Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enough of the Parade Already

It's snowing floats and marching bands here. Sorry Streisand, but there it is.

The weather wore on me a little. If I were a sweater, I'd have pilled some. Then I was walking back from Metro and I heard a voice call out my name. I looked up to see one of my adorable new students who is connected to one of my adorable previous students running across the street, coatless, black hair flying, to ask me to go up to the second floor and see the mural they were painting. How could I not? I went up and it was a tangle of color, styles, and yet, harmonious. A kind of wacky symphony of figures and these delicate trees and the turquoise and au lait restraint of the keen eye that drew me in my other student's writing (you recall the one, Locksmith?) I wandered over almost hypnotized, having no idea whose work it was just that it was beautiful and the student who first brought me in to see the piece said "that is J's" and I thought, "of course."

Another new and bright student was working on it, too and I felt that old continuity and good fortune that I did when I worked with generations of students in Alabama and Cincinnati. What I couldn't find in myself in either motivation or endorphins or even just plain old energy my students like strange angels flew down and injected into my day.

The ride home was absolutely terrifying. I am curled up under my comforter with a good new novel and tummy full of kale, broccoli, go-lean "ground beef" garlic and cheese pizza. I am reading an amazing novel written by a poet (big shock that it's amazing!) I am dreaming of spring in northern Ohio and all of my fun little holidays.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If Someone Takes A Spill

Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade
I'll march my band out, I'll beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat, sir

Life remains lovely. New shoes (thanks Kathy!) Momentum remains and today is the day that brought us the hilarious Keith Rehm. Happy Birthday He-Whom-I-Will-Not-Likely-See-Again but whose memory of friendship makes me smile even on this sunny day in January when I forgot the date but a U2 song came on the radio and I thought of driving through Utah, driving through my youth, of chess and jalopies, of all-night talks, of the kind of friends I have today and how lucky I am to always find the most special, good-weird people to keep me company in my travels.

Happy. Happy. Happy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Tell Me Not to Fly

I simply gotta... And I simply booked my flights up through March, anyway.

Best day, Babes. The S.O.P.T. continues gorgeously and I feel really great. My new sexy vitamins are making me feel like Zeus and the trips to Florida and Chicago are making the future look fun. I booked everything and cannot wait to see my family and hang out with my people at the conference. Chicago is one of my favorite cities and to be there on days that might otherwise be February-fraught is a good plan.

Veace has both posted and written poems today that have sent the proverbial head-top sky-wise. And on this very eve, this seems even more my year. Our new president is a thing of great pride to me. I am adance inside.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter

Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade"

I am in Streisand's debt. She kicked in just when the whole perpetual training thing looked like a bad idea and walking to Jeni's ice cream and trying all of the flavors sounded better. Then elation--that feeling and the fact that this song was a good portion of the soundtrack to my childhood. My mother loves Streisand, owns all of her movies, plays them again and again. I have been able to block The Prince of Tides and have real affection for the Funny Chick series, even The Way We Were with its so-young Redford and a political fervor in the streets that made me wish L-Bo and I had old-hatted up, little lady gloves and hit the streets to campaign for OUR NEW PRESIDENT! Three more days. I am finding some bar inaugural thing. Even as L-Bo abandons and Bostons out. Join me? Because it is one of the truly right things to happen this year and with luck and no tiny miracles, more will follow. Until the song runs out...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fridays are for Neruda

This poem is twice-stolen. First from Pablo-himself who wouldn't mind, I know and second from the wonderful blog of a former student and brilliant poetessa. She promises us more of her writing soon and she knows her way around Spanish and Spanish poetry. And maybe she will be at AWP this year? If so, she will certainly track me down?

For now the sonnet I am reminded of and love all the more today when Friday is frozen solid.

Soneto XVII

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

Sonnet 17

I do not love you as if you were a salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you so straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this; where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is My Carnival Ride for the Rest of My Life

Savoring these last few days before school kicks in and with it, the sense that I am chasing myself up the block but I'm always too fast for me.

Made a nice dinner and am about to draw a lovely bath. Life is not ungood right now. It's odd the people that maintain an interest in you and those who forget you utterly. I'm always amazed at what I move and what I made no impression upon whatsoever. Is it in inverse proportion to effort? Sometimes it seems that way. But I have a lot in my life right now. People. Possibilities. The new way of living which is holding strong as am I and that feels really certain. I keep thinking of that annoying arguement I had once with a man who was trying to scare me into dating him by saying that "soon the bus will take off without you" and how incensed I became that he couldn't see that I had held out this long for something extraordinary and had no regrets about almost anyone. One regrettable poet is as close to the regrets heap as I might get but since I burned all those, let's think of him as ash and be happy for that. The bus seems more full and full of good things than ever and my attitude is more solidly that thing people call happy and take for granted than it's ever been. Depression is like a couch you are forced to lug around through your days. It makes everything seem too hard and not worth it and worse,it's invisible so people don't understand how hard it is to just care enough to bother. But if the bus belongs to me, I keep it in working order and I post the marquees of destination and really, things have only been getting more plentiful and again, happy. And for my friends, you who endured 2004 with me, it seems nearly miraculous to say so. So much is going so right that with a little more effort and maybe some real luck on our new president's side and some patience on ours for it is nothing short of magic needed to get the country looking better, I will run on into this coming May happier and better than ever. I eschew the naysayers and those dumb, boring people that always talk about their age. One of the most gorgeous, vibrant and exciting people I met last year is nearly fifty and not only never discusses "getting older" or losing vision or any of that, but is pretty pleased as punch with himself to be his very self and I get, in every way, why.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sledding Weather

I walked downtown, back and past the park on my way to buy groceries for a pizza that I will want to eat every single night. Broccoli, cauliflower, capers, pizza sauce, oregano, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, baby bella cheese, all baked on this thin wrap on pizza tin drizzled with olive oil, small minced roasted garlic, salt and pepper. So good!

Anyway, but the walk past the park meant there were families pulling babies on sleds and families sledding down the hill at the park and so much soft snow falling it was like a scene from some holiday movie. When I left the market it was twilight(because I am more the dreamy-love-to-be-in-the-store vs. the efficient shopper). It was so white before that all the white was now reflecting bluish-purple. A fantasia.

One day, I must write about the swinger-dental office of yesterday. It's bedtime now--well beyond. And tomorrow brings more snow and more walking out into it.

Tonight has been very sweet overall.

To Wellness, to Snowflakes the Size of Tutus for Hippos, to White Chocolate Peppermint Coffee

It's a test this day. So far, I've failed but I aim to rise up and try again.
If I stay here it's all decadent coffee and Suzanne Vega but I am not supposed to stay here. The new life plan says I must venture out, snowshoe if need be, a mile to and from and between. But the snowflakes were like seasoning earlier and now they are kleenex for giants, plain white t-shirts for Apollo and his crew, nightdresses for the very-pregnant flying by the window and corkscrewing around one another. A terrible, freezing squaredance of stayindoorsstayindoors...

I must muster up. No Vega, no coffee and yet....

Monday, January 12, 2009

O the Pep Talks You'll Give

to yourself just to not-do, not-go, stay-put, allow.

I did all the day's drudgery and tonight, I deny myself a treat because, the inner-mommy in me says "it's for the best tonight." Another night, another bit of Seussian/Mother advice. All dentisted-up. Room upstairs a multi-purpose indulgence of a place. Tonight's dinner, a vegetarian fantasy of stir-fry. My favorite take-off on the garbage plate with those wonderful f/st/eak strips from M.S. farms. Love them. Egg beaters, laughing cow cheese, brocolli, spinach, wonderful salsa, olive oil and some diced onion. I feel the vitamins fueling up the tired and weary me.

More later, perhaps.

Winding Down

& every day a list. Yesterday at N. Mart, I tried this whitechocolatepeppermint flavored coffee and think that it and Chocolate Velvet will be what gets me through winter. Dental appt. today, heaps of snow and a morning plan to walk to Metro and activate myself to leave what little warmth the apartment provides and head out into the chill.

Tried to update the I-tunes so as to add more Uncle T., and look around for something new to make a mix out of. Something that doesn't mope and helps me to move about in the white city with the grey sky I call home now. It will be April someday. It will be May.

Vividest early morning dreams, so strange and upon waking it is no wonder I craved some Sylvia. Her stark voice reminds me that even as the insides fight it, the seasons change and what likely won't console, re-writes. If my pen could marry a hurt like that! Her petals are half babyskin, half razor--trustworthy cries, hers. I am taking my injured self out into the poppyless landscape, with a gift-free, unasked for dreary-pants of sky. It's hard to imagine sunlight on such a day. I need good music, more coffee, and lots of work done by evening. I need to imagine my good friends reading this somewhere warm and good for them. Happy Monday, Crew.

Poppies in October
Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly --

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.


Poppies in July
Little poppies, little hell flames,
Do you do no harm?

