Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Elephant" is one of the words my 21 month-old son says.  It is also the subject of this poem from my chapbook Crown.  (The "Men's College" is a reference to A Room of One's Own.) 

Elephant Goes Downtown 

(after Carlos Drummond de Andrade)

My elephant's all shy and pretty-eyed in the marketplace.
My elephant's made of the cloth of unknowing.
Elephant's strolling through the Men's College, longing for lunch.
Elephant feels crepuscular.
My elephant sat at a lovely wooden table with a view of the Hudson.
Had no idea what to do with the sky.
Elephant has all these talented friends.
Beauty does hurt, elephant said.
She moves her mouth to one side like that.  Stretches out her trunk.
Takes a sip of her drink.
She flaps her ear a little.  Sighs.

Mad Max

Monday, November 17, 2014

Early in our relationship, my college boyfriend Jason compared his affection for me to the last can of gasoline in a Mad Max-like world. If you had the last can of gas in the world, you wouldn't go around *talking* about it, would you? 

Part of the conversation went something like this:

Me:  But you do have a can of gas?
Jason:  I can't talk about it.  For obvious reasons. 

This conversation was typical of our exchanges, and for most of college, we got along quite well.  I'm not sure, though, whatever happened to the last can of gas in the world. 

Sunday Essentials

Sunday, November 16, 2014

1.  I'm not sure I can be attractive enough to distract you from mortality on a daily basis.  Maybe in a series of carefully selected and arranged photographs, but not three feet from your face every morning.  I will work on it.  Or, well, I will ponder different things "attractive" can mean.  "A lighthearted honesty of spirit" might be one.

2.  This morning I wrote a message to a friend I met when we were thirteen.  When she came to my house for the first time, we rolled to see who would go first in Monopoly and came up with the same number ten times in a row.  (Did that happen?)  At that time, my mother and I lived in an apartment in a large, black converted barn by the Neckar River in Heidelberg.  We had a sizable terrace which looked toward the river and the Alte Brücke (old bridge).  Sounds interesting, right?  At the time I just wanted a bigger room and was tired of "all the castles."  (Eventually we moved to another apartment in the same building, and I had a larger room with a skylight.  I could lie in bed and watch the weather.  I remember appreciating it at least once.) 

3.  I looked at a blog of another friend this morning.  I met him when I was in my 30s at a poetry reading in Brooklyn in a spacious loft overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge, and I thought that's what New York would be like.  This friend tried to get me to buy a lambskin jacket on sale, but I refused.  I was eventually driven out of New York, possibly as a result.  Last night I dreamed that I kept running into this same friend all over Europe.  He was in tour groups being led through the sights and could not stop to talk.  Therefore, I made fun of his girlfriend's name. 

4.  The other morning, Curious George was having a fever dream.  He dreamed that he and a cat went down his own throat.  First they stood for a bit behind his teeth and looked around.  It was the cat who figured out how to run the machine that would take them farther down. 

5.  People Magazine reports that Drew Barrymore is really getting into whale vomit (ambergris). 

6.  There have been complications with the plan.  But I have this coffee and this blueberry muffin.  I put oatmeal in the muffins.  I hope that's ok.  But, to paraphrase Katharine Hepburn, "Always please yourself because then at least one person is pleased."  

7.  "Don't act ugly."  --something my grandmother used to say about unkindness
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground