Charles Bernstein

Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt, / Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd

Just as you are refreshed by the gladness of the river, and the bright flow, I was refreshed

I went for a walk to the banks of the Hudson, where 225 years ago George Washington bid a hasty nighttime retreat over these waters after the stunning upset in the Battle of Brooklyn.

We have our own Battle of Brooklyn now. And a battle for America.

I was heartened to see the Bridge, in all its glory, Mannahatta rising up behind, and in the distance (we're not there yet) the Statue of Liberty.

I thought of Hart Crane (of course!):

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited
in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone

The New York Times meets the liar's paradox

Caught in Trump's trap

The liar says he tells the truth and those who call his lies are liars. Greeks rhetoricians called this device the liars paradox.

The New York Times explicitly acknowledged the liars paradox in a recent headline, “New Press Aid Vowed Never to Lie. That Was the First Lie” (May 2, 2020, print edition p. A22). But the Times quickly got cold feet, revising the headline for the digital edition to “‘I Will Never Lie to You,’ McEnany Says in First White House Briefing: But Kayleigh McEnany, the president’s fourth press secretary, found that vow tested almost immediately.”

Erica Hunt and Charles Bernstein on 'Brooklyn Rail' webcast

Erica Hunt and I were on the Brooklyn Rail’s lunchtime webcast, The New Social Environment. I talked with Rail publisher Phong Bui and I was the host for Erica’s show. 

Eduardo Espina's letter for Jose Kozer's eightieth birthday

(translated by Diane Rolnick)

March 30, 2020

Dear José:

LINEbreak is 25

In 1995, Martin Spinelli and I did a series of thirty-minute radio conversations and readings with poets and writers. It was one of the first programs to be distributed nationally by satellite to public radio stations, so a precursor to podcasts. I went on to a make a related series of programs, Close Listening. All are available free to stream or download on PennSound. All in all, there have been conversations and readings by 133 poets, writers, and artists.