Monday, December 31, 2007
I did a little more investigation on the December 18, 1971 newspaper in my father's box of things. I knew the top story, Crane Topples; Kills Railroader, must involve my grandfather. He was a machinst out at the railroad for 30-some years. Sure enough, he was there that day. There was a train derailment in the railyard and so they brought in the cranes, along with my grandfather, whose job it was to keep the cranes running. But there was really nothing he could do. The crane operator, a man called Gordie Doncaster, was lifting up 400,000 pounds of train engine when the boom began to swing. The outriggers, for some reason, hadn't been extended. The crane toppled in seconds and trapped Doncaster beneath it. All anyone could see of him was the bottom portion of his legs, beneath the knees. The nearest crane that could free him was in Fort Wayne. The railroaders spent the next four hours, the longest four hours of my grandfather's life, staring at Doncaster's feet and knees and waiting for the train bringing the crane. When at last Doncaster was freed, the coroner said he certainly hadn't survived beyond the moment of tipping and everyone was relieved.
So that's the story of the December 18, 1971 newspaper, although it still doesn't explain why I had to read it on that particular day. Grandfather says he doesn't know why the newspaper was in the box of my father's things.
In other news, I got my first rejection from the poetry sphere, although it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Something along the lines of "close, but no cigar. Send again." I'll think about it.
And that's how 2007 is closing. Bring on the new year.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The party was put on by friends of friends, for our mutual friends’ son, who scored a two-week Christmas leave from Iraq on account of his new baby, born a few days after he deployed. We all brought presents for the soldier and his new wife, but before the gifts were opened our hostess brought out a deployment candle for the newlywed couple to light, something about appreciation of the fine work they’re doing over there, protecting the American dream. A woman in a red sequined blouse started to drop a tear. The soldier shuffled his feet in his combat boots. I wondered a bit if I would ever see him again or if this would be the last time, standing there lighting a candle in front of the bar and Elton John's earrings on the Africa floor. Later, lying in bed, Gene said we really should send those friends of our friends a thank you card.
Friday, December 21, 2007
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup white wine
1 pint whipping cream
2 quarts milk
Whip the cream and set it aside.
In another bowl whip the eggs, thoroughly.
To the eggs add the sugar and the booze.
Fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture.
Pour in the milk and fold everything together a little more.
Let the holidays begin.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
There was one newspaper in the box, The Elkhart Truth, and it was dated December 18, 1971, exactly 36 years ago today. It has no relationship to my father, that I know of. Its date is three years before he died. It's probably just a coincidence, but I'll write down some of the headlines, just in case they mean something to someone besides me.
Crane Topples: Kills Railroader
Area Police Get $88,221
Landfill Suit Filed
Icy Roads Cause Many Accidents
Humphrey Candidicay Expected
Lundquist Views Legislature Busiest 30 Days of His Life
Next June: First Global Conference on Environment
Illegal Immigration Problem
South Vietnamese Troops Press Cambodia Offensive
Henderson Acquitted of My Lai Cover-Up
End of War Beginning of New Chapter In Orient Politics
Environmental Groups May Have To Post Bond
Sunday, December 16, 2007
But it isn't as if
There wasn't always Hudson's Bay
And the fur trade,
A small skiff
And a paddle blade.
I can just see my tent pegged,
And me on the floor,
And a trapper looking in at the door
With furs to sell.
His name's Joe,
And between what he doesn't know
And won't tell
About where Henry Hudson's gone,
I can't say he's much help;
But we get on.
The seal yelp
On an ice cake.
It's not men by some mistake?
There's not a soul
For a windbreak
Between me and the North Pole--
Except always John-Joe,
My French Indian Esquimaux,
And he's off setting traps--
In one himself perhaps.
Give a headshake
Over so much bay
In snow and mist
That doesn't exist,
I was going to say,
For God, man, or beast's sake,
Yet does perhaps for all three.
Don't ask Joe
What it is to him.
It's sometimes dim
Whatever it is to me,
Unless it be
It's the old Captain's dark fate
Who failed to find or force a strait
In its two-thousand mile coast;
And his crew left him where he failed,
And nothing came of all he sailed.
