Friday, July 30, 2021





The Last Interview—Anthony Bourdain



--if you don’t like sex, if you don’t like music or movies, chances are you’re not eating that well, either.


--I’m always reading a lot of food writers, and I’m always thinking, this person writes about food like they’ve never had good sex in their life.


--I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, ashamed of what I did yesterday, and I don’t like that feeling.


--I’m one of those annoying people, if I read a book, or see a movie, or listen to a record I really, really like, if I could come over to your house and shove it in your hands and sit there and, you know, listen to it with you to make sure you don’t miss a thing, or re-read every line, you know, I’d do it in a heartbeat, every time. I would.


--I’m really just here to listen. 


--I used to think that basically, the whole world, that all of humanity were basically bastards. I’ve since found that most people seem to be pretty nice—that they're basically good people, doing the best they can.


--I think the most boring thing about my life is that I was a junkie.


--Being a heroin addict was fantastic preparation for being a celebrity. In both cases, you have to have a really sharp intuition--you have to know if the person in front of you is who they say there are, if they will deliver what they promise you.


--I benefited very much from the low expectations people had of me early on.


--The world was supposed to be far more beautiful and romantic and gentle, and I learned pretty early on it wasn’t going to be like that.

--I always try to find a way to like the bad guy a little bit.


--It doesn’t make everything better to insult someone, but it helps. 


--When you travel with no agenda other than asking simple questions, people tell you extraordinary things.


--If you don’t take the time to listen, to take in the everyday things, the things that happened before the news story—there’s not much hope in understanding them.


--My first obligation, I feel, is to be a good guest. It’s a strategy I highly recommend if you’re going to make friends and have a good conversation.


--I like grey areas. I like ambiguity. 


--I don’t have to agree with a guy to enjoy their company. I assume there’s at least one shared characteristic between us: empathy. I’m good at looking at things from the other guy’s point of view. I can put myself in their shoes. I’m willing to reach out. I’m a good listener. The overlap pretty much ends there.


--If you go in not as a journalist, but just as someone who’s asking simple questions like, “What do you like to eat? What makes you happy?” people tend to drop their defenses and tell you fascinating things that are very revealing.


--For me, it’s about—How can we do something different? How can we outdo ourselves? How can we do something strange and beautiful that will terrify our network? 


--To me, it’s poetry, the sound of mobsters talking.


--When you write about food, it’s like writing pornography.


--So, look, the history of the world is on your plate. Every plate of food is an expression of, often, a long struggle, a long story that someone wants to share, if only you’re willing to listen.


--According to Tony, it turned out that there are a million ways to say, “Suck my dick.”


--The problem was that those knives were never sharp enough. No matter how much I ground them down or worked on them, they were never sharp enough.


--I have always used language to survive. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021



Florida—Lauren Groff


--It is astonishing how people live, the messes they sustain.


--Worse than being in a storm was not knowing what the storm was doing.


--Stop waiting for someone to save you. Humanity can’t even save itself.


--There are bad guys everywhere, you know?


--No, she said. There’s no story. I guess I’m on vacation from my life.


--If pretty words couldn’t save her, the losing them, too, was all for the best.


--He kissed like a boy prone to anxiety attacks.


--Words were space carved out of life, warm and safe.


--Oh, but she loves the language in her mouth, the silk and bone of it, the bright vowels and the beautiful shapes a mouth makes to speak.


--There you go, she says. I’m the toughest mother in the whole world. I won’t let anybody hurt you, she says, and she is either lying or not, it is hard to tell, because this promise is so complicated, the future so dark.


--Another fucking writer; just what the world needs.




Killing Floor—Ai


--I hear my footsteps running after me, but I am already gone.


--Your eyes, two tiny bowls of tar because death pressed his black face against yours.


--Night is coming, shouldering a sack of misdeeds that glow in the dark. Night and the carnival. Night and the Devil.


