Monthly Archives: February 2013


(Anticipating teaching a course on finding characters for fiction, I was thinking about the origin of a poem of mine.) In the 1960s, while at college in New York City, I lived for a year in an SRO near Broadway. An SRO was a Single Room Occupancy hotel. Your small room was part of a […]


This is the first scene of my one-act “Pete & Joe at the Dew Drop Inn” (Best American Short Plays 2008-2009). JOE Got time for another? PETE (shrugging) I’m not goin’ anywhere. JOE No one is. PETE No . . . Yeah . . . Hey, it isn’t our fault . . . JOE I’ll […]


In the film, transferred to DVD—my brother’s bar mitzvah reception—we’re all in tuxedos, us Gardner men, even 4-year-old me, cute with curly hair and a black bowtie. Not judging for once, my father smiles, maybe from Seagram’s, and dances with me. He holds my hands as we stomp around and around. The film is silent […]

A Snake Skin Drum from Cambodia

We were putting together a production of something I wrote—a collection, based in history and imagination, about people in the region of New England I came from. My friend Geoff was writing, and would perform, the musical score for this presentation in upstate New York. He was stuck in writing the music to accompany an […]

New York City Stereotypes

This is a sweet film that was made for a fundraising event for a preschool. Contrasted are the innocence of children and the sleaziness of NY lowlifes. Guess which I portray!


Dear Shmuck, So what’s the matter? You can’t write a line sometimes, just an iambic pentameter, to give an old woman some comfort? You think it’s easy, I shouldn’t get tired, slaving year after year on Mount Parnassus to inspire ungrateful galoots like you with divine madness? And you, you neglect your craft and the […]


This morning our local public radio station played “Tubby the Tuba.” I hadn’t heard it since I was a kid, but I remembered how its message spoke to me then (as it spoke to me now): everyone can have a tune of his or her own that the other instruments will want to join in […]