Thursday, October 30, 2008

The B&B bar burns down and you eat flames
in your windshield, wend your way to work through
man-high drifts fat with buried drunks. Your un-
successful neighbor tries suicide with
a shotgun, glowers through half a face en
route to the emergency room where he
will wait a half hour of groan and inter-
com for his uncle to arrive.

Incised flesh is one answer to a wait
as handheld beam is one solution to
a gone-sour date and long home plod, no kiss.
The metal bone that's in your shin sings ray-
ray-radio: bad Top Forty songs from
1985 when you rode the yell-
filled yellow bullet bus to school, and your
hands were made of fists.

Knowing lack of understanding early
grief, your third grade teacher left for cancer
and did not return. Knowing only slow
song repair for old love and construction
of the most elaborate paper snow-
flakes. The skill of sieve and lace and never
getting over anything is what you
learned that year. Knowing remembrance

and remonstrance, Christian tracts found at St.
Vincent de Paul and used for your papier-
mâché reconstructions of remembered
breasts. Knowing prosthetic, mathematic,
that your arm is apparatus, made of
diagram, some luck, and force. Requiring
maintenance instead of sustenance, so
it says in the witty printed manual.

Your uncle trades his antique guns in for
time and what we hope is good talk with his
wife between here and Chicago to pre-
vent that end. Riots on TV tonight
and the broadcast close to a drawn and drawn-
out war. What comes through the telephone line
is garble, fury, full of sound and wine
that is algebra to you.

Ander Monson

Ander Monson, Eleanor Wilner

A good week in Columbus for good writers and good friends. Apricot Ale with Ander was consumed alliteratively, of course. Ander was one of those rare people that Alabama found for me.

Today it's Eleanor for Poets Against the War and some drinks afterwards.

Then back to my office for a night's worth of work and fellowship preparation.

I usually love Halloween but this year is drearier and I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

He Could Be Intolerable, Impossible But Adorable to Walk With on a Morning Like This

"What she loved was this here now, in front of her."

Salmon and pearls and friends don't let friends miss Ms. Woolf on NPR. Thank you. Thank you, Thoughtful You.

The textbook, the new class, and the dissertation all thank you, too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ask Me
William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

My People, My People

If you follow this blog and if you have a soul (with one exception these two things are a given) you would love these daisies. If you do not, you have not seen them. If you care for my mental health and well-being (again the uninvited, un-friend, un-souled this obviously excludes you, though it begs the question why you don't find a different form of entertainment--pushing daisies, maybe?) you will watch this show, vote in the correct, good and only reasonable way, and check in with me Mid-November as me, my persimmon bread, my creamy sweet-potato soup, my slippies and soft jammies and cozy world of colors, good music, gorgeous words and amazing friends are happily watching Our Show under good leadership and feeling the security of swaddled babies and bassinets.

Thank you and happy Monday.
Why We Are Truly a Nation
Because we rage inside
the old boundaries,
like a young girl leaving the Church,
scared of her parents.

Because we all dream of saving
the shaggy, dung-caked buffalo,
shielding the herd with our bodies.

Because grief unites us,
like the locked antlers of moose
who die on their knees in pairs.

William Matthews, “Why We Are Truly a Nation” from Selected Poems and Translations, 1969-1991.

William Matthews would want you to get out and vote and not leave us in the Republican locked-antler hold for another four years, on our knees and dying of grief. (Our late and esteemed poet was born in a battleground state that begins with an O--coincidence? I think not.) Come on Kiddie-Cats, make my day.

Off the Wall

Words on Walls is going to be going through some big transformations. We had a major technical issue and are now re-configuring our idea of the whole enterprise. Please accept our apologies for any work we accepted, email we held too, too long, etc.

Kathrine and I are moving in some very new directions and we want that concept to be a part of them but we also grow tired of editing in that way and that format. More soon on all of this.

Tonight I make creamy sweet potato soup and persimmon bread. Today I make good on all the deadlines and commitments that this time of year brings.

Chinese Box
All night I climb in dream rubble,
wind cracking sleep
like a sheet left out on the line.
But this morning is the world again.
East light heats wooden floors,
my long hair winds comb's teeth,
my husband's blue shirt drapes a chair.

They say if you live long enough,
you, too, will live alone, your love
like a Chinese box. Inside the roar
of longing, a great November storm.
Inside the storm, a small, new music.
Inside the music, a wild, red fox.

Copyright © 2008 Carmen Germain

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Loveliest Day & Night

A long, long hike. A picnic at the top. Another starlit bike ride. I will sleep the sleep of whiskified babies tonight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Clear Skies Bright Balloon Blue

A gorgeous day here filled with all manner beauty. The last debate behind us and for now, I feel careful in my hOpe but hOpeful nonetheless.

