8824 NE Russell St.
Portland OR 97220

Black Lamb

ABOUT

Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

SUBMISSIONS

Black Lamb welcomes submissions from new writers. Email us.

QUESTIONS

If you have questions or comments regarding Black Lamb, please email us.

Archive for March, 2007

March 2007 in Black Lamb

Volume 5, Number 3 — March 2007

March 1st, 2007

READ THIS ENTIRE ISSUE IN THE ENTRIES BELOW

In our cover article (Wal-Mart to the rescue) Greg Roberts nominates an unexpected environmental hero. In You say tomato, I say… Rod Ferrandino reflects on the perils of being too often right. Actor William Bogert remembers when he did the Charleston with Julie Andrews in The light fantastic. In Spots, Andrew Darrel reflects on a lifetime of food stains on his clothes. Lorentz Lossius paints the portrait of an Australian city in Melburniana.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Month summaries | Link to this Entry

Wal-Mart to the rescue

Marching gratefully, and greenly, into the future

March 1st, 2007

BY GREG ROBERTS

Under a spreading chesnut tree the village smithy stood. Thank goodness the unproductive lout is now gone, or we’d all be in the poorhouse.

blacksmiths2.jpgImagine it’s the year 1814 and you are a gravedigger who needs a new shovel. You ask the blacksmith to pound one out for you, which he does, in about six hours, and charges you three bucks. You earn a buck a grave, and you’re averaging one per day, so that means three days work to buy the shovel. And Longfellow is looking back fondly at this miserable economy? It’s fond, alright, in the ancient meaning of the word: idiotic.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Roberts | Link to this Entry

You say tomato, I say…

... but you may have a point there

March 1st, 2007

BY ROD FERRANDINO

My wife, Deborah, says she has “nigglings”. Webster’s says she has “inklings.” “Nigglings” is her definition for the intuitive flashes she has that rule my life. When I’m making the call (and remembering that I’m married), the home team, i.e. Deborah, has a decided edge.

I know what she means, while the technically correct Team Webster, outfitted in 2,000-plus pages of italics, footnotes, abbreviations, racing stripes, designer logo-wear, and accent marks, not only gets the short end of this particular stick, but can also be banished to a musty closet. (I’ve spent time in that closet; trust me when I say it’s not Cozumel.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Ferrandino | Link to this Entry

The light fantastic

March 1st, 2007

julieandrewsBY WILLIAM BOGERT

I am pleased to report that this year’s recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award will be Julie Andrews. It’s always nice to see a former dancing partner achieve success.

More than fifty years ago there appeared on Broadway a mildly amusing comedy called Anniversary Waltz. In those innocent days before the explosion of television “mildly amusing” often equated to “modest success.” And so it seemed it would be with this play. Somewhat to the surprise of all concerned, it ran for more than two years, and it was decided on the second anniversary (get it?) of their opening they would give a party.

The show was running at the Booth Theatre, which is at the corner of 45th Street and Shubert Alley, a private pathway that connects 45th to 44th, and the producers of AW invited all the casts of the shows playing those blocks to the party, which took place in the Alley after the performance of the night in question. One of these was the Cole Porter musical Silk Stockings, in which an old friend of mine was the dance captain. Her husband was the company manager, and party was on payroll night, so he couldn’t go. She asked me if I’d like to fill in, and I said that I thought I could find the time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Bogert | Link to this Entry

Spots

March 1st, 2007

BY ANDREW DARREL

I think I saw myself on the metro the other Sunday morning.

I was on my way to work, not fully awake yet, and at the stop after mine an old man got on and sat across from me. He was in his late seventies, I would say, and at a first glance seemed quite smartly dressed, in a greenish tweedy jacket and blue silk tie. Further inspection, however, of the type that you have time for on the metro, showed that everything he had on was covered in stains. They looked like old food stains on clothes that had been washed or dry-cleaned several times since the original accidents, so that the stains themselves had faded away and lost the vividness of the original beetroot or ragù — but they had not disappeared completely.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Darrel | Link to this Entry

I saw the cutest thing…

March 1st, 2007

nastybirdBY STEPHEN STARBUCK

I was nearing our apartment in Brooklyn on a bright brisk day, and near a neighbor’s stoop saw a little sparrow standing sentinel over the mangled body of its compatriot: neck torn, thoroughly flattened ruffles, supine. Birds aren’t supposed to do supine. Must’ve been a cat done that, I thought. And that little sparrow sentinel was as puffed up and erect as an honor guard, motionless, a picture of stoic mourning and regard. Trying to assume a portion of his mantle of respect, I shuffled quietly past, not two feet past, and looked back at the maudlin, heart-tugging scene… and the little sparrow was pecking chunks of flesh out of that torn neck, avidly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Starbuck | Link to this Entry

