Reading at Fort Tilden.

This Saturday evening I will be reading the first chapter of my punk novel THE END OF MAYBE at the Rockaway Artist Alliance in Fort Tilden.

Free Parking.

I go on at 8ish.


The November sun flashed off a West Village window and the wavering reflection stalked the Christopher Street pier to a lone youth tuning a battered guitar. His skin pallor rivaled the pale moon and no suburban mall stocked his ripped black leather jacket, torn T-shirt, or battered engineer boots, but the blonde leather boy broke into a sly smile, as the sapphire shimmer transformed the twenty year-old into a fallen angel regaining his halo.


Peace and love

Peter Nolan Smith

Goodbye Columbus Day

Before the arrival of Christo Columbo in 1492, the New World was filled with empires, confederations, republics, city-states, and tribal lands. These diverse peoples represented a broad scattering of cultures. The population of the two connected continents has been estimated by modern historians to be approximately twenty-five million people from the Bering Straits to the tip of South America.

Fifty years after the Spanish ‘discovered’ America 75% of the natives had been killed by disease, war, or slavery.

The Spanish, English, French, and Dutch sought to extermination the original inhabitants of America and almost succeeded in the 19th Century, however the ‘Indians’ survived the slaughter, which is why many Indians seek to celebrate Oct. 12 as Native American Day rather than Columbus Day. Both Seattle and Minneapolis altered the holiday to honor the survivors of the Great Extermination.

Italian-Americans were insulted by the slight, as they were when the City of Boston planted Leif Erickson’s statue at the end of Commonwealth Avenue’s promenade rather than the Admiral of the Oceans.

Personally I honor the greatest of his voyage, while recognizing the havoc wrought by the colonists.

I am a Son of the Colonial Wars.

My people conquered New England.

It was a bloody time and sometimes as I drive through the hills south of the White Mountains I can feel the bones of warriors lying in the woods.

Lost forever to the war to win America.

And that is a sin we all live with.

To read more about Boston’s decision on Leif Erickson, please go to this URL

Happy Columbus Day

Five hundred and twenty-one years ago Rodrigo de Triana from the Pinta’s lookout spotted land at 2am.

“Tierra, tierra.”

This shout woke his shipmates and the captain of this small caravel fired a cannon to announced the epic discovery of land. Later that day the three ships of Christopher Columbus or Cristoforo Colombo arrived at an island in what is now known as the Bahamas.

Rodrigo was in line the offered reward for first seeing land, however the Italian explorer refused to honor the claim, stating that ‘he saw “light” at 10 p.m. the previous day, “but it was so indistinct that he did not dare to affirm it was land.”

The New World was not empty of people and the Admiral of the Sea wrote his benefactors the King and Queen of Spain about the native Arawaks, “Many of the men I have seen have scars on their bodies, and when I made signs to them to find out how this happened, they indicated that people from other nearby islands come to San Salvador to capture them; they defend themselves the best they can. I believe that people from the mainland come here to take them as slaves. They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion.”

Thus began the long tragedy of extermination of the natives in the New World by explorers from the Old World, however this evil future does not detract from the greatness of Columbus’ journey into the unknown and I salute his seamanship, but not his stealing the prize money of first man to sight land from Rodrigo de Triana.

The more things change, the more they change to become the same, because history is always written by those who know to write what people want to believe – James Steele

OI VEY CHEESECAKE by Peter Nolan Smith

As a young boy growing up outside of Boston, my classmates and I were jealous of the liberal closed-day policy of Beaver Country Day School. The predominantly Jewish school had more snow days per annum than any other institution south of the St. Lawrence River and the shuffle of holydays shortened their school year by weeks. I begged my parents to transfer their second son to Beaver Country Day.

The year was 1964.

“And I’m not sure that they let in gentiles.” My mother dreamed about my becoming a priest. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I was a non-believer.

“I sure if you gave them enough money I could get in.” I had pitched Beaver Country day as the best school within the 128 Belt and as the # 1 7th Grade student at Our Lady of the Foothills.

“No way I’m driving you 45 minutes to another school.” My father’s commute headed into downtown Boston. in the opposite direction.

“Please.” My reasons were two to be exact.

