living, to be published by Cyan Books in February 2008.

Until then, I’m happy to share with you the original 25 musings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

All Aboard!

6 AM
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

All Aboard!

Sometimes I wish I were a turtle,
so I could retreat at will,
hide within my sound-proof shell,
where I might dwell until the storm passes over.

This way I might not irk anyone
and anyone might not irk me.
There would be no disappointments,
no waiting around, no misgivings, no frowns,
and no misunderstandings about where we stood.

That’s why it’s often best to stand alone;
to go off on your own and do exactly as you please,
before it’s too late.

Because the more they give, the more they expect.
Than one thing leads to another and, eventually,
you can’t stop the train from running away,
running down that line, the one they’re all inclined
to run along—the relationship express.

Toot! Toot! All aboard!

Then you’re really in trouble.
Because it is so much harder to jump off when
the train’s moving full speed ahead.
That’s why I rather be a turtle—
‘cause they move a whole lot slower.

Oh, well.
Although I may not have a shell,
I can still retreat at will.

So, I’ve got that going for me…

I didn’t do it…

I didn’t do it…
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


I didn’t do it…

Whatever it was, I just didn’t do it.

I’m wholly innocent.

In fact, I practically didn’t do anything whatsoever this weekend.

My mother came in for a brief visit on Friday afternoon, and subsequently, two days of utter sloth followed thereafter.

No work, no productivity, no creativity, no projection of my self into the ether—nothing.

For the most part, I simply lied in bed. In turn, I redefined what apathy means to me.

I wasn’t sick or depressed or really all-too-tired. I simply gave into the moment and decided that doing nothing was worth my while.

Almost 48 hours passed unnoticed, 2880 minutes unmarked by any so-called meaningfulness, 172,800 seconds of my life gone by.

I awoke from my stupor when I realized I had to go to work this morning.

That was an eye-opener.

Damn you work!

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Didn't

I Didn't
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Disclaimer, warning, whatever you care to call it:
The following piece of verse mentions the word “sex,” speaks to the concept of sex, alludes to it even, but doesn’t actually delve into it. Because, it just doesn’t.

November 9, 2007, New York City:

I Didn’t

I woke up with thoughts of not having sex with you.

I thought, “I know she won’t, so I simply won’t think about it.”
So, I didn’t have thoughts of having sex with you.
I just didn’t.

And I didn’t touch myself either, ‘cause no one ever does.
So, it behooves me not to mention I do, because I didn’t,
or rather, I don’t, just like everyone else.

And you know what?
I didn’t even fantasize about seducing you;
about making you laugh and feel extraordinarily comfortable with me,
about feeling at ease and trusting, and subsequently, slowly
letting your guard down.

No, I simply didn’t even think about it.

I didn’t wonder “What if?” nor did I wander down that road
you know, the one where after a savory and spicy hot meal on a cold night,
and a few good mixed drinks and some wine,
we sit down on the couch, we smoke a little, while the lights are down low,
some Cuban Son plays softly in the distance (uh, the other room)
and we talk and talk and talk, and we laugh and laugh and laugh,
and despite the allure of the moment,
and the budding feeling of desire we feel buzzing within, dancing upon our skin,
we don't—
we don't act,
we don't feel compelled
or ready to attack, or propelled
to jump into the known-unknown,
pushed and piqued and promoted
by this devil called lust.

No, we simply don’t do that, because
because I simply didn’t wander down that road.

And remember, I didn’t touch myself either,
Really, I didn’t.

Come on now!
I didn’t!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Announcing...The Art of Living

Announcing...The Art of Living
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

It Had to Happen

Sooner or later, it had to happen.

Sooner or later I had to start a “blog.”

Albeit, I’ve been so-called blogging now for about 6 years now, blogging before blogging was blogging—beginning with the lost man chronicles and my epic collection of verse—A Letter to A Muse and Parities—and; on through the creation of 100 New York Stories (High); into my photo blog; careening through the 25 Lessons Series: 25 Lessons I’ve Learned, 25 More Lessons, and 25 Points of Creativity—I’ve finally come hip to the standard medium by which hipsters blog.

In other words, I’m announcing the creation of—The Art of Living—a virtual place, a very personal space, where I will post all my musings, verse, prose and other random thoughts in an organized, chronological manner. No more labyrinthine traversing through my posts that I have long been archiving in Literary Central!.

So, please, pay me and my thoughts and words a visit at—The Art of Living!

Love, Respect and Happiness,

p.s. The process of archiving all my posts from the last two years may take a couple of weeks, so please visit often to view both new-old and new-new posts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


“They’re real,” she impressed into me, digging her shiny white nails into my forearm.

Burberry lingers, clinging to my jacket, entrenching itself into my memory, lingering much like cannabis blocks adenosine from binding—leaving one wondering why he feels so empty, and yet, rife with the desire to be overflowingly fulfilled again.

After many years of frivolously expending my youth, I’m learning that pure pleasure comes in the simplest forms: hearty food, heavy wine, good company, great sex, and the freedom to leisurely enjoy them all.

Occasionally, I’m startled out of my office-stupor by sudden images of mouths full-of-me and tongues lapping endearingly, silhouettes writhing in the back seat of yellow taxicabs speeding down the West Side Highway, two souls wrestling in the synaptic gap between deferred gratification and pressing desire.

Definitely, Good Times were had with JJ; One of my most cherished memories will long be the cherub faces looking up at me as I read Stone Soup to Nicky’s kindergarten class; yes, the greatest pleasures in life are often the simplest—sombra e água fresca; Feijoada com uma gatinha, uma menina trilegal—com certeza! Pra caramba!