You flicker. I cannot touch you.
I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns.

And it exhausts me to watch you
Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth.

A mouth just bloodied.
Little bloody skirts!

There are fumes that I cannot touch.
Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?

If I could bleed, or sleep! -------------
If my mouth could marry a hurt like that!

Or your liquors seep to me, in this glass capsule,
Dulling and stilling.

But colorless. Colorless.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If Not for Veace, Where Would I Be?

Or really, any of us, or beyond that, the English language. Some day check out the poems we wrote for one another that take place in Cincinnati and on a subway platform in NY where V waited down the stairs as I farewelled a saxophonist (because I sound so hip if I say it that way--not really--but it's either this post or more about soup or my apartment or I resort to the cats) and I met her late, late, and we waited--had had enough to drink to sit down on that disgusting concrete and watch rats zoom in and around the tracks and Veace wrote a gorgeous telling of the night and held it like living butterfly landed on a book and minus the pins and death. (We keep those in our collective soul: me and V, some straight pins in a cloth tomato and a death-thread, plus those little tin coin threaders with the lady-profile and some of those crane old-fashioned scissors for the snipping that sentimental versey-chicks are prone to).

Each doctor performs
the same dance,
moves across my lungs
and makes me hum

the lyrics. Let me
explain. The body
heals itself, but lately
it's grown bored.

Even now, the throat
can't be coaxed:
each breath assumes
a voice, every

swallow a sentence
to smoke. You see,
the world expects
a circus before a cure.

Kerri French

A random product endorsement for that crazily-seductive vanilla plum lotion made in Greece. I don't trust myself with myself when I use it. It's like no lotion or oil I've ever smelled before and the little pot of lipgloss to match it is that smell plus a plum-color and if I could kiss me in it, I am afraid to say that I might. I told Teenee (the sister) that it was so beloved a present (plus the pop-up lighthouse book!) but I thought of other people who didn't maybe know what impact they had and I know that there are many as I tell the wrong people (the ones who don't care to know) again and again what they mean/have meant to me but did I ever tell Laurel from Cincy that a few those c.ds she used to review for the indie-newspaper and that she left in the grad. office for our perusal found home with me? And does a band called Olive Trees or Bryan Hurst and the Lollygaggers or Mark Erelli and his Memorial Hall Recordings know that they were packed and transported from Kentucky to Cincinnati to Columbus, Ohio and tonight, stopped dead-cold in its tracks, some woman is listening to them years after they were sent out with that tiny glimmer of hope that all art goes out with, that someone would? To the lot of you--you mattered to a stranger that didn't have to care. And to Laurel with the great voice and beautiful mouth: thank you, too.

"It was the first night she felt on-the-mend from so much of the horror house that Cincy had been up until then. Then it was the light-of-well-being on the bricks and she wouldn't even know about last year when Vincent's elbowed-grace would move her like a thing that is going to shake you to the basement of yourself, but you won't know that yet.
'You weren't that into him,' Aram said as they walked down to the coffeeshop and Annie held her tongue and then stopped.
'I watched him from the window, he was wearing this odd-forest green and it made his eyes so warm. I was trusting him--against the rules for this sort of thing--but he had gone out to my car and was checking the tires, the windshield wipers. I watched from around the corner of his front door. As he turned to walk back, I ran back towards the kitchen before he could catch me watching. But not before I caught the look on his face--something as deep as concern to it, something that made me feel too much. He made me a stack of cds for the journey home. I kept them separate from everything--didn't want them lost in the shuffle. No, it wasn't that, it was that I wanted to keep everything from him, separate, savor it when he couldn't see.'
'A, it was just fun, light. You've got to get that.'
'You don't ever know, you know? Like the night I made him dinner with all those frozen vegetables. It was my quick casserole, the one I make with fresh vegetables about once a month. Later he made fun of the frozen ones and I never told him that I chose the frozen because my time with him felt so little, so precious that I didn't want to waste it cutting vegetables. I wonder now if it Sam's death made everything feel so frightening and fragile. Or if it was all Vincent and if I was starting to...'
She looked over and Aram was fiddling with his cell phone and Annie realized she must have looked as near-tears as she felt.
'Don't bring me down.....' she sang out brightly and then simultaneously, they shouted: "BRUCE!' in that high-pitched voice that they scream-sang out in the car and A could visibly see the relief in Aram's shoulders as they sighed-down into the ease that such an emotionally-loaded moment had passed-over like a storm."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Unacceptable Sky

It's wearing on me a little. It's the color of dinginess. An unbleached sheet, overwashed or just unclean. I need some sunlight. Maybe this is what made that Texas inmate pop out his eyeball and eat it. Such weather. Yes, that was very insensitive of me but all my muscles ache and it's cold, even with the help of the pscychedelic Amish volcano holding its breath of a space heater and "fireplace" that my parent sent. It's oddly groovy but I don't think it intends its grooviness. Which begs the question of painting it into awareness. If it were say some funky green, a blue breathing purplish, maybe then it would take credit for its opium-den possibilities.