It's to say "You and I--"
To such a ghost--
"You and I
With the dead race of the Great Auk!"
And, "Better defeat almost,
If seen clear,
Than life's victories of doubt
That need endless talk-talk
To make them out."
We're moving The Chicory meetings to 4:00 p.m., in the hopes that it will suit everyone's schedule a little better.
Talia wins the inspiration award. If you're feeling a little down about rejection notices, consider this: She figures her success rate is 1 in 30 submissions. So quit whining and start sending.
We are meeting again on Wednesday at Chris O'Brien's. And yes, I did say in the last set of directions to turn right on Angela when I should have said turn left. Sorry I sent some of you to Notre Dame. It was an honest brain freeze. Turn left on Angela this time. This is why I always take a GPS when I go hiking. But anyway, Rachel and I are baking Christmas cookies to share with you all, so send some stuff out and let's get moving here. Finals are over, and yes, Christmas is coming, but you won't even get the joy of a rejection letter if you don't write anything down. See you there.
The last bit of news is for fiction writers, essay writers, playwrites, whatnot. I know we've been heavy on poetry, okay, perhaps exclusive on poetry, but 2008 is a new year. If you've got some fiction, an essay, a play, some whatnot, send it on. Don't make me name names... I'm thinking of setting aside my poetry pen for awhile anyway and delving back into fiction, so some good company would be nice.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Q. Just describe the medical condition that you had that you developed I guess sometime in 2002.
A. I had a tumor in my left nostril here, and actually it really didn't bother me, but it got to the point where it was growing and I couldn't breathe through my nose and it was like a black booger that was on my nose and it wouldn't go away, and it stunk pretty bad, it smelled like dead flesh. So I went and had an autopsy done.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Rachel has been asking for a poetry assignment, which of course is something way beyond me, so I'll have to copy (poorly) from DDL. I keep a notepad to write words that I like down while I'm proofing, in hopes of someday doing something with them. My desk is currently cluttered with yellow scraps of paper documenting what I've seen. So, Rachel, or whoever else wants to play, here's one day's gleaning for you. The assignment is: Use five to seven of the following words or phrases in a poem. Set the timer before you begin. You have 12 minutes. Ready, Set, Go.
standard of care
challenge for cause
strike him for cause
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Wednesday night we're having a carry-in get together at Chris O'Brien's.
It's at 7:00. Chris is making soup and bread. Bring something, anything. No, not your dog, unless you can cook him up to be tasty and tender. Otherwise, bring food, drink and/or a piece of writing to share. It will be a nice break and we all need it.
If you need directions, e-mail me. I'll dig them up from wherever I typed them from and send them to you.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Someone shouts, “Look, there’s
Elvis,” and while your back
is turned the shades go
down. But it’s all of a piece, isn’t
it? Otherwise you wouldn’t be
standing there with that
damn music, those platform shoes.
Play it backwards, perhaps you’ll
be able to claim that sound. Two,
three, twenty. Does it matter?
Night is coming. There’s no one
And of course now I'm thinking, who would enjamb God that way?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Next week, Wednesday night, 7:00 p.m., we're having an end-of-the-season party at Chris O'Brien's. Chris is making soup and bread. We're bringing everything else. We might workshop a bit, too, so send, send, send, and we will try and figure out if we're going to meet again before January. December is upon us. Time to chase the darkness away. Goodness.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I walked down the hallway to the advising room and filled out the form to apply to graduate today. I found out last week that I should have filled it out in September if I wanted to graduate in May. Such is life. I should have maybe walked a little more quickly, but nonetheless, August graduation, here I come! I hadn't planned on walking through the ceremony anyway (different direction), so August instead of May isn't too big of a deal.
Then, this evening, I walked across the street and asked my grandfather to unlock the cedar box that contains my father's effects. It's been closed and off limits, but ever present, all these 33 years. It occurred to me last week that I was old enough to ask. I only took a quick peek, saw an old sneaker, a watch, some blue jeans, but Saturday I'm going back to collect the complete contents.