And, yes, white rice was the better choice.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy… (My First Gusano)

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy… (My First Gusano)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

As some of you have read, I really didn’t have due cause to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary yesterday. So, instead, I decided to do something a little crazy yesternight. Read the following story to find out what I did, and watch the related video at the end!

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy…
(My First Gusano)

“Don't waste your youth growing up.”
Author Unknown

Last night I had my very first gusano. For the uninitiated, that’s the “worm” that rests awaiting at the bottom of a bottle of Mexican Mezcal. It is actually the larva of one of two moths that typically live on the agave plant that provides the juice that Mezcal is distilled from.

It happened to be “Lunacy” night at Studio 304 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and there was a group of 75 or so photojournalists and professional photographers that regularly get together to share their work.

In honor of the full moon, the theme for the evening followed the following guidelines:

1 : any of various forms of insanity: as a : intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon b : insanity amounting to lack of capacity or of responsibility in the eyes of the law.
2 : wild foolishness : extravagant folly
3 : a foolish act

I was invited to submit either photos or video, and so I created a 4-minute video of stills that celebrated the sanity of youth juxtaposed against the so-called sanity of maturity.

In other words, what I tried to convey through a hodgepodge of photos of my two sons, Enzo and Nicky, and few other photos of crazy friends, was that for some strange reason we eventually turn things inside-out and upside-down as we grow older, so that ironically, what comes naturally to us as children, becomes our moments of redeeming insanity as adults.

Anyway, so I let myself go for this evening and tried to have fun, tried to behave accordingly and act in as an impromptu, whimsical manner as possible.

Thus, when I was offered the holy gusano in a shot glass that was being shown off by Jan, I immediately said “Yes!,” trying not to think about this impulsive decision all too much, allowing vestiges of my favorite Kipling poem, If, prod me on..."And then you'll be a man my son."

“Age considers; youth ventures.”
— Rabindranath Tagore —

The diptych above beautifully captures the moment, because I quickly went from a grin of smug, yet foolish, bravery to the horrible feeling of the ridges of the larvae scratching my esophagus, as it slid down my throat.

“Gads! Yuck! Blah!” I winced, as I slightly struggled to swallow it, almost panicking because for a fraction of a second it felt as if it were stuck.

I believe a brief look at the anatomy of the larvae might duly illustrate why time suddenly slowed down for me…

Larvae are typically elongate and divided into head, thorax, and abdomen.

The head bears a set of short, yet powerful, mandibles, short antennae, and eyes. In addition, a tubular spinneret emits liquid silk.

The thorax is made of three segments: the prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax, each with a pair of short, jointed legs.

The abdomen has ten visible segments, with a pair of short, fleshy prolegs on some of the segments, which bear several short hooks, or “crotchets.” Other segments have “spiracles,” which admit air to a very complex system of tracheae.

Yummy! Sounds tasty, don’t it?

Teneris, heu, lubrica moribus aetas!
(Alas! the slippery nature of tender youth.)
— Claudianus —

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve uploaded my very first YouTube video, the presentation I made last night: Click HERE to watch!


Thursday, October 25, 2007


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


I cannot wait.
My motives lie impatiently,
spinning past, present into future;
a vertigo of what I would be.

Destiny, that elusive desire

I have no clothes
without stains on them.
I often write and eat,
no reason to mind exteriors.

plugging away, saying
I do when I don’t, if only
because dowill get me
farther, faster.

Ulterior, far beyond
daily means, living my
dreams, ultimately.

I will.

exuberance really (an old story)

exuberance really
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I think dirty thoughts of girls with dry-clean blue dresses on,
strewn amongst golden spades and fallen columns.

and I think, with one eye open, that marrying a poet might fool me long enough
to speed me past the usual breaking point.

and I think that should I meet someone who wears saltwater sandals I would save
and save and save in the fall and through the winter and into spring, enough, just enough
to buy her a new pair of them, those same saltwater sandals—every summer,
just a new color,
and I’d paint her nails red, slowly, right before giving them to her, and I’d even place tissue paper between her toes, just so we could pretend that I know what I am doing.

I think Fridays and Sunday and Mondays even! might make me happy
when I find this poetress with the blue dress on, that I want to dirty, soil
with words meant to cleanse the soul of peanut-butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

and I think and I think and I think, albeit it is far past my time-to-sleep and that I am supposed to wake up soon again that I must write and finish this damned thinking, because I want to love
this devil with the blue dress on, I want to spawn more monsters with her, I want to write volumes
of verse for her, I want to have an odd number of syllables slide off my tongue
knowing she is the one, that makes me write and feel like I must….

and then, after I have acted without thinking and I have conveyed exactly what I was thinking and I have time to think about what I have done, I begin to wish I hadn’t.

it’s a matter of exuberance really, that’s what it is, that’s really all I want. I want that.

—it’s all an old story;
I always say too much
speak too loudly,
and spew.

What do you do whenever you get excited?

I just can’t keep my mouth shut,
‘cause there is simply nothing furtive about me.

“I love the words that comes towards me like a man, with sparkling eyes, with a loud voice, breathing hard and with great gestures of the hands. I want to hear the writer laugh and cry in it, to hear him whisper and shout, to feel him sigh and pant. I want his language to loom up before me like a tangible and resounding organism; I want him, when I read him in my room, to reveal to me a spirit that enters into me and seems to ascend within me from out of his pages.”
— Lodewijk van Deijssel —