What lovely days these. Why did I wait so long to make them happen. More vacations, more music, on my shoestring budget just after the dissertation is complete. I am at the stage where it's coming together and I feel excited about it like you do in new love. New love vs. old love has been on my mind a lot lately. To this, I raise a poem:

I see you in daylight, an impossible moon,
and in my night a sun, unreachable.
So I refuse to love you.

In my mirror I see you, the silhouette of a tattered sadness
that my eyes hold captive.
And on my scattered papers I see you,
the traces of tears I have yet to shed.
And I refuse to love you.

I see you as a prohibited dream
that combs my innocent hair into sinful braids,
and when I awaken,
your luminous kisses
drip on my pillow
one star after another
to put out my shyness.
And I refuse to love you.

Because I love you
I refuse to love you.

Because my thirst for you is fire,
and because my heart does not deserve
the fate of a crazed moth.

Because I love,
and because you love me,
let your pride refuse my ashes.

Copyright © 2008 Joumana Haddad

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dreaming of my Sun Bicycle

in liquid blue, and of the Rocky Mountains that I soon see and then see again in November. Here-things, lost-things, last-things and being airported back again. It's a good week up ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Watching for Kristy Bowen's Latest Book and the Reason Why:

Tongueless, I was paper white, present tense.
Heavy wth vertigo and a violet nightdress.
--from "ornithophobia"

These poems are like a fabulous dessert, rich like that, but their intricacy is balanced and clean, too. I am waiting and waiting on this book. On another horizon but with major brilliance and beauty too: Alan May's latest: (anything-but-) Dead Letters. I watched these poems from a distant hillside the way you do fireworks and I am still dazzled and afterburning... Sparkled tassles and pom-poms of light.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strange Bird Landing in Columbus

tonight and maybe, just maybe some much-desired Italian food or that Vietnamese joint I keep meaning to try and waiting for a certain local species of creature to accompany me. I am happy to eat solo and to go to movies and concerts,etc. by myself but some kinds of places require some kinds of company and my favorite weird friends are good for those kinds of adventures.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Yiasou Lefteri

My uncle in Crete,the one whose name means freedom just died. I was remembering how he was what I recall of childhood in Greece, his trikiklo: this mechanized man-size tricycle and his appetite--a large man in every way with a large, large laugh. Saying it that way makes me think that it wasn't just my slick, sharp-featured, bad-boy Uncle Louis (of course) to inform my own "appetites" but also this uncle (and his son, Anastasi--one of my first five-year-old-girl-crushes) to make a large spirit, uncensored and unforgettable be something irrestistable to me.

Yiasou Theo Lefteri. Filia.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

If I Could Take One Moment Into My Hands, Mister

it would be another Springsteen show, another Columbus, another me, another you.

Today was its own day with its own rights. It was a good day to be around like-minded people remembering what it was like to be around like-minded people. My world is spinning all new and I'm just trying not to get dizzy.

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart. Blow away the dreams that break your heart.
Hayden Carruth
How many guys are sitting at their kitchen tables
right now, one-thirty in the morning, this same
time, eating a piece of pie? - that's what I
wondered. A big piece of pie, because I'd just
finished reading Ray's last book. Not good pie,
not like my mother or my wife could've
made, but an ordinary pie I'd just bought, being
alone, at the Tops Market two hours ago. And how
many had water in their eyes? Because of Ray's
book and especially those last poems written
after he knew: the one about the doctor telling
him, the one where he and Tess go down to
Reno to get married before it happens and shoot
some craps on the dark baize tables, the one
called "After-Glow" about the little light in the
sky after the sun sets. I can just hear him,
if he were still here and this were somebody
else's book, saying, "Jesus," saying, "This
is the saddest son of a bitch of a book I've
read in a long time," saying, "A real long time."
And the thing is, he knew we'd be saying this
about his book, he could just hear us saying it,
and in some part of him he was glad! He
really was. What crazies we writers are
our heads full of language like buckets of minnows
standing in the moonlight on a dock. Ray
was a good writer, a wonderful writer, and his
poems are good, most of them and they made me
cry, there at my kitchen table with my head down,
me, a sixty-seven-year-old galoot, an old fool
because all old men are fools, they have to be,
shoveling big jagged chunks of that ordinary pie
into my mouth, and the water falling from my eyes
onto the pie, the plate, my hand, little speckles
shining in the light, brightening the colors, and I
ate that goddamn pie, and it tasted good to me.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Daffodil Man

at North Market gave me free bulbs. I bought all manner lovely peppers and fresh tomatoes.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sunday Afternoon to be all kinds of music to my ears

The Boss: Accoustic and endorsing my favorite senator.

For now, I should motivate myself to away and then gym or run. Perhaps an herbivore wrap for incentive? mmmmmm....Clintonville deli are you calling my name?

I vOted tOday!

Felt a little breathless when I saw the ballOt.

Here's tO hOpe--I'll drink tO that and sO shOuld yOu!