Walk in the direction you intend to go.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
November is always a little weird around here. Maybe it's the change of the seasons. I don't know. We've buried a lot of friends and relatives in November. One year on Gene's birthday he was picking out his mom's casket. We both agreed it was definitely better to be making cake than picking out coffins on your birthday. This year we lost no one, but still we had to buy a ten-pack of sympathy cards at Barnes & Noble for all our friends who have lost relatives, and there was a memorial service to sit through. There's just something about November. I get worn out with the dying. I'll be glad when it's through.
On a happier note, I'm all but finished with my reading for this semester. I finished Anil's Ghost last night and was glad I chose it. I took copious notes and I think I'll write the 10-page paper on identity theory, which I'm going to have to do some research on. I loved Anil's character and her insistence on choosing her own identity, even going so far as to reject the names she was given by her parents and bartering with her brother to buy his middle name, Anil. At 12 years old, "She gave her brother one hundred saved rupees, a pen set he had been eyeing for some time, a tin of fifty Gold Leaf cigarettes she had found, and a sexual favor he had demanded..." The author is very diligent about supporting the character's choice. We never learn her previous given names. The book is, of course, about much more than that. It's also about erasing people or destroying them so completely they might as well be erased. It's about seeing and grappling with truth, "truth is just an opinion." I could go on and on, but I should probably focus my energies on the paper. Certainly December will be coming and we'll be moving on to better things.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
In other news, it seems as though this Wednesday, the evening before Thanksgiving, might not be the best time to have workshop. So we're taking that off the schedule. We're on for the next Chicory date, however. And we're trying to make plans for a little holiday celebration to end the semester on Wednesday, Dec. 5th. Naoko will be leaving us for at least a month, finals and other commitments are coming up, and in short December is going to be wild. So, let me know what you all think about a party to end the 2007 workshop season. Maybe a carry-in meal? Snacks? Let me know.
Also, Mike is in the final push to get his MFA apps in. Visit his blog, comment on his work...
And that's it for the workshop world.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
But now it's time to get back to work. I found this link, New Pages, that might be useful for all of us in submitting stuff to online lit mags. I think I somehow stumbled across it from the David Hernandez list, but I can't quite be sure. But anyway, check these two out. I'll start putting these links up on the sidebar when I get some spare time, am feeling more organized...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The silver kaleidoscope
(mistaken for a telescope)
on the grass beneath the tree.
Where have you left your sacred?
a chain of endless rings.
at the oddest moments.
The random turtle,
Even the canopy bleeds.
Shafts of feathers (cardinal),
Near the body,
an unexpected shade of gray.
Elsewhere, the mica fireplace
the for-construction bid.
The issue is the ceiling height.
The clouded area
often alluded to.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Outside the window
Peace falls from the sky
Either way we all acknowledge
Children are called to it
They play games and smile
The world around them disappears into the void of oblivion
Blissful content is their salvation
Parents watch with envious souls
Feeling joy and desire at once
Wishing for one last empiricism
The last of the dancing rays go down
Children are beckoned to their beds
Parents say their blessings
All is well
(for Tori the double bass, after the orchestra concert)
Warm and smooth while in my embrace
The casual pressure of the eyes watching us
We go through the well rehearsed dance neither feeling nor ignoring
When we are alone later our experience will be much more improvisation than plan
For now though you stay still, and let me do the work
I can’t wait till the time when we forget the world and its bolshie view
For now though you stay still, and let me do the work
Cool, collected, she inhales her last drag
She envisions an apocalypse and its make her smile
Why does it always end this way?
The wind bites at her ears and nose
She’s just glad to feel something
The foreign sounds with the familiar tone take away any joy that the wind brought
Detachment once again engulfs her
Why do they make it end this way?
