Monday, January 28, 2008

I Favorited You 850 Days Ago

and 850,000,000 times since.

No wonder I couldn't have said it better myself

Morrison Endorses Obama for President
Jan 28, 10:25 AM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The woman who famously labeled Bill Clinton as the "first black president" is backing Barack Obama to be the second.
Author Toni Morrison said her endorsement of the Democratic presidential candidate has little to do with Obama's race - he is the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas - but rather his personal gifts.
Writing with the touch of a poet in a letter to the Illinois senator, Morrison explained why she chose Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton for her first public presidential endorsement.
Morrison, whose acclaimed novels usually concentrate of the lives of black women, said she has admired Clinton for years because of her knowledge and mastery of politics, but then dismissed that experience in favor of Obama's vision.
"In addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates," Morrison wrote. "That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.
"Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace - that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom," Morrison wrote.

One more reason to love Toni Morrison. Beloved, indeed.
Tell the girl her world is ever-precarious, my methods are lye, sly, rely on the kindness I can't shake. Tell the girl her world is eraseable that there are acids for burning through everything and salve to ease the burns. Tell the girl I specialize in the un-earned miracle and I am vigilant, catastrophic, beyond.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where do you wander now?

Undergraduate daze of driving and driving and my friend, Keith Rehm (today's birthday boy--happy, happy and many more) and the way that driving out west feels like an escape into something open. I miss that. Out of all my current friends and watchers of the blog, I think only Ms. Kathrine at Locksmith met him. Keith is responsible for introducing me to The Hobbit & co., for priming me for my favorite bird's science fiction books and shows, for miles and miles and miles of good talks and good times. I nicknamed him the obfuscating peregrinator (b/c when you're showing off your word-of-the-day bad self, you do things like that) and I wonder who he bewilders and where he wanders now. Best wishes to you & yours wherever you might be, Obfuscator. ---La Petit Freaqua (only Chicky could salvage this attempt at the language)

In other news: Sad Heath Ledger. I rented Candy last night and then crashed before I could get it in the dvd player. I did finish Ask the Dust "in the middle of the middle of the night (when all your bones make music"--vintage and beloved Ed Hirsch) and the bare Colin Farrell was what should be seen at three a.m.(more work for Chicky) Salma was having a pretty-day through this one, too. Tomorrow night me and mine Brazilian Grill. This is not a social event, it is an Olympic competition and thanks to Daddy George and my good bird's refusal to waste good food, we're all bibbed-up and ready to go.

Green light us, Babies!

All Full

of gallery-visit, good coffee and spicy food and affection for L-Bo and Chicky and the way such a cold afternoon can seem brighter and warmer for the fact that I know them.
The Bar Code of Love

I brandished the wand & pushed
scanner buttons with both thumbs,
but nothing happened.

I osterized & registered the symbols
of our union, & it wasn't a harbinger,
but, my love, I couldn't erase anything—

not the cast-iron griddle, too heavy to lift;
not the lovesick goblets bent at the waist
as if they performed some important task

other than holding household liquids.
In the next-stop mattress outlet, you pressed
every quilted pillowtop, then suggested we lie

with our shoes still on to check filling
& resilience, skin when we slid each slick
blue surface converging—chrome flush

that spread my chest like a walnut, as if
we hadn't already been living in sin for years,
that bed of pictures (dirty? family?),

a future tucked into your wallet, spilling
folded laminates that accordion out like
shrugged hands. What's in the center

of your palm besides one ring & a lifeline
dug into your skin with a grapefruit spoon?
My heart is a domed cakeplate,

nested glass bubble. Sweet
Something of Mine—before they say
sanctify, let's skip town, hock

the registry gifts for cash, jettison
the material outline of a life which
reduces everything to crime-scene

chalk dust, to streamlined stories
with deceptively simple arcs: a blender,
a stand mixer, service for twelve with matched

open stock vegetable platter. We are a seven-
walled restaurant tangled in an Alphabet City
snapshot, broken plate at our feet. I can't

remember who tossed it, but if you
dig in my coat pocket you'll find
encrypted desire of lint & matchbooks,

free signs in this lush & burgeoning
world of someone's love for us aching
to be tested—that floor-model mattress

before we slipped from the store
empty-handed, your body dashing

& suspended
next to mine.

Copyright © 2006 Erika Meitner All rights reserved
from Crab Orchard Review
If You Should Care For Me

She 'gan him soft to shrive. She asked him, What
black ladder must we climb? How sere my grass?
How ravaged is my valley?
You and I,
we seek perfection, mix a brew of horse
manure, of menstrual blood and soil dug from
a dead love's grave.
The moths flew from their mouths.
We heard them say you too shall one day be
like us.
My most familiar friend, please call me
by my nighest name. We heard the sound
of blankets being woven. No one knows
the mush inside my heart. We pray and hope
in vain to wade unstained across the foul
and muddy river.
We will never be
perfected and our margins never meet.

Copyright © 2007 Lacy Schutz All rights reserved
from Colorado Review

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Friday

Because I teach a class that I love. Because my favorite bird offered to share his funeral meats with me--believe me I've been offered worse by worse by the worst but never liver though I do like liver, sorry.

I'm silly today, just because or because I get to NY soon and because it's Friday and I have Sunday Brunch plans and I'm wearing a cool, black vintage sweater dress that was dry-clean only but was washed so the top came out all tiny-shouldered and snug but fits just right and because of aforementioned laundering and despite the designer vintage label, it was mine for a hot ten bucks, and today I look like a poor man's Bond chick, all spy-dressed and black-booted and graphite, lacy stockings. I like such accidents, especially since most accidents come at me like bad frisbees.

