November 15, 2016





No Degrees of Separation will be released on November 16th. I’ll keep you posted with links, reviews and info.

The Last Link

"Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville," black & white photography by Robert Doisneau, 1950.
“Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville,” black & white photography by Robert Doisneau, 1950.

(“Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air,” Kathleen Battle)

Saturday, December 25

“I have a last link for you before I go… check it with headphones, please. I love you, Alan… I kiss you in Paris, hon… in public, passionately, in front of the Hôtel de Ville, like in Doisneau’s famous picture after the war… It is our own Victory Day… Je t’embrace, je t’aime beaucoup/ Noga.”

Him and Me


Friday, December 24

Há flores de cores concentradas…” says Caetano Veloso’s song. “There are flowers in such intensive hues,” how else could I express this passionate clues… “The sun reflects its rays on the dusty road, so many things, close to nothing…” Far away in the empty skies, Saturn rings keeps our link alive… “Mouth and honey, it was God’s will… He gave me this voice so I can sing out loud, for the world to hear, how much I dearly love him… Our love vibrates in the sidereal space,” so that you all know: There’s nothing out there like Him and Me.

A “Jarring” Option: “Him” and “Her”


Today, 38 pages from the end of the book, I had a serious disagreement with my editor, sorry, N.!

She could not stand my option to name a pivotal character in the book “Him.” Which would lead to a few “jarring” grammar mistakes she could not stand… Likewise, as a stubborn, pretentious Brazilian, I could not stand dropping what, in my opinion, is one of the most delicious and intriguing questions in the book: “Where did Him go?”

To appease her a bit, I opted to make all Him’s and Her’s italicized, to let it very clear it is a mistake, albeit an intentional one.

Now, as a consolation, look up this Rudyard Kipling line, in which he personalizes the pronoun “they”:

“All good people agree, / And all good people say, / All nice people, like Us, are We / And everyone else is They.”

Should it be “Them” or what? A sign!

Hisham’s Palace

Traveling is also literature: I have just described this wonderful Roman mosaic in the book, so I decided to look it up on Google. It is curious that I still remember it perfectly, from the first time I saw it, 46 years ago.

It is located in the Hisham’s Palace, in Jericho, Palestine.


“During our volunteer year, we spent a week in a military camp, and I hated it. I hate hierarchy… and authority… As a troop (laugh), we visited a wonderful palace in Jericho, which had the most marvelous Roman mosaic on the floor. But our ‘captain’ was such an asshole he wouldn’t give us time to visit the ruins…”

Love & Psyche

Friday, December 17

“Amor e Psiquê,” oil on canvas by João Câmara, 1990.

“I’m planning a nice afternoon… that’s why I sang you a samba, after all. Did you check the painting by João Câmara?”

“It sounds lovely. I’m limited here to another 40 minutes. Then I will go to another computer and hear your music. I saw the painting, yes, Eros & Psiche.”

Sadness rules, since samba is samba

the clear teardrop on the dark skin, the night, the rain outside

solitude is frightening, it takes so long being so bad

but something happens inside me

singing I send sadness away

the samba will be born, the samba did not arrive yet

the samba will not die, see, the day has not risen

the samba is the child of pain, the samba is the father of pleasure, the big transforming power

(Gilberto Gil, “Desde que o samba é samba,” 2000)

Happy First Month, my Love

Tuesday, December 15

“The Kiss,” oil on canvas by Rubens Gerchman, 1989.

“I had send him an email yesterday with a Brazilian painting, The Kiss, by Rubens Gerchman… ahead of time, I was so eager to celebrate: ‘What you give to me and I give to you… true love’.”


Photo YouTube.

“The feeling I have for you is like a tsunami… coming and coming in infinite waves,” wrote Alan, on December 12, 2004.

Two weeks later, on December 26, when we were seeing each other for the first time, a tsunami washed away the shore in Sri Lanka.

Kites (Next Year We Will…)

Saturday, December 11

“Kites,” gouache on paper by Candido Portinari, 1943.

“Dear Alan, check in to see a 2005 preview (for us, I mean, kites and all). Attached for you a Brazilian painting, Kites, oil on canvas by Candido Portinari.


“Love/ Noga”


Friday, December 10

“La Mariée,” oil on canvas by Marc Chagall, circa 1966.

“Yesterday, I was satisfied, fulfilled, complete. What a day. Rolling Stones ruled out, one CAN get satisfaction after all. Concrete (Bau)Haus and all… I love you, my Alan, I never get tired of repeating it. Chagall’s La Mariéé, with Hassidic music on the background, may tell this story far better than I. Shabat shalom, motek sheli.”