--Tonight I let my woman die. She also had arms, legs, fingers, all the unimportant things.


--I’m not afraid of any sonofabitch on two feet. I fire, then jam the barrel in mouth. Not even you, motherfucker, not even you.


--Dying doesn’t end anything.


--When I catch him, I’ll cut him up. I’ll start with his feet and give them to you to wear as earrings. Talk to me. I hear nothing but the monkeys squealing above me.


--On the train back from Germany, that smell and a voice whispering, dance with me baby, all night long.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

                —I’VE GOT A LOT TO LEARN



…Getting an early jump here because it’s a busy week, soon to be happening. 

And just maybe I’ll finally sleep past 3am, for once.

...Wishing you tons of love this week…


…"I've always said that the world is a different place for the heartbroken. It moves on a different axis, at a different speed. Time skips backwards and forwards fleetingly. The heartbroken might go through thousands of micro-emotions a day trying to figure out how to get through it without picking up the phone to hear that old familiar voice." Taylor Swift 


…“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” Margaret Atwood


…“I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his speedboat, there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course, they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetize the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.” Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse


…“I’ll call your name. I will say it over and over, like a prayer.” Marissa Glover.


…Why darling, I don't live at all when I'm not with you. 

Ernest Hemmingway, A Farwell to Arms


 …“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou


…"How can I begin 

anything new with 

all of yesterday in me? "

    --Leonard Cohen


…“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Chuck Palahniuk


…"Go inside a stone

That would be my way.

Let somebody else become a dove

Or gnash with a tiger's tooth.

I am happy to be a stone." 

  --Charles Simic


…“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” -Dolly Parton


…“People ask me, ‘Are your boobs natural?’ Like, No, they’re actually supernatural. Very haunted. They’re big because of all the ghosts.” Layla Beth Munk


…“To see, we must forget the name of the thing we’re looking at.” Rumi


…“I have decided, with a peaceful spirit, a loving heart, and a clear mind, that some people can still kiss my ass.” Christina Springer

Friday, July 23, 2021




…The question is—What happens when you get everything you ever wanted?


…You make a house big enough, people are going to hate you, even without ever meeting you. That’s just the way it is.


…I understand not getting vaccinated even less than I understand murder, and I couldn’t ever murder anyone, even if you held a gun to my head and it was between me or the other person.


“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." Robin Williams


…Why do I always cry at every Rent song? I mean, like every single one of them. Les Misérables, too.


…Yesterday I ordered some (more) books, and after the confirmation came through, Amazon asked me to “follow” one of the authors. The thing is he’s dead, and has been for a few years. That just seemed really wrong.


“For me, it’s always this sense of unease, this feeling like I haven’t suffered enough.” Anthony Bourdain


…In a lot of ways, I can identify closely with AB because he reminds me of myself. All those contradictions. All that turmoil under the covers.

I’m going to see his doc on Tuesday with my 14-year-old nephew. So, wish me luck. 


…I read his (AB’s) “Last Interview” book yesterday in two hours (it’s a very slim volume, though I did stop on almost every page and highlight something.) 

What an amazing human being he was. On the one hand, he’d be cocky, and on the other hand he’d degrade himself. He’d posture about his success, then “admit” it was all mostly luck. He was an expert listener, but he loved to talk and share. He was an introvert, but if he loved a piece of art—music, book, film, painting—he’d do everything possible to share it with anyone who would listen to him go on and on about it. He’d say he had so much more life he wanted to experience, but then he went and ended his.

So, yeah, wish me luck. 

Pray for me. 



…“This is really embarrassing to say, but the thing that thrills me the most is being loved, and appreciating the people that are giving that to me.” Iggy Pop 


…Being too much in your head is good for a lot of people, but I’m not one of those.


…Last night I dreamt a ghost was taunting me, over my shoulder, as I walked atop a miles-long plateau. 

The ghost kept sneering and saying, “You’re going to be fired in two months, so quit now.”

That went on and on for a few years in my sleep.

