Saturday, June 24, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
One more terrific tale in the Applewood Books series of
attractively designed and sized hardbound books
that you can fit into the back pocket of a pair
of jeans and hike all day and read
a tale such as The Bear around
the campfire at night.
People still do that, right?
PO Box 27
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
NORTH POINT 2002
A glorious collection in softcover that I once discovered, used,
but after holding the book in my hand, with a healthy crease down
the cover and throughout the text, much as I wanted the book, hated to leave it
behind, I waited and hunted up another copy in short time. For $1 less!
Ideal condition, never read, and guided by the gifted hand
of Lewis Hyde.
If you are looking for a treat companion volume of Thoreau's essays,
this one would be my choice.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Quite A Cat
when everything in the house
grows quiet the later it becomes
even the refrigerator almost
stops humming and I am done
with writing and crumble my
last piece of paper into a ball
thinking to toss it into the fire
the cat comes to me at the sound
of the paper crumbling and
knows there is a paper ball
in my hand to crouch down
on the kitchen floor planks
with him to play catch —
yes, I toss and he fetches
like a dog, so he isn't
quite a cat
she gave to
me a book I
a pair of bib-
gear I already
have and for
my lover a pair
of blue earrings
she’ll always have
What She Brings
A fat clear bag
of dried cranberries
ready to burst
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Saturday, June 17, 2017
The Library of America
One more excellent collection from the
stellar Library staff. It could have
been a cooler cover design but
the editors come to the rescue
with a rockin' line-up of authors —
Luc Sante's essay on Dylan will
stop you in your tracks if you want to rush to the back
of the book (I didn't, I like savoring)
in the meantime there is Hentoff on early Dylan
Amiri Baraka on R & B
Lester Bangs bangs in (we'd miss him)
Christgau on Prince, Ellen Willis on Janis
of course Tosches on Jerry Lee Lewis
Nelson George swims with Marvin Gaye
Babitz beds Morrison
Robert Palmer shows us Sam Cooke
Klosterman clangs with heavy metal
John Jeremiah Sullivan wastes time with Axl Rose
Wald knows top to bottom The Beatles
Hilton Als gives forth Michael Jackson
Kelefa Sanneh hits on Jay Z
Greil Marcus must end the tome
but one simply shouldn't omit
Paul Nelson squarely with The
New York Dolls
and I'm still leaving good people out
and so did the editors
not meaning to
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
When she came to the finger-post
She turned right and walked as far as the mountains.
Patches of snow lay under the thorny bush
That was blue with sloes. She filled her pockets.
The sloes piled into the hollows of her skirt.
The sunset wind blew cold against her belly
And light shrank between the branches
While her feet shifted, bare,
While her hands raked in the hard fruit.
The reindeer halted before her and claimed the sloes.
She rode home on his back without speaking,
Holding her rolled-up skirt,
Her free hand grasping the wide antlers
To keep her steady on the long ride.
Thirteen months after she left home
She travelled hunched on the deck of a trader
Southwards to her sister's wedding.
Her eyes reflected acres of snow,
Her breasts were large from suckling,
There was salt in her hair.
They met her staggering on the quay;
They put her in a scented bath,
Found a silk dress, combed her hair out.
How could they let her go back to stay
In that cold house with that strange beast?
So the old queen said, the bridegroom's mother.
They slipped a powder in her drink,
So she forgot her child, her friend,
The snow and the sloe gin.
The reindeer died when his child was ten years old.
Naked in death his body was a man's,
Young, with an old man's face and scored with grief.
When the old woman felt his curse she sickened,
She lay in her tower bedroom and could not speak.
The young woman who had nursed her grandchildren nursed her.
In her witch time she could not loose her spells
Or the spells of time, though she groaned for power.
The nurse went downstairs to sit in the sun. She slept.
The child from the north was heard at the gate.
Led by the migrating swallows
The boy from the north stood in the archway
That looked into the courtyard where water fell,
His arm around the neck of his companion —
A wild reindeer staggered by sunlight.
His hair was leached, his skin blistered.
He saw the woman in wide silk trousers
Come out of the door at the foot of the stair,
Sit on a cushion, and stretch her right hand for a hammer.
She hammered the dried broad beans one by one,
While the swallows timed her, swinging side to side:
The hard skin fell away, and the left hand
Tossed the bean into the big brass pot.
It would surely take her all day to do them all.
Her face did not change though she saw the child watching.
A light wind fled over them
As the witch died in the high tower.
She knew her child in that moment:
His body poured into her vision
Like a snake pouring over the ground,
Like a double-mouthed fountain of two nymphs,
The light groove scored on his chest
Like the meeting of two tidal roads, two oceans.
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Wake Forest University Press
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017
Today is my sister's birthday
My sister who took her life
It's the first time since she died
That I have remembered this day of her birth
When she was alive, I always remembered, it's what
You do when someone is living, you think of them
Now that she is dead I have no way of getting to her
That couldn't have been her intention at taking her life —
She always wanted someone to call her, visit her, be by her side
But now we can't get to her
Death is after all a failure
To see all that I saw today and she hasn't
After the flood
a true flood
away, truly a flood,
I worked on an island
lodged of full trees that
were lodged with large stones
lodged with mud lodged with
sewer grasses lodged with more
trees and I cut and cut for weeks on
end until I had piles of wood back
at home, and I cut through all
these trees to get to the river
a most beautiful river
In A Hollow
We've walked from the center of town
to this park on private property
donated by the people who own
the land as a tribute to their son
who died 20 years ago
there is no one here but us
no part of the neighborhood seems awake
a new trophy home is being built down the way
the lumber piles, the dirt piles, the open shapes
where windows will be
where windows will be
the boy died at age 20 so now he would be 40 no longer a boy
the park is a hollowed retreat of woodlands and streams
ideal pathways that curl and go hidden
some mother or father or both have put a great
deal of thought and wonder into this place
and the boy is dead but not to them and not even to me
I walk a stone staircase of well chosen flat stone up a rise
to a structure where inside one can sit on handmade seats
around a handmade table where a notebook has been
left to write down any handmade thoughts
I write in there that this boy is very lucky
I know the place is natural and left simple and loved
where any spirit or being just couldn't resist returning
I've been there twice