Category Archives: Lebanon


The best of the poems, photos, and meditations to appear on UPICTURE have now been collected in a book,  KILLERS IN TUTUS, available at Amazon.  Click here.  The cover photo appeared on November 2, 2012 in an essay on Fasching … Continue reading

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“But I been there before …

. You get a feeling, you try not to be fatalistic, but dammit, you know you’ve seen that scene in some past. That’s how I feel about Lebanon and Syria and Israel: the past is the present is the past. … Continue reading

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Bashir al Assad, Damascus, Syria

Travelling in Syria in 2009, I was struck by the number of pictures of Bashir al-Assad in public places. I had not seen any despot try so desperately to portray himself in so many roles Syria was an orderly place, … Continue reading

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Syria : why we must do nothing.

. The twin of this mosque, in Aleppo, was destroyed this week. That’s a great loss to the human patrimony, but there is no good end-game for this tragedy. The Assad government is corrupt, nepotistic, and brutal, but if and … Continue reading

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Why are you tearing down?

Why are you tearing down my party’s poster, the man asked me. I had only a ragged shred in my hand. Because I need to write a poem, I said, to say how all paper peels away from the wall. … Continue reading

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Baalbeck, the Temple of Jupiter, Moloch and Allen Ginsberg!

This was the greatest of the three temples sacred to Jupiter Baal and identified with the sun. It was constructed during the first century CE and linked to a to Venus and a lesser temple to Bacchus. Neoclassical visitors calloed … Continue reading

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“Boredom becomes more and more terrible”

” He smoked a cigarette, standing in the dark and listening to her undress. She made sea sounds; something flapped like a sail; there was the creak of ropes; then he heard the wave-against-a-wharf smack of rubber on flesh. Her … Continue reading

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Cedars of Lebanon

Only two small groves of them left, this one in the mountains of the mid-country and another, more difficult to reach grove in the Druze highlands. These trees, mentioned in the Bible, were used by the Phoenicians to build the … Continue reading

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You think you know حجاب‎? You don’t know hijab.

Strictly speaking, hijab is that which covers the head of Muslim women beyond the age of puberty in the presence of unrelated adult men. But it can also be worn by men and it can have a metaphysical dimension, in … Continue reading

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Raouché ( الروشة، ) Pidgeon Rocks, Beirut

A little bit of peace. The rocks off one of the swankest neighborhoods of Beirut, the destination of many a stroller’s promendade on the Corniche.

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