When I woke up, rattled, I thought—fired from what?

But I was still shook up.


…Ever have a very good friend and you wondered why? Yesterday I had lunch with one of my very best friends. Though we have almost nothing in common, we talked for nearly two hours straight.  Afterward, I felt lighter and very grateful that he was in my life. On the drive back, thinking over our conversations, I realized we don’t share a lot of material interests, but everything below the surface, where it matters, we’re nearly twins. 


…”It’s a tragedy of belligerent self-destruction.” The Toronto Star, regarding unvaccinated Americans


…The vaccine debate is something I can’t even enter into. My mind is pretty closed when it comes to that.


...“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along while trying to put all kinds of their own things in it.” Terry Prachett


…“When you are not fed love on a silver spoon, you learn to lick it off knives.” Lauren Eden


…“I wish I wrote the way I thought; obsessively, incessantly, with maddening hunger. I’d write to the point of suffocation. I’d write myself into nervous breakdowns, manuscripts spirally out like tentacles into abysmal nothing. And I’d write about you a lot more than I should.” Benedict Smith


…--“Why do you like thunderstorms so much?”

…--“Because it shows that even nature needs to scream sometimes.”


…I can only remember screaming five times in my life. The last of those occurred a month ago. I screamed (for five minutes or more) over the phone at one of my very best friends.

After we hung up, I felt terrible.

But then, later, I realized my screaming may have been the very thing that saved a life.


…“All my soul within me burning…” Edgar Allan Poe


…“My favorite sex toy? That mind of yours.” Vagabond


…There’s a certain kind of girl

That you care about so much

I don’t care what you guys do to me

But her, don’t touch. 


   —The Modern Lovers, Someone I Care About


…I saw some graffiti the other day that said, “STAY CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO FEEL LIKE SUNSHINE,” and thought, that’s so true. 


…Subtly, without even knowing exactly when, I lost my sense of smell a couple of years ago. It was pre-COVID, and unrelated.

There’s very little research about loss of smell, but the best studies suggest sniffing potent oils for fifteen seconds, in each nostril, several times a day.

So, I’ve been doing that. Every once in a while, I’ll actually smell the peppermint or lavender. Sometimes—with a wide-mouthed glass of cabernet nearly stuffed in my nose—I’ll get a tiny whiff.

But mostly, I get nothing.

It’s not so much frustrating, as it is sad. I miss the smell of citrus and lilacs, and even mown grass or gasoline.

It makes eating less enjoyable. Flavors don’t zing the way they should.

It’s easy to take things for granted. As humans, we just expect everything to always be the same, to enjoy the same benefits/gifts we’ve had since birth.

It’s only when we lose them that we realize how lucky we were, how precious those things were.

So, for a favor to me, go outside and smell the flowers and grass. Smell the rain, if you have it. Just smell something.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021




The Pisces—Melissa Broder



--It’s an art to believe your own lies.


--Maybe this is why people had friends—so we could see ourselves and our own insanity in them.


--I laughed with her, but also I shivered. This was what happened to girls like us. We were wired to die.


--To want what you had—now that was an art, a gift maybe.


--Who was I if I wasn’t trying to make someone love me?


--I had figured it out. If you just stayed away from everything dangerous long enough, other people in your life would show you yourself and what you shouldn’t be doing.


--Fear is a great intoxicant in its own way.


--And destruction. Destruction can be sexy.


--I guess the gaps are sort of a reminder that, in love, things get disconnected. People just disappear.


--It’s important. I think it’s very important that you be well fucked.


--So many things were both true and a lie, depending on how you felt in the moment.


--I can’t tell you if it’s a sickness or the best thing that’s ever happened to me.


--Everything is nothing and everything is beautiful.


--There was vulnerability, a bit of madness even, and what it revealed was that he truly loved me, and that love could be grotesque.


--I think everyone is looking for someone. And I think that if they aren’t, they’re just pretending.