A small boy runs by screaming with what she can only guess is joy
Stay that way she thinks
Finally abandonment has joined her
He brings with him a cold snow
The kind that seems to have hope and despair in an ever expanding dance
That is what she has wanted
That is what she has needed
This is her prison
Not to touch
So far away
Ever teasing the strings of my soul
Intoxication of the mind
Is your alms to mankind
It seems so artless
Yet so complicated
You neither notice
This plucks the strings louder
Close to the breaking point they scream
The tone is insatiable
No one hears the progression
Finally the tonic is reached
Forte turns to piano
Piano turns to an abyss
Here is the requiem of the heart
Sad and beautiful
You are taking a random walk
through our online cemetery.
Was she able to make a living?
Did she have a theme?
A lot of naked women.
She could shoot.
She didn't dislike it.
She was aware.
Is this a good place to stop?
How she felt
going through this ordeal.
I gathered it from her
She had two red dots
on each hip bone.
Something was trying to tear its way
out of her abdomen.
No water after midnight.
She was awake
during the entire procedure.
decimated her skin.
She was left
with jangled nerves.
Opiates had no effect.
What was puddling up
under her was probably
a cold sweat.
She was aware.
Is this a good place to stop?
She had a high tolerance to drugs
Regardless, she stole it
At various times Dilaudid,
OxyContin, I believe.
A history of depressive
Disorder. Anxiety. Panic attacks.
Issues with anger.
Prozac, Paxil, Ativan.
She was aware.
Is this a good place to stop?
We didn't think she was going to die.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
They were moving
to different states.
No job, no plan.
Your job is
That’s how you live.
The house was cold.
I remember it
being very, very cold.
Like you could see
your breath cold.
It struck me as odd.
Maybe he kept it cold
so the smells didn’t
permeate the house.
He assured me
he did maintain the rugs.
I was in all the livable
rooms of the house.
The rugs were clean
and it’s cold in there.
There were dogs
and a rabbit.
I was never in the attic.
There were stains
on the ceiling
of the master bedroom.
There were comments
about the noises
and the smells.
There was a screen
My kids were like,
this house is strange.
I heard scratching.
It was loudest
at the upstairs window.
We heard some things,
like light, light noises,
but I didn’t put a name
to it until the scratching
episode became loud.
There was a string
and I pulled it,
but no light came on.
It’s the kind of smell
that goes from your nose
to your stomach.
Did you ever smell
something like that?
I was in nose reach
of this smell.
We cut down the tree.
It was a hot summer.
in that vacated state
a long time.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Check out the schedule. These are folks you really should see.
All-Star Reading Part I (4 p.m to 5 p.m.)
1. John Rybicki
2. Rodney Torreson
3. Jackie Bartley
4. Jack Ridl
5. Susan Ramsey
6. Greg Rappleye
7?? Liesel Litzenberger
8. Gail Martin
9. Elizabeth Kerlikowske
10. Con Hilberry
All-Star Reading Part II (6 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
1. Bonnie Jo Campbell
2. Nancy Eimers
3. Nina Feirer
4. David Dodd Lee
5. Diane Seuss
6. Bill Olsen
7. Andy Mozina
8. Danna Ephland
9. David Marlatt
10 Julie Moulds Rybicki
Monday, October 29, 2007
Rebecca and Ken moved to their new place on Friday, and Saturday I helped do a little cleanup, sweeping, wiping down a few walls. Their new place is beautiful, with lots of room, just what they wanted. There is something about the structure of a house where the occupants haven't quite unboxed yet. It is so full of possibility. One can imagine a whole world blossoming there.
Gloria and Jesus invited us to a Dia de Los Muertos party Saturday night. Great food, great drinks, great company, great games! And a red velvet skeleton cake for Jesus' 31st birthday on Sunday. My diet is not going too well, not too well at all. And I'm blaming it all on the Moyas.
I devoted Sunday to catching up on required reading. There are some interesting short stories in the post colonial anthology I have. "War Crimes" by Peter Carey was pretty good, and "One Whale, Singing" by Keri Hulme intrigued me enough about the author that I'm going to see what else she has out there. Has anyone else read anything by her? A few weeks ago we read an excerpt from Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson that was great. I have to add that to my to-read list. Someone made the valid point in class that these stories seemed to have little to do with post-colonialism, but I'm just grateful to have something current to read.