Emmylou Harris tells me that she's "drunk all I could swallow, now the moon's gotta follow me home" and this is the kind of winter's night that highfives Ms. Emmylou and feels her moonlight inebriation to the marrow of its shaking bones. Soon, I hot bubblebath with all of my lovely lavender and white tea goodies from World Market that I was given as a present. Even a candle. And some overpriced "Gypsy" tea because I have been a very productive thing today, in spite of today's attempt to trip me.

"Some nights are umbilical corded to memory and A keeps the scissors nearby for the numerous snippings, and she walks to the laundry room with her darks neatly divided out because it's January and Monday will make her reach for her funereal garb. Today was so drab that any color--her fabulous hottest pink scarf, the emerald she wears to remind her about May and all that might have been, blared against the day like television turned on too loudly. Better to give in, the grays and navies, the black sweater, the espresso-dark skirt, nothing so flashy as deep plum until the light again suggests a world where flora is possible."

Friday, January 09, 2009

To You Whoever You Are

but that isn't what began the night, it was actually Dido's White Flag that shuffled in just as I was thinking something like there will be no white flag upon my door etc. etc. and so on...

Benjamin Button was the film of the night and it was charming in ways but also self-indulgent to the degree that L-Bo likened it to Forrest Gump and I to The Notebook, consider that span with a dash of How to Make an Am. Quilt besides. I am not sure of Katrina's function in the movie except as one more thing large and hard for it to hold. But the littles of the film, its little loves--like for buttons or tattooes and hummingbirds or swimming the English channel or just love, just how in love the film was with love was a lot and pretty winning. It's just so easy with Fitzgerald to take his lyricism and make of it something nearly precious because he loved the lovely and broken so well and so often and his prose could be bent to the sentimental in a way that it's harder to do with his earnest buddy, Ernest.

Travel Safely Chicky! So good to see you!

And L-Bo and Filo. It's bittersweet recalling how easy it was to have an afternoon like this one, walking down to lunch at Betty's (YUM!) and talking about poets and jobs and just life, but we're all elsewhere from where we met and it's likely we'll never live near one another again. But that urgency, that need to keep people close and remind them that any minute could change our proximity has only ever made me frantic and them less-responsive. This loose grip is better. I am fine here and it is SO nice to have an apartment of which I am proud and don't hide away from people. I hung sheers up in the study and the light through them is clean and serene. That fresh early morning light.

I have a couple of tasks before evening and then (a wonder!) another L-Bo event. We are cinema-ing, although what we're seeing is to be decided.
Today's poem goes out to Kathy--the dearest friend I'll ever have.

The Pomegranate

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere.And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted.Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate!How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry.I could warn her.There is still a chance.
The rain is cold.The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world.But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it.As I have.
She will wake up.She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips.I will say nothing.

Eavan Boland

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cold to the Bone

but I have been out in it and I met today's goals. Go me!

I know what I want. Clear-eyed and clear-headed in a way that it's been so long since I have been. I detest the wishy-washy and even if I sound a little...cauterized I think that I am really onto something here.

You are all so far away and I miss walks and Liberty Park and writing group and my family, my sisters by blood and choice but I feel like I'm in a kind of retreat. Every day is full and also, really wide-open and filled with solitude.

Neither the Dreary Dress of Yesterday

nor the Endorphins-as-Sequins Gown of two days ago. Woke up feeling solid, motivated a little somber which I am deciding will read as patient-as-a-planner-with-a-day planner. I am working out the schedule so that I can maintain everything even as four classes dance on my head for a few months. But there is Florida, then Chicago, then Montevallo Literary Fest. then Wick's Twenty-Fifth, then Italy, Greece and who knows. My girl trip with the Trionited Girls--White Sands, NM where I might find a way to cross Angelina River at last. If it doesn't work for that trip, I will make a way for it to. That river does not go uncrossed for one more year.
Because, that Weir-passage was memorized all those years ago by a new-to-college, new-to-so-much me and it resonated and it has been my biggest challenge to drive on and away. All the running-away-girl stories I've written. The end of every story involving always-escape. My obsession with the Roms--traveling lightly in every way. All of it says Girl, let go, freefall, there's always a somewhere after this somewhere. And my current city has had real things to say to me, so I am here and for now, I'll see what's possible with work etc. But I will listen closely for when and if it is time to go. I don't move on well or with expediency and I am going to be better about that. Sorry for the journaling here. I spend (by choice) most of my hours solo and this is a way of catching L-Bo, Veace, Locksmith and that might actually be all that I know read me.