And the novel is finding its way, a little bit at a time.

Be well and warm wherever you are. I'm going to score us a good poem for the posting very soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Candy Apple

The Writer's Voice Visiting Author Series Presents:
Sophia Kartsonis, Steve Fellner & Aaron Smith
Friday, February 8, 2008
8:00 PM
West Side YMCA-- The George Washington Lounge
5 West 63rd Street (between Central Park West & Broadway)
Wines from 67Wine
Books from Mobile Libris
~Admission Free and Open to the Public~
Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Hotel Amerika & Prairie Schooner. She won the Academy of American Poets prize in both 2000 & 2004 and was the 2006 winner of the Fineline Contest sponsored by Mid American Review and judged by Denise Duhamel. Her collection Intaglio won the 2005 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was published in Autumn 2006 by Kent State University Press. She is currently at work on a novel.
Steve Fellner's first book of poems Blind Date with Cavafy won the Third Annual Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize, judged by Denise Duhamel. It has been favorable reviewed in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Art Voice, The Mid-American Review, Salt Lake city Weekly, among others. His poetry and essays have appeared in North American Review, Northwest Review, The Sun, Western Humanities Review, among other. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Brockport.
Aaron Smith is the author of Blue on Blue Ground (Pittsburgh, 2005), winner of the 2004 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His chapbook, What's Required (Thorngate Road, 2003), won the Frank O'Hara Award. He is a 2007 Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and his work has appeared in many publications including: 5 AM, Gulf Coast, MIPOesias, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets, and Writing Poems. He is a poetry co-editor for Bloom , and he lives in New York City.

You know you want to hear Aaron Smith read.
You know you want to hear Steve Fellner. I know that's why I'm going and you should too.

I am trying to get Wicked tickets and am planning a drive to a cafe in Union, Connecticut full of used books and great old dinery food. It's been a long time, too long and I'm feeling the need to revisit certain places.

Hear me, You, I got the postcard and the message. I trust not the telegraphs, the small lit screens where bad lightning bugs light and steal wattage. I like my fires to burn pure and where you live, trash ignites and pollutes the pretty sky. But I will gather up your paper airplanes and I will fly them heaven&homeward, for now.
Listen to Patty Griffin's When it Don't Come Easy when time permits and recall I kept your secrets even when it didn't, even as it doesn't.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bird in a Blizzard

(with apologies to Laura Kasischke and with immense admiration, of course)
This poem so-resonates just today when I'm thinking about care--care given and taken--and I'm weary, it's Monday, I'm covered in snow and my hands are still thawing out.


They're feeding each other, two small birds
swiveling on a sea-stone, open beaks
kissing and closing—creatures seeing to each
other's needs without question, drawing
the big world into their brief circle
of wing-quiver, heart-shiver, quick cries
as if the nerves themselves gave tongue,
the path between desire and satisfaction
shorter than thought, the ground dividing
being from being—one flesh-protected
spark of life from another—covered
in no time, so even time, for the moment,
is a matter of no moment, smoke that
vanishes into air, into thin air, to leave
but a flaring thing behind—candescent,
burning its one good instant till all is ash,
redemptive breath recovering itself,
eyes seeking in eyes an answer
to what's happened. The fire at the heart
of things is what these two birds ignite
in their give and take, saying we live
in the one world—where some law of
loving exchange is what tends the blaze
and can startle us into a kind of intermission
of peace between two clamorous cliff-
crumbling waves that rear break roar and
rip to shreds a coast of stone, unsettling
the air we stand in with a surf-storm of
salt-light that bites our eyes, blinding them.

Eamon Grennan
Five Points
Vol. 10, No. 3

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January came in lightly

Trying to learn how to fly around with little to hang onto. It's an uncertain year, but really, aren't they all?

In other news I want Maria Bartiromo to be our new president. I don't hate girls at all. I like them to be stellar as they can so often be.

Here is a poet I never think about and so I thought I'd post in honor of forgotten persons this poem.

The Lure of Little Voices
There's a cry from out the loneliness -- oh, listen, Honey, listen!
Do you hear it, do you fear it, you're a-holding of me so?
You're a-sobbing in your sleep, dear, and your lashes, how they glisten --
Do you hear the Little Voices all a-begging me to go?

All a-begging me to leave you. Day and night they're pleading, praying,
On the North-wind, on the West-wind, from the peak and from the plain;
Night and day they never leave me -- do you know what they are saying?
"He was ours before you got him, and we want him once again."

Yes, they're wanting me, they're haunting me, the awful lonely places;
They're whining and they're whimpering as if each had a soul;
They're calling from the wilderness, the vast and God-like spaces,
The stark and sullen solitudes that sentinel the Pole.

They miss my little camp-fires, ever brightly, bravely gleaming
In the womb of desolation, where was never man before;
As comradeless I sought them, lion-hearted, loving, dreaming,
And they hailed me as a comrade, and they loved me evermore.

And now they're all a-crying, and it's no use me denying;
The spell of them is on me and I'm helpless as a child;
My heart is aching, aching, but I hear them, sleeping, waking;
It's the Lure of Little Voices, it's the mandate of the Wild.

I'm afraid to tell you, Honey, I can take no bitter leaving;
But softly in the sleep-time from your love I'll steal away.
Oh, it's cruel, dearie, cruel, and it's God knows how I'm grieving;
But His loneliness is calling, and He knows I must obey.

Robert Service