While I spent my day reading, Gene discovered that perhaps the reason the Trooper kept leaving me stranded was because the alternator belt was absent. We do a hay run every other week, after fully charging the battery. Someone stays home near a phone just in case the hay hauling person needs to be rescued with jumper cables. So he replaced the alternator belt and everything now seems to be charging. He says there still might be a short somewhere, but that's a job for another weekend.
Now Monday again. What do you know.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Due to popular demand, and the terror of impending MFA application deadlines, we've added one more Friday in November to the workshopping schedule. Yes, I'll send out e-mail reminders and the lineup, as usual. And, of course, remind me of what I've forgotten to say.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Now, I certainly wouldn't want to be paid $35/day to talk to an attorney, as much as I do like to talk. $750/hour, however, seems to me to be a little excessive. What do you think?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thanks to Greg Rappleye's site for another fun quiz to confirm what we already know about ourselves. We are the ones answering these questions, right?
|You Are 60% Left Brained, 40% Right Brained|
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
I've already made a change, though. The dumping of over five million pounds (I'm behind times times, the figure today is 21.7 million pounds) of E. Coli-tainted beef last week by Wal-Mart (and others) sickened me so much I can't think of eating cow, or pig, for that matter. All those animals slaughtered and then thrown away. (In case there was some lingering doubt which way my political winds blow...) Now I'm looking at chicken and fish (okay, yes, and yogurt. I'm working on it.) Of course, not everyone in the world has the choices I do. The fish seem to be gone in Nigeria. Thanks to Dr. Scanlan for this link.
Workshopping is off to a good start. Our group managed to eat and drink (with some smoke) our way through five poem in three hours. Faster than a speeding bullet we have begun. A good time was had by all. The most serious discussion involved future location/time. Some of us want a little more quiet, some of us don't want to give up the beer and snacks. Chris O'Brien has offered a compromise for Bucket nights, come to her house, close to downtown, enjoy the quiet, drink/eat whatever you want to bring, sit around her large kitchen table. It sounds great to me, but let me know what you think. It's also a good deal cheaper, which most of us don't mind. Time is still up in the air. There seems to be no night that suits everyone, so we'll stick with Wednesday for the time being, perhaps move it to every other Wednesday or something like that. Maybe next semester we will have some relief.
If you didn't make it Wednesday, come next Friday and we'll workshop at The Chicory. In case you hadn't noticed, we're making this up as we go. Isn't that what writers do?
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
So you didn't send out a poem or any small piece of writing of any sort (like me). Come . So you didn't write on anyone else's writings because you weren't sure how, or you got busy, or something, never mind. Come. So you're broke. (I'll share my onion rings with you.) Come. So you have to wash your hair tonight. It's not going to help your looks. Come.
Warning. This post has a subtle underlying message. Come.
Monday, October 01, 2007
The water in McCormick’s Creek is still flowing, but it’s shallow. The bigger fish are holed up in scattered deep-ish pools. I wish I knew their names. Next book purchase, a fish field guide. I’ve been reading Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek for a while now. Like Dillard, I’m in no rush. I want to travel slowly enough to appreciate the fossils embedded in the creek bed, or all those black dots in the water that turn into snails in my hands, or the hawk (which one?) above the glade circling, circling, circling, until whoosh, a plummet, a meal, or the gray antennaed caterpillar crawling up the handrail (who in the heck is he/she going to be?). This must be the middle age craving for second childhood. I want to touch things, but this time with eyes patient enough to see.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
"I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out."
How comforting. My relationship with AOL has its ups and downs. This is not a new occurrence. It usually relents after a day or two and begins delivering my e-mails again.
In the meantime, would someone in the workshopping group please hit the "reply all" button and let everyone know that the workshopping is starting next Wednesday at The Bucket and not tomorrow at The Chicory? I might be out of touch for a few days. I'm not sure.
As a side note, the poems are pouring in! E-mail difficulties aside, we're off to a good start.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Bad news! The meeting at The Chicory is cancelled for this week. Well, go if you want to, but there probably won't be anyone there. But there might be. Scheduling nightmares. Just do whatever. I'm not your mother.