As a treat, I offer the following from Zapruder's soon to be graphic novel: The Pajamist. I can't not post a poem that mentions my favorite Joni-song:

Matthew Zapruder


By Canada I have always been fascinated.
All that snow and acquiescing.
All that emptiness, all those butterflies
marshalled into an army of peace.
Moving north away from me
Canada has no border, away
like the state its northern border
withers into the skydome. In a world
full of mistrust and self-medication
I have always hated Canada.
It makes me feel like I’m shouting
at a child for letting a handful
of pine needles run through his fist.
Canada gets along with everyone
while I hang, a dark cloud
above the schoolyard. I know
we need war, all the skirmishes
to keep our borders where
we have placed them, all
the migration, all the difference.
Just like Canada the Dalai Lama
is now in Canada, and everyone
is fascinated. When they come
to visit me, no one ever leaves me
saying, the most touching thing
about him is he’s so human.
Or, I was really glad to hear
so many positive ideas regardless
of the consequences expressed.
Or I could drink a case of you.
No one has ever pedaled
every inch of thousands of roads
through me to raise awareness
for my struggle for autonomy.
I have pity but no respect for others,
which according to certain religious leaders
is not compassion, just ordinary
love based on attitudes towards myself.
I wonder how long I can endure.
In Canada the leaves are falling.
When they do each one rustles
maybe to the white tailed deer
of sadness, and it’s clear
that whole country does not exist
to make me feel crappy
like a candelabra hanging
above the prison world,
condemned to freely glow.

-Matthew Zapruder

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Daddy's Accordion

I researched the whereabouts of this gorgeous bit of memory breathing Never on Sunday again and again. It was so beautiful an instrument & the memory of his playing it & how much he wanted to get good at it, so vivid. Anyway, he still has it, has kept these many years and goes down the basement occasionally and tries to remember how to play it. He tinkers with the piano in the dining room in much the same way. If he would follow-through, I think lessons would be a great gift to get for him. Our family has this kind of awe for music and yet none of us play anything really, though we all dabbled and have spent tens of thousands of dollars on music and concert tix and the like. And my most embryonic attempt at a novel featured a girl (don't laugh, no wait what else would you do?) named, I-kid-you-not Lyric and her father, a gone-musician and her sorry patterns ever since. Each chapter was named after some version of the dark and the book was called All the Ways We Say Darkness and everyone was so deep and artsy and I was twenty-someting give me a break. But there are things worth re-incorporating, I think. The current novel is attempting to be so much more quiet and a girl named Lyric would not do, but I wonder at the accordion and why, even now, in New York, or New Orleans a busker with an accordion can strike such a chord of fascination and stabbing nostalgic grief in me all at the same time. So much that my father didn't do because he was doing for us. You can imagine what Hayden's poem does to me with its blue-black cold and austere and lonely offices.

What did I know, anyway? And what do I know now? That a body in motion etc. That too much thinking is too much. That whatever is up ahead is up ahead and maybe I do need a drastic new haircut. Revision is less interesting to me just now than a new notebook. Maybe Lyric will find herself in a novella someday and I will get rid of the smoky bars and scruffy men she makes out with just to swallow their shadows. There is so much to do tomorrow always. That's a bright thing.

Today is a heap of snow, so much I don't know how we'll ever dig our way out again. I hate snowed-in now. Last year, snowed-in was cozy and yummy and had I no job a hundred miles away, I would have liked to igloo in for a lifetime of that kind of winter.

Today just makes me feel trapped. I'll want a UDF quart of skim later and it will be a major undertaking and I will be Metro bound in the morning and that too, a monumental task. Better to blanket-up and let someone read me poems, sing me songs until I fall asleep. But that is last-year-thinking. Today is all sorts of snow and 2009 and soup to be made and a really lovely little stir-fry. I think the only vegetarian that reads my blog might be the genius-Veace, but I have a product endorsement nonethelss. Morningstar Farms "steak" strips mixed in with fresh spinach, grape tomatoes, basil and garlic and stirfried with some fine olive oil.