--It scared me to be needed.


--But death wasn’t gentle. It was a robber. It stole you out of yourself, and you became a husk.


--He made me feel like a special little pea.


--The question is not what is love, but is it really love I’m looking for?


--Fuck me, I said to the palm trees.

--Forgive me, I said.

--I made a mistake, I said. 


--Listen, your sister can find another dog. But there’s only one You.


--Whatever it is you’re doing, you don’t have to do it.


--Didn’t we all just want a thousand hard cocks attached to the bodies of boys who have died for us, still warm, to plug our infinite holes?


--I loved him too. But at the same time, who knew what love was exactly?


--I wondered if we were both inherently evil people. Bad women. Were we? Evil people rarely know they’re evil. Maybe this was why we had to die.


--Listen, it’s not your fault he couldn’t handle his shit. Never trust an addict, not even a dog.


--Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re the worst one and there is no hope for you?


--Who cares what I’m doing? I’m only hurting myself. But Dr. Jude had told her that wasn’t true. She said there would be casualties, that there were always casualties.


--What a pleasant surprise. You look like you again. You look like you’re back. 


--Eventually you have to choose. That’s how the story has always been and that’s the way it will be forever.


It was my own nothingness to have and to hold. In my mind I called it a fucker and turned off the light.

Monday, July 19, 2021




 …Two things I pray I never lose—my curiosity and enthusiasm.


…Everybody has something about themselves that they’d like to change. The trick is figuring a way around it.


…Seeing boats in the near distance, around sunset, just floating there in the grey-blue waves, now that’s a treasure, for sure.


…I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with Anthony Bourdain. It’s like Carver and Mac—I found them after they were gone, yet, for some reason, I feel betrayed and angry, when I have no right to feel either of those things.


…Being a good friend is right up there with being a hero. In fact, they’re often one and the same.


…Every time I hear this song, I cry my eyes out…


…It’s really shameful to feel sad when the universe is dropping gold in your lap, day after day. 

Yet it still happens to me.


…Decisions can be undone. It just takes a hell of a lot of willpower to do that, or to not do that.


…I think Brontez Purnell and I share the same belief—My only desire is to be desired. (And I know how shallow that makes me.)


…Who reads this? I wonder that a lot.

Like why?

But like, Thank you so much. Really, thank you so much. 


…Sometimes, if you were dropped inside my head, you’d be frightened AF, and running for cover.


…I just want to feel warmth. How about you?


…It should be enough to want to want, but we always seem to want more than that.


Four-legged Girl by Diane Suess…I mean, really, who guts themselves like that?


…Puppies and children can make anything better, even the apocalypse.


…When you see a family that pulls together, despite all of the inevitable obstacles, that’s really a picture of love fighting for itself.


…Mentors are like convicts—if you know the right questions to ask, you’ll get a hell of an education.


I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody. Those are hackneyed lyrics on the surface, but if you look a little deeper, well, there you go.


…My best friend in the entire world is moving. He threw away boxes and boxes of stuff, much of it ancient memorabilia. (I probably couldn’t do that, since I tend to dote so much on nostalgia.) He said he found a poem I had written him, some 40 years ago, about my gratitude for his friendship and all that he meant to me. I cringed, thinking the poem was likely terrible, but then I realized whatever it said, the poem had to have been completely authentic and true—that he had become a vastly important part of who I was.

That’s now true to the 40th power.

I love that guy unconditionally, and always will.


…My kids and I have a language all our own. Linkin Park!!, for example. 

Years ago, I was talking to my daughter about a song and couldn’t remember the band who sang it. Three days later, lathered up in the shower, it came to me, and I shouted into the spout, “Linkin Park!!” 

The same thing just happened moments ago. 

This time it was me rolling down the window and yelling to my daughter below, “Linkin Park!! Marv Albert!!”   


…Sometimes I get sad, or even depressed. Sometimes I think too much about death.