Good news! Everyone (yes, everyone - well, not Talia, something about a teaching degree) says they will be at The Bucket next Wednesday night. You'll have more time to work on a poem to circulate. No excuses. Yes, I know, I need excuses more than anyone. So The Bucket will be our workshopping launch place.
Uncategorized news! I'm trying to figure out, with everyone's input, the best times and locations for the workshopping. Talia suggested we might try and get a room at IUSB. Jesus suggested the downtown library as a possible location. Help me out here. Let me know what times/days/places work for you.
Okay? I'm sure I've forgotten some important things. Someone will tell me, surely. Or not and we'll all just go around bumping into walls.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Last week Tom’s trajectory took a hit and turned. He wrote his letters and met with his advisor. So far he’s ignored angry cell phone calls from his prof, but sometime this week he’s got to meet with the guy again. The battery for my cell phone finally came, (Ebay! Two weeks!) so now I’m in electronic reach again. But mainly Gene and I are background support, which is the way it should be.
The good news is Tom’s already achieved a minor in music and the prof can’t drum him out of any bands this year. He’s a section leader for the jazz group he made it into. The advisor agreed the prof stepped over the line and assured Tom she’ll help him out. We’ll see. The biggest fallout is Tom is looking for a new major so he never has to work with the guy again. He’ll just work around him, take private lessons from a grad student he likes, do his music, work with who he wants to work with, do it his own way. The parents’ patterns haunt the children, but perhaps this time it won’t be a bad thing.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Start circulating anytime (or as soon as I get the e-mail out.) I can't make the next meeting at The Chicory, but we might as well start the process now.
We're also looking at the logistics of going to David's next poetry reading in Michigan, which we'll talk about next time. It's a bit far, on a Monday night, but perhaps we can swing it. It always fun to go driving around in a car.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Not everyone follows the same belief system that I do. Others have a belief system that involves calling the cops first and asking questions later. Perhaps they believe it is neater, it might save time. For whatever reason, the cops were called, two cars full of them, flashing lights, et cetera, and the kid hauled out of the safety of the neighbor’s car and handcuffed until his complete identity could be ascertained.
Turns out he was telling the truth. And Gene has asked me to stop handing out coat hangars to anyone I see, regardless of the genuine need.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The Liam Rector book finally came today. I’m ready. Simic is technically perfect, I think, but not pulling me hard enough to dive in. Ferlinghetti is growing on me. Tom has borrowed all my Denis Johnson, fiction and poetry, along with the Anchor Book of Short Stories, and taken the lot to Kalamazoo. I’m happy with what he’s reading and at the same time hoping he finishes them up soon. I’ve grown attached to those books and hate to have them travel so. Children are the great appropriators of the trappings of their parents’ lives. So it goes.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Talia loaned me Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind. This is my first taste of Ferlinghetti. The copy she loaned me is 50 years old, and I can feel it. Back then it cost $1.00. The Beat flavor is unmistakable. There’s a photo on the back of the book, Ferlinghetti at 38. So he must be around 88 now. I found a recent photo of him. He is rounder. He has white hair. I want to read something recent that he has written, to see how his insides have changed. The heavy alliteration from the fifties drives me crazy, as do the rhythms, but still, I like what he has to say. I’m reminded of what Tom’s jazz improvisation prof told him last week after his first solo, “That was just amazing, for the thirties.” No, no, I’m not dissing on Ferlinghetti, just remarking on the passing of time. I want that passion, but not that old style.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I have to pass my fourth semester of French in the spring, so I'm sitting in on the third-semester French class to review something I haven't thought about in 25 years. The memory of how to speak that language is buried under so many layers of life. Pulling it up from the bottom of that well is taking a bit of effort. Reading French is going well, but trying to compose a sentence... It's a lot like my poetry writing, painfully slow.
Creekside, everything is as it's always been: in a constant state of change. The August floods rewrote the banks. Giant tree snags unanchored briefly to sail downstream. The duckweed is regenerating. My thoughts are turning towards fire, socks, and burning leaves.