The world whitens outside my window...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

In a State of Perpetual Training

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. A new friend floated briefly through my world and I wanted to explain myself, make excuses for certain parts of my life. "I moved recently, completed a degree, stopped being a student, am trying to learn how to live where I live, had to pay for things that used to be free when I was a student: buses, gym memberships, had to find a way to walk more, etc. etc."
But I realized that I have been drawn to persons of action recently and persons of action don't listen to or respect excuses, they respect action. I am so driven in so many ways and yet, in one of the more important aspects of my life I seem uncertain, not ready, out-of-shape so to speak. I want less "edgy" as Fellner would say and more "banal" if banality means sleeping well, taking care of things, not letting things lapse or languish. In short, living the way Mission furniture is built--no nails, no cheating it into holding. Only the precise fit and perfect measuring will make those dovetailed corners hold. It's new to me as I love the ephemeral ideas, the world of lovely cloudbustings in the figurative as well as the literal sense. I have how many completed manuscripts--more than three. How many are out of my apartment right now? One and a half. How many projects-in-progress? Too many. I think the idea of training towards a goal, the way one does for a race facilitates this but I think having the next thing in mind and in place after that thing gets accomplished keeps a person in motion. I have been feeling very charged-up since December 31st and not for that cheesy-New-Years-resolutiony-routine, but I know for certain what I want and it is the kind of life that only actions will acquire for me. How personal to say here, but if it resonates and if you read me, you'll know what I mean. Every day has been different for me since I figured this out. I wrote it down, wrote it here for when I need to remind myself.

128 Days.

Root Beer Barrels & Butterscotch

Is that robin's-egg blue?, or A Poet Answers Her Critics
—Some want a guiding principle, narrative pick-me-up.

I give them root beer barrels and butterscotchs, say "suck."

A tangent is a mathematical loveliness.

Perhaps you're familiar?

Sister What-Was-Her-Name drew the most elegant trapezoids.

Who wouldn't want to do some time?

On the blueprints, a door means figure it out; a window, just looking.

I always open every cupboard, admire a narrow linen closet.

In the 1930's an actress could live at a hotel with her small dog.

I'm longing for something beaded.

I'm thinking in the next life I might appear handmade.

Copyright © 2008 Mary Ann Samyn

Monday, January 05, 2009

One More for Nina

If anything sweetens the drudgery of writing syllabai, it has to be Nina's Just in Time. A favorite of always and that piano--my God.
Wedding playlist, for sure. Dress-check. Music-check...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy, Happy, Happy

Things are finally getting right around here.

Knowing No Better
In the course of one night
the ice on the lake is gone
and you've done to me what May
has done to the mountain. We set out
in the small boat, and later, on canvas,
I make its edges blur into ours.
Shadows, you say, can fool the eye
about how close a foothill may be
and yes, I see how less indigo
gives the water a less fearsome depth
and that white is white
and I won't need much. I accept
this won't be a week of animals
and that you'll tell me when I'm ready.
I agree the trees go last and if I opt
for leaves, they should be all about
the hour of dusk people thoughtlessly
pass through. I see of course that too
many changes of mind equal mud.
But pardon me, knowing no better,
I've painted too shallow a sky, even
as I've heightened our beloved mountain.

Copyright © 2008 Nance Van Winckel

132 days.

P.S. Yum.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Nearness of You

Ella singing along and when Louis comes in, the warmth in his voice and the fire-crackle make the darkening window and this stupidly-cold, so-anemic winter, glow and glow and glow. Louis Armstrong sweetens this third day of a year undone and ready for revision.

Back from Metro, off to syllabai. And the training has begun!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Make Every Kiss Count: the pulp cover of a book that points to Simone Muench's gorgeous new website.

But I misread it as Make Every Loss Count & I thought that those two combined were
a. the same thing
b. the bumper sticker for 2008
c. a + b= the new now, clutter-free and filled with possibility.

More and more happiness has been gathering.

Good Morning 2009!

Regrets burnt and yesterdays put in their place. Off to the gym (or a long walk/run) in its general direction and off to in the good words of Allan Weir
"...away from the people who had given me my past and into whatever life I could find in the dark distances ahead, listening for crickadees and loving so many things about to disappear."

Later today I am researching the Italy/Greece trip. Italians are on the mind, for some reason...
"Every time that I see your face
It's like cool, cool water running down my back
Cool, cool water running down my back"