But today, I just thought about life, about how lucky it is to have a life, how fortunate it is to see the sun dip over the trees beyond the lake, and to know, it will rise on the other side tomorrow, that I’ll see you then and there.

Friday, July 16, 2021



…That’s (above) the proof for my new book, number 5. 

What, what?

I spent all week combing through it. What’s amazing is that I’ve already edited the manuscript multiple times, as has the publisher, but in book form all the mistakes and typos pop off the page and, sadly, there were plenty of them.

The good news is they’ve been caught and soon (maybe a couple of months) this new baby will be out in the world.


…I was thrilled to have this story (below) recently published, in one of the very most revered, and one of the first, online magazines.


The story came about when I was on social media and saw a writer friend who’d just got “Fragile Like A Bomb” tattooed on her chest, and for whatever reason, it sparked something and I wrote the above piece in roughly five minutes, maybe less. 

For me, that’s usually the way my best writing comes—vomited out in a frenetic gush. 

The feedback I received about it was really nice and kind and surprising, considering that it’s such a tough piece…


--Hauntingly good.

--Powerful stuff, Len. The images, wow.

--Damn! The one-sentence structure really ratchets up the tension in this piece. Another stunner, Len.



--Wow, Len, what a story!

--well done

--Wow - “clicking like teeth” (had this image front and center throughout the piece, and after; so visceral!)

--LOVE THIS, Len! Powerhouse! A fierce one-sentence killer

--Another excellent piece, Len.


--So good!

--So powerful. Love that last sentence.

--Len, an amazing piece Fascinating multi-layered piece that doesn’t take sides. I love that, and it. 

--"Because the fuse inside you has been lit.”—wonderful piece




…On Wednesday here, I shared my favorite excerpts from 100 Boyfriends. The book is slim, and on the surface, basically about a guy who is a sex addict and has sex in every place imaginable, in every manner imaginable. That would sound gratuitous and hackneyed, but, underneath the rampant and raw sex-capades, there is a massive amount of pathos, self-loathing, reflection, turmoil, and confession. 

It’s my most marked-up book ever, which is really saying something.

Here, then, are the second excerpts…


--Q: Where do hippies fuck, and how is it?



--The moon had put a soul filter on everything.


--There’s the voice that asks, “Am I really choosing to be this person?”


--It was the blocking that killed or illuminated the expression, the business of what to do with the hands or feet when trying to convince others that you are someone else, movement always being the pure indicator of how truthful one was being.


--My only desire is to be desired.


--“I just wait to be wanted. It’s killing me, Doctor.”


--“The problem with you..” is a fucking horrible way to start a sentence.


--I understand that life, by design, is a competition.


--I knew at my core that he was waiting to unzip his face.


--I’m blindsided by how abruptly it all happened, how fast he left his phone off the hook.


--Everybody is left with the ghost of somebody else, aren’t they?


--Knowing is always half the battle.


--I don’t care for a journey. I’m making a map that says YOU ARE HERE.


--I knew it was a total fucking lie, but it was still sweet to hear.


--Drama is more dramatic when you’re drunk.


--“Sober fun” was damn near an oxymoron.


--He thought about how some love burns itself up and some love freezes itself to death.    


--Droughts were personal and factual.


--He remembered that his body still had one valuable gift: it was available.


--He settled for the small things in life, like how caller ID was as close to telepathy as he was ever going to get.


--I was afraid that if I kept that light on in my brain all I would notice is that I’m mostly triggered all, or most of the time.


--When someone like me is hyper in tune with their trigger light, it’s tantamount to a gazelle in the Serengeti—the feeling that something is always coming to eat you.


--I am reminded that my job as an older brother will never be done.


--My life was all flashbacks that never materialized. I was too young to realize how this feeling would stain me permanently.


--Abandoned building are like abandoned people—they die sooner.


--As the saying goes: He’s so gay, Hellen Keller could tell.


--My inner compass was at a very loud volume.