Stupid kid tricks

March 1st, 2007

wavecrestingBY TOBY TOMPKINS

Hurricane Carol hit Cape Cod at the end of August, 1954, when I was twelve. It was a bad storm, but our family’s big shingle-style house in Quissett had been built in the 1880s by my great-grandfather, using local carpenters who doubled as boatwrights and took bad weather as the norm. And unlike the last big one in 1938, people had enough warning to get ready. The house had wooden shutters for most of the windows, a pantry icebox supplementing the kitchen fridge, and a gas stove. The iceman who stocked the holds of the local fishing boats had delivered a block a day or so before. And a dug well with a hand-pump behind the house backed up town water. The place had been wired for electric light only in the 1930s, and my grandfather never trusted it, so we had an array of kerosene lanterns and candles in tall hurricane glasses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Tompkins | Link to this Entry

An honest man

March 1st, 2007

BY DAVID MACLAINE

Late in the morning of September 26, 1976, I was walking on a quiet New Orleans side street, heading toward the French Quarter from Canal Street. It was my first trip to the city; my wife and I had taken Amtrak down from Chicago and had endured a stretch of perhaps six hours, although it felt like more, starting around the time we had crossed the Mason-Dixon line, during which the heating system on our car had been stuck on high. fordgeraldWe had survived the long period of parboiling and were pleased with our lodging in an historic old building just across Esplanade from The Quarter, even more pleased with the discovery that this end of the historical district with its distinctive architecture was removed from most of the overheated tourist trade, was a district in which people simply lived, albeit in houses a couple of centuries old. The night before we had been sitting on an antique four-poster bed to watch Saturday Night Live, a show that had been on the air less than a year and still bristled with novelty. Now we were on our way back from a late breakfast of red beans and rice at a funky little place justly recommended by a dining guide to the city. Jackson Square was only a few blocks ahead of us, but the sidewalk was empty of any other pedestrians beside the two of us. All of a sudden, a car turned onto the street, then another, and we had just barely time to deduce that this was a motorcade, when the limousine reached us , and we were greeted by the waving hands and smiling faces of Gerald and Betty Ford.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Maclaine | Link to this Entry

Monkey see, monkey do

March 1st, 2007

BY ED GOLDBERG

I recently saw a news photo in The New York Times of a miserably poor town in what was once a fairly prosperous Latin American country: tumble-down shanties, garbage and sewage in the streets, pretty grim. monkeyseemonkeydoBut that was not what grabbed my attention. Hanging from the electrical wires pictured in the photo were strings of sneakers. Now here in the USA, for at least forty years, there have been athletic shoes hung from the wires. I have no idea where or when this phenomenon started. Or why.

There are many explanations available, none of which makes much sense, except that it is a manifestation of bullying. (Not a gang sign or a marker for drug activity. The phenomenon existed long before the current gang/drug culture.) The weakest, dorkiest or fattest kid got his US Keds tied together and launched over the wires. With the price of sneakers what it is now, this can be a financial hardship.

(One small bit of civic pride. Here in Portland, home of high-quality eccentricity and creative nonsense, one may see conjoined spike heels or dog booties or baby shoes dangling from wires. No received wisdom here in Little Beirut. One town’s bullying is another’s artistic statement.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Goldberg | Link to this Entry

Partners in crime

March 1st, 2007

BY CATE GARRISON

CHAPTER 17 OF THE JJ CHRONICLES

Geographically orphaned by my rattish parents’ abrupt departure from the sinking ship of my marital home, a disaster occasioned by our dog JJ’s consumption of my car’s internal organs, I had no one to consult about my next move, and, namely, the relation of the above events to my increasingly absent American husband. Clearly a phone call had to be made to his office, where he seemed to live. Once my children, my dog, and I had returned home from depositing the Aged Ps at the airport, delaying tactics were in short supply, though I still hadn’t finished mentally writing the script of my story. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t intend to tell the truth (though whether the whole truth and nothing but was a matter of some internal debate). My hesitation was more to do with who to blame. The dog for actually eating the car? My mother for insisting on leaving him inside it while she slaked her hunger? Myself for acquiescing despite my better judgment? And then there was the matter of repair costs. “Could be a fair amount,” might sound more acceptable than “over three thousand dollars,” for example, though I was doubtful he’d consider any amount as “fair.” To protect youth and innocence from anything that might sound like equivocation, I sent my two live-in lads off to their bedrooms. I’m not sure why I pointed the dog in the direction of his bat cave. I suppose youth, rather than innocence, was still on his side.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Garrison | Link to this Entry

« Previous Entries Next Page »

LINKS

  • Blogroll