Helpless on the sideline, you cannot tell
Your daughter what to do; you cup your hands and yell:
But these gods will not hear you, in their enchanted spell,
No more than Persephone could, captive in the shades of Hell.

You cannot reach them, nor can you know why
She will stare at her shoes before she will fly;
Seeing fields of open spaces, you can only sigh;
Your child is infinite.  You cannot catch her eye.

Great teams start with the keeper, able and true.
But she wins for her team, father, not for you.
Great teams have a defense, on the other team like glue.
But they do it for the coach, mother, not for you.
Great teams have an offense which always follows through.
But they do it for themselves—and never, never for you.



  1. September 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Does it seem harsh to admit that I’m fond of describing [the women in my harem] as racing throughbreds? Or my admission that I’ve also thought of a tout sheet for personal purposes? I hope not. For the sheet provides me with an immediate bird’s-eye look at each girl’s capacity and essence; in other words, a reminder of what they’re like. Look, it’s no different from the kind of index cards the shrinks file on their patients in order to keep them in health and working order. That’s the way to perceive this listing, as a guide to therapy:

    1. (Melissa)

    Leggy, meek, downtrodden
    Slow to pick up (lousy finisher); slower to lay ’em down
    Very long shot for pleasure
    Deserves compassion

    2. (Kate)

    A redskinned horse; sire troubles
    Needs experienced backside rider to go at top speed
    Good obedience; craves discipline
    Worth a nostalgic bet

    3. (Angela)

    Strong in mud, dirt; weak will; titless
    Splashy melodramatic filly, loves attention
    Endless comer, climaxer
    No integrity whatsoever
    A favorite on cheap tracks

    4. (Sophie)

    Older nag, but steady, reliable
    Gutsy sprinter
    Terrific mane, mouth, will drive you crazy
    Devoted and loyal. Shtetl blood
    Perhaps too many races?
    Better than you would think

    5. (Gwen)

    Needs firm jockey, otherwise forget it
    Excellent competitor, plenty of poise
    Beautiful brown-black mare, lots of animal savvy
    Demanding horse, exciting to watch and handle
    Best lay

    6. (Grace)

    Angry miler; handle with kid gloves
    Sure trouble always
    Unpredictable, unreliable, hysterical
    Thoroughbred parents meaningless
    Loose-jointed angular nag, nice to look at in the old-fashioned slips
    Will break your heart

    from the novel American Mischief by Alan Lelchuk

  2. September 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “How tiring it is for me too by now—though always momentarily exciting—to examine [women’s] panties and bras, to look at cup shapes, at new floral designs, at the transparency of the new tricots, at brown and yellow and red stains, to pursue all this erotic trivia the way a naturalist seeks out his flora and fauna, making distinctions and classifications with loving care and gentleness. I find that I can’t help myself. Panties, brassieres, stockings, slips, nighties are as precious to me as zinnias, lady’s slippers, daisies, orchids, marigolds. My heart flutters with excitement when my fingers find a new texture or my eye locates a new girlish habit. Is there a word like ornithologist or naturalist to describe my passion? Eroticist? Pornographer? Voyeur? All too simple, narrow, misleading. Perhaps gyneologist.” — from the novel American Mischief by Alan Lelchuk

  3. thomasbrady said,

    September 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “By turns hilarious and alarming, American Mischief is an ambitious attempt to define the disorders of American culture. Originally published in 1970, the novel takes on sexual anarchy, political madness, the collapse of monogamy, and above all the high cost of extreme behavior. These aspects of American culture are richly illustrated by the novel’s two protagonists: Professor Bernard Kovell, a supreme and comical narcissist who dotes on lofty analogies while performing very low acts, and Lenny Pincus, a young radical fishing for more trouble than he can handle.”

    Did soccer moms exist in 1970?

    • Nooch said,

      September 17, 2011 at 12:29 am

      Whether they existed
      Could inspire debates—
      I think that they did,
      Only outside the “States”.

      • thomasbrady said,

        September 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

        I believe by 1970, as feminists fought for rights,
        Wealthy wives could be seen shopping—in their tennis whites.

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