Monthly Archives: April 2017

Back home, in the Shinjuku death maze

Back home, in the Shinjuku death maze by David Benjamin CHIGASAKI, Japan — On the streets of Tokyo, population 20 million, facing waves of 80-year-old kamikaze bicyclists wearing surgical masks and wielding umbrellas like bayonets, watching with wonder as an office lady in a pencil skirt sprints through traffic on three-inch heels with a stack…
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Open Sesame

Open Sesame by David Benjamin WASHINGTON — I thought it would be tough getting onto the White House grounds until I asked for help from the sneakiest political insider in D.C., an old friend from the Nixon/Agnew days who goes by the name of Kafka. Kafka said, “Hey, no sweat. We’ll just waltz in through…
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The ghost of Bessie Smith

The ghost of Bessie Smith by David Benjamin “… Oh, how that boy can open clam/ No one else is can touch my ham/ I can't do without my kitchen man…” — Bessie Smith, “Kitchen Man” MADISON, Wis. — Picture Bessie Smith, belting out one of her bluesy anthems from the ill-lit corner of a…
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