They had a short year and Jewish girls were rumored to be easy.

At 12 my body was going through changes and so were those of young girls.

“Not a chance.” My father ended my early attempt to become the shabbos goy

2014 AD or 5774 by Jewish reckoning had eighteen high holidays scheduled throughout the year. High holydays such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover were familiar to many gentiles in New York, however the significance of Succot, Sh’mini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Yom Hashoah, Yom Haatzmaut, Lag B’Omer, Shavuot, Tisha B’Av, and Purim draw blanks from the city’s goyim., although I attained that status after long years working for Manny in the Diamond District. I learned why rabbits are tref, girls shaved their heads, and why Jewish brides smiled going down the wedding aisle.

Manny never closed his store, except for Passaich and Yom Kippur.

Manny and his son, Richie Boy, were also bacon Jews i.e. eating bacon isn’t a sin.

So far this year they had ignored Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Shushan Purim, Passover, Second Passover, Lag B’Omer .All the others were workable days for their firm, since the first rule of selling diamonds is ‘nimmt geld’ which is Yiddish for ‘take money’. I no longer worked for them, but dropped by 47th Street to wish Manny a ‘Happy Shavuot’.

“Happy for what? Business sucks.”

“For Shavuot.” Seven weeks had passed since Passover.

“Shavuot isn’t a holiday. Today is a Wednesday. I’m open for business.” I once calculated that Manny had worked basically seventy-five years since his Bowery diamond store had remained open seven days a week from 1954 to 1989.

“Shavuot honors Yahweh’s giving the Torah to his people.”

“Like I said it’s not a real holiday.”

“It is for the Hassidim.” And Beaver Country Day School

“Who cares what those gonifs think?” Manny would have worked Christmas if he had a chance.

“They believed in the Torah.”

“All they care about is making money. Same as anyone else, so we’re open tomorrow. Same as any other day.” His work ethic rejected the holiday madness of Beaver Country Day.

“What about having some cheesecake?” Cheesecake and sweets are Shavuot traditions.

“If you want cheesecake, eat all you want.” Manny was worried about putting his hand in his pocket. These were hard times and his family looked to the 80 year-old for sustenance.

“What if I buy you a piece?”

“Save your money for your kinder in Thailand and stop trying to be such a good Jew. You’re a goy and not a yid.”

“I had once been the Shabbos goy.”

“Not anymore. You don’t even have a job.”

“That’s true.”

“So worry about yourself and not cheesecake.” Manny was a tough guy from Brownsville. He would have no weekdays off until the 4th of July. The Diamond District was closed for that week and then Manny was driving to Florida. His girlfriend was waiting in Miami Beach and being with her was no cake walk for Manny.

She was a schitzah and those girls were trouble at any age.

“I’ll see you around.” I left the exchange.

The best cheesecake in New York was at Junior’s. Flatbush Avenue was on my way home and nothing tasted better after a long bike ride than a slice of cheesecake.

Especially for the Shabbos Goy.

Mea Culpa Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement. Fast and going to temple to privately confess your evil deeds earns a tabla rasa for another year to repeat the ways of the flesh in violation of the 10 Commandments. Personally I wouldn’t go to temple, since attendance is the surest sign of guilt, then again we are all guilty of something, which is how the police justify arresting the wrong person.

“He committed a crime. The question is only what crime.”

Last year I lied, denied the existence of God, and nearly killed the driver of an oncoming car, when i fell asleep at the wheel. I did not cheat on my wives, I honored my father, and I worshipped no false god. No true god either.

This omission could endanger my immortal soul. The only remedy would be an act of contrition via the sacrament of confession.

“Bless me father for I have sinned. It’s been a long time since my last confession.”

I can’t remember how long.

Two decades? Three?

Although I did swim in the Ganges at Varanasi in 1995. That feat expiated all my previous sins. So I only have 18 years of sins to negate somehow. Good deeds. I’ve done a few of those on occasion. But the road to Hell is paved by good intentions, so my good deeds are irredeemable at the time of judgment.

I am sorry for a lot, but then again too little to mention, because I did it my way.

When in doubt, quote Frank Sinatra.

Old Blue Eyes won